It was another awesome year of reading for me. I feel like 2016 was the year I got my mojo back and 2017 was the year I soared. I am a mostly fiction reader and the books I read challenged me, made me laugh, made me cry and took my mind to periods and places I knew little about.
My book club that I started at my work completed its second year of books and more women are involved than ever. It has really brought our team together and I love it (I’ll be writing more about the club in the coming year).
I read 60 books, which surpassed my goal of 50 in a big way. With having a full-time job, a book manuscript due and a family, this number demonstrates that anyone can make time to do something, if they love it. I firmly believe I am a happier person when I am reading, and prioritized it many nights over chores. While my house suffered a bit, my emotional stability made it worth it – ha!
If you are someone who wants to read more, I encourage you to read this post on how busy moms can find time to read.
My Favorite Reads of 2017
Today, I am thrilled to share my top 10 books that I read in 2017. Yes, I should have published this list last week, but life was crazy and it didn’t happen. 🙂 The list is 70% fiction, 30% memoir, which is high on the memoir side given that probably 85% of the books I read this year were fiction.
Because I loved these books so much, I am going to do something I have never done before. I’m going to buy someone all ten books direct from Amazon. I am SO excited to bless someone with these books.
To enter, simply use the rafflecopter at the bottom of the post. But first, read about these books and add them all to your Amazon shopping cart, GoodReads list or library holds requests. You won’t regret any of them.
If I had to pick my #1 book of the year, it would be this one. I think all parents need to read this book because of the way it realistically discusses the lengths we will go for our kids' wellbeing. This is How It Always Is tells the story about a family's secret, and how, as secrets tend to do, the way it takes over the family. I was moved by the way the author so realistically writes about family dynamics, challenging situations and love for one's children. This book is an emotional, beautiful experience and one that should not be missed.More info →
The only book on the list that I listened to the audio version of, I have recommended this book to more people than I can count. It is my favorite audio book of the year. I didn't know much about Trevor Noah prior to reading this book, and learned so much about apartheid South Africa in this memoir. I laughed and I sobbed. A must-read. (I will say, I think this is one of those books that is meant to be listened to. Trevor's accent and use of languages is delightful.)More info →
This was one of the first books I read in 2017 and I am still talking about it. Written by Jodi Picoult, this thought-provoking book looks at racism in America today told in three different viewpoints. The story moves quickly and I devoured the nearly 500 page book in less than 48 hours.More info →
This is, without question, my favorite Jen Hatmaker book. They way she can go from making you laugh to moving you to tears is such a gift. Her thoughts on faith, marriage and motherhood were spot on. I especially resonated with her words on forgiveness.More info →
This book, which released in 2014, was recommended to me in an online reading group as an excellent audio book. I have never read a book like it. At more than 600 pages, the audio book was a whopping 23 hours, but it was SO good that I ended up checking the book out of the library so I could finish it faster. I was on the edge of my seat for the last 1/3 of the book. Spanning the globe, this novel about terrorism will have fans of Homeland and Alias cheering. Note: this book has A LOT of set-up, but stick with it. Reviewers were right - the pay off is SO worth itMore info →
Gah. This book wins for the most unexpected favorite. I don't understand why everyone isn't talking about it and am shocked that it only has 50 reviews on Amazon. I heard about it from a reader friend and thought the premise (two plane crash victims story of survival on a remote island) was compelling. That said, I was not prepared for the emotional investment I would experience with these two characters, nor the deep sadness I would experience at the end. I simply loved the writing and the story of this book.More info →
Never would I have expected this library book that I picked up on a whim to be so terrific. Seriously, historical fiction readers will adore this book about a Quaker woman who gets pregnant outside of marriage and decides to keep her baby (unheard of in the time). Her fight for her daughter against injustice, poverty and society’s social norms is captivating. It might be one of my top 10 favorite historical fiction reads in the past few years. I truly loved this book.More info →
A Book of the Month select that was truly un-put-down-able. Set in Old Hollywood, this book revolves around the life of Evelyn Hugo, a film actress who would compare in fame and love affairs to Liz Taylor. In the book, Evelyn is sharing her story with a young journalist and it goes between present day and the past, in which she used marriages to climb the Hollywood ladder and hide a secret that could ruin her. One of the most captivating books released in 2017.More info →
I was so moved by Ruth Wariner's incredible retelling of growing up as her polygamist father's 39th of his 42 children. Her experiences of being carted back and forth from Mexico to the United States, poverty and abuse are heart-wrenching. Her strength to persevere and find a better life for herself was brave and inspiring. One of the best memoirs I have ever read.More info →
I just finished this a few days ago and took another book off the top 10 because I loved it so freaking much. I cannot stop thinking about it. Taking place post WWII in the deep south, this story about race, sharecropping, family and loyalty is powerful. Told in multiple voices, I simply loved this book.More info →
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