This past year I read (or listened to) a total of 43 books! I've always loved to read and now I love audio books too. I listen to them while I'm driving, editing photos or just doing things around my house.
Here are all of the books I inhaled from August to December of 2017. I added my star rating (from 1 - 5). Click on the title of each book for more information. Let me know if you have any book suggestions for me!!
To see my previous book post, click HERE.
Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall + Denver Moore (non-fiction): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is my all time favorite book! I've read it before but after recently seeing the movie with my mother-in-law, I wanted to read it again. I highly recommend this true story of a modern day slave who is homeless and forms a friendship with an art dealer and his wife.
Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker (non-fiction): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Oh my word. God sure used this book to convict me. It made me feel uncomfortable and opened my eyes to what kind of life God really wants for all of us. Snatching Jen from the grip of her consumer life, God began asking her questions like, “What is really the point of My Church? What have I really asked of you?” She was far too busy doing church than being church, even as a pastor’s wife, an author of five Christian books, and a committed believer for 26 years. She discovered she had missed the point. Jen is incredibly honest and funny. I really resonated with a lot of what she said about how we get so caught up in living this American dream, going to our comfortable churches, and living our comfortable lives. That's not what God intends and as Christians we shouldn't either. This was such a great book.
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker (non-fiction): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ After taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family's upper middle class home, Jen felt lead to examine seven areas of excess in her life, and made seven choices to fight back against modern-day greed, materialism, and overindulgence for seven months. Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. She would spend thirty days on each topic. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe seven sacred pauses. This was another great book of revelations and helped open my eyes to a new, refreshing way of life that the Bible says God wants for all of us.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (mystery/fiction): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A journalist for a travel magazine has been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise. The dream soon turns into a nightmare as she is certain she sees a woman being thrown overboard. But all of the passengers remain accounted for, so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened . . . I loved this thriller! It was enthralling and kept me guessing. I recommend it!
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle (children's fiction): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was another "reread." I read this book in 5th grade and it always stuck with me as one of my favorite books. With the new movie coming out soon, I wanted to experience it again. Two children and their friend go on a mission through space and time in search of their scientist father. This is a quick read full of fantasy and heroism that is fun for all ages.
If at Birth You Don't Succeed: My Adventures with Disaster and Destiny by Zach Anner (comedy/memoir): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I saw a video of comedian Zach Anner on Facebook and loved his sense of humor. As soon as I saw someone mention he had a book, I quickly downloaded it and finished it in a couple days. Zach was born with cerebral palsy and shares his fumbles with honesty and charm. By his thirtieth birthday, Zach had a career in entertainment, millions of fans, a loving family, and friends who would literally carry him up mountains. This is a heartfelt memoir about finding the humor in life, being focused on your dreams, and appreciating the people who are by your side along the way. It also gave me a lot of insight into the lives of people who need to use a wheelchair or deal with medical issues every single day.
In The Woods by Tana French (mystery/fiction): ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rob Ryan is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad who keeps his childhood connection to a murder a secret, but when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. I love a good thriller/mystery and this did not disappoint.
The Likeness by Tana French (mystery/fiction): ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The follow up to In the Woods, it's six months later and Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder squad. But an urgent telephone call beckons Cassie to a crime scene where the victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl? This is a great unique mystery thriller!
Troublemaker by Leah Remini (memoir): ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Leah Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology and in this poignant memoir she opens up about that experience, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices. This was a very insightful and interesting memoir that I couldn't put down.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (memoir): ⭐⭐⭐⭐ At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. This raw memoir chronicles life and death.
Play with Fire: Discovering Fierce Faith, Unquenchable Passion, and a Life-Giving God by Bianca Juarez Olthoff (non-fiction): ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I found Bianca on instagram because I follow her twin sister photographer Jasmine Star. Bianca has strong storytelling gifts and powerful Bible teaching which reminded me that God isn’t waiting until we are in a certain place in life so he can use us. He’s ready to use us now.
A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like by Ashley Graham (memoir): ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Model Ashley Graham was the first size 14 model to appear on the front of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She encourages women to be their most confident selves, recognize their personal beauty, and reach for their dreams in this inspiring memoir. I also really appreciated her story about meeting her husband at church and living in faith.
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz: ⭐⭐⭐ Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, gets a new name and flees town. Hopscotching from city to city, she tries to run from her past.
The Trespasser by Tana French (mystery/fiction): ⭐⭐⭐ Detectives Steve Moran and Antoinette Conway are now partners on the Murder Squad. They’ve been handed a case that at first looks like every other low-energy domestic they’ve ever been given--but during a routine interview, the murdered woman’s friend drops a clue that leads them to suspect this could be bigger than they had imagined.
Touch by Courtney Maum (fiction): ⭐⭐ Sloane is one of the world's best trend forecasters and tech companies pay to hear her opinions about the future. Sloane begins to sense the undeniable signs of a movement against electronics that will see people embracing compassion and empathy again. She’s struggling with the fact that her predictions are hopelessly out of sync with her employer's mission. I like the idea of people becoming less-consumed with their electronics but thought this book was just ok.
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy (memoir): ⭐⭐ When I saw this book I was looking for something uplifting. This memoir is honest and raw but not uplifting at all. It just ended in the middle of despair.
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (mystery/fiction): ⭐⭐ A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town and earlier in the summer, a teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. I was looking forward to this mystery thriller by the author of The Girl on the Train, but was disappointed.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (fiction): ⭐⭐ In a country on the brink of civil war, two young people meet. When war explodes they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away. As the violence escalates, they decide to leave their homeland and old lives behind, they find a door and step through. At times I enjoyed this story but it wasn't my favorite.