100 Books in 2017

by - 2/07/2018

At the end of 2016, I had a 3 month old baby who wasn't mobile yet, took two 2-hour naps daily, and had a growing fondness for his toys over being held constantly (a preference that continues today).

I was also nursing, and pumping at work twice a week, and generally just spending a lot of time sitting around.

During all that sitting around, I started to spend a looooooot of time scrolling through instragram, to the point that there was nothing new for me to see, because I'd seen it all!

And this is when I decided to make a crazy goal: read 100 books in 2017.

It might sound ridiculous. And honestly, I chose it in part because I thought it was kind of unachievable, but cool to try for, anyway.

What I didn't think about was that 100 books in one year is just under 2 books a week, and with all the sitting I was doing, it just really wasn't all that difficult to accomplish. That is, until the last few months of the year when I suddenly had a mobile, all-over-the-place almost-toddler, who reeeeeeally kept me on my toes.

But by that point I was so close to being done, that I decided to push through and finish, and I feel pretty dang accomplished!

And I may never have the time to do it again :)

Throughout the year I feel like I read a good variety of books. Some were truly amazing, some in between, and some were duds to be sure.

But I wanted to document them, just because.

At first, I was going to list out every single book I read, but I started and... ain't nobody got time for that.

So, instead - check out my entire list here.

And below, I'm going to list some that stood out.


FAVORITES


When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Awe-inspiring story of a neurosurgeon who gets diagnosed with cancer. He always wanted to be a writer, and writing this book was his final accomplishment in life. It sounds depressing, but it was actually very uplifting.

The Count of Monte Cristo (Unabridged) by Alexandre Dumas
If you've seen the movie, forget everything you think you know about this story.  This was an exciting read, all 1500 pages! Super detailed, but literally every detail is important in the end. Blew. My. Mind. Such an incredible story of revenge.

Anne of Green Gables (Series) by L.M. Montgomery
Okay, so I will say first off that I didn't love every single book in this series. But I did just adore books 3 and 8, and 5 was pretty darn good too. As a whole the series is delightful (though I'd recommend skipping book 4 the first time through). I always thought Anne Shirley was an annoying character - and honestly she is a bit obnoxious in the first book - but she grows up a lot through the series and it's actually really fun. 

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
Maybe it's just my new status as a parent but this book was laugh-out-loud hilarious. The whole thing. 

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
A fascinating look at what makes businesses - and people - succeed or fail. I'm starting to take a pretty big interest in business stuff, and loved this book. 

Chaos Walking (Series) by Patrick Ness
Okay, this one is weird. And not my typical genre. BUT IT'S SO GOOD. The whole series. One of those futuristic dystopian books, but a little more sci-fi than I typically gravitate toward. A caution: it's pretty violent. But also really freakin' epic. 

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
This is one you either love or hate. There's a pretty crazy twist that makes a lot of people mad. But, I knew there was a twist going in, and I honestly LOVED IT. Allllll the heart eyes. Plus, the movie is darling too which is always a plus.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
This book kind of changed my life. So much goodness and food for thought in this one. Definitely going on my re-read list.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Incredible. And really hard to read at points. But what a story. Moving and powerful. Plus, the audiobook is read by Edward Herrman (RIP) who is also incredible. I recommend it.

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS ONE. The Audiobook makes alllllll the difference with this sweet story. On its own, it is a fun story, but it's geared for a younger audience. The story involves music, and the audiobook has music in it! And at the end there's some pretty incredible music that was so moving. Seriously one of my all-time favorite books.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Loved reading this story about a grumpy old man who finds some new happiness. Seriously so sweet and quirky and fun! 

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I could not put this one down. It's pretty intense and violent, but another one that just blew my mind. This also isn't my typical genre, it's got a lot to do with quantum mechanics (which I literally knew nothing about beforehand). But even being a novice in this subject, I found that the book explained it very well and I never once felt lost. I hope they make a movie from this one, cause -- wow.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I read this one after seeing the musical at our local community theater. The story moved me so much I immediately wanted to read the book. Dickens' writing is difficult to get through at points, but wow, the story. Just so so good.

Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines
Okay, like everyone else in the world I'm a huge Fixer Upper fangirl. So if you're not, you probably won't like this book. But I LOVED IT! Inspiring and funny and just a good read all around.

The Lunar Chronicles (Series) by Marissa Meyer
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but I did for a loooooong time with this one. I mean, it looked like it was about robots. And okay, I was kind of right - it's a futuristic re-telling of fairytales, in which Cinderella is a cyborg. But as weird as it sounds, it was actually amazing. The whole series. Highly, highly recommend these. So fun and so good.

I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda
An amazing story about a young American girl who becomes pen-pals with a young boy from Zimbabwe, and how they both change each others' lives. Beautiful and wonderful.

HONORABLE MENTIONS


This category includes books I liked, but didn't LOVE

The Chronicles of Narnia (Series) by C.S. Lewis
I loved Magicians Nephew, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader but the rest were pretty "meh" to me. The Last Battle had some amazing imagery but there's something about the end that really bugged me. I won't spoil it, but one key element right at the end kind of ruined it for me. I think I'll re-read the other favorites though.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
I was pretty leery of this book because I HATED Eleanor and Park with every fiber of my being, but this was actually pretty cute. It didn't wow me or anything, but it was sweet.

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
None of her books have ever been as good as The Truth About Forever but this one was sweet and fun. Not life-changing but still cute for sure.

The Beyonders (Trilogy) by Brandon Mull
These were fun. There were 12 million characters and since it's a fantasy book their names were sort of similar and I got rather confused a few times. Still, I enjoyed these and there's some pretty epic characters and exciting plot lines for sure.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
This one is quite weird at first, but once you get into it, it's really fun. I almost gave up on it, but I'm glad I didn't.

QB by Steve Young
Growing up, I heard a lot about Steve Young's time at BYU and was automatically interested. This book was really fun to read, but unless you're an absolute fanatic about football (and I consider myself a pretty big fan), you might get bored. He gives a play-by-play of most of his games and it gets old after a while. The backstory is so fun though! Definitely a good read, but maybe skim some of those play-by-plays. :)

Twitterpated by Melanie Jacobson
This is by a Mormon author. And while there's nothing wrong with that, they have a tendency to be a little cheesy.... and it was. BUT it was also really cute. So just gear yourself up for a cheese-fest and you'll be just fine.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This was actually really good, but it's only in the honorable mentions because there's A LOT of swearing. It's a pretty gritty book, as it deals with mistreatment of African Americans. Really moving and makes you think, though. Definitely gave me some good perspective.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
The author alone made me pick this up (long-live Gilmore Girls!) but I wasn't expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised by the delightfulness of this story. Another that wasn't life-changing but still a fun read.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Trilogy) by Jenny Han
Alright, the first book in this series was pretty okay, the second one was only good in the second half. So I wasn't too keen on the third but it was actually totally cute. I've heard rave reviews about this one, so I was a bit disappointed by the first two books, but obviously you have to read those to get to the third. And the third was kind of worth it. So if you're okay with suffering for a WHILE for a really good ending, check these out, haha.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
This wasn't mind-blowing but the end gave me allllll the heart eyes. Definitely fun, but totally predictable.

BOOKS TO SKIP


And finally, the total duds I read that you'd be better off skipping :)

After You by JoJo Moyes
The first book in this series, Me Before You, was a million times better than this sequel. But, without spoiling, let's just say that the way the first one ended, there's no way anyone would be happy with the sequel. It was just blah. I'm kind of shocked that she wrote a third one in this series, to be honest. Yet, I find myself curious. We'll see if I decide to pick it up.

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Trilogy) by Jenny Han
The sheer fact that the main character's name is "Belly" should be reason enough to skip these. What started out as a potentially good story turned into boring, annoying, weird, and obvious. Plus, she's in a love triangle with two brothers. Um? Awkward. Just.... no.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This was just kind of... yucky. I can't think of a better word. I was intrigued and I'll admit that the story sucks you in, but it definitely glorifies suicide which I'm really not okay with.

Matched (Trilogy) by Ally Condie
A dystopian trilogy that starts off promising, has a boring "filler" second book, and then a terrible final book. I was so confused and lost and BORED in the last book. Plus, there were 3 narrators which was just too much. No thanks.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
One of those celebrities who decides to fill an entire book with name-dropping and bragging. It wasn't an interesting back-story, rather it was a "look how cool I am" brag fest. And while he is an incredible actor, he's kind of a diva, and I just didn't care for this, even (and actually especially) after watching The West Wing.

The Maze Runner (Series) by James Dashner
The first one pulled me in and I really loved it. But it followed that same terrible formula. The second book was "filler" (albeit more exciting than Matched) but then the last book was just confusing and ended with a loooooot of questions. I don't think Dashner knew what they were fighting for, and it was pretty obvious. I will say - I've heard that the other two books (that are prequels) resolve a lot of these questions, but I was just DONE with these characters by the end of book three and couldn't continue.

Whew! And there you have it! I didn't include every single book and I'm sure there's some important ones I forgot, but this post is already too long. So -- these are most of the ones that stood out. I'm pretty proud of myself for reading 100 books in one year. 

Happy Wednesday!

You May Also Like

1 comment{s}

  1. This is awesome! I really want to read some of your recommendations! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say!