Sunday, December 30, 2018

December Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88!) has morphed in this passion for books. Let's be real, not having cable TV to keep me "entertained" also gives me more free time to dive into a great book or seven ;)

There were SEVENTY-TWO books in the first eleven months of the year, so when I add December's FIVE that brings my total for 2018 to SEVENTY-SEVEN! If you're interested in what I read (or how I'd rate them), make sure to check out my previous recaps! {January's Books / February's Books / March's Books / April's Books / May's Books / June's Books / July's Books / August's Books / September's Books / October's Books / November Books}

  • Hindsight & All The Things I Can't See in Front of Me by Justin Timberlake - I don't remember how I came across this book, but you better believe I love myself some JT so once I saw he had a book I got in line at the library. I wasn't sure of the layout, but quickly found that it was short little blurbs mixed amongst photos and images. The book is about 300 pages, but I was able to get through it quickly (an hour or two) because the words themselves are a small part of the book. Even still, I enjoyed it (but, let's be real, Justin Timberlake is dreamy and I am 110% okay with looking at pictures of him ;)). I wouldn't say I walked away with any deep insights or anything like that, but it was still interested to read a little more about his story. I love how passionate he is for music! For what it was (more of a coffee table book), I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Shade by Pete Souza - When I was looking up the new Michelle Obama book, I saw this as a recommended read so I got on the wait list at the library. Like most books I pick up, I didn't know much about it before I cracked the cover. Pete Souza, the author, was the Chief Official White House Photographer while President Obama was in office. Since President Trump has been in office, he has been posting his fair share of images with somewhat snarky (or shady) captions on his personal Instagram account (@petesouza) in response to some of the things he has been seeing. His posts didn't reference the exact situation, but if you were following the political news of the day you may know what he was referencing. Well, he put his posts together in this book - along with the tweets or news articles that his posts are in response to. The book is about 250 pages long, but because most of it is focused on images or 140 character tweets it is a very quick read (I think I finished it in about an hour). Obviously this is not a book for everyone, but I definitely appreciated it - especially his call to action at the end. For what it was (more of a picture book with captions), I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • The Bible - Last year, when I got sucked into the world of books, I realized that I had an extremely important book that I was overlooking on a daily basis... my Bible! So I decided I would go back to a reading plan I used in 2012 and read through the entire Bible in a year. I started on January 1st and stuck with it. There was a day here or there that I would miss, but I always did my best to catch up within a day or two and stay on track. I actually finished a few days early! I loved that I had a set time every day to focus on God and His Word. (Also, the reading plan I was using was split up differently than most plans - and I found it extremely helpful. It switches from things like history one day to poetry and then to prophecy - which can be helpful to break up some of the hard to read {and somewhat monotonous or boring} books.) As I mentioned, this is not the first time reading through the Bible in a year, but it was great nonetheless. PS I wasn't sure if I should count it as one book or 66, but decided I'd just stick with the single entry ;) I would give it a 10 out of 10 (DUH).

  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - I know, I know, it's probably crazy that I didn't read this as a child, but let me tell you... reading was NOT my jam when I was in school. In fact, I don't know that I read a full book when I was younger - CliffsNotes were my best friend. With that said, I saw this book at our little free library before we were getting ready to fly to Michigan for Christmas and thought it would be a perfect read for the flight. And, wouldn't you know?! I was right! This is such a cute (and touching) little story. I can totally see why it is referred to as one of America's top 100 most-loved novels. And can you believe it was written in 1952?! WOWSER! I love how the beauty of friendship is told page after page - makes my heart smile! I would give it a 10 out of 10.

  • Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung - Another book I grabbed from our little free library. Although I wouldn't say that I am looking to lose weight (so I am probably not the ideal demographic this book is meant to appeal to), I was definitely interested in the practice of mindfulness (and how it related to eating, activity, etc). I'll be honest, this wasn't a book that I could read for long periods of time at once, but when I did give myself the chance to delve in for a chapter or two I walked away with not only a new appreciation for our bodies but also a little insight on how best to fuel our bodies. The "secret" to weight loss is expend more calories than you take it - nothing too new here - but the practice of mindfulness helps to remind you to focus on the act of eating (or being active) and live in the moment. I think I will keep this book in my possession for a while and read back through a couple of the chapters again so that some of the info really sticks. I appreciated seeing everything put together from both a Buddhist leader's perspective and a nutritional scientist. There are definitely a few things I want to put into practice in my life. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

With that, December has come to a close. My reading took a drastic halt at the end of the year, especially in the last month (due to my #12DaysOfCarleesChristmas and being out of town for Christmas), but I definitely hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this year?


SD Mom said...

No contest. The Great alone by Kristin Hannah was the best book I read all year!

Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home said...

I liked The Great Alone, but my favorite was Where the Crawdads Sing. Wow!