I Have Big 2018 Summer Reading Goals

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Do you read more in the summer? I think I do. More fiction, that is for sure.

After plowing through summer reading guides and taking a peek at what has been on my to-read list for months, here are the books I really, really want to read these next few months:

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey – Just finished this one and loved it.
Census by Jesse Ball
I Was Anatasia by Ariel Lawhon
The Ensemble by Aja Gabel – This book is getting so much buzz!
That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam – Reading now and highly recommend it.
The Boat People – Sharon Bala
Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi – Look at that cover!
The Comfort Food Diaries by Emily Nunn
My Exaggerated Life: Pat Conroy by Katherine Clark
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan- Gotta read before the movie comes out!
Circe by Madeline Miller
I am, I am, I am by Magie O’Farrell

These release a little later this summer and look amazing:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

And here are a few of my favorite books this year:

Educated by Tara Westover – I’m shoving this into every hand I can.
Everything Happens For a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler – Everyone, everyone read this book! I cannot recommend it enough. She also has a thoughtful, beautiful podcast.
Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard – This book was transcribed from teaching sessions on Psalm 23 at Dallas Willard’s church. Amazing!

This summer, I wish you a beach, a book, and a beverage or two.

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Favorite Books of 2017

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I’m a sucker for a “Best of” list and this time of year there are plenty to go around. It was a good year for good books. Stories are my drug of choice and I lost myself in a few really great ones this year.

Before the holidays kick into full swing, here are a few of my favorite reads in 2017. Whether you need a good distraction from your family gatherings, or if you have readers on your gift list this year, I hope this helps make book-buying a little easier.

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Favorite Books of 2016

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Disclaimer: I’m not a critic (though if anyone is looking for a willing reviewer, I’m raising my hand) but I love books and I read some really fantastic writing this year.

I did not get to every book I wanted to read this year. I have some highly recommended books I’ll start over Christmas (more on those later) but listed below are the favorites of the ones I did read this year. I’ve also included a section on books I didn’t love, love, love, but maybe you will. Just because a book wasn’t for me doesn’t mean it isn’t for you.When we have a spare chunk of time or brainpower, it can be overwhelming to narrow down the choices of books. My hope is you can jump off from the recommendations here and find something you will love. Books are investments of time. We all want to invest well.

Here are my favorite reads of 2016:

Fiction

Americanah – I’ve said lots of words about my love for this book. Not just a favorite of 2016, but a favorite of all time
The Wonder – I don’t want to say too much about this other than it is so compelling and worth every second of time.

Another Brooklyn – Jacqueline Woodson. Gah. I just can’t get over anything she writes. This book beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Honorable mention: Last Ride to Graceland – Like a road trip through my childhood. If you are from the south, this book will ring lots of bells.

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Coffee, blankets, fires, and books

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It is no secret I’m a fan of summer.

Fall is ok, I guess.

I love football. I’m ok with the somewhat cooler temperatures. I do love a good pair of boots. My plan is to the make the most of the season with loads of coffee and blankets, maybe a fire or two and a good stack of books.

Here are the books I’m looking forward to this fall:

Underground Railroad – The whole world seems to be talking about this storyline. Not a book I would normally read – it’s fantastical and weird – but that’s the beauty of books, right?

Before the Fall – I didn’t love the whole “Gone Girl” “Girl on a Train” book phase. But I do love a good thriller, minus the whole girl-gone-out of her mind-crazy-on-a-train thing. This seems to fit the bill.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven – I’m a sucker for a European World War II story. I’ve started this book and really like it so far.

My Name is Lucy Barton – This book has been on hold on our library’s Overdrive forever. Based on the popularity and on the recommendation of a few trusted friends, it seems this one will be a great read.

Another Brooklyn – Gah, I love Jacqueline Woodson. Her book Brown Girl Dreaming – a memoir of Woodson’s childhood in Greenville and Brooklyn – is unlike any other story I’ve read. Another Brooklyn is a fictional account of an adolescent girl in the NYC borough.

The Broken Way – Please, please take a look at Ann Voskamp’s blog. Her writing is simply beautiful and full of truth. Her new book releases on October 25.

I’m currently finishing two books – Homegoing and A Gentleman in Moscow . So far I would recommend them both.

And I can’t close out this post without mentioning Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niquist’s new book. If I would write a book describing the past year for me, it’s this one – though I could not nearly touch her writing talent. If life has gotten away from you a bit, if a frantic pace is eating you alive, please read this one.

Happy pumpkins, leaves, coffee, sweaters, apples, boots, and books! Happy Fall friends.