Saturday, December 30, 2017

December Books

One of my goals for 2017 was to read 17 books. Well, had I known my reading speed (or the fact that the library would quickly become one of my new best friends) I probably would have adjusted that number slightly ;)

In case you missed the recent posts, I blogged about the books I read in January HERE, February HERE, March HERE, April HERE, May HERE, June HERE, July HERE, August HERE, September HERE, October HERE and November HERE. There were EIGHTY-THREE in the first eleven months, so when I add December's FIVE that brings the total for the year to EIGHTY-EIGHT! If you're interested in what I read (and how I'd rate them) or need some possible suggestions on a book to grab, make sure to give my previous write-ups a quick glance over when you have a minute!


  • Living Life to the Full by Ellen Charnley - I was gifted this book by the author when I went to a pre-race shakeout run in Las Vegas hosted by lululemon. It was awesome to hear a little bit about her experience (being a triathlete, having open heart surgery for a congenital heart disease she was born with, and chasing down her goal to become an Ironman) and reading more of the details in her book was inspiring. Her story is pretty amazing and I think it's a must read for anyone who might be heading towards an upcoming surgery, attempting an Ironman or is facing any challenge (an athlete or not). Ellen's story reminds us to never take a single step or breath for granted and to give it our all every single day. I would give it an 8 out of 10. 


  • What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton - I had seen a few friends reading this (or listening to the audio book version) and was intrigued. I have been on the wait list for it at our local library for a couple months but it finally became available so I grabbed it. I will be the first to admit that politics is not something I talk about frequently. It probably stems from the fact that my family NEVER spoke about it (my parents are polar opposites when it comes to their political views {one parent marching in parades for their party while the other is a single issue voter}). With that being said, just because I don't discuss it openly often doesn't mean it doesn't matter to me. I really enjoyed this book. I realize that a lot of the book was about Hillary (and less about the election), but in a society where reality TV runs rampant and everyone wants to know the nitty-gritty details, I understand why she showed us a little of what is "behind the curtain". I enjoyed learning about her, the policies she wanted to push for if she became president, etc. I also appreciate the fact that she went into "the emails", "the Russians", etc. This is not a short read (the book is upwards of 500 pages) but I felt as though it was very informative. I walked away with an immense appreciation for HRC and everything that she has accomplished in her political career. Not to mention, it's pretty cool that she references my dad and brother in the book (not by name, but they were part of a group of union plumbers who went to Flint and installed water purifiers that she talks about). I would give it a 9 out of 10. 


  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson - This book had been getting a lot of buzz so I figured I'd grab it from the library (after a couple weeks of being on the wait list of course). I wouldn't say this is your typical self-help type of book. The author breaks down ways to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively (how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed personal values). And although the title mentions "not giving an f", the struggle is actually in figuring out what things to care about and what ones to leave at the doorstep. The counterintuitive approach definitely made me think (such as realizing you will ALWAYS have problems in life and the enjoyment comes from solving them, making sure you are accepting of failure because it allows for growth, and understanding that death is inevitable so while we have the time, we should truly LIVE!). This is a great reminder to pick your battles (whether internal or external) wisely and prioritize the things that you truly value in life. I would give it a 7 out of 10.


  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celesta Ng - I had seen this book pop up on a couple of my friends' IG stories (and since the wait at the library was like 17 people long when I jumped in the queue I knew it HAD to be good), so I grabbed it once it became available. I didn't know anything about the author or the book prior to picking it up, but was hoping for a good "story" I could get lost in (the recent books I've read haven't been novels and I just wanted something to entertain me for a while). This was a fairly quick read and kept my attention the entire time. There was quite a bit of build up and back stories to tell, but when it got good, it really got good. It sort of reminded me of a Real Housewives type story - full of all the suburban drama. I'll be honest, I didn't want the story to end. It was suspenseful, tense and totally absorbing. I would give it an 8 out of 10.


  • The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan - I'll be honest, when I was on Amazon earlier in the month grabbing the link for Little Fires Everywhere, I scrolled down on the page to see the "if you like this book you might want to check out these" list and when I saw this one I may have gotten a HUGE smile! You see, the premise of the book is sort of like #CarleesTreasures. Okay, so I may not have a goal to return all of the lost things I've found throughout the year, but still, I thought it was a fun idea and since it was available at our library I scooped it up! When I got into the book I thought it was a little slow, but by the end I loved it! It was awesome to see how all of the characters and items intertwined. Like I mentioned, it might not be exactly like #CarleesTreasures but this book definitely made me smile! I would give it a 9 out of 10.


And with that, my December (and 2017) books have come to a close. I would consider it a VERY SUCCESSFUL year of reading! If you have any suggestions on books to grab, let me know! I'm always down to throw them in my queue! PS The hubby and I got quite a few books for Christmas, so I'm stoked to get into them, but am worried the library may miss me ;) 

What are you currently reading?

1 comment:

Shelby Fitasamamabear said...

Beautiful! I always need some new book inspiration!