Archive for Books

Books: 2016

I will soon be removing my page on my blog that lists the books I read in 2016. I wanted to share them here in case anyone needed some good recommendations for their own reading list!

 

1. Come Away With Me by Karma Brown – This book was absolutely amazing and made me cry at the end (in a good way) when I realized what was going on. Definitely one of my favorites this year. I read it a couple of months after my miscarriage and it was the right time.

2. Eve by William Paul Young – A very interesting way of explaining the story of Adam and Eve.

3. The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor – This was good but not for the faint-hearted…kind of creepy…

4. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood – Creepy, but in true Atwood fashion…if you have read The Handmaid’s Tale, then you know what I mean.

5. The Balance Project by Susie Orman Schnall – Good story that has something we can all learn from: how to balance our lives.

6. The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig – This was a book club read that had an unlikely love story.

7. Travel Career Development – You should only read this entire book if you are taking a travel planning course like I did. 

8. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker – Not a bad book but not at all what I expected.

9. The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig – I really loved this book and how it tied in one room with three different women in three different time periods….very cool how it all comes together.

10. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert – A long but interesting read. I liked it, but I couldn’t really tell you why.

11. The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes – For all those needing a self-confidence boost…a must read.

12. The Life Intended by Kristen Harme – A sweet love story though it doesn’t start out feeling that way.

13. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey – Another sci-fi book about apocalyptic events…

14. Little Bee by Chris Cleave – Wow. An amazing read, especially in light of the current refugee situation…really gives you something to think about.

15. Rhythmic Medicine by Janalea Hoffman – A book I read for “work” that had some interesting insights into how to use music to treat physical conditions like high blood pressure, etc.

16. My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb – A story about lifelong friendship and standing up for the people you love.

17. The Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri – One of my favorite books of the year….a story about where you would be had you made a different choice and what you would do if you had the chance to go back and make a different choice.

18. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – I know the “mommy wars” all too well….interesting, but serious story about parenting and what goes on in other peoples’ homes.

19. Lies and Other Acts of Love by Kristy Woodson Harvey – Another one of my favorites this year…all about the different kinds of love and how none of it is strictly black and white…sometimes the things we do are done out of love, even if they may seem “wrong” to the outside world.

20. The Arrangement by Ashley Warlick – A story about a woman finding herself…and finding love with a man other than the one she married. 

21. Where’d Ya Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – A quirky story about a mom pushed to her limits…sound familiar?

22. Room by Emma Donoghue – The perspective this book is written in is amazing. I don’t know that I could have managed to write something from the perspective of a child and gotten it right. Wow. All the things we know because of the world around us is amazing when you think about this child who lived much of his formative years in a form of locked seclusion.

23. Grey by E.L. James – Fifty Shades of Grey from Grey’s perspective…yeah….don’t judge.

24. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – Another book that makes you think. This is a book that seems to be on all the book lists and I can see why. So many elements to this…including the idea that none of us are all good or all bad…we are human and we make decisions in the best way we know how.

25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey – I had seen the movie a few years prior but had never read the book. I’m so glad mental health care has improved since this book was written!

26. Follow You Home by Mark Edwards – A really creepy story about a young married couple traveling around Europe only to find something creepy in the woods of Romania that follows them home to England.

27. ’74 and Sunny by A. J. Benza – I wish I could have liked this story. I typically don’t like memoirs that much, so maybe that was the problem.

28. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lepena – A twisty story about betrayal, a missing baby, and the fact that we really don’t know what goes on inside people’s minds.

29. In a Dark, Dark Woods by Ruth Ware – Another creepy story that was well written…it all unfolds at the end and it’s brilliant. I can’t wait to read more by this author.

30. The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon – Yet another creepy story with a hint of the supernatural. This is another author I have on my list to read more of.

31. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – Not a book I would normally read but my book club chose it this year, so I did. It’s crazy what they can do with genes and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that everyone’s cells are stored somewhere in the world.

32. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris – Creepy thriller about a controlling husband and a woman trying to break free.

33. The Girl Before by Rena Olsen – A story that begins with the reader not knowing what’s really going on, but eventually the story unfolds…very well-written and an intriguing storyline.

34. A Writer’s Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life by Judy Reeves – I read this one month at a time as I wrote using the writing prompts in the book.

35. Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan – This is a great book if you ever need something light and hilarious.

36. The Choices We Make by Karma Brown – Another great book from Karma Brown that has you thinking about ethical dilemmas.

37. The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti – Another twisty book that leaves you wondering who you can really trust.

38. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – This was a good book to end the year with, as it was hilarious (laugh-out-loud hilarious at some parts) at the right time of year.

What were your favorite books of the year?

May Books

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Here’s what I read this month:

1. My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb – This book was written in a very different writing style than I’m used to, but I did enjoy it. It was about a woman who goes back to her hometown in Scotland, reunites with an old flame, and waits for her missing best friend to return home. It brings up lots of interesting issues and was a good read.

2. The Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri – This was a book about the what-ifs one has always wondered about. The main character has a chance to do it all over again and make a different choice. The characters were believable and the story line involved the choices she made about romantic relationships when she was younger and what could have happened had she chose differently.

3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – This is a story about all the mommy wars you always hear about or experience and how things get out of hand. It is also about how things are not always what they seem. There are several serious issues that come up in this book that are eye-opening and offer up interesting discussions.

My favorite book this month was definitely The Lemongrass Hope. I liked all the books I read this month, but that one had such an interesting story line and was about something that I think most people have at least wondered about.

What did you read this month?

April Books

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1. The Life Intended by Kristen Harmel

This was an interesting read, and the main character was a music therapist, so that was interesting to read about. In the book, the main character has dreams of what her life would have been like had her husband not died in an accident. The book had its sad moments but had a very hopeful message, and I liked how it all came together in the end.

2. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

This is yet another dystopian novel having to do with an alien invasion, though it isn’t a hokey alien invasion. It is part of a trilogy. It was alright, but I’m not sure I will finish the trilogy anytime soon.

3. Little Bee by Chris Cleave

This was a short but intense read about a Nigerian refugee who makes her way to the United Kingdom and a British woman she meets on a Nigerian beach. The “beach scene” in the book is really disturbing, as is the whole book, if I’m being honest. That being said, it was an interesting read in light of what is going on with the Syrian refugees fleeing persecution. I feel like everyone should read this book right now, so they can see things from a different perspective.

4. Rhythmic Medicine by Janalea Hoffman

I saw Janalea present at a conference a couple of years ago, which is why I bought her book. It is several years old but still has some very vital information that I can both use in my work and for my own personal benefit. She gives lots of ideas for how to use music to lower blood pressure and improve daily functioning, among other things. I’m hoping to try some of the exercises this summer.

My favorite book this month was probably Little Bee. It is a book club read and I can’t wait to discuss it this week.

What have you read this month?

 

March Books

1. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

I chose this book because several people on an online FB group recommended it. It was an interesting story but not as good as I wanted it to be. That being said, I did like the characters and it was a sweet story.

2. The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig

I loved this book. It was the monthly book for the online FB group and I’m so glad I read it. It has three different story lines in three different time periods, but the stories are all connected and center around a room in an old building. The descriptions are very specific and I think the book would make a great movie. I loved how it all came full circle at the end. I would highly recommend this book, especially to anyone who enjoys books written in different time periods.

3. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book was much better than I expected it to be. It is a long one and is full of descriptions, which means it is not a quick or easy read. The end wasn’t what I was hoping it would be, but I did love Alma, the main character. The story was also set in an era in which people suffered in silence and “sucked it up” when bad things happened. Very interesting perspective, for sure.

4. The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

This book was not what I thought it would be. It was more of the story of Shonda’s journey in finding herself rather than a self-help book about how to find yourself. But Shonda is a writer, and it really shows. She is hilarious and her humor had me laughing out loud several times while reading the book. It would be a good choice if you wanted something different from your typical “self-help” book.

I almost finished a fifth book this month but just didn’t quite get there, with everything else going on last week. In fact, I ended up finishing it on April 1, so that one will go on next month’s post. My favorite book this month was definitely The Forgotten Room.

Did you read anything interesting in March?