one of my big goals for the year was to read 52 books. the last few years i have not focused on reading like i used to and it’s an activity i thoroughly enjoy so i wanted to put myself up to the challenge. i am also listening to books on audible and definitely counting it in my 52 books to “read”. i like to use my time at the gym to listen to books and since it’s a good way to accomplish two of my 2017 goals in one shot, i’m all about it! i also listen when i’m folding laundry, doing housework when the girls are napping, really any time they’re not awake, i’m trying to listen.

i am through ten so far and thought i would share my thoughts on them.

love warrior by glennon doyle melton i heard really wonderful things about this one before i picked it up and it didn’t disappoint. it was a very good read, one that i could not put down. glennon talks about her struggles before getting to where she is now. and they were prominent and heavy. it’s no wonder this was a oprah’s book club pick.

if you find this letter by hannah brencher this one i started last year and put it back down a couple times. i finally tried to get into it one more time and i’m glad i did. it wasn’t what i expected it to be in the beginning and i think i just got a little turned off by it but once i was a third of the way into the book, i couldn’t put it down. hannah invites a whole new perspective on being around people everyday. i never really thought about other people’s stories and what they’re going through until i read this book. now every time i come encounter with somebody whether it’s the lady at the publix checkout line or the mom at story time who looks winded, i wonder what their challenges are in life, what brings them joy, how they got to where they are today.

the magnolia story by chip and joanna gaines i listened to this one on audible and i think i loved it even more because chip and joanna were the narrators. it was so fun to hear them tell their own story. i never watched fixer upper until i read this book and now i’m obsessed with not only the show but also their shop they have online. they really are a perfect example about how true hard work pays off and how god always has a way of working things in your favor if you trust him.

rising strong by brene brown another one listened to on audible. i pulled a lot, A LOT, of good quotes from this book. rising strong is a bold call to falling, getting back up, and trying again. i really thought the ideas were very intentional but it was a book that required my one hundred percent attention because it is a deep one.

chasing slow by erin loechner i’ve been a long time reader of erin’s blog so i knew this one would be beautifully written. i really connected with her story so much. it’s not a book about slowing down or racing to some pretend finish line, but more about giving yourself permission and space to be you and travel at your own pace. one of my favorite lines in this book was “there are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. the other is to desire less”.

all the ugly and wonderful things by bryn greenwood i flew through this book. partially because it was due to the library and i wanted to finish it because i couldn’t renew it and partially because it was a book that had such an intriguing love story that it always kept you on the edge of your seat. this was my first fiction book i read in 2017 and it set the bar really high for the rest of the fiction i’ll be reading this year!

hot milk by deborah levy i didn’t hate this book but i also didn’t connect with the characters. it’s a story about a daughter who is taking care of her mother who has all sorts of health issues. it led to an interesting story but not something i gravitated toward or felt the urge to listen to on audible whenever i had the opportunity. that’s alright though because i know i’m not going to love every book i read so i consider myself pretty lucky that out of ten books so far i’ve only come across one that i didn’t love.

the girl on the train by paula hawkins i saw the movie before i read the book and what a silly thing that was to do. obviously the book was way better than the movie but i did enjoy both of them a ton. it’s a funny thing to watch the movie first though because the whole time i read through this book, i had images of emily blunt and justin theroux popping up in my head. it’s a great suspense novel though!

the woman in cabin 10 by ruth ware what an adrenaline rush, i’m usually not one for thrillers or suspense novels but i was so sad when this book was over. it was incredible! i won’t give too much away but i will tell you i’ll never be able to take a cruise on a ship again without thinking about this book or second guessing every person i walk past 😉

in the company of women by grace bonney i loved this book a ton not only for the inspirational women and positive role models included for girls and young adults (and really any woman) but the diversity of each person who was interviewed. each person has her own story about how she is now successful and this really is such a beautifully written piece. anyone could be inspired by the beautiful artistic souls who spoke in this book and it will forever be a treasure to me.


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