What I’m Reading: January 2017 Book Recommendations

With all the festivity of the holidays and a lot of hosting at our house, I didn’t have much time for reading in the month of December. Now that we’re settling back into our normal routine, I’ve been catching up on some good books. If you didn’t see last week’s post where I shared my selections for the 2017 Reading Challenge, be sure to check it out here.

Are you looking for a good book recommendation? Here's what I'm reading this month.

One of my reasons for taking part in the Reading Challenge is motivation. As much as I love to get lost in a great story, it can be easy to get out of the habit of reading. There are so many demands on my time during the day, and some nights I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to get through a few pages. Plus let’s be honest, sometimes at the end of a long day, Netflix wins the battle for my attention. Having a list of books that I hope to read by the end of the year will hopefully keep me motivated to make time for reading.

So here’s what I’ve been reading lately and what’s on my nightstand right now.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Although The Nest has been growing in popularity for a while, I didn’t have much interest until a friend recommended it and then it just happened to show up on one of the display shelves at the entrance of our library. The story begins with Leo Plumb getting into a car accident under scandalous circumstances. The aftermath of his accident drains the trust fund intended for Leo and his three siblings, the grown children of a well-to-do New England family. Each of the siblings has been depending on “the Nest,” as they have coined their anticipated inheritance, for a different reason. The rest of the story revolves around the impact of Leo’s poor choices on his family members. This one starts off fast and furious, but takes a dip into a slower analysis of family dynamics and the choices we make when faced with a crossroads. I really liked where Sweeney took these characters and felt she really explored the inner workings of sibling relationships.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Unless you live in a cave, you most likely recognize this author as the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Scandal,” (my fave) among others. In Year of Yes, Rhimes recalls how despite running a wildly successful production company, she wasn’t really happy in her own life. When her sister called her out with six words, “you never say yes to anything,” Rhimes took it as a personal challenge and thus began her Year of Yes. In saying yes to all the things that scared her or pushed her out of her comfort zone, she was able to find her own voice among all those that she so cleverly puts on our screens each Thursday night. Reading through the different ways that Rhimes was forced to say yes, it’s easy to see the similarities between these pages and the characters I enjoy so much in her shows. It’s a quick read, full of humor and genuine insight. It’s definitely a great selection to kick off the new year.

Are you a reader in search of honest book reviews and quality recommendations? Check out what I'm reading now and what I'm planning to read next.

On my nightstand

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

I chose A Year in Provence for the 2017 Reading Challenge category “a book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit.” I happened to find it in a thrift shop for $1 and I’m looking forward to starting. From Amazon “In this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished dream and actually move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs.” That just sounds like such a fun adventure doesn’t it?

Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson

The subtitle of Own Your Life reads, “living with deep intention, bold faith, and generous love.” Umm… yes please. After listening to an interview with Sally Clarkson, I was so excited to read her newest book that I requested it for my birthday. And then I never actually read it. How did that happen?? I’m not really sure, but I feel like this will be another good choice for the start of a new year.

I’m still working on Food Freedom Forever and you can see my initial take in my November post. There are so many books that I want to start RIGHT NOW just because they’re on my list, but I’m trying to focus on just one or two at a time.

What are you reading this month??


*This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure statement here.

{Linking to Modern Mrs. Darcy}

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What I’m Reading: The 2017 Reading Challenge

If you read my 10 Goals for 2017 post, you know that one of my personal goals is to read 18 books this year. To clarify, I don’t want to just read 18 random books, but 18 specific books selected from categories outlined in the 2017 Reading Challenge from Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy. There are two tracks: Reading for Fun and Reading for Growth. I’m choosing a little of both.

18 books I'm planning to read for the 2017 Reading Challenge.

Reading for Fun

A book you chose for the cover: 

  • I haven’t picked this one yet but I’ll know it when I see it

A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able:

A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit:

A book you’ve already read:

A Juicy Memoir:

A book about books or reading:

A book in a genre you usually avoid:

A book in the backlist of a new favorite author:

A book recommended by someone with great taste:

A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet:

A book about a topic or subject you already love:

Reading for Growth

A Newbery Award winner or Honor book:

A book in translation:

A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection:

A book of any genre that addresses current events:

An immigrant story:

A book published before you were born: 

A Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner:

I know there will be books I read this year that aren’t on this list, but I’m excited to tackle some subjects that I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards.

What are you reading this year??


*This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure here.

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Summer Reading List – 2015

One of my favorite parts of summer is how life slows down a bit. We let go of the frantic mornings trying to get everyone out the door on time and in one piece (and not forget anyone’s water bottle like I did yesterday.) The list of obligations is a little shorter, and the long days of sunshine give the illusion of actually having more time. I love to create a summer reading list of books from my to-be-read pile.

Are you looking for some good books to throw in your beach bag this summer? Check out these titles I'm picking up this summer.

I’m excited to jump into some fiction since I’ve been reading mostly nonfiction for the past several months. I’ll circle back at the end of the summer and share my reviews. If you’re looking for some good suggestions, check out this post for some great options. A couple other spots where I always find a lot of great recommendations are my friend Kelsey’s blog The Unbook Club and Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Here’s my list so far. I’d love to hear if you liked any of these or if you have other suggestions!

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

If you haven’t read this yet, you probably know at least ten people who have because it’s super popular right now. This one is coming with me on a spa trip with the girls next weekend. The suspenseful story centers around a woman named Rachel and her mysterious connection to a murder. Read my review here.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Another popular choice, this one is going to be a movie soon. (Side note: one of the characters is played by the same actor who played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter series, although this fella outgrew his awkwardness in a big way.) I prefer to read a book before seeing the movie so I’m looking forward to picking up this supposed tearjerker. Read my review here.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose lives intersect during WWII promises to be beautiful and devastating at the same time. I love historical fiction, but it’s probably obvious why this is not the book I’ve chosen for reading by the pool.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

I found this recommendation on the Facebook page of one of my favorite authors so it’s worth a try. The narration, done by an English girl named Ruby, begins at her conception and details her quest to learn the many secrets of her dysfunctional family. It sound intriguing to be sure.

For The Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker

It doesn’t come out until mid August and it’s not fiction, but I’m counting it on the list because I’m so excited to get this book in my hands! If you haven’t read anything by Jen Hatmaker before, start here. She’s hilarious and honest and amazing. Her books are challenging in a very authentic, not-self-righteous way.

What are you looking forward to reading this summer?


*This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.

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