Thursday, December 17, 2015

12 Books in 12 Months

At the beginning of this year I set a goal to read a book a month or basically 12 books this year. I love reading and one of the things I miss the most now that I'm a full time parent is not being able to snuggle up with a book and read it cover to cover in one day. Over the past few years I would get a couple books read now and again and often those were parenting books. I also found that I was reaching for books on my bookshelf that I wasn't really enjoying or wanting to read.

The first thing I did was get rid of all the books on the shelf that had been sitting there for years that I wasn't interested in reading. Next, I headed to the bookstore. I don't normally buy the books I read, but I wanted to start out my goal with a freshly purchased book. Finally, I decided I wanted to read something that would make me feel happy. Nothing depressing or sad. Nothing that was a mystery or gory. I wanted a good feeling happy book.

I asked book store worker what would they recommend as a happy book. He looked at me like I was crazy. Not a good start to my process. He then found someone else to help me. She had two recommendations for me. Guess there aren't an abundance of happy books out there. That is how I ended up reading my first book of 2015:

1.  The Rosie Project By Graeme Simsion. This book completely fulfilled by goal of happy. It was lighthearted, thought provoking and a page turner. There is a follow up book called The Rosie Effect, which is on my list for 2016.

2.  Some how I stumbled onto my next book, Moloka'i by Alan Brennert. It's a fiction book based on non-fiction events around leprosy. This was a very interesting read! We are headed to Maui in 2016 and I have on my bucket list a trip to Moloka'i.

3. The Night Circus, By Erin Morgenstern, was an amazing read. I've never read a book written like this before. After finishing it, I instantly wanted to read it again, which I NEVER want to do.

4. At this point, I remember thinking that I was 3 for 3 with great book choices. I then picked up 2 other books, that I just couldn't get into. It was kinda like I didn't want to ruin the streak that I was on. I found The Wife, The Maid and The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon at the library and went with it. I don't remember much about it, but that it was entertaining enough.

5. Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock, had been sitting on my shelf for a couple years. I decided to finally dive into it. The ending of this book blew my mind. It oddly was another book that made me think about reading it again because of how it ended.

6. Another book that had been living on my shelf since before Adalyn was born. Look Again, by Lisa Scottoline, involved a missing child and for some reason I could never bring myself to read it, but couldn't get rid of it either. A heartbreaking story, as well as a page turner.

7. My Mom passed Anie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral, By Kris Radish onto me. This was fun read with a good message to live life.

8. I grew up hearing about Ivan, so when I heard about The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, I jumped on it. This is a youth book, but heartbreaking all the same. Shane's teacher actually read this to his class this year.

9. I stumbled onto If I Stay, by Gayle Forman at the library, later finding out it was a pretty trendy book. I finished it while on vacation this summer. It has a horrible abrupt ending to it, which drove me crazy since I couldn't pick up the 2nd book instantly.

10. While on vacation at Donner Lake in CA, having finished up all the books I brought with me, I grabbed one that my in laws had at their place. Desperate Passage, by Ethan Rarick was a fantastic historical non-fiction book about the Donner Party. Making it even more interesting to read while hanging out around Donner Lake.

11. The Martian by Andy Weir, is completely not my kind of book. Kenny had heard about it from his brother in law and a co-worker lent it to us. Kenny read it first and I decided to give it a shoot. I was really surprised by what a fun read it was. I did skim some of the endless technical jargon. Kenny and I even saw the movie last month. The book was better, but the movie wasn't bad at all.

12. I finally got my hands on Where She Went, by Gayle Forman, the sequel to If I Stay. The majority of this book drove me crazy, but it got all wrapped up nicely finally by the end.

13. A friend lent me For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. I devoured this book while in the middle of reading another book. A hilarious light-hearted read full of great life lessons. I yet again, wanted to pick it up and read it all over after finishing it.

14. I joined a book club in September and All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr was my first read for the club. Man, oh, man. I struggled with this book that was something like 500+ pages long. I just couldn't get into it, but wanted to read it so badly. I finally finished which felt like quite a feat. It was a very well written book. Almost a must read, but by no means one of my favorite books.

15. My 2nd book club book was The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. This book had been catching my eye for awhile and I was excited to read it. Page turner! I couldn't put the book down. Great psychological thriller.

16.  Our current book club book is League of Denial. Read read this wordy book over Thanksgiving. I've never been a football fan, yet I found this book insanely interesting. Amazing behind the scene stuff regarding the NFL, football players and concussions in general. A great read of any parent of kids who play any sport.

17. I'm going to wrap the year up with A Dog Name Christmas by Greg Kincaid. I haven't read it yet, but think I can pull of this easy made into a Hallmark movie book in the next couple weeks.

There you have it. I reach and surpassed my goal of 12 books in  2015! For 2016 I'm going to take on 12 movies in 12 months. I'm not much of a movie watcher, so this may sound easy to some, but a movie a month is a big deal to me. I think it's time to catch up on some tv time I've been missing out on. Bring it on 2016!