I did it… I actually accomplished one of the goals I set for 2016! I miserably failed when it came to the some of them [especially fitness and meal planning… shocking, right?!?!], but I was able to read 12 books in 12 months, so that has to count for something… tooting my own horn a bit so I don’t get too hard on myself 😉
I did want to give a little recap about each of the books I read last year… I know a ton of you out there are always looking for must-reads, vacation books, and whatnot so I am hoping this little roundup serves as a great tool to get you reading more in 2017.
January | All The Light We Cannot See. If you’re into historical fiction and/or anything that has to do with World War II, you will enjoy this tremendously… it’s about a blind girl in Paris and a young German boy, on opposing sides of the war, and their struggle to survive during this horrific time in our history. It was AMAZING and I would highly recommend to everyone!
February | The Nightingale. Though the previous read above won the Pulitzer Prize, I actually enjoyed this story a bit more. Again it’s set in France during the beginning of World War II, but follows the story of two sisters who go to great lengths to protect their family and their way of life, while showcasing the important role women played during this era. SOOOOOOO good.
March | The Good Girl. I’m all about the suspenseful novel that keeps you on your toes, and this one didn’t disappoint. It is very similar to the stories by Gillian Flynn [Dark Places, Gone Girl, Sharp Objects] but definitely had it’s own “flair” for keeping me hooked into the storyline. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a “girly/beach read” but definitely enjoyed this and would read this author again.
April | The Nest. Out of all the books I read in 2016, this was my least favorite. It wasn’t bad, but I got bored with the story and I think it was drawn out a bit longer than it needed to be. I know some other friends loved it, but it was mediocre for me.
May | Luckiest Girl Alive. Another suspenseful fiction book that I couldn’t put down… definitely a page turner and one that I read in less than a week because I enjoyed it so much. It paints the picture of a life that anyone would dream of, but the main character has a major secret that’s followed her for years. Absolutely loved this one!
June | Me Before You. Even though I swore I wouldn’t read this, I did and I enjoyed it… I also had a feeling how this story would end, and it definitely had me guessing, but in the end, I was right about the main plot and what would happen… it wasn’t shocking, it was a semi-typical love story, but still a good read nonetheless.
July | The Weekenders. I am a Mary Kay Andrews fan and have been for a long time, but I have to give it to the lady… she threw me for a big loop with this installment of a good girly read. Totally ventured out of her normal happy-go-lucky romantic read and went a little bit darker… this was a page turner for me and one that I couldn’t put down! I read this in just a few days and loved the plot and the twists and turns throughout.
August | Girl Boss. Since I had read back-to-back-to-back fiction books, I decided it was time to switch it up in August and dive into the world of retail to gain some knowledge from fellow entrepreneur and CEO of Nastygal. This book talked a lot about her personal experiences, learning to let others do their job so you can grow your brand, knowing when to say “no, etc. I found it to be engaging and honest and real… helpful for this girl who is always wanting to find better ways to work smarter, not harder.
September | After You. OK, I said I wouldn’t watch the movie, but of course I did and I really liked it… they left a few important details out of the theatrical version, though for the most part stayed pretty true to the book. Because I love a good follow-up book, I wanted to see what happens with the main character, Louisa Clark, after her great love leaves her and she is left trying to put the pieces of her life back together. All in all, a solid B from my grading scale on books.
October | Southernmost. Fellow Nashvillian, Sarah Sadler, had just finished her second book when her media team contacted me asking if I wanted to read it… heck yes I did because I loved her first release, Southern Solstice. I absolutely couldn’t put this book down once I started it and I finished it in less than a week because the story was such a pageturner. Set in Charleston, it follows the awkward relationship between a mother, her ex, and their daughter, all while she pursues her dreams of working in the world of all things culinary… Sarah, job well done my friend!!
November | First Comes Love. One of my favorite authors, Emily Giffin, came back in 2016 with this new read that follows two sisters with two completely different paths… it shows that above all, family comes first and that even though they are seemingly opposites, they are more alike than they ever could’ve imagined. I actually liked this read more than a few of her earlier books so I’d definitely recommend it for anyone that loves her writing style.
December | Love Your Life, Not Theirs. Last, but certainly not least, I rounded out my 2016 book list with a book from friend and fellow UT grad, Rachel Cruze, AKA Dave Ramsey’s daughter. I was so excited to get one of the early copies of the book and blew through the chapters quickly… it was SO enlightening to see so many of her hopes AND fears are similar to my own in terms of raising my children, planning for the future, and how we live now as well. It’s all about balance and planning and I highly encourage all of you to pick this one up… some of these life lessons really help me to know what matters and what I need to do to continue to love my life and not look to others for what they have, etc.
Cheers to starting strong in 2017 off with Truly, Madly, Deeply by Liane Moriarty… any other recommendations you guys have for me?!?!?!