Monday, December 31, 2012

My Favorite Reads This Year

I really wanted to do more reading this year and I was able to reach my reading goal of 40 books and beyond.  This year I read 48 books and am almost done with 2 others!  That figures up to four books/month!  I think that is pretty good for me!  The books I read were a mixture of review books, book club books and books for my own enjoyment.  I need to do better about reading books for me though.  I have so many books on my shelf and in my Kindle that I want to read, but those seem to come last in my list.   So this year, I want to do better about reading books I want to read.  I know there will also be many more books that will come out in 2013 to add to my ever growing list.  The ones I am most excited about are Jodi Picoult's STORYTELLER and Kristin Hannah's FLY AWAY.  Those will definitely be on my list this year.

Rather than tell you about my top 10, or my favorite 5 star books from this year, I am going to tell you my favorites in the following categories:  FAVORITE REVIEWED BOOK, FAVORITE BOOK CLUB BOOK, FAVORITE BOOK FROM MY SHELF.  As always, you can see all my reviewed books by clicking on the Book Review tab at the top of my blog.  Stay tuned for several reviews coming up this month and throughout the year!  By clicking on the book titles below, you will be taken to my reviews for each of them.


I really loved this book about a bridal shop in Michigan and the family that has owned it for decades.  I have read several of Zaslow's books and was deeply saddened when he died in February.  He and his writing will be missed.


This was my first time reading Heather Gudenkauf and I chose this as my favorite book club read because I totally devoured it.  I read it quite quickly and was wrapped up in the emotion of the characters in the story.  Since Gudenkauf is from Iowa and this book was set in a small Iowa town, it made the story even more intriguing.  This story also created a great discussion with the other moms.  

Our book club also had three other books this year that I rated at Five Stars.....THE YELLOW HOUSE by Patricia Falvey, OLIVE KITTERIDGE by Elizabeth Strout, and CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin


Well, I couldn't narrow it down to just one.  I really tried, but I have narrowed it down to two fiction and one   non-fiction book.  So, in no particular order, my favorites books that I read for my own enjoyment this year were....................

I could not put this book down.  It was such a emotionally driven novel.  Nothing I have ever read has affected me like this book.  HOME FRONT comes out in paperback in January and is also being made into a movie.  If you haven't read it yet, now is the time!

This was a free Kindle book that I had found and ended up being absolutely loving it.  Many have compared it to THE HELP, but I thought it was so much better.  Even though it is no longer a free Kindle read, it is only $3.99 and is worth every cent!

This sat on my shelf for a long time before I finally decided it was time to read it.  I just wish I had read it sooner.  I never thought of myself as "unhappy", but this book showed me ways to find happiness in the little things and to get rid of those things that I wasn't even realizing were making me "unhappy".  Rubin's newest book HAPPIER AT HOME is out now and is on my "to-read" list for this year.

I love to read.  Through book clubs and reviewing books, I have been exposed to books and authors that I never would have considered.  Even though I don't love every book I read, I do usually learn something from each one.  It is easy to get into a rut of reading the same author or same type of books, and I can truthfully say, my reading has been varied over the last several years.  Sure, I will always go back to my favorites every time a new book comes out, but I can honestly say, I have read something from every category at some time in my life.  So, this year, I am going to keep reading books for publishers, for my book club, and for myself.  I am going to read paperback, hard cover and ebooks.  I am going to read fiction and non-fiction.  I am going to cry, laugh, think, pray, and reflect.  And, if a book just isn't for me, I am going to close it and move on.  There are so many others to give my time to.  This year, my goal is to read 50 books.  Not much more than I did this year, but still manageable for me and my other life commitments.  I am not going to accept reviews for books that don't appeal to me.  I am not going keep reading a book that is not resonating with me.  I am going to keep a book in front of me so even if I just have a few minutes, I will choose reading over mindless TV or Internet.  That is how I am going to read 50 books in 12 months...who knows, maybe I will even read more!

I hope you will join me in my reading adventures and as always, feel free to offer up your favorites!

1 comment:

Mandi @ Life Your Way said...

I loved Yellow Crocus too. It was really my first foray into southern "slave" fiction (and I have to admit I'm kind of hooked now, although I can't read them too close together because they're so emotional!), but it was so beautiful despite the horror and heartache it described.

Adding some of your others to my ever-growing wishlist!