About midway through 2016 I set an ambitious goal. I had been listening to a lot of Podcast’s lately that were recommending tons of good books to read. I headed over to Good Reads, made myself an account, and set my goal of reading 30 books by the end of 2016.
Well….Wanna know how well that went?
I didn’t even reach half of my goal. I made it through a whopping 10 books this year. For some reason I just hit a roadblock and I couldn’t get into many books. Probably had something to do with starting a blog and discovering “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix. But, I am here to share with you the 10 books I DID read, my thoughts on them, and my reading goals for 2017.
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In no particular order, here are my thoughts on the books I read this year.
Giddy Up Eunice– by Sophie Hudson. 6 out of 10 stars
Sophie Hudson is currently one of my favorite authors. I also listen to her podcast The Big Boo Cast and she is just a hoot. This is her 3rd book and, in my opinion, is 2nd place to her book, Home is Where My People Are. Giddy Up Eunice uses stories of women in the Bible to show how we should rally around each other and encourage women both in front of and behind us in life. This is a GREAT gift for a woman who you look up to or want to encourage.
Home is Where My People Are-by Sophie Hudson. 10 out of 10 stars
Home is Where My People Are is a light and easy read- great for your Spring Break trip to the beach. This is probably one of my favorite books I have read and one I recommend to everyone. I’ve read this book twice now and both times I have left feeling encouraged and entertained. Each chapter is a story from Sophie’s life where she mixes in hilarious anecdotes with the lessons she learned during those times. I connected a lot to this book because she shares about growing up in a Christian home, leaving her faith in college to chase after boys, booze, etc. (#college) and realizing her need for Jesus as she grows older. READ THIS ONE!
Girls Like Us-by Rachel Lloyd. 8 out of 10 stars
I found this book through a podcast I listen to. This book is a memoir of a woman, Rachel Lloyd, who shares stories of her time in the sex slave industry. After many years of being beaten, abused, and almost losing her life, she escaped the industry and now works to help free women from slavery. This book opened my eyes a lot to the world of Sex Slavery and how apparent it is in our world today. I think our culture is very apt to blaming women for being in the sex industry, but this book enlightens the reader on the truths of this industry and sheds light on the ways we can work to prevent more women, and men, from being abused, used, and sold. This is a heavy read, so be prepared to spend some time on it.
The Glass Castle-by Jeanette Walls 6 out of 10 stars
This book is a memoir, which I can sometimes have a hard time getting into. Jeanette shares her story of life growing up in an unstable home full of alcohol abuse. I found myself escaping into her world each night as I read it and it really opened my eyes to the different ways people grow up. I’m glad I read it, but it was tough to get into. I do recommend it, but be patient, it took a while for me and it might for you too.
Bossy Pants-by Tina Fey. 3 out of 10 stars
Heard tons of good reviews on this one so I tried it out. It was not for me. I don’t really enjoy “The Office” quirky sense of humor and that’s what I felt this was. However, if you do enjoy that, then I would recommend it. It just wasn’t for me. But, I will say that I have a newfound respect for women in the TV industry after reading this book. Tina Fey is full on #womanpower and I have to give her that! #Respect
The Nightingale– by Kristin Hannah. 7 out of 10 stars
This is another one that came highly recommended. I am about half way done with it and I am hooked. However, I started it, then stopped, then started again, and…well I stopped again. Finally over our Christmas vacation, I found time to get in to it and I am glad I did! This is one of those books that allows me to escape into a completely different world. I am not usually a Historical Fiction reader but this book may turn me into one.
Leaving Time-by Jodi Picoult. 15 out of 10 stars
OMG, OMG, OMG. Fav book of 2016. If you are a Jodi Piccoult fan, then you know how her books are- full of twists. This is the third JP book I have read and each one I fall more and more in love with this author. I was HOOKED on this book within the first 30 pages. Cody and I went on a quick 2 night trip down to the ranch and I spent the majority of my time reading this book.
This story starts out with a young girl named Jenna, looking for her mom, Alice, who is missing after an accident at the elephant sanctuary they lived on and managed. Jenna is on the quest to find her mom after hiring a detective and psychic to help her. The story shifts between the viewpoints of Jenna, the detective, the psychic, and journal entries from her Mom. I also loved that a majority of the story took place in an elephant sanctuary. This book gave me a new appreciation for elephants and you JUST HAVE TO READ IT! OKAY?!?
Wild and Free– by Jess Connoly and Hayley Morgan. 4 out of 10 stars
Eh, this one came highly recommended as well, but I pushed through it mainly to say I finished it. In full disclosure, I am not a huge fan of non-fiction books. These two friends share what it’s like to be Wild and Free because of Jesus. While the message is true and great, I had a hard time staying engaged in it.
Let’s All Be Brave– by Annie F. Downs. 8 out of 10 stars
I came to know Annie (were on a first name basis, ya know?) (not really) at a conference last May. She is hilarious, full of joy, and her smile is contagious. Her book Looking for Lovely was on my list to read first, but I found this book for $3.00 + $1.00 for the audio book (which, side note, audio books are AWESOME!) so I had to buy it. I felt encouraged through this book to step out and pursue the things God has placed on my heart. I have had a lot of dreams and goals and this year has been my year to start pursuing them. Annie encourages men and women to step out of their comfort zone and pursue whatever it is God has laid on their heart.
Sharp Objects-by Gillian Flynn. 2 out of 10 stars
I was a huge fan of Gone Girl which is why I chose to try another Gillian Flynn book. Boy was I disappointed. This one was even darker and creepier than Gone Girl and really just plain weird. That’s about all I have to say about that! Just read Leaving Time instead!
There you are! My thoughts on the books I read in 2016.
I think I will set much more attainable goals for 2017. How about 12 books? One book for each month of the year. Seems much more likely for me to be able to squeeze in 1 book a month in between my Gilmore Girls binging. But…let’s be honest, I’ll be done with that before February.
What will you be reading in 2017? You can head over to my Good Reads page to see what books are on my list for the new year.
Until next time,