2018 Books

Every year I post a list of the books I read the year before. This past year (2018) I crushed my previous record and read a whopping 32 books! All while keeping a kiddo alive.

Screen Shot 2019-01-18 at 7.59.37 PM.png

Of note, I read an unusual amount of psychological thrillers this year. Probably because–even though I hate to admit this–I’ve come around to loving reading via Kindle, and since thrillers are notorious for being page turners, Kindle allows me to stay up way past my bedtime reading on my phone. Some of these thrillers I’d read in a night, which was terrible because I’d be all riled up and not be able to fall asleep. I still adore a book that has a freshly cracked spine, but with baby #2 on the way, I have a feeling those middle-of-the-night feeds will keep me loyal to my Kindle app.

Here’s a list of the books I read, with a rating (if I can remember the book LOLZ) and genre info. Books in bold are the ones I’d highly recommend!

  1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed // memoir, 5/5
  2. Watch Me Disappear by Jangle Brown // fiction, ??? can’t remember the book
  3. Rumors of Marty Goode by Jeff Ryan Williams // fiction, 5/5
  4. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine // fiction/thriller, 3.5/5
  5. Anything by Jennie Allen // nonfiction, 2/5
  6. It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInery Purmort // memoir, 5/5
  7. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty // fiction, 5/5 — and watch the show!
  8. French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billion // nonfiction/memoir/parenting, 4/5
  9. Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors // nonfiction, 4/5
  10. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle // fiction/classic, 4.5/5
  11. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones // fiction, 4/5
  12. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn // fiction/thriller, 4/5
  13. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle // nonfiction/parenting, 4/5
  14. Hope Heals by Katherine & Jay Wolf // nonfiction/memoir, 4.5/5
  15. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family // nonfiction/parenting, 1/5
  16. A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin // fiction, 5/5 — great if you like Nicholas Sparks!
  17. The Very Worst Missionary by Jamie Wright // nonfiction/memoir, 3.5/5
  18. Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner // nonfiction, 5/5
  19. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown // nonfiction, 4.5/5
  20. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware // fiction/thriller, 5/5
  21. A Fierce Love: One Woman’s Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage by Shauna Shanks // memoir, 1/5?
  22. Force of Nature by Jane Harper // fiction/thriller, ??? can’t remember the book
  23. The Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson // nonfiction/parenting, 5/5
  24. Are You Sleeping? by Kathleen Barber // fiction/thriller, ??? can’t remember!
  25. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng // fiction, 5/5
  26. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty // fiction, 5/5
  27. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins // fiction/thriller, 4.5/5
  28. A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite // memoir, 4.5/5
  29. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline // fiction, 5/5
  30. The Other Woman by Sandie Jones // fiction/thriller, 5/5 — ending is SO GOOD
  31. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman // fiction, 5/5 –being made into a movie!
  32. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover // memoir, 5/5 — such good writing that I kept forgetting this is a true story

Goal for 2019? Read all of the hard copy books that are on my bookshelf that I’ve put off reading :D

2017 Books

Somehow I managed to read the most books ever this year, even though I had a baby–hence the baby-themed first few. (Middle of the night feedings & Kindle Unlimited helped my efforts.) So, without further ado, here’s the list of the books I read in 2017!

1. Be Prepared by Gary Greenberg

This is such a great book for first time parents. It’s like a boy scout manual without being demeaning or “bro-ish”. MTR and I both loved reading it and even though I’ve been around babies my whole life, I learned a few new things!

2. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon

Desperately needs an update. I don’t think it’s been updated since the 80’s. Graphic birth pictures. Maybe just take a natural childbirth class.

3. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

I read this after watching the Amazon Prime series (which MTR and I are obsessed with). It did not live up to the TV series, which was disappointing. Skip the book and head straight to the series.

4. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman

So, so good! Highly recommend. More of a memoir than a parenting how-to, but I do hope to implement some of the stuff she talks about. Received some criticism for being “anti-American parenting” but that’s just a load of sensitive sallies getting their knickers in a wad.

5. Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke

This book was SO good. MTR and I took things from it that we use for everyday life, not just childbirth. Definitely a great companion book if you’re going the intervention-free route for childbirth or even if you’re just interested in mindfulness.

6. The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd

A sweet collection of beautiful essays on motherhood. Great book to gift thanks to the high print quality. Will definitely be re-reading this in the next year.

7. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll must’ve been high as a kite writing this. That is all.

8. The Bandit Monologues by Todd Carstenn & G. Kent

Notably a favorite, since Todd Carstenn is a dear friend and mentor of mine. It’s a collection of essays inspired by literary quotes. So deep and lovely and funny and sad and important.

9. Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker

Oh Jen. I’ll read anything you write. This is a classic JH book, full of wit and sarcasm and faith and funny and depth and not-depth (but not shallow, either).

10. The Lucky Few by Heather Avis

OOF. This was not something I should’ve read in the early postpartum weeks. Beautiful memoir of adopting special needs kids. I want everyone to read it. Just grab your tissues first.

11. Babywise by Gary Ezzo

Babywise gets a lot of crap from people who clearly haven’t read the book. While the methods didn’t work for us, it was a great thing to have a different perspective on helping your child to learn independent sleep and sleep schedules, etc.

12-18. Harry Potter books 1-7 by J.K. Rowling

Yes, I did *just* read these. And yes, they were basically a zillion times more magical than I ever could’ve imagined.

19. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

So I read the book before I watched the series. Again, the series was better. I hate even typing that. But it just was. The ending to the book is NOT the same as the TV show. If you’ve read the book and watched the movie, you know what I mean. What the heck, Margaret Atwood??

20. Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Pierce Bush

Beautiful. Such a touching look inside of what it was like to be first daughters. I love love loved this book.

21. Why Is She Smiling: Unexpected Joy Discovered By A Most Unlikely Submissive Wife by Amy Williams

Honestly I don’t even remember this book, so clearly I don’t recommend it. #sorrynotsorry

22. Excavation: A Memoir by Wendy Ortiz

This was a weird book. Don’t recommend.

23. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

READ. THIS. BOOK. I’m not even kidding. So insanely poignant. Heavy stuff, but beautiful.

24. A Simplified Life by Emily Ley

I’ve been a longtime fan of Emily Ley, and this book didn’t disappoint my organization-loving heart.

25. Dance Stand Run by Jess Connolly

Good. Deep. Convicting. Hard to read. Second half was better than the first.


There you have it! What books are on your list for 2018? What books do I need to add to my list?

xo, A

’14 & ’15 Books

Going into 2014, my sister and I had a goal to read 30 books each. We won’t mention how many she read, but I came in short at 21–and that’s while finishing an English degree!

Anyway, many people have a goal to “read more” at the beginning of the year, SO, I’ve compiled a list of 10 incredible books for different types of readers.

Books are my weakness, you guys. So it’s hard to narrow it down to 10, but, nevertheless, here they are!

Books Continue reading