A while ago I shared my recent discovery of Anne Bogel‘s What Should I Read Next podcast, which I have really been enjoying. I have been meaning to share more of what I’ve been reading and realized that the format that she follows for the show is absolutely perfect for my sharing (I’m stealing the idea from her, because it was original a series on her blog, before it was a podcast).
I’m going to be doing it a bit differently though. Weekly just isn’t going to happen, I don’t read that many books (unfortunately), but I figure I can probably do this four times a year, that’s my goal: May, August, November, and February. With that schedule I think I avoid most of the busy times of year and it gives me a bit of time to have more than one book read.
Right now I’m going to cover all the books I’ve read so far this year; if you follow me on instagram (@JessicaM.White) you can check out my tag #books2016LifeintheWhiteHouse. I’ve surprisingly managed to read 11 books this year, although one of them was more of a pamphlet than a book, but I’m still counting it!
I read a variety of books, obviously. I used to read strictly fiction…you wouldn’t catch me DEAD reading non-fiction. Maybe it was blogs or parenting, but now I read a LOT of non-fiction. Partly because I feel like I have to; that I’m going to somehow fail at this mommy and/or marriage thing if I don’t read EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. on marriage, parenting, and now homeschooling. Don’t get me wrong…some of them are fantastic! Most of them are fantastic, but they take a lot out of me to read.
We’re going to go with these 9 for the books* I’ve read the past few months.
- The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
- 20 Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- 1984 by George Orwell (F)
- The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy (F)
- Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (F)
- Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman
- One More Step by Rachel Wojo
Favorite Fiction Book
My favorite fiction book would have to have been All the light We Cannot See. I really enjoyed the story, so much so that I really didn’t like how the author ended the book. You know you have become invested in a story, in the characters, when things happen that you are just pissed about. It was almost to the point that I hated the book because of it, but it really was just that good.
The book follows to parallel story lines during WWII, one of a German boy and one of a French girl. There is a lot of jumping from one to the other and back and forth in time, which was a bit hard to follow (I had to check back sometimes to see what year I was in), but it worked well for the store. It was definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone that enjoys WWII stories, which I do.
Favorite Non-Fiction Book
Hands-down my favorite non-fiction was Big Magic, although Madame Chic was a close second. I’m honestly going to have to get my own copy of the book and re-read it so that I can mark up all the pages (darn you library copy!). For a creative who has been struggling on all levels with being creative and creating anything, it was a fantastic read, with fantastic insight and fantastic advice on embracing the life of a creative and not being paralyzed with fear.
The only other book of Elizabeth Gilbert’s that I have read was Eat. Pray. Love. which I enjoyed, but now I’m going to have to look at more of her non-fiction books, because it was that enjoyable. I so appreciated getting her perspective on writing and hearing her story of successes and failures as a writer. She was REAL, which is something I think I struggle with when it comes to the advice of successful writers.
The Book I Hated
This one will come as no surprise to you: 1984. I’m sorry. I have a B.S. in English and had NEVER read this book. The only Orwell I read was Animal Farm, and I remember NOTHING of that book; I think I may seriously have SparkNotes’d it. As a student of literature I know I should probably be in awe of this book, but I couldn’t.
I loved the story line. I loved the premise of the entire thing…big brother is watching (I’m a huge conspiracy theorists, so that’s right up my alley), but it was so…drawn…out…that I just couldn’t. I tried….really I did. It was a struggle to pick it up, to the point that I was just wasting my reading time. I admit it…I gave up. I read up to page 100, and then I just couldn’t. I wanted it done. I speed read, scanning pages, and then googled for the synopsis.
That’s it. I still have a ton on my TBR shelf. Of course, I just keep adding to it with books I get for review and books I see that I just have to have. Unfortunately, our library is extremely limited on any sort of Christian non-fiction, so those I have to buy, but I wait until they’re on sale. Then listening to the What Should I Read Next and SortaAwesome podcasts doesn’t help, because they just give me more books to read!
What have you been reading? What is your favorite book of 2016?
*The above links are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of your purchase, at no additional cost to you. You can find my disclosure policy here.