25 Book Challenge

Instead of making a New Year’s Resolution in 2016, I challenged myself to read 25 books by the end of the year. I love to read, but had noticed I wasn’t reading as much as I usually do.  So to pick up the pace, I set out to read 25 books. I finished right after Thanksgiving, and I loved it! Below is a list of the 25 books I read, followed by a list of the top 5 books I’d recommend.

A few of the books I read in 2016

A few of the books I read in 2016

Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo

The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James

Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman

The Finishing School, Valerie Woerner

Awe, Paul David Tripp

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon

China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan

Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty

The Comparison Trap, Sandra Stanley

The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

A Life in Museums: Managing Your Museum Career, AAM Press

The Singles Game, Lauren Weisberger

The Seven Faces of Philanthropy, Ross Alan Prince and Karen Maru File 

The Girls, Emma Cline

Call the Midwife, Jennifer Worth

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling

Wild and Free, Jess Connolly and Haley Morgan

Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist

Z, A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler

Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst

She Reads Truth, Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams

Make It Happen, Lara Casey

My Five Recommendations

Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman

I actually never would have read this book had it not been for my Book Club. We meet every two months to discuss a book, and there’s no real criteria for what we read. Boys in the Boat was another Book Club pick! I ended up really enjoying Orange is the New Black. I think this was in part because I haven’t watched the Netflix series, and also because I generally enjoy memoirs. It’s a pretty quick read, so if you’re looking for something while you travel I’d suggest picking this up!

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain

I can’t say too many good things about this book. I’m an introvert, and definitely feel like the world (maybe just America) functions to help extroverts succeed. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking investigates the history of American society (i.e. how the Industrial Revolution lead to the importance of salesmen, which encouraged outgoing personalities to increase sales), how introverts and extroverts differ, and how introvert/extrovert tendencies matter in all aspects of life: work, relationships, raising children, etc. There’s also a great TED Talk here.

The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

I read this book in four days. Granted, I was on vacation and had the time, but I really think I would’ve read it quickly no matter what. Based in Nazi-occupied France, The Nightingale is a fictional story revolving around two sisters living through World War II. I love history and historical fiction, so this was right up my alley. About halfway into this book I realized I’d never read any other book set in an occupied country during WWII. The Nightingale was an eye-opener for sure! The story was tragic at times, but ultimately offered a glimpse into how humanity survives life's tragedies.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series so many times I’ve lost count. I was in a bit of a lull after reading The Girls (which honestly I wouldn’t recommend), so I reached for a comforting old friend and read the first two books in the Harry Potter series. Remember that list I posted a few weeks ago about the Top 5 Places on My List? I probably should’ve added Harry Potter World to the top...

Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst

Wow. This one was a page-turner. I love anything Lysa TerKeurst writes, but Uninvited was extremely poignant for me. There’s also a Study Guide and DVD that go along with the book, which I’d recommend purchasing as a whole set. Uninvited touches on almost every type of relationship: friendship, marriage, parenting, etc. It’s main message is centered on learning to live loved in a broken world.

In 2017 I’m planning to read history and historical fiction books. I’ve got a list going, and am looking forward to starting it soon! What’re you reading these days?