We are halfway through 2018 now, (I can't believe it!) and I wanted to check in with my yearly reading goal. First, I am on Good Reads now, and I'd love to be friends on there. (Click the link to find my profile.) It's fun to keep track of my goals and books I want to read in the future on there. I feel so late to the party. Ha! I am also listening to more audio books than ever, using the Overdrive app to check out books from my library and listen for free.
I have discovered this year, however, that as I gave up nursing in January, I no longer have an interest in reading ebooks. I far prefer "real" books. I just love them most!
So far this year, six months in, I have read 36 books. My goal is 60, so I feel confident I will make my goal. I want to share with you three books I think you should read, three I think you should listen to, and three that I think you should skip.
Books to Read:
Brain on Fire
by Susannah Cahalan
This was an amazing (true) book about the author's experience with mental illness. I told my mom it was like a medical edition of 20/20 in a novel. The author got a sickness that caused her mental illness and the book follows her account of the doctors figuring out what went wrong and how to treat it. I was spellbound and could not put the book down!
The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah
I also could not put down The Great Alone. If you have ever said to me that you wished you had lived in Alaska, please read this book. It's so good, and it gives a very accurate portrayal of life in rural Alaska. The harshness and the beauty. The desire for independence, and the need for community. Gah, I just can't say enough- it was such a good book. I underlined so many lines, and I felt like the entire book was a walk down memory lane to our time in the village.
by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale might be one of my top five best reads ever. It's one of the biggest books I've ever read, and I read it in record time. I found myself carrying it with me everywhere I went. It's about two sisters torn apart during World War II. It is, like The Great Alone, un-put-down-able.
Books to Listen to:
by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven was amazing. I listened to it, and I found myself looking for chores around the house that I could do while listening. Laundry? Yes please. Dishes? Sure! Anything so I could listen for ten more minutes. It's a story that takes place in a post-influenza world where the entire infrastructure sort of crumbles. The whole story is so well written, I found myself completely riveted, and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.
by Tom Hanks
This was an unexpected delight that I listened to on audio, and fell in love with. It's a collection of short stories that had me smiling and feeling light hearted and happy. It made me want to write more and read more and live more. The best part was that it was read by Tom Hanks himself, so I could really hear him as he told the stories. Hear his heart. It was a fantastic book. Nothing deep, but exactly what I needed.
Force of Nature
by Jane Harper
Last year I listened to The Dry by Jane Harper and loved it. Force of Nature was no different. I found myself using any excuse to plug in my headphones and listen for ten more minutes here and there. It was a very good book, with many twists and turns and and an ending I did not see coming. I highly recommend it!
Books to Skip:
Every Note Played
by Lisa Genova
Every Note Played is a book I had highly anticipated after loving every single other book by Genova (Love Anthony, Left Neglected, Still Alice, and Inside The OBriens), but it fell way, way short. I hated all the characters in this book and felt the whole book was short on feeling. The entire read left me feeling disappointed and let down. My suggestion? Don't waste your time.
Happier At Home
by Gretchen Rubin
After having this book on my shelf for literally years (it came to Alaska and back with me!) I have to say I was sorely disappointed by it. I had loved The Happiness Project and Better Than Before, and was enthused by the idea (as a homemaker) of a happiness project that focused solely on the home. Instead what I got was a hodgepodge of random goals that Gretchen worked on for a year to make herself happier. None of which seemed directly related to the home except for "Create a Shrine" which lead to some controversy on our Inspired Readers Book Club page and left us all feeling a bit confused about how we felt about our belongings.
The book was good in that it did inspire us to look at our homes and our lives to find areas where we could improve our happiness, but it did not inspire me the way her previous books have. My two cents? Skip it.
by Shauna Niequist
This was a book club pick that I liked in the beginning, but by the middle felt like an uninspired collection of blog posts someone threw together and called a book. There was nothing cohesive about them, and the author seemed kind of self important or whiny... It just wasn't the book for me right now.
So now it's July, and I'm currently reading five books, which is ridiculous,
but it's summer time and the living is good. :)
I'm reading The Book of Essie; Four Seasons In Rome; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine; This Is How It Always Is; and The Stranger In The Woods. I am excited to wrap all of those up and start some of the new ones I got at Powell's and from my Book of the Month subscription which is the coolest thing ever-- You get to choose a new hardback book every month for only $14.99, and you can add an additional book for only $9.99! Such a good deal for new hardbacks.
What are you reading currently? What's been super good? What's been awful?
I'd really love to know what you're reading and what's waiting on your bookshelf.