What I’m Reading 2016 – 2017

So it has been a LONG time since I have done a book review post! That is super obvious just from the title haha… For a little while I was trying to do one every few months, but then I think I got side tracked with all of our Whole30food posts and they kind of took over! I’ve had this draft for over a year now and thought “hey, I might as well finish that one!” and get into this again!

I usually try to post pictures of the books or quotes I liked as I come across them, but since I read these books so long ago, I’m planning on mainly just writing a few lines about the book and what I thought about it or liked about it, and then linking it to Amazon in case you are interested in purchasing it or getting more info about it.

Lately I’ve been trying to read books I can download for free from the library to my Kindle paperwhite, mainly because I didn’t want to pay for the books 😉 and because we moved and I realized I didn’t want any more hard copies in our office unless it was just something I really really enjoyed and thought I might read again. My parents gave me a paperwhite for Christmas when they were on sale, and I have LOVED reading on it. I read so much faster and it is super easy to download books from the library straight to my kindle. I also love how light weight and compact it is, super easy to take with you places.

If you are into the app Goodreads, you can follow me here. I list all the books I’ve read and want to read. I don’t know that I would consider myself a super avid reader, mainly because I am a young mom short on time right now, but I try to get through one to two books a month and mark them as read there.

So this is what I read last couple of years! I would love to hear your thoughts if you read any of these too or if you have any recommendations for books to read this year! Thanks for stopping by!

“It Starts With Food” – Melissa Hartwig

This is such a great book if you are interested in how different foods effect your body, and how our bodies process the different categories of foods. I read this right before I did our first round of Whole30, mainly because I needed motivation to cut out certain things for a time being to give my body a chance to clean up and reset. This book is a tad technical, I had to reread parts of it at times, but I absolutely loved the information, and it helped give me reason to cut certain foods from my diet for those thirty days and beyond.

“Food Freedom Forever” – Melissa Hartwig

This was also a great read from the Whole30 series… I read this during our third round of Whole30, just to help us with our mindset of extending this kind of life style and making it a more realistic way of living. It’s so hard going back and forth with your diet choices, we go on vacation or go visit friends and family, we go to get togethers and other occasions that easily can distract us from a clean diet… Melissa makes it practical to use the Whole30 lifestyle as a reset or a mini rest when you need one. She also talks a lot about enjoying food and eating things that maybe don’t agree with your body, but to just eat them and enjoy the moment if you want to eat it and then move on, guilt-free. So I would highly recommend this if you are someone who is interested in doing a Whole30 reset, but feels overwhelmed by it and the practicality of extending it past those 30 days.

“Sparkly Green Earrings” – Melanie Shankle

This was such a sweet book. I love Melanie Shankle, I really have enjoyed every one of her books that I’ve read. This one was very special because it talks about her experiences becoming a mom and being a mom. She is witty and comical, to the point that I laugh out loud on multiple occasions. She has a great perspective as well just on handling hard things as a mom and making the best of the changes you go through. Definitely recommend this for any mom!

“Red Queen Series” – Victoria Aveyard

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this series… I picked up the first book, “Red Queen” and read through it quickly and really loved it. It had a feel of Divergent and Hunger Games, but in a different setting and she put her own spin on it. I enjoyed the second book, “Glass Sword” as well, even though there were a few kind of slow periods in the book, and a lot of fight scenes, so definitely some intensity there. I was really excited to see how she tied everything up in her third book “King’s Cage” but while I was waiting for that to come out, I read the prequel “Cruel Crown” which filled in the back story of a lot of the characters. It was ok, interesting but nothing spectacular. So I was excited to see how she was going to wrap everything up, and was enjoying “King’s Cage,” but then I kind of realized that this was becoming her stance on our society and her platform for LGBT rights… especially once I finished the book and read her thoughts at the end. So needless to say, I was a little annoyed because I just wanted to read a story for what it is rather than having political views pushed one way or another. There were some “scenes” between one of the characters and her significant other, so just be warned about that. She has another book coming out this spring but I doubt I would read it, and definitely am not planning on spending my money on it haha! So, I guess overall I wouldn’t be recommending this series, even though I did enjoy reading them up until the end. 🙂

“The Nightingale” – Kristin Hannah

This book is a great read. I read this the week we were on a cruise with my parents and could not put it down. It is all about a girl in World War II who smuggled downed aircraft pilots over a mountain range into Spain so they could get back home. I can’t remember a ton of details at the moment because it has been so long, but it was super interesting to follow her story.

“Dare to Discipline” – James Dobson

I also enjoyed a lot of aspects to this book. Raising kids is so hard, and knowing how and when to discipline is something I often struggle with at times. I think often times we can be hesitant to discipline at all because we feel bad for our kids or just aren’t sure what is appropriate, but I felt like this book had a lot of good ideas and just overall was encouraging about setting boundaries for your kids and being consistent. There were some things in this book that I didn’t necessarily agree with, but I think with any kind of book about discipline you will run into that.

“I love you, Ronnie: the Letters of Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan” – Nancy Reagan

This was the sweetest read ever… I got to see a whole need side to the Reagan family and learned so much about them and their love for each other. I loved reading about their life story and their letters to each other over the years… it was so sad to watch his mind diminish in the end, especially since my grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease as well, but it was all so touching and the kind of love we all aspire to have in this life.

“Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to take Control of Your Life” – Henry Cloud & John Townsend

Also another good read, this book really had a lot of thoughtful perspectives about our relationships in this life and how we handle them. I think sometimes I tend to be a people pleaser, I never want to disappoint anyone or make anyone mad, but honestly that isn’t realistic and there are times you have to say no and set boundaries to protect yourself or your kids, and that is ok.

“Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything” – Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

My husband and I love watching Seinfeld, so when I came across this book I thought, “Hey, that might be interesting to read about the background of the show.” And for about 3-5 chapters it was, but I could not get past the amount of language used in this book. I hate leaving books unfinished, but bad language is just something I struggle with. I don’t like for it to get into my head and my thoughts, so I had to set this book aside. I still wanted to mention it here though, mainly because it helps me when other people have screened books for bad language.

“The Aviator’s Wife” – Melanie Benjamin

I loved this book… this was the story of Charles Lindbergh and his wife, and the story of their marriage and life together of flight. He was the first pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and had many other “firsts” for aviation in his era. Their life story was filled with ups and downs, and so interesting to read about.

“The Girl on the Train” – Paula Hawkins

This was another book I read but would not recommend. It was depressing, dark and the main character was so confused and disoriented the majority of the book from being an alcoholic. There was a decent amount of language in this book as well, multiple times I almost stopped reading it but was curious about the ending. (I know, not a good reason to push through but anyway hehe) It just made me feel really down and not good.

“A Bridge Across the Ocean” – Susan Meissner

This was such a quick read, I grabbed it at Target one day before Jacob and I went to Galveston for our anniversary. It was a cute story but kind of different than my normal read, as the main character could see “ghosts” or “spirits.” The story focused on how she handled her talents and how she eventually learned how to help the lost ones find their way, focusing on lost souls aboard the Queen Mary ship docked in California as a floating museum sort of thing, bridging souls from the past, post WW2, with souls of the present.

“Behind Closed Doors” – B. A. Paris

This book was also recommended by a friend, and I read it SO fast. I could not put it down at night. It was kind of different than my normal read, it was about a girl who married a man who was a controlling psychopath and basically kept her captive and fed off of her scaring her. The story unfolds talking about how she made it through everything and eventually freed herself from him. It was definitely creepy and for lack of a better term “messed up” at times but it wasn’t too much if that makes sense. I can’t handle a lot of those kind of stories because they give me nightmares haha, but this one was interesting and not too much for my taste.

“The Shelter of God’s Promises” – Sheila Walsh

This was a great read. It took me a little while to get through it, but so many good thoughts about God’s promises and how he looks out for us. Definitely recommend this. It was nice to read just pages here and there before I went to bed at night.

“America’s First Daughter” – Stephanie Dray

This was really slow for me getting into. It really took me a long time to get through the first half of the book, but then it picked up and the second half was a much quicker read. The story of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter was fascinating, and to see how her life intertwined with his. I loved the history in this book and also how the author highlighted the life of Sally Hemmings throughout the story and her relationship with Patsy.

Whew! So that was a lot! Hope maybe something stood out to you! I’m always looking for reading recommendations so let me know if you have any!

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