I decided to do a new thing, seeing as how that’s pretty much how 2017 has gone. I’ve had a lot of new experiences, and lots of them haven’t been all that great. But this one, this one’s gonna be good. Because it’s fun.
My favorite books of 2017, in no particular order:
*One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
I loved this book for it’s message, but also for the beautiful language the author uses to express her thoughts. I read this book with a friend and that made it so much more special to me. This book reminds me that I need to stop and think, to be thankful for the everyday moments that can feel like they’re mundane and meaningless, and to name the gifts my Heavenly Father gives me out of His love for me. It also reminds me to stretch my thinking to see good in things that don’t feel good.
*Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Oh, this book. I felt like the author had written about me. I don’t think I realized how much of an introvert I truly am, but this book helped me understand things about myself that I didn’t even know I questioned. If you are an introvert, you’ll probably read this book and say, “hey! me too!” If you love an introvert, you may read this and discover some reasons why your loved one behaves the way they do. I love the mixture of science and experience the author shares in this book.
*Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
So, I’m in a book club. When my turn came to pick a book, this is the one I chose, simply because I had bought it at a used book sale and needed an excuse to force me to read it. And I am thrilled that I did. This book stays with you. This author is brilliant and this book made me want to read everything he has written (which I have yet to accomplish). I even made my husband read this, and now I can look at him and say, “Doesn’t this remind you of Neverwhere?” And he always agrees, because there’s just something about this book that stays with you. If you read it, you’ll probably find yourself thinking about it like that, too.
*The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
I had never read anything by Wilde before this short play, but it was on one of those, “Great books you have to read” lists, so I took the bait.
It. is. hilarious.
It’s a play, so if you’re not used to reading the genre, it could be frustrating, but it’s absolutely worth it. The characters have this humor about them. It’s sarcastic and dry and tongue-in-cheek, but it’s delightful and I loved it. When I was reorganizing my books recently, this is one I paused to read bits and pieces of before putting it back on the shelf. It isn’t very long-I read it in an afternoon-but it was a perfect escape from the craziness of this modern, social-network-driven world we live in. Of course, it’s about a time when things were crazy in a different way, but at least they’re things we can laugh at.
*And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This was another book club pick, and I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it. I had never read anything by Agatha Christie but I knew she was famous for her mystery stories. This book is a bit complicated, and I felt like I should be doing detective work while I read it. That is, I at least felt like I should be taking notes on the characters so I could keep them all straight. There are 12, and each one of them is guilty of some crime, and they’re all staying in a house together on an island. Then people begin dying off, one by one, and you know one of them has to be the murderer. Thank goodness the epilogue fills in all the missing pieces because I would never have been able to solve this one.
*First Impressions by Charlie Lovett
If you know anything about the books I read, you’ll know my favorite books are those written in diary/letter format (called epistolary novels), and books written about books/bookstores/libraries. What can I say? I love books. This book is written between modern day and Jane Austen’s time. It’s partially about Jane writing her first novel. She befriends an elderly gentleman and he helps her with her endeavors. In the modern day story thread, a young woman works in a bookshop and helps customers find books. The two stories eventually become entangled and at that point, I couldn’t put the book down. Charlie Lovett has another book called The Bookman’s Tale, and I loved it, too.
*The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Surprise, another book about books. Set in a small town, this story is about books and the way books help us. The characters are quirky and eccentric. The writing is inviting. It’s not a very deep book, but it does touch on the idea that books can bring out the best in us, and they can see us through some of life’s most challenging moments.
*Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
This was recommended to me by a Marine who served with Jeff and Christopher. I finally got my hands on a copy (at a used book sale) and started reading. This book tells the story of a young Soldier’s deployment during the Vietnam War. I have no idea how historically accurate this book is, and I have no idea if the author was ever in combat situations. But it’s weight tells me that there has to be some truth to what the author wrote. There are several sentences he wrote that I’ve tucked away in my mind-or maybe in my heart-because they feel so important. This isn’t a book for everyone, but I’m truly glad I read it.
*Cherish by Gary Thomas
This is a book about marriage, and how sometimes we need to shift our perspective in order to have the best marriage possible. I think Jeff and I have a pretty good marriage, but I also know there’s always room for improvement. This book reminded me that a better marriage is possible, and that sometimes change isn’t all that difficult.
*The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Yep, another marriage book, sort of. I love the honesty in this book. Dr. Laura uses real examples from clients she has had in her career to give women concrete ways to care for their husbands. Taking care of my husband doesn’t have to be as complicated as I typically make it. It touches on the idea that if we take care of our husbands, our husbands naturally take care of us. It’s very interesting and my copy is highlighted and written in throughout.
*The Case For Grace by Lee Strobel
This is one of the first books I read this year, so some of the details are fuzzy, but I know this book’s truth sank deep in my soul. This book made me want to give grace more, to see people as God sees them, to not turn blind eyes on the broken and suffering. This book reminded me that, even though I’m a ‘good person,’ God sent His son to this earth to die a horrible death for me and my sins, to give me grace in the form of a sacrifice. This book is humbling, but I recommend it for anyone who has lost sight of God’s grace for them.
*Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
It’s no secret that I love Wonder Woman, but this story is amazing. It isn’t written in comic book form; it’s a straight-forward novel. It’s the first in a series called DC Icons, and I’m hoping I remember to read the others when they come out. I absolutely love this story. Wonder Woman saves the day (doesn’t she always) and helps humanity in the process. I enjoyed this one immensely.
My goal for 2018 is to keep better track of the books I read, as I’m reading them, and to maybe blog about them on a more regular basis. I’ve already started on my To Be Read list, which means, I have tipped some books sideways on my shelf. This is where it comes in handy to have bookshelves full of books that I haven’t read yet.