At the beginning of 2017, I set a goal to read 40 books. I’ve always loved reading, and wanted to make more time to do it. I thought this goal would hold me accountable to read more. And ensure that I keep a list of the books I read, something I wish I had always done.
Depending on how avid a reader you are, 40 books may seem like a lot or a few. I picked 40 because I thought it was a rather attainable goal for me. Not so many books that I felt overwhelmed, but enough of a challenge to make sure that I made reading somewhat of a priority in my life.
Just the other day I read that Bill Gates reads 50 books a year, so I’m not so far off hehe. Though I highly doubt he reads mystery novels. And seriously, if you think you don’t have time to read, even Bill Gates makes the time! In fact, a common trait of most billionaires is that they are avid readers. Just saying.
I had some standout favorites, and I’ll make note of them below. If you have some favorites, I’d love to hear your suggestions!
Without further ado, here was my 2017 reading list.
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Aurora Teagarden Series:
I adored this darling mystery series. They’re easy, quick reads, and I’m a sucker for a series. There is a mysterious death in each book, but they’re not graphic or scary. The Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel has also made movies out of many of the books. I tried watching the first one, but of course like the books much better.
The first several books in the series were written in the 90s, so they have the added charm of no internet or cell phones. I enjoyed being immersed in those simpler times for a bit.
The Aurora Teagarden books were authored by Charlaine Harris, who also wrote the Sookie Stackhouse series that the HBO drama True Blood was based on. Maybe I’ll read that series next.
On to more fiction…
The Good Girl: I enjoyed this book by Mary Kubica so much that I immediately requested her other books from the library to read next. Once I find an author I like, I read everything they write. Kubica is definitely one of those authors.
Pretty Baby: Also by Mary Kubica
Life After Life: This is one of my favorites. If you hate Groundhog Day-type stories, where the same story replays repeatedly with different outcomes, then you probably won’t enjoy this as much. But I love the idea of a do-over. There’s also a companion book, A God in Ruins, that tells the story of another character in the story. I plan to read it soon.
Don’t You Cry: Also by Mary Kubica
The Couple Next Door: This one was pretty good, and the author has a new book out that I will most likely read soon.
Pretty Girls: I did enjoy this one, but it is graphic, so avoid it if you are squeamish.
The Dollhouse: I had high hopes for this book. The premise is very cool, centered around life at the Barbizon Hotel for Women in 1950s New York City. It was a darker story than I expected, but I did still enjoy it for the most part.
The Lost Girls: This one was kind of sad, but I did enjoy the story told from two different women, generations apart. The book is well-written and hard to put down.
A Man Called Ove: I just couldn’t get into this book, despite all its hype and accolades. Most people seem to love it though.
The Dry: I usually don’t read books that have a male as the main character, but this one was excellent. I hear Reese Witherspoon is making a movie out of it. I never seem to like the movie versions of books, but I always watch them anyway. : )
The Time Keeper: Mitch Albom almost never disappoints, and this book is no exception. It is quite an imaginative story about Father Time, and really makes you realize how precious time is.
Handmaid’s Tale: I read this one for free as an ebook while I had a Kindle Unlimited free trial. It was also made into a Hulu Original Series that I started to watch, but found the series to be more depressing than the book. Plus there were too many differences in the story, which I found annoying.
Skipping Christmas: I decided I wanted to read a couple Christmas books, but had a hard time finding good choices. This book is the basis for the movie Christmas With the Kranks, which I love. The movie is quite identical to the book. And I always like John Grisham books.
Twelve Days of Christmas: I really need some recommendations on Christmas books! I tried this one because the main character was a blogger, but it was just not for me. I wish I liked Debbie Macomber books, because she seems to put out a Christmas one every year.
After reading Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train a couple years ago, I’ve obviously gotten quite immersed in psychological thrillers. They’re definitely having a moment right now. I do realize that they’re not for everyone, but consider trying one if you’ve never read that genre. The suspense factor is kind of addicting.
The Millionaire Next Door: This book identifies seven common traits of millionaires, and they’re not what you’d think. It shows accumulating wealth isn’t just for fancy people. In fact, many millionaires are people you would not expect. Maybe even your neighbor. The ebook can be read for free with Kindle Unlimited.
Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow: When I was on vacation last summer, I saw this book lying on a table in a little clothing boutique. I don’t know if it was for sale, or if someone had left it there, but I picked it up and flipped through it. I liked what I saw, so when I got home, I requested it from the library, and really enjoyed it. It’s an excellent reminder of how much choice we really have in our own happiness.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft: This is Stephen King’s memoir. I came across it on a list of books that writers should read. It was so good! Even if you have no desire to be a writer, you could just read the first half. It is divided into two sections, the first being King’s life and how he struggled to became a writer. He writes in an absorbing way, and has an interesting story. He also talks about how he recovered from the accident in 1999, when he was hit by a van while out walking and almost died. In the second half of the book, he gives great instruction on writing style, and tips for becoming a writer.
An Invisible Thread: My dad loaned me this one, and truth be told, it sat on my shelf for many months before I picked it up. I’m so glad I finally did. It is an intriguing true story of a successful (female) executive who befriended a young panhandler in Manhatten in the 1980s, and how they’ve stayed friends for decades. It really demonstrates how friendships can be formed in such unexpected places.
Non-Fiction Business/Blogging Related:
Business Boutique: If you’re at all interested in starting a business of any sort, I’d highly recommend this book. Christy Wright makes all the information engaging with tons of stories from her life and the lives of people she’s helped start business. It is packed with valuable information and motivation and guidance.
Get Over Your Damn Self: This book is much more geared toward network marketing businesses than I realized. It didn’t really apply too much to me, but if you have a direct sales business, check it out.
Must Have Guide to Blogging: I read this ebook to learn how to start a blog. It was extremely thorough and helpful and I continue to refer back to it. If starting your own blog is a dream of yours, this ebook will be an enormous help.
How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul: This is another must-have for newbie or intermediate bloggers. Author Ruth Soukup walks you through what she did to grow her blog and business to a seven-figure income. Also available on ebook to read for free with Kindle Unlimited.
Side Hustle Blueprint: If you want to earn some money or start a small business, this book is a great guide of actionable steps to walk you through it.
Platform: Get Noticed in a Busy World: Michael Hyatt is a notably successful blogger, and this is his motivational guide for entrepreneurs on how to build a successful platform for their business.
My top 5 favorite books of 2017 were:
Overall I’m very happy with all the books I read in 2017. I’d love to be able to freeze time and read endless amounts of fiction. But I always seek to improve myself and learn things, so I make sure to incorporate non-fiction books as well. : )
I’d love to hear what your favorite books are!