My 10 favorite books of 2017

Monday, January 15, 2018

I love to read, but like most people I don't get to do it as often as I'd like. I've been gradually increasing my reading over the last couple of years and ended up reading 36 books in 2017 (three per month). I have a goal to read four books per month in 2018, so I've got to step it up!

It's a bit hard to rank these since they're in a variety of genres, but this is my best attempt. These are my favorite books I read in 2017; most came out before 2017.

10. You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham
This one came out at the end of 2017 and Casey pre-ordered it for me as a Christmas gift. He knows me so well. Haha. I love this different way of looking at budgeting; the big idea is that you budget money you already have rather than forecasting what you will do with your money when you are paid. I recently started using the YNAB app for our budget, but the principles apply whether you choose to use their tool or not.

9. The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda
A fun thriller I thoroughly enjoyed! Her book All The Missing Girls is more popular, so I'll have to read that one next.

8. When We Were On Fire by Addie Zierman
From the synopsis: "In the strange, us-versus-them Christian subculture of the 1990s, a person’s faith was measured by how many WWJD bracelets she wore and whether he had kissed dating goodbye... When We Were on Fire is a funny, heartbreaking story of untangling oneself from what is expected to arrive at faith that is not bound by tradition or current church fashion." In short, I found this one to be extremely relatable.

7. Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay
I've been reading a lot of parenting books lately (Finley is almost 2 1/2; need I say more?). The perspective and practical tips in this one have been the most helpful and align well with my natural inclinations.

6. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This is World War II historical fiction about a blind French girl and a German soldier. It was a beautifully written, unexpected story. I almost never read historical fiction and this made me want to read more.

5. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I LOVED this one and have recommended it to everyone I know. It's a really fast-paced science fiction book and I was so attached to the characters. I need there to be a movie!

4. The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner
This is the memoir of a woman who grew up in an abusive polygamist community and suffered so much loss. I was so moved by her story. I highly recommend the audiobook narrated by the author.

3. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
I kept hearing amazing things about this book and it did not disappoint. A beautiful memoir in verse about growing up as an African American girl in the 60s and 70s.

2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I couldn't put this one down! Its storylines revolve around a family in a midwestern suburb, and every one was riveting. Lots of mysteries and secrets to uncover and the pace is perfect.

1. How to Survive a Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin
It's hard to put into words how much this book affected me. It tells the author's (a former pastor) own story of loss and his crisis of faith in gorgeous, moving language. It's not really a "how to" book like the title suggests - it's a spiritual memoir of God's provision through brokenness and loss.

What books did you love in 2017? What should I put on my reading list for 2018?

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