12/26/17

Favorite Books of 2017

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Welcome to my list of favorite books I read in 2017! This post was quite a challenge! I read and enjoyed so many books it was really hard to narrow it down! But I challenged myself to do it this post because I find these lists really helpful when other bloggers do them, plus I think it will be an easy place for me to refer people for book recommendations going forward. It's a somewhat long list because I needed multiple categories: comparing chick lit to self-development is apples and oranges, but they're both part of a balanced reading diet for me. I've reviewed all of these books in prvious posts so rather than copy and paste the same verbiage, I'll refer you to the original review if you'd like more details before making a decision. On to the list!

Favorite Fiction Books 2017: 

These books are in random order with in each category - not in order of preference!

Fiction with Depth:
These are the kinds of books that make you think, sometimes make you cry, and have strong character development and have stores that seem real because they're as complex as real life. I don't believe any of these were new releases in 2017, but I happened to read them this year and while I had some minor critiques with each, they were still engaging, memorable, and well worth the time.
Suspense/Thriller:
If you enjoyed books like "Gone Girl" and "The Couple Next Door," all of these had that same page-turning suspense for me. I give bonus points to "Confessions" and "The Passenger" because the concepts were original and the formula less predictable (especially Confessions).
Chick-Lit/Romance:
Sometimes I just need an easy, happy story with no deeper meaning. But...I still want good character development and an engaging story! All of these did that for me! Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors in this genre, and if you've enjoyed any of her books you should try one of these.
Favorite Non-Fiction Books 2017:

Many of these books influenced the way I live my life and how I see the world, so I'll try to give a little more explanation than the fiction books because there's more to these than whether I like a story or not.

Non-Fiction, Self-Development
  • It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh (review here). Best book for motivation to de-clutter your space. I liked this so much better than Marie Kondo's book. It was much more practical.
  • The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt (review here). This helped me truly understand what makes me (and all humans) happy and has given me a greater sense of peace about some things in life I cannot change.
  • Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) (review here). I really wish everyone would read this! This has made me a less stubborn person and I'm much more comfortable admitting fault and less insistent that the way I recall a certain conversation, event, etc. is accurate.
  • The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung (review here). This changed the way I look at food and nutrition and gave the me the motivation I needed to make some healthier changes to my diet (specifically reducing my sugar consumption).
  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big (review here). Such a practical guide to success in this day and age. 
  • Opening the Door of Your Heart by Ajahn Brahm (review here). This book is really in a category of its own. It's a collection of short stories that gave me a better perspective on life...especially some difficult situations. I think it's one you can re-listen to year after year ad glean new insights from each story depending on what's happening in your life.
Non-Fiction Books that Helped me as a Parent (but generally not "Parenting Books")
  • Popular by Mitch Prinstein (review here). This gives a true, scientific understanding of popularity and specific things parents can do to help their kids develop friendships, as well as things we can all do to be more likable. 
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (review here). This gave me a lot of insight into which activities I may want my kids to pursue and very similar to "How to Fail at Almost Everything," a closer look at unexpected factors that contribute to success.
  • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell (review here). This made me re-think which colleges might be best for my kids someday and how adversity can sometimes shape us for the better.
  • The Teenage Brain (review here). I feel so much more prepared to handle raising teenagers thanks to reading this book, and an entirely new understanding of how and why teenagers behave the way they do.
Biographies/Autobiographies:
  • Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham (review here). This was mostly just fun, but it was also inspiring to see how hard Lauren had to work to get where she is.
  • A Thousand Miles to Freedom by Eunsum Kim (review here). A must-read for anyone who wants to understand what's happening in North Korea on a very human (non-political) level.
  • Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain by Max Wallace & Ian Halperin (review here). If you were around when Kurt Cobain was around (or just know of him through his music) and believe his death to be a suicide...read this book.
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That does it for my list for this year! I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas and I will see you back tomorrow with another outfit post!

Linking up with: Steph & Jana | Erika

CONVERSATION

29 comments:

  1. There are so many on here that I already want to read! I need to get into nonfiction more often too. I love seeing your recommendations!

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    1. Thanks Laura! My Audible membership is the only reason I was able to get through so much Nonfiction this year! I love it!

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  2. A Thousand Miles to Freedom was so interesting. A lot of these are new to me. I'll have to add them to my list for 2018.

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    1. Glad you like A Thousand Miles to Freedom! I have yet to "meet" anyone else who has read it.

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  3. You have so many good books on your list! All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was a great book. I think it made my list last year. I love Kristin Hannah and loved Night Road! I just added Before We Were Strangers to my to read list. I don't read as much non-fiction as I"d like to, but I did read Outliers and enjoyed it.

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    1. I probably should have narrowed my list down more but it was too hard to exclude any of these titles! They were all very memorable to me for one reason or another.

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  4. I kept my list to 10 but The Life We Bury was very close to it. I want to read more by that author.

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    1. I was not the best at narrowing my list down! And The Life We Bury is in a different league than Eskens' other books IMO...

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  5. I really loved Talking As Fast As I Can! but I think I loved it mostly because I love Gilmore Girls.

    I want to read A thousand Miles to Freedom, I'm adding it to my list.

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    1. If you loved Gilmore Girls, you'll definitely love the book!

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  6. Confessions made it onto my list as well. That book blew me away. Same with Ugly and Wonderful Things.

    I need to request The Life We Bury from my library.

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    1. I would say The Life We Bury wasn't quite as good as the other two...but I still liked it a lot. :)

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  7. Oh, man. I have several more books to read, and I just got two for Christmas! Thanks for the reviews, I like reading them and hearing why you like or didn't like a book! I especially want to read Mistakes Were Made, and The Happiness Hypothesis!

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    1. Oh those are great choices for you! I would love to hear your thoughts if you read them! Heidi recommended the Happiness Hypothesis to me so I'm sure she'd love to know if you read it too. :)

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    2. Yes, yes I would! Definitely one of my top books for this year too. Very good book! (The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt in case this comment doesn’t come in some sort of navigable order.) Started Teenage Brain and am also looking forward to some of the other ones on here you have enjoyed. Great post! Always looking for new material.

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  8. yay books :) i haven't read night road - actually the only kristin hannah book i've read is the nightingale, but its on my list. super glad to see the wall of winnipeg on your list, seriously, my love for that book is not healthy. she just announced a new book is coming in february and i might squealed. wish you were here is on my kindle, so glad you liked it! i meant to get to it before the end of the year, but... oops. i have a bunch of non fiction books you've recommended over the year on my list or in my audible library, so hopefully i will get to them all in 2018 :)

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    1. I am reading Kulti (thanks for the sale tip on that) by Mariana Zapata and while it took me a lot longer to get into than Winnipeg, I'm enjoying it a lot now. So I'm pretty sure I'll have to check out her February release too. :) Loved all the celeb bio options in your book reviews!

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  9. I thought Lauren Graham's book was adorable, and I really need to read some Malcolm Gladwell!

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    1. Definitely! He's my favorite non-fiction author.

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  10. Your reviews always help me find new reads! I read Its All Too Much years ago and it really helped me change my thoughts around stuff.

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    1. I'm glad to hear you liked "It's All Too Much" too! I don't know very many people who have read it. So glad the book reviews are helpful to you!

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  11. my problem is that i feel like i read so many of these, but i can't remember what i actually read or what i just added to my lists, lol. the covers look so familiar, but i can't tell if i've read them or not. one of the best books i've read this year is the breakdown by ba paris and the alice hoffman one that i know you didn't love. it reminded me of the night circus, with it's whimsy, which is probably why i liked it.
    b

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    1. You know, as I was putting this post together I realized how similar SO many of the book covers are! It was a little challenging to separate similar-looking covers. I am sure that doesn't help with keeping them all straight! And just so you know your recommendation of "The Girl Before" was my 4th place for thriller/suspense. I really liked that one and struggled with keeping that list to three. As for Alice Hoffman/The Rules of Magic...I am impressed with your memory on that! You're right...I didn't love it but I did enjoy it more than the Night Circus! I can see how the styles are related - that's a good comparison.

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  12. I really want to read Confessions (I've read the author's latest - Penance) and Talking As Fast As I Can. Thanks for the recs!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Ooh, I will have to read Penance! Thanks for the tip on that one! I'll be very curious to see how it compares with Confession.

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  13. I loved The Life We Bury. It was one of my favorites last year. I need to read his latest. Confessions is on my TBR already. So many good reads, too little time!

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    1. LOL, I agree! I have added so many new books to my wishlist from this linkup! And for what it's worth I didn't like any of Eskens other books nearly as much as The Life We Bury. They were all more "action movie" to me than "fiction with depth." Entertaining reads, but not as compelling.

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  14. I also read Night Road this year. I really enjoyed it! I just picked up The Passenger from the library per your recommendation...excited to read it!

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  15. I have had Lauren Graham's book since it was released... but haven't read it yet. I need to get around to it. I downloaded Wall of Winnipeg and Me after Kristin's rave review, I am excited to read it as well. Glad you had so many great reads in 2017! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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