One of my resolutions last year was to read more books. It may very well be the only resolution I managed to stick to, and I’m okay with that. My goal was to read 12 books, not a very lofty goal, but one I thought would be attainable. Some books I read over weeks and weeks and some I read in a single setting on a weekend trip to the beach. Last year, I complained of not having enough time to read. I tried to manage my time better and that meant cutting out some mindless reality television and a few other shows. I kept some of my favorite Housewives around, Gray’s, and Heart of Dixie. My late night television watching habit turned into a late night reading habit.
Let’s take a look at the 2012 list:
Not pictured: 50 Shades trilogy.
1-4. The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts. These books were quick and easy reads. The story of four best friends who run a well-known wedding venue, each of them with a different area of expertise. Each book focuses on one of the women and tells a tale of love. No sad, Nicolas Sparks-esque writing here. As the series progressed, the books became a little predictable, but the fact that each one focused on a different member of the quartet kept me interested. (P.S.- Erin, I’m sending these back, I promise!)
5. The Tenth Circle by Jodi Piccoult. This was the first book I’ve ever read that was written by Jodi Picoult. I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. It took me a while to read it and some parts I’m still not clear about. The story of Trixie and Jason was much more interesting than the chapters about their parents. I’ll certainly try another Picoult book in the future, though.
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I couldn’t put this book down. I stayed up way too late reading this several nights in a row and the story line stayed on mind during the day. It was full of twists and turns and just when I thought I had it figured out, I would be wrong. For a while, I was torn on whether or not the ending was good enough for the book. However, I’m not sure how it could have ended any other way given the nature of the story line. Perhaps a sequel is in order?
7. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. When it comes to EG, I’ve learned that I have to stop comparing her other works to Something Borrowed and Something Blue. I haven’t read another book written by her that stacks up to those two. On a positive, the story was sweet, ending was happy and I was engaged in the book from the beginning. Much different than the others, in a good way.
8. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Hands down, the best book I’ve read all year. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t know how another book will ever measure up to Redeeming Love. The story is inspired by Hosea from the Bible and it paints a clear picture of God’s redeeming love for us. I read this book in about a day and a half while on vacation at the beach. I even woke up extra early and sat on the balcony reading this book one morning. I genuinely felt connected to the characters and the book was perfectly written.
9. Be Quiet And Say Something an eBook by Jessi Connolly from the blog Naptime Diaries. This book had a profound impact on the way I’ll share my story on this blog from now on. Truly inspiring, her words spoke directly to my heart and I’ve been trying to make my voice a little softer so that I can hear what God has to say. So that other people can see God and not me through my blog.
10-12. Fifty Shades Trilogy. I started reading the trilogy as the bandwagon came rolling past sometime this past year. I felt like I needed to give my two cents to the conversations, as well. Later, some controversy about convictions and whether or not this books were okay to read came out. I literally devoured these books and I didn’t have a problem with myself or anyone else reading them. Certainly listen to your own convictions and go from there.
13. The Patriarchs bible study by Beth Moore. Our Sunday School class used this study last year. It was my first Beth Moore bible study and I fell in love. Her writing speaks straight to my heart and she has an unbelievable way of making these ancient figures come to life. I could see their personalities and relate to them, I could understand their flaws and I was in awe of the trust in God each one displayed. I’m starting Daniel next and I can’t wait to see what God will reveal to me in the pages of that study.
14. My morning devotional, Jesus Calling. by Sarah Young. I started this mid-February and it has been such a blessing. My morning are sweeter and my heart is fuller as I read this each morning. I started over this year, it’s just that good.
15. Daily Gifts of Grace, is another devotional I try to read on a daily basis. Real stories written by Godly women, each one set to inspire and pour out a little grace. I keep this one in my desk at school and I usually pull it out when my students go to P.E., it’s a perfect way to stay focused during the day.
15. The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey. Our school is a Leader In Me school and I have been so inspired by this book and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I continue to incorporate the 7 Habits into my life and try to polish them as often as possible.
What’s next? Here’s a peek at my upcoming reads (many thanks to each of you who recommended books on the Facebook page):
- Quitter (I’ll be re-reading this book, I flew through it the first time) by Jon Acuff
- Prep (started and didn’t finish last year) by Curtis Sittenfield
- American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield
- An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
- Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
- Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman
- Bloom by Kelle Hampton
- Love The One You’re With by Emily Giffin
- Crazy Love by Francis Chan
- Radical by David Platt
- Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
- The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
- Same Kind of Different As Me
- Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
- Night Road by Kristin Hannah
- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
- Bridesmaid Lotto (McMaster the Disaster Trilogy) by Rachel Astor
- Gamble on Engagement(McMaster the Disaster Trilogy) by Rachel Astor
- Wedding Wager (McMaster the Disaster Trilogy) by Rachel Astor
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
What was your favorite book from 2012? Any must-read;s for the new year?