I am barely pulling off this “100 Books in 2017” goal. I mean, if I actually make it to 100, it’ll be by the literal skin of my barely brushed teeth. I’m reading and reading but I’m still three books behind. AND THE HOLIDAYS ARE HERE!! I’m seriously doubting my chances but I’m going to read as fast as my mom-brain will allow.
Fine. Confession time.
I’m behind because I’ve been pretty lazy. Ever since my son received Super Mario Brothers Wii for his birthday, I’ve been otherwise engaged. I didn’t just play for fun, I played for blood. I beat all eight worlds, killed Bowser, and saved Princess Peach. It won’t count toward my book goal, but I’m counting it as a major life accomplishment.
Also, Stranger Things happened. What could I do? Let everyone else crush hard on beautiful, perfect Steve while I sit on my couch reading library books? I have my pride.
Here are the last 25 books I’ve completed. I’m sorry it’s so many. I’ve clearly had my nose to the grindstone.
61.) Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Sleeping Giants is hard NOT to read in one sitting. Especially for someone who loves all things similar to her 90’s X-Files obsession. If this is a series, I’ll read the others. Spoiler: it is and I did.
62.) Baby-led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
Baby-Led Weaning is so practical and all you say the whole time is, “Of course!” I wish I had read this book with my first three children instead of making four million pounds of purées. Read this book if you have babies under one-year-old (or plan to).
63.) I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
People are over the moon about this book! Luvvie Ajayi is beloved on the Internet so I decided to check her out. I was drawn into Part II: “Culture” and loved hearing a black woman’s thoughts on race, racism, and privilege. I had a harder time engaging in the other parts of the book but they were still funny and interesting.
64.) A Girl’s Book of Verse by Mary Gould Davis
Poems, poems, poems! I’m sorry to admit that I’m not knowledgeable about most poetry or poets. I did enjoy reading these and there were many classic pieces that were fun to read. This book included Yeats, Dickinson, Whitman, Tennyson, Shakespeare, Blake, Keats, Kipling, and Lord Byron to name a few. I did discover Walter De La Mare, who maybe I should be ashamed not to know. I’ve already confessed my shortcomings. Forgive me, Deidre.
65.) The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
It took me entirely too long to finish this book about a young girl who hasn’t eaten in months but is still surviving. I did like it, but it was a slow burn. I had to keep forcing myself to pick it back up. Not until the last hundred pages or so did I breeze right through because the content became much more intriguing. I think it would make a great movie.
66.) Beartown by Fredrik Backman
** This review contains spoilers** I could not get through the first part of the book. I struggled and struggled but I kept pushing because my husband had recommended Beartown and he gave it a thumbs up. It’s just that I really don’t like hockey. And the book went on and on at the beginning about hockey. I mean, ON and ON. I didn’t realize all the clever character development I was accidentally absorbing while suffering through.
Suddenly, the book changes and it is heartbreaking and way too real. I appreciate Fredrick Backman much more after Beartown.
I would like to include trigger warnings that will be spoilers:
Rape is the overall storyline and it could be a very difficult read for anyone who has been raped or had a loved one who has been raped. I had no idea this was the plot and would have appreciated a heads up.
67.) Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
The title and subtitle made me want to skip this book. It sounded cliche and sort of made me feel gaggy. Self-help rhetoric? No thanks.
I was wrong. Every person in America should read this book. I loved it so much. I swim in a sea of everything Brene writes about. It was a perfect fit for me. I borrowed it from the library, but this is a book that needs to be in my home, tattered and highlighted.
68.) Reading People by Anne Bogel
I’m a nut about personality and behavioral typings. I love to see why people act in particular ways and I can’t wait until my kids are old enough so I can assess them, too. Anne’s book was a compilation of many different assessments and theories. I liked being able to read through them all in one place and quickly, too. Since I am obsessed with personality tests, there wasn’t much new information for me, but I still enjoyed reading it and picking up new tidbits here and there.
69.) Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Creepy. Weird. Vague. Intensely interesting from the beginning. Annihilation is the first of a trilogy and I plan on reading all three books. It was so easy to read and I was curious until the end. The book could have been a hundred pages longer to explain more, give more story background and detail. Maybe it’s more enjoyable because there isn’t excessive character development and storylines, but I could have handled more information. All in all, if you like strange science-fiction, you should read Annihilation.
70.) Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
I am so happy I purchased this book instead of borrowing. I loved it and I look forward to referring back to it in the years to come. I feel challenged to see God’s holiness in the everyday, the boring and mundane, the regular and the tedious. Liturgy of the Ordinary is a beautiful read.
71.) Under Their Very Eyes: The Astonishing Life of Tom Hamblin, Bible Courier to Arab Nations by Deborah Meroff
Tom Hamblin tells story after story after story of taking Bibles to the Middle East. He writes warmly, enthusiastically, and wisely. I’m so happy I took the time to read this book. It is encouraging and completely unbelievable. If you are a believer in Jesus, you will be seriously astonished.
72.) Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
I’m going to go out on a limb and say this account made me strangely sad! Why? Because what are the odds I will ever see Hamilton?! And then, I wouldn’t see it with a Lin-Manuel performance. IT’S NOT FAIR! Leave me alone right now. I need to deal with my emotions. (PS- if you like Hamilton, then you will love this look behind the scenes.)
73.) Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
Nightmares! caught my eye when I noticed Jason Segel was the author. I needed to know what kind of book Jason Segel would/could write. It was a fun adventure and my friends and I would have loved this book as kids. He has released other books I’d be willing to try out, as well.
74.) Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that can Radically Change your Family by Paul David Tripp
A book I should certainly own and keep handy. Maybe it’s a little repetitive, but the repetition seems necessary to help open my eyes to how I can parent differently/better. It’s more like a flashlight than a book. It illuminates my dark parenting mistakes and allows me to see and change them. Helpful and worth it.
75.) Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
The second installment of The Southern Reach trilogy was interesting and chilling, but much too long. I loved reading the first book, Annihilation, because of its rapid pace and edge-of-your-seat mystery. Book two was not as fun. It’s a slow burn and I kept having to restart to push through. My advice to anyone reading Authority: finish it in a day or two, otherwise, you’ll end up taking forever to finish. It is still worthwhile, it just can’t stand up next to its predecessor.
76.) White Lightning by Minton Sparks
A quick and simple read. I appreciated the overall message of the book (truth is a powerful elixir) but missed out on a lot of character development and weight to the storyline. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great.
77.) Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
Weird, weird, weird, weird, creepy, intense, weird. Acceptance is the final book in the Southern Reach trilogy and I admit I’m a little sad I’m finished. There were probably many things I missed because I wasn’t smart enough to understand, but I liked reading it and I loved the weirdness.
78.) Breathe Mama Breathe by Shonda Moralis
Can I please be Shonda Moralis? She’s a therapist, yoga, hiking, biking, early-rising, mindfulness guru. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to practicing most of her mindfulness techniques. Sometimes the chapters were repetitive, but I think that just makes it easier to refer back to a certain chapter and have the information stand alone without the entire book. Maybe the term mindfulness makes you feel strange, but her approach can easily incorporate Christians’ spiritual practices. Helpful. Simple. Hopefully doable.
79.) The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
I called all the plot twists and heard the words “hand” and “job” too many times. I wouldn’t recommend.
80.) The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
The Wisdom of Sundays includes snippets from Oprah’s conversations with spiritual leaders, CEO’s, nuns, athletes, writers, designers, psychologists, etc. I loved reading others’ opinions on life, spirituality, gratitude, brokenness, connection. Many people I would never have heard from if it weren’t for this book and everyone had a small piece of truth I could resonate with. My husband made fun of me because I said Oprah had too much to say. “Um? Isn’t this Oprah’s book?”
81.) The Children of Willesden Lane. Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen
A heart wrenching Holocaust memoir. If you enjoy reading true accounts (with some filler for narrative added) then you will undoubtedly love this beautiful and sad book.
82.) Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
People did not give this book glowing reviews, but I liked it! Embarrassingly, I felt I had a lot in common with the main character, Eleanor. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of her, hence my embarrassment. But I related so much to her that’s probably why I enjoyed the book more than others. Quick and easy read.
83.) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
An inside look at the personal side of all the news stories we hear of black people being shot by police officers. I almost felt like an intruder reading this book, but the author makes the story accessible to all races. Strong language and some sexual material but the content overall is good. The Hate U Give is a good book to read if you’re looking for a deeper understanding of Black Lives Matter, riots, protests, etc.
84.) Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
A charming, enchanting, beautiful fairytale. I’m considering stealing this copy from the library. The story is adorable and mysterious, just like a good fairytale. The illustrations are lovely and I’d like to hang them on my wall. I can’t wait to read this one with my kids when they are older. Expect a fairytale and you will love Snow & Rose.
85.) Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
I feel certain knowing that Tom Hanks wrote these stories added to their charm exponentially. Mr. Hanks loves to write about everyday things and truly out of the ordinary things all at once. He also talks about a beautiful woman in every story (except maybe one). I gather he appreciates lovely women and maybe thinks a story can’t survive without one! I would describe most stories as sweet and clever.
Alright, I have 15 books to read before 2018. What do you suggest that are fun, quick, educational, weird, or inspirational? I have to make it to 100! Save me!