One thing I seem to forget and then discover all over again is that I love to read! When life gets busy I don’t make the time to read, but I definitely had my share of down time last summer to dive into a few good books. Between flying to Africa, driving to Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska and Arkansas and a nice reading spot on my front patio I have successfully read 15 new books beginning in January of 2014 and ending in October of 2014. I started a little slow, picked up momentum over the summer months and finally finished a little over a year after I started. This post has been awhile in the making. I reached my goal almost a year ago, but obviously took a little longer to get it on the blog. It has been a post in the making for quite some time as I added a book here and there as I completed them.
These are the books that I actually own that made the list. On a side note, I discovered this really cool place when I moved to Greenville called the public library. Seriously, they can order out almost any book I could ever imagine wanting to read from another library in the Illinois system. The library’s actual selection is subpar, but the ability to order out has been amazing!
So, without further ado, here is the list…
1. Realer than Real by Ryan Wilkins
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I think I read this book during middle school track season. Me and the 8th grade girls had some good conversations. I enjoyed the book much more than the movie.
3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Again, I enjoyed the book much more than the movie. Insurgent sat on my bookshelf for many months. I finally read it and was convinced I wouldn’t read the final book in the series. Until I finished it. 400 pages of eh and the last few had me eagerly turning the pages and wanting to pick up Allegiant.
4. Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicky Myron
I absolutely loved this book! Of course, it was about a cat so what’s not to love? Even better, I got this hard covered gem at the used book store for one dollar. Mint condition! I read it on the plane during our Africa trip last summer and found myself laughing out loud at the stories only a cat lover would understand and then tearing up at the end of the book. Spoiler alert…the cat lives a very long life, but all good things must end. If you are a cat person I would definitely recommend it!
The library where Dewey roamed was in Spencer, Iowa, which just happened to be on the way to Okoboji last summer. Trent graciously allowed me to stop and see the shelves where Dewey once roamed.
5. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
I literally spent the first part of this book thinking MWF meant Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Sadly, I was mistaken. Suddenly it dawned on me: Married, White, Female seeking Best Friend Forever. My BFF Sara hooked me up with this book when she saw my 30 Before 30. It is about a young 20 something who moved to a new city with absolutely no friends of her own. She spent the next year going on one new friend date a week on a search for her new BFF. Inspiring to say the least, given my current situation. I am now accepting applications. :) Oh, and I’m starting a book club and this just happens to be the first book I picked!
6. A Long Way Gone – Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
This book was another one that I came across at the used book store for one dollar. It was a story about a boy soldier during the war in Sierra Leone. I had heard many things about the war, but reading his story and all of the terrible things that happened gave me a new understanding and new respect for the county and the people.
7. Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
8. Palisades Park by Allen Brennert
A long, but easy read. Next to memoirs, historical fiction is one of my favorite genres.
9. True (Sort of…) by Katherine Hannigan
10. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
This book came recommended by my friend, Sara. I was looking for something new and different, but love memoirs. This book was just what the doctor ordered. As were her next three memoirs. Jen Lancaster is my new favorite author.
11. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
The story took place in Omaha. It had me at Omaha.
12. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
This book had me wanting to try it all! I kept telling myself baby steps. So far I’ve taken no steps. Maybe one day soon.
13. Taking Flight by Michaela DePrince
Such an amazing story about an orphan from Sierra Leone who was adopted by a family in the United States. She followed her dream to become a ballerina.
14. Wonder by R. J. Pilacio
15. Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster
Or as Sue Heck (and Megan Laune) would say, Bright Lights, Big Ay-ess-ess. Jen Lancaster is the only author that made the list twice, and she didn’t disappoint. Her bouts of verbal diarrhea (her words not mine) had me laughing out loud. And telling anyone who would listen about what had me laughing out loud.
And a little bonus! I finished up number 16 (and then some). Seriously, this post has been almost a year in the making.
16. Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
A Christmas gift from Jamie, it was a great read. It jumped back and forth between two characters and their story.
Looking back at the list it is hard for me to believe that it has been more than a year since I read some of the books. There is not a book on the list that I wouldn’t not recommend. Some were better than others. Some were wrote for the young adult audience (or the young at heart) and some were definitely for a more mature audience. If I were really cool I would go out and buy myself and “I Like Big Books” bumper sticker.
Now, my list of want to read books is growing and growing. I am soaking in every last possible minute of this nice outdoor reading weather before the cold sets in. For whatever reason when I am inside I sit down on the couch and the next thing I know I have knocked out two (or ten) seasons of Friends, Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Parks and Rec. You name it. I’ve watched it. I’m hoping that I can keep reading and that my brain doesn’t turn into mush over the winter months.
Fingers crossed for good time spent reading in the coming months…