Halfway Through My Reading Challenge

2 Jul

At the beginning of the year I decided to challenge myself to read 17 books. For a non-reader like me, 17 books seemed like a lot and a number that I’d have to work to reach. I soon found that 17 wasn’t going to be as difficult as I originally thought so I decided that since this is my 37th year that I would read 37 books in 2017.

#37in2017 was born.

Since we’re now halfway through the year, I thought I’d share with you the books I’ve read so far. I’ve had a few people ask for my book list so today I’ll tell you about the books I’ve read so far and at the end of the year I’ll tell you about the rest.

setting the example

  • A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson. This is the sometimes hilarious tale of two men who take on parts of the Appalachian Trail. I really enjoyed this book. In fact I liked it so much that I added hiking (part) of the Appalachian Trail to my bucket list.
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I decided to read this after I saw it featured on the Gilmore Girls revival. I loved it from start to finish and think everyone should give it a read.
  • Into This Air by Jon Krakauer. I couldn’t put this book down! The true story of the (then) deadliest year on Everest. So much action and adventure!
  • The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson. I loved A Walk In The Woods so much that I decided to give another Bryson book a try and when I finished I realized I should have quit while I was ahead. The book was terrible! Clearly after living in Europe so long he thinks of Americans as fat, lazy, rude and stupid. I had to really fight to get through this one.book challenge
  • Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. Another true story of life and death in nature. Much like the other Krakauer book I read, I couldn’t put this one down. Does it look like I have a type? First five books, all about the great outdoors and all true stories.
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Cameron inspired me to read this book when he asked to see the movie. I was fascinated from page one through to the end. I found myself wondering how I never knew these brilliant woman existed? How was this never taught in any of my history classes?
  • Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. This was BY FAR my very favorite book. A true story about the failure of operation Red Wing (and also a movie staring Mark Wahlberg). A look into why those 19 men died and the amazing story of how one made it, against all odds. This book started my love affair with the Navy SEALs.book challenge 2
  • The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. I am probably one of the least religious people you will meet so I was a bit apprehensive when I heard what this book was all about but I gave it a shot anyway and it really made think. I don’t know if it made me any more or less religious than I was before but it certainly gave me some food for thought. My first work of fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Men Are Like Waffles Women Are Like Spaghetti by Bill & Pam Farrel. This book came as a recommendation from Cameron’s teacher as a way that I might understand what’s going on in his little man brain. It was definitely insightful to see how differently men and women’s brains work and give me a greater understanding on how to communicate with the men of the house.
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I laughed. I cried. I was fascinated yet again. Still Alice is a quick read that takes you inside the mind of someone with Alhzlmers. I’m sure you can guess that there isn’t a fairy tale ending here but don’t let that scare you off from reading it.
  • The Great Whale of Kansas by Richard W. Jennings. This book came as a recommendation from Cameron. This is more of a children’s book but I still enjoyed it and found it to be an uplifting story about a young boy. If you have a 4-7th grader in your house, they might enjoy this one.book challenge 3
  • Service: A Navy SEAL At War by Marcus Luttrell. After reading Lone Survivor I needed more. Service offers more stories about the toughest our military has to offer. Read Lone Survivor then read Service.
  • Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian. A recommendation from my Mother in Law. After the first chapter I wasn’t sure I’d ever look at her the same way. Russian prostitutes and a bachelor party gone wrong, I’ll leave it at that. The book was slow to start but I eventually got into the story.
  • The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. This is a true story that read like a novel. Set in Warsaw, Poland during World War II, this book takes you through the “Underground Railroad” that saved so many Jewish lives. A fantastic summer read.
  • Code Name: Johnny Walker by “Johnny Walker” and Jim DeFelice. This is the true story of an Iraqi who risked everything to work with the SEALs. OK, I think it’s clear that I have a crush on the SEALs since this is my third book involving them and not the last one I have on my reading list.
  • 10% Happpier by Dan Harris. I’m a fan of Good Morning America so when weekend anchor Dan Harris wrote a book about how he overcame the voices in his head to become 10% happier I figured I should read it. Who wouldn’t want to be 10% happier?

book challenge 4

So far I’ve picked some great books. Out of the first sixteen, I’d  strongly recommend 12 of them and recommend 14.

I’ve got a little catching up to do since I’m halfway through the year and I still have 21 books left to read, but I’m confident I’ll make it.

Do you have any books you think I should add to my reading list? Tell me about them!


Happy Birthday To ME!

27 Mar

Birthday Thankful

The last five years I’ve used this day to share “fun facts” about myself, things that people may or may not know about me. This year I’m changing it up a little by sharing 37 things I’m thankful for for my 37th birthday. In no particular order…Here we go!

  • My family, the three men I share my home with.
  • Of course my parents who taught and guided me through life and continue to do so every day.
  • My (much) older sister. I watched her very closely growing up and learned a lot from her successes AND her mistakes.
  • Cooper. He’s not just a dog, he’s my sidekick and best friend.
  • Starbucks. More than that, a Starbucks that’s less than 2 miles from my house.
  • I’m thankful I found a man who is as into gadgets as I am, thus almost always indulging my need for the latest and greatest.
  • While I’m on the subject of being thankful for my husband, I’m thankful I married a man who can cook or else we all might starve.
  • I’m thankful to be off our ACA insurance plan and on an employer provided plan. Yep, that made the top ten!
  • I’m so thankful that I got the boys into karate. It’s made a world of difference in their confidence level and given me a helping hand in making sure they don’t turn out to be assholes.
  • Getting the boys into karate was the catalyst for me to get involved too. I’m so thankful that I decided to get off my ass and out on the mat, it’s challenging, rewarding and empowering and I love it and our Legacy MA family.
  • I’ve been very fortunate to travel to some amazing places over the years. I’m so grateful for all of the places I’ve been and the things I have seen.
  • I’ve met some amazing people over the years. Some of those people I’ve met in person and some reside in my computer. I’m so thankful I’ve the chance to meet and get to know so many cool people from so many different places.
  • Sunny days.
  • Sunny days with the sunroof open and the music blasting.
  • I’m thankful I’ve been given the opportunity to wake up these past 13,505 (give or take a few for leap years) days.
  • So thankful for bedtime every night.
  • Bad days. Yes, I said BAD days. It’s the bad days that make the good ones that much sweeter.
  • Chocolate cake.
  • Even more than chocolate cake, I’m thankful for red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. So yummy!!!
  • TV that takes me out of real life and into a much more glamorous make believe.
  • Each and every time Bill comes home from a trip.
  • Each and every time I get to go with Bill on a trip.
  • Delta’s Comfort+.
  • Hair color. So thankful I’m not stuck with all this gray on my head.
  • My membership at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. Regular massages are the way to go.
  • A part time job that’s fun and rewarding.
  • I’m thankful I’ve been able to live in the same general area for the past 29 years.
  • Having the house to myself. I can blast music or enjoy the peace and quiet, it’s up to me.
  • The DVR that lets me watch shows later.
  • Netflix which lets me watch shows I used to love.
  • My Sonos system which allows me to listen to my music throughout the house.
  • My truck. It gets me from point A to point B and it makes me look badass while doing it.
  • Texting. It makes it so much easier for me to communicate with people since I hate talking on the phone.
  • Books. I’ve never been much of a reader but over the past few months I’ve really gotten into it and I’m so thankful that there are so many great books for me to read.
  • The library. Books aren’t cheap and the library makes it easier for me to read a lot without breaking the bank.
  • Crisfiled, Maryland. It’s a little escape from the norm and I’m so glad I can go visit (almost) anytime I want to.
  • I’m thankful for another birthday that leaves me happy and healthy and I’m looking forward to many more to come.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me a little better. Now it’s time for me to get back to spoiling myself rotten.

Hey! If you don’t spoil yourself, who’s going to spoil you?

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