Best books of 2017

December 21, 2017


I LOVE to read ya’ll!  I’ve always been a bookwork all my life.  Point me in the direction of a library or the book store and you won’t find me again for hours.  I also love the feel of books more than my kindle but I won’t lie, I do own a kindle.  Sometimes the actual need to have a new book right when I finish one wins over the actual smell and feel of the pages.

Once I became a mom, the number of books I can actually read in a year decreased. There’s just not enough hours in the day and sadly, my nights (which is my favorite time to read) started to become shorter and shorter as I found myself falling asleep earlier and earlier.

However, I do still find SOME time to read and this year has been an incredible year for me in books and I can’t wait to share with you some of my most favorite!

Like I said before I love ALL kinds of books so you will find a little bit of EVERYTHING in this list!  If you love fantasy, hey I got you covered.  If you want to better your life or yourself, I got that covered too, in a BIG WAY!  If your looking for a feel good book to just take you away:  got that one in the bag!

Are you ready?!  I hope you are because I’m just super excited to share!  I’m sharing this because some of these books had a HUGE impact on my life, ya’ll they CHANGED IT in a big way.  I mean the Kindness Diaries… WOW!  Other’s, ya’ll they took me away, they helped me escape and sometimes we all just need that!

Books have such an enormous power to do these things and I feel like we could all better our lives by taking a few moments to carve just 10 minutes out of our day to read more!  Heck one of the books on my list for next year talks about exactly that!

So here we go, in NO specific order because ya’ll, that would just be WAY to hard!  Maybe one of these books might spark a change in your life, or help you to escape!  You just never know!

  • THE FOUR AGREEMENTS:  Wow ya’ll, I could write an entire blog post on this book alone!  This book is short, sweet and to the point!  It’s the perfect little book about a code of conduct ALL of us should be following on a daily basis!  Be impeccable with your word, Don’t take anything personally, Don’t make assumptions, and always do your best!  These four agreements seem incredibly simple but when you actually think about your life, can  you honestly say you live them all the way?  The best part about this book is not what these four agreements are but how and WHY we NEED to be living them that makes it should a necessary read, especially in these days and times where social media is king!  I have found myself coming back to this short and simple book again and again and I find myself trying to instill these four agreements into Linc.  At the end of the day there is nothing more important than who we are as people and how we represent ourselves.  Are we kind?  Are we truthful?  Are we doing are best each and every day?  Are we serving others?  If you are looking for a book to better yourself in the new year, this is a great short read!
  • The Kindness Diaries:  I think I’ve talked about this one before and currently you can watch it on netflix (I haven’t done that yet so I can’t honestly say how the movie is compared to the book!)  This book gives me goosebumps just even talking about it!  It just changed my world!  It’s a true story of a man who decides to embark on a journey with only his yellow motorcycle.  He leaves his wealth behind and decides to see if he can travel the world on the kindness of strangers.  Along the way, he is touched by the stories of other’s frequently talking about the desire for true connection!  What is most inspiring about this book is hearing these stories of all these incredible people, really strangers, who decide to take him in, another stranger, and give him what little they have themselves.  What’s even more amazing and what gives me the goosebumps is how this incredible man who is making this journey finds a way to give back to these people who are unsuspecting in the most generous and wonderful ways!  This book just leaves you with the most beautiful feeling that deep down people really are good!  People want to connect and help one another and in a world with so much hurt going on, this book just brings hope and love and joy!  It made me want to scoop up my little family and travel to world giving whatever we could to whomever we could.  It made me want to listen to everyone’s life stories and learn all we can from people!  That is what life is all about:  our shared stories and how we can truly learn from one another!
  • The Night Circus:  This is a book I read a while ago, but re-read it again this year and had to put it on this list!  If you are a fantasy lover, please pick up this book and give it a read!  This book is filled with magic, mystery and a forbidden romance!  This was a book I could not put down and read long into the night and early morning hours.  It was magical in every sense of the word.  The characters are incredible and beautifully well written and developed.  The circus itself is divine.  I didn’t want the book to end and I’m still searching for a book as magical and entertaining as this one.  If you loved Harry Potter, you will love this book.  They are two very different books altogether but they are the same type of page turners!  I can’t give away any more details of the book because it’s just too perfect to share!
  • Big Magic:  If you are a creative, this book is a MUST!  It was such a great read and one that just clicked for me on so many levels!
  • On Fire:  7 choices to a radically inspired life!  Ok wow!  This book I listened to on audible and holy moly it was an inspiring book!  His story alone is one that will make you hold your breath and gasp out loud all at the same time and I know that seems impossible but I’m here to tell you it’s not because that’s exactly what I did!  I listened to the majority of this book while I was driving to and from a photo shoot at the beach and I was just glued to every single word he spoke!  I want to go back this year and actually read the book because I retain more when I can see the words and ya’ll, his message and words are powerful.  His story is tragic and beautiful all at the same time.  He is inspiring and if you are a person of faith, you NEED to read this book!
  • The Library at Mount Char:  Ok Woah guys!  I got this recommendation of Melissa Hartwig’s instagram account and her warning was that this book was creepy good!  I started this on the airplane to Virginia Beach when I was going for a visit with Linc.  Let’s just say it was a good thing Linc was sleeping in the bed with me that trip because creepy good doesn’t quite describe it all the way!  I stayed up way past my bed time to read this book and creepy doesn’t even come close to what this book is.  It’s twisted and a lot messed up but sometimes you need that in your life!  It’s like Harry Potter and the Night Circus came together with the Magicians but in a world where dark things happen.. a lot!  It’s a darker read than I normally would like but as I said before, sometimes you just need to break out of your box and it’s all good! I have to admit, I was confused, a lot.  I was still somewhat confused in the end but I didn’t hate that about the book or the author.  It actually made the ending better for me that I was left a little bit hung up.  It’s one of those books that I will probably pick up again when I need to totally escape!  For me, it’s probably the closest I will ever come to a Stephen King novel!
  • Rules for a Knight: This book was given to Tuck by my dad to give to Linc one day.  So, naturally I was curious and scanned it.  Scanning lead to eventually reading this gem and it is a gem.  It’s a super short read and one that is a great book for father’s and sons or anyone really that is in love with knights.  The book was written by Ethan Hawke about a knight who was afraid he wouldn’t survive battle.  This knight wrote letters to his surviving children about all that he learned through his life giving them a code of conduct to live by.  The story is beautiful and the code is something that truly everyone could use:  humility, forgiveness, grace, courage, pride and patience are among many of the characteristics he writes about.  It’s a book I hope that one day Linc comes to cherish!

I’ve read lots more books this year but these are the ones that really stood out for me!  Ones that I will keep coming to time and time again if I’m asked for a recommendation or what I read this past year that will go on my list of books that stuck with me!

Books on my list for 2018:  My goal is to read 10 books~  Here is the list I have going so far.  If you have any recommendations, I would LOVE to hear!  Notice this list is LONGER than 10… I like to shoot big and I also like options, so if I hit 10 out of these lists… I’m a happy camper!  I would love for you to read along with me because you never know what could change your life!

Miracle Morning:  Hal Elrod

The Child Finder:  Rene Denfield

Alone:  Lost Overboard in the Indian Ocean

Daring Greatly:  Brene Brown

Option B:  Sheryl Sandberg

Rising Strong: Brene Brown

When Breath Becomes Air:  Paul Kalanithi

This is Water:  David Foster Wallace

Start Punch Fear in the Face:  Jon Acuff

The Energy Bus: Jon Gordon

The Slight Edge:  Jeff Olson

(Ya’ll, I might need help with this one above right here, but my girl Alli says this book changed her business so I’m going to go big with this book and commit!  Ya’ll gotta help me through this one here!  Anyone want join me on this one?!)



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