In this life full of free wifi, cell phones and social media, it is so easy to lose the connection with your true self and forget about the simple joys in life. One of my all time favorite hobbies is reading. Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are! Plop me down with a good book and I’m done, gone, hidden in it for days on end.
My favorite is paper books. Something about turning those pages and having it on my nightstand just gives it that extra special taste. My ideal Friday night is sitting out on my front porch swing, reading a book with a glass of Chardonnay and listening to the world go by. Nowhere to be, nowhere to go, just the world that my book creates. Reality just stops for a moment and I can get off that busy routine train-ride.
Or even better - it’s January and it’s cold outside. I’m sitting on my couch with the fireplace keeping me warm and cozy. Enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with some yummy whipped cream and marshmallows while losing myself into some quality reading! Perfection...
Sounds too nice to be true, especially with 3 kids… I must be dreaming right?! WRONG! Ha! You guys, I did it this year - I really did! All my babies were off to dreamland and I took that time just for myself. Paused my busy life and just zoned out… And all you really need is a good book!
I have to admit though that it’s been a longgggg time since I’ve done some consistent reading and it made me quite upset. How can it be that I haven’t found or made that time to give some food for the mind and soul?? So I went on a goal setting binge this January and I set out to read. A lot! It’s so fun to push myself out of my comfort zone. Challenge absolutely accepted and I will succeed!
I set 3 goals - if I hit at least one I am already winning. But knowing myself, I will probably make it to the very end...
- Easy target - read 8 books this year
- Harder target - read 10 books this year
- Crazy out of this world target - read 12 books this year
Today is September 6th and I’ve read EIGHT books - go me! That quiet time I enter on my reading evenings is something I look forward to for the whole day. In this world full of noise, reading is something that just forces it all to be quiet and I can just enjoy it! I’m on vacation this weekend, so I’m hoping that number is NINE by the time you read this.
What have I read so far:
- Broken Harbor - an easy to read thriller. Based in Ireland so in my head I always like to pretend I have a fun accent. It’s quirky with plot twists that are way out of the norm. It’s creepy, it keeps you on the edge of your seat as you ride along with the Dublin Murder Squad.
- The Life We Bury - Allen Eskens - Joe is an English student with a broken childhood. He is just trying to scrape by in college one class at a time and has to interview someone for a class project. He has no family so he chooses to interview Carl Iverson, a convicted murder. He spent 30 years in jail convicted of rape and murder, but he has been moved to a nursing home for his final days. Joe digs into the old murder case and finds a past that he didn’t expect as he explores his own past and relationship with his unstable mother and autistic brother. Great mystery novel!
- What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty - Alice is a 39 year old gym addict, perfect school mom, perfect party thrower and event organizer… Until she has an accident at the gym and forgets the past 10 years - including her 3 children and the bitter divorce she is going through. She tries to reconstruct her life as snippets of her memory fade in and out, hoping she can figure out where it all went wrong and fix it before it’s too late. Loved it!
- Me Before You - Jojo Moyes - I’ll admit I wanted to read this one because of the movie that came out this year. Louisa is a plain girl with a boring life. When she loses her job, she takes anything to get by and ends up as a caretaker for Will - a young man that has quadriplegia after an accident. Before the accident, Will was an adventure seeker that traveled the world. Louisa tries to show him that life is still worth living, even with a serious disability. I’ll admit that I had a hard time with this one. I have a son with Down Syndrome so disability always hits me close to home, and it pains me greatly to think that anyone might think less of their life because they aren’t ‘perfectly made’. Good read, sensitive topic.
- Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline - Fantastic story about orphans from the mid nineteenth century. Children that were transported to the midwest for adoption - usually as farm hands, nannies or workers for the families. The story takes place as the depression hits and the constant struggle one girl to survive and build a new life. It parallels in with this girl telling her story, now as an old woman, to a troubled orphan teen, unsure that she can overcome her odds to succeed. Loved this book as well! I love to learn more about a historical era I may not otherwise know of!
- In a Dark, Dark Wood - Ruth Ware - OK - grab this book, give yourself a weekend and settle in! It’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s mysterious and it’s fantastic. I believe this book is coming to film soon. Nora is invited to the bachelorette party of a long lost friend that she hasn’t spoken to in 10 years. The ‘hen party’ is at a strange glass cabin deep in the woods. As the party starts, old memories come up, there are strange events and they realize they are not alone, but you’ll never see what’s actually coming at you. I’ll say no more. Read it today!
- Rich and Pretty - Ruamaan Alam - This story chronicles female relationships. Two women that have been friends for nearly 20 years wonder if they are still friends, or merely still friends from habit. They weave their way through Sarah’s wedding, they reflect on their friendship and how it has adapted through the years. Great book on human relationships, but I wish it had more of a plot to it. Might just not have been the right style of book for me personally.
- The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware - Yes, the 2nd Ruth Ware book on the list and again - READ IT! This is an absolute must! I actually read this one in 24 hours flat, I just couldn’t put it down... There’s a luxury boat cruise, wealthy guests, a missing girl that may or may not even exist... I can say no more without giving it all up, trust me here and just go get it asap. You will thank me later!
Other books on the docket so far- The Nest and The Marriage of Opposites. I am honestly so thankful to myself for sticking with this challenge and making the time for it. ‘’I have lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves. I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time. Because I read!’’- George R.R. Martin.
What about you guys, have you read any good books this year? Will you join me on this little adventure? Comment below and download the free book reading goal list and start your 2017 list! Let’s do this!!!