Tag Archives: read

The Year I Became a Reader

3 Jan

reading challenge

2017 was many things, not all of them good. One of the good things to come out of 2017 was that it was the year I became a reader. The year I learned that reading could take me away from my life and into fascinating new worlds.

Back in February, when I decided to challenge myself to read more, I set my goal at 17 books. #17in2017. At the time it seemed like a lofty goal since I usually only read five books a year if I’m lucky. It didn’t take long before I realized that 17 books was selling myself short. Halfway through the year I had already finished 16 books, I needed a new goal. I went with #37in2017 since this is my 37th year. As it turns out I was able to exceed that goal as well finishing 2017 with 40 books. 13,051 pages!

Below I will share my reading list from the second half of 2017. You can find my first 16 books HERE.

  • Emory’s Gift by W. Bruce Cameron. I’ve enjoyed a few books by Cameron, I think of him as the Nicholas Sparks of the animal world. This was a quick read with a heartwarming story.
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I didn’t realize just how violent World War II was until I read this book. This is the true story of an American olympian and his struggle to survive the war.
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I really liked this one, it kept me guessing until the very end. I started to watch the HBO series and it sucked in comparison. If you liked the show, you’ll love the book.
  • American Sniper by Chris Kyle. If you’ve looked through the first half of my booklist, you know that I have a thing for Navy SEALs. I had to read this story. The book was in it’s final stages of preparation when Chris was killed. It was difficult for me to wrap my head around reading his words when I knew he was no longer with us.
  • Valley Of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. This came to me as a recommendation from a friend. The books was written in the 60’s but the story was still gripping.
  • The Keeper Of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. I loved this book!
  • Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham. If you’re a Lauren Graham and/or Gilmore Girls fan, you NEED to read this book. She is such a doll.
  • Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven. This was a super fast read and it teaches an important lesson.
  • My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. This wasn’t my favorite book by a long shot. By the time I reached the end I was so happy it was over.
  • The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. Full of suspense! I was guessing until the very end.
  • A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron. Think the incredible journey. Another heartwarming dog story from Cameron. This was a page turner that had it’s share of excitement.
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I loved this book! It seemed like if I wasn’t reading about Navy SEALs I was reading about WWII. I liked how this book flipped between the past and the present without giving away who survived. Lots of strong women in this book.
  • From Cradle To Stage by Virginia Hanlon Grohl. This was a great behind the scenes look into the lives of famous musicians from all genres. The best part is that it showcases the love mothers have for their children.
  • American Gun by Chris Kyle. A look at American History through the stories of ten different firearms. I don’t know a lot about guns but it was interesting to see how they shaped our country from the very beginning.
  • Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham. A fantastic work of fiction by our favorite Gilmore Girl.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir. Just another case of the book being so much better than the movie, which says a lot since we got to see Matt Damon’s bare ass. Even though I knew how it ended (since I had seen the movie), the book kept my attention.
  • The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. This was so well written. I was reaching for the tissues at the end.
  • The Scent Of Rain And Lightning by Nancy Pickard. I could not put this book down.
  • I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart. I was kind of disappointed in this one. I usually think Kevin Hart is a pretty funny guy so I expected to be laughing my ass off from start to finish. That was not the case.
  • Everything Is Awful by Matt Bellassai. I enjoy Matt’s Whine About It videos which it what lead me to read his book. It did not disappoint.
  • She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. This was an interesting book that took a look at mental health. It was an easy read that went fast and left me wanting more at the end.
  • The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. I find that Nicholas Sparks books tend to follow a similar pattern. Even still this was a really nice, well written love story that bridged generations. Who doesn’t like sexy cowboys?
  • Washington’s Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade. This was a fascinating read. It’s was amazing to read about Washington’s spy ring during the Revolutionary War. The things they did with no technology were nothing short of amazing. We owe a lot of our freedom to those six people.
  • Resilience by Eric Greitens. This might have been the most important book I read all year. Who doesn’t want to live a better life?

40 books may not seem like all that many to some but I’m proud of the accomplishment. I feel like after all these years I’ve finally become a reader. I enjoy reading now, I used to think of it as a chore. I look forward to starting a new book and I’ve already compiled a nice reading list for 2018.

Stay tuned as I challenge myself to read 45 books this year. Oh, and let me know if you have any good books I should add to my list.


Setting The Example With Books

17 Feb

Late last year I started reading actual paper books as opposed to books on my iPad (or not reading at all). When the boys saw me with a book, they wanted to read too. With Cameron quickly losing interest in reading and Logan having no interest, I realized I needed to take advantage of this new found realization. I’m going to set the example with books!

In the past, when I would read a book I’d go to the bookstore and buy it. With two kids, the money available for such luxuries isn’t what it used to be. Then I had another aha moment when I remembered my library card.

Somehow I can never find what I’m looking for at the library and the librarians intimidate me (stop laughing), so I needed to find another way. Enter the internet. I could actually find the book I wanted at the library and request it to be held at the desk for me to come pick up. How easy is that? I walk in, give my name at the desk and they hand me a book to read. THIS I could handle.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago when I decided to pick up a new book. I had a trip coming up and needed something for my travels. I did a little Googling and before I knew it I found a few books to keep me occupied.

setting the example

Book 1 in my 2017 challenge

I finished the first of them and really enjoyed it so I picked up the next one on my list. As I sat reading it yesterday I had a thought, I’m going to read 17 books in 2017. Some of you are probably thinking, “I read 17 books a month!” Well, I think I read maybe 5 books in all of 2016 and even less in 2015, so 17 is going to be a challenge. Add to that the fact that I’ve decided to do this seven weeks into the year, so I’m starting out behind.

I’m not a big reader, I never have been, but it seems to inspire and motivate my boys to be readers when they see me reading. I’ll become a reader if it helps them.

I have my first 5 books mapped out and after that I’ll find some more. So far I’ve read A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson) and I’m reading Wild (Cheryl Strayed). Next I will be reading Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer), The Lost Continent (Bill Bryson) and Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer). Oddly enough all of those books involve the outdoors. I’m not sure if I’ll keep that trend going after these books or if I’ll switch to a different subject.

Setting the example

Book 2 in my 2017 challenge

So wish me luck and keep me accountable as I start my journey into becoming a book person AND get my boys to be book people too.

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