Who can believe that 2017 is coming to a close already?!? Each year since about 2014 I have set a goal for myself in regards to books. I loved to read, but didn’t really have any direction. Choosing books was done by wandering the aisles of the library or book store at the airport and searching for a cover that looked intriguing. (Yes, I totally judge and buy books because of their cover!)
Since then, I have become much more strategic. Reading widely is important to me, but also enjoyable. This year I read fiction, historical fiction, thrillers, memoir, nonfiction, Christian nonfiction, parenting, self-help, young adult, and even business. This list is not meant to brag at all, but just a reminder that you may have read more than you thought because you might not have included a book you read for work. And not to mention, were you even aware of all the different categories?
I can, and do, read multiple books at a time as much for the “palate cleanser” aspect as also for my differences in mood. Disappointingly I won’t meet my goal this year, but I do think it has been a great year for reading! Book choices were struggling in the beginning but ended on a very strong note. Even though I already had a gift guide, these would all make excellent gifts for the holidays this year! Without further ado, here are My Favorite Books for 2017!
The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins–This fictional account of a traveling gypsy boy in Ireland captured me. Cummins has an amazing ability to portray the mind of an 11 year old boy, his deep connection and love of his grandfather and deep desire to be like everyone else his age. Part coming of age, part historical fiction, this beautiful novel transported me to a time and place I may never see but left me feeling as if I traveled the road with them. Full review here.
The Tears of Dark Water by Corban Addison–Though I didn’t do a full review on the blog, I did add this to my gift guide because I liked it so much. Smart, thought-provoking and page-turning, the thriller aspect wasn’t wasted on lack of depth. Told from three perspectives, this book has stayed with me much longer than I anticipated. Short review here.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi–Kalanithi’s moving memoir of fighting to live his life after being told of his terminal cancer diagnosis. The irony, though, was that at the time he was in his final days of completing residency for neurosurgery. He was an expert in his field, helping people live and yet he quickly became the dying patient. Deeply moving and hopeful. Full review here.
The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally and Sarah Clarkson–Part practical tips for creating a welcoming and warm home, part philosophy of why family is important, I loved the way the Clarkson women offered tips but encouraged the reader to find their own rituals, rhythms and routines that make up their family culture. Beautifully written (and that cover!) and great content. Full review here.
The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard by Kristin Schell–Beautiful call to action by someone who was tired of not knowing her neighbors…so she did something about it. A few recipes (good ones!), practical tips and motivational inspiration for you to create a stronger community where you live. Another beautiful cover!! Full review here.
If you would like to follow the books I read throughout the year, be sure to follow me here on Goodreads. If you would also like to set up your own account and track your books, it is a great motivator! Be on the lookout for more book club info coming in 2018!
What were your favorite reads of 2017? Do you track your books and reading? What is your preferred system?