I have been so excited to share my reading from this year with all of you! 2017 has been a huge year of reading for me. I just finished up my 80th book and I can’t believe how much incredible content I got to consume this year.
People ask me all the time how I have the time to read and here it is: the Kindle app. My parents got me a Kindle for Christmas last year and the convenience of having several books in one place has transformed my reading habits. I am a reader who likes to have several books running at once (generally a fiction, a non-fiction, a Christian book, a textbook or two, and an audiobook) and the Kindle/Kindle app allows me to have them all with me at all times.
This post is the first of a three part series here on the blog devoted to what, how, and why I read. I can’t wait to share with you all the details of one of my absolute favorite things to do. So! Enough chit-chat - here are my top five FAVORITE books of 2017.
1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Although these are not in any particular order, I have to say that this memoir is not only one of my favorites of the year, but one of my favorites of all time. The writing is just stunning, the nuance of the family dynamic feels authentic and familiar, and the because the film came out this year and it is a relatively short read, this would make an incredible book club pick. All the books are linked below so you can snag them on Amazon, although I feel I do need to suggest that if possible, you pick these up at your local independent bookstore and use the opportunity to support small business in you community.
2. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
This book is important. Although it is several years old, this book addresses social issues that are even more in the national spotlight then they were at publication. Written by Bryan Stevenson, the book presents a case for advocating for racial equality (particularly in the criminal justice system) and for the elimination of the death penalty in America. This book, while presenting serious information about some of our society’s most heated conversations keeps real people in the center, presenting with compassion and kindness the stories of Americans for whom the justice system has failed.
3. Still Life by Louise Penney
In our third post of this series we’ll be discussing what I’ve learned and what tools and resources I’ve used in my reading this year. One of the biggest things I’ve learned about my reading taste is how important it is to me that my books have a strong sense of place. Both time setting and physical location have a hand in this and nothing really gets me invested in a story like feeling that I could actually be there. This is the first in the Inspector Gamache mystery series and is set in a quint and utterly adorable village in Canada called Three Pines. Being a bit of a foodie and pretty hungry to see the world, I LOVED that not only do these mysteries keep me on the edge of my seat, I have never felt cozier or more transported while reading. I’ve read the first five of this series now and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
4. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
I might have a crush on Brene Brown. I fell down a bit of a social sciences and human psychology rabbit hole this year and while many of the books I’ve read were interesting to me, they read A LOT like a textbook, making them inaccessible to the average reader. This book though, along with each of her others, teaches us about big ticket emotional hurdles like vulnerability, shame, and belonging in a way that somehow makes brain science compulsively readable. I flew through this one on my Kindle in three days.
5. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
I am crazy for historical fiction. I bounce genres a lot in my reading life, but if I get a good historical fiction recommendation, I am stopping everything to read it. This book is just beautiful. It isn’t too long but has a sweeping over fifty year arch. It’s multiple narrators each have my heart in their own way and the sequel to this one was almost as good. This is a perfect read for a winter's night snuggled on the couch.
I can’t wait to hear what you think! Come back next week to learn what new authors I’ve discovered this year and which of their books I would recommend as an introduction to each. Please comment below and recommend to me your favorite reads of the year!
Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."