This accomplishment is brought to you by audiobooks…

One of the resolutions I made for myself in 2016 was to read a book a month. I ended up reading 20! This is a big accomplishment for me considering that I usually can barely get through 2 or 3 the whole years.

My success was due in large part to audiobooks.  Because of the nature of my job, I spend a lot…I mean a lot of time in the car. During the fall I thought it might be a good idea to finally start making use of that time and starting ripping through a bunch of audiobooks. I used my library, well 2 different ones actually, memberships and would listen to one after another.

I should say a special thanks to my mom and best friend for igniting this interest. They have both been huge audiobook lovers for years and have told me that I should listen to books more and I finally listened to them. I would always give them some kind of excuse like I need to actually hold a physical book in my hand to get into it or that I get to distracted with audio, but eventually I put my excuses down and did it and now I’m a fan. Makes me feel so efficient multitasking!

I should also shout out to my Auntie Judy who has been killing it on the audiobook game since forever and if I was smart I would have listened to her years ago and got on this bandwagon.

All that being said, I thought it might be interesting to do a blog post about all the books I read in 2016. I’ll tell you what I liked, what I didn’t and ones I think you shouldn’t pass up. I have always been a fan of reading these types of posts when I find them on Pinterest, so I thought, what the hell, I should do one of my one. So here goes!

(Note…not all of these were audio. I still like to read a couple physical books to mix it up.)

  1. The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

This was the first book I finished in 2016. It was an advent devotional and it was really lovely and put me in the Christmas spirit and really helped me center my holiday feelings on the true meaning of Christmas.

2. Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton

Seriously…one of my favorite books ever. I have had several people in my life tell me that they thought of me when they were reading it and after I read it that made me feel so proud. Glennon is mos def one of my life heros. She is strong and encouraging and positive and most of all is unashamedly honest and truthful. I now follow her on every social media platform and have a lifelong wish to have meet her and be her friend and have coffee and talk about life stuff with her. There is nothing more that I love than a strong, confident female.

3. Edge of Extinction #1: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin

Ok…I have to admit this off the bat. My best friend in the whole world wrote this book. BUT! Even with that being true…it is an awesome, captivating book that is fun and exciting. It has dinosaurs and adventure and a strong, sassy female lead. It’s fun for all ages and if you haven’t bought it, you should. Do it. NOW! Or request is from your local library and share the fun. I’ll even get the author to autograph it for you. I have connections.

Definitely one of my favorites of 2016! I will be writing about the sequel soon!

4. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I really liked this book. It made me wish I was the type of person who could do something like this and not pee my pants the whole time. I’m not that brave, but I love books about women who are brave! I also love reading about people’s journey’s of realization. This book really gave me all the feels.

5. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Neiquist

If you are a mom, or someone who gets caught in the rush of life often, you NEED to read this book. It really helped me to slow down and take stock of the blessing and opportunities I have in my life. Biggest thing it gave to me was the courage to start this blog. Shauna talks a lot about her own self-image and she passed her strength down to me. Score another one for the strong, fearless females!

6. At the Water’s Edge: A Novel by Sara Gruen

If you liked Water for Elephants, you will really like this book. Same author. I really enjoyed it, especially on audiobook.

7. Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel by Jessica Knoll

This book was really interesting and thrilling. A little gruesome at points, but great story. If you liked Gone Girl…you’ll like this one.

8. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This book was on a bunch of must read lists, but I thought it was ok. Sad. Complicated. I’m sure if I sat down and really marinated on it I could have gotten more out of it, but wasn’t in that sort of mood when I read it.

9. Go Set a Watchman: A Novel by Harper Lee

This is an absolute must read! It picks up over 20 years after To Kill A Mockingbird. There are so many themes that are relevant to today’s culture. It really resonated with me and a lot of themes in my life and my journey of growth over the last 10 years. Scout Finch is one of my heros.

10. The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt

Here is another book that was on a bunch of lists this year. It was good, but I didn’t love it. Interesting story line, good characters, but it didn’t pull me in like others I read this year.

11. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

 

I liked this book. A complex book that makes you think and pulls at your heart but beautiful nonetheless.

12. Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

I don’t usually like to read books that have movie posters for covers, but I decided to read this one anyway. As you may have heard, it’s sad and a little disappointing, but made me reminiscent for the Lurlene McDaniel books I used to read in grade school. After I finished the book, I of course watched the move…and balled.

13. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

So my mom told me that I HAD to read this book. So I bought it. But…I didn’t love it. I liked it, because I like most things centered around WWII. But it wasn’t one of my favorites. There must be something wrong with me…maybe you don’t want to take my suggestions for books because a lot of the ones that have won awards I was kind of Meh about. I guess I’m not as deep of a person as I would like to think.

14. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I like to spice in some YA when I can. They are easy and usually predictable. This one was no different. Felt like a mix between Twilight and Hunger Games. It’s a series and I will probably read the rest of them.

15. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This book was a slow start for me, but by the end I wanted to solve the mystery. It also assured me that I don’t want to go on a cruise ever again.

16. I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron

This was my first experience with Nora Ephron. I like this book. It was short. It made me chuckle and I could relate to most of the stories on certain levels. A nice distraction from the serious books I had been reading. It was nice to laugh.

17. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

Oh Man…this is definitely towards the top of my list for 2016. I LOVED this book. As a bad feminist myself, it really challenged me and made me laugh and also helped me grow and think in ways that I didn’t expect it would. I love books that do that. Ones that you can step away from and feel like a better person for having read them. Also, as someone who felt like the community she grew up in told her that being a feminist was a negative thing and then eventually became a feminist because I found out what it actually meant. I would highly suggest reading this if you want to know more about feminism. Also, there is a lot of swearing in the book. I love Jesus, but I also really enjoy swear words. My bad.

18. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Another YA, that focuses on teen love. Brought me back to high school. It was cute, but the ending wasn’t what I’d hoped for.

19. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

There were parts of the story line that I loved and parts that I hated, but what made this a great book for me were the characters. I love Bernadette and see some of myself in her. And I loved Bee and wished I was more like her. These were two characters I missed when the book was done.  Overall it was a great read!

20.The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Here’s the last book I read last year. And it was definitely one of my favorites. Like I’ve said before, I love strong, confident and honest women but above all of that I love FUNNY women! Amy Schumer is one of my favorite comedians. This book was great because it was funny, but it was honest and serious and actually made me cry more than once and I loved it for that. I think I love all of those traits because that is who I want to be. I like being funny, but I like being honest and authentic and unapologetic for who I am and how I feel. I wish more women felt confident to be that way. And I want to be more like that. This book made me feel strong that that is who I want to be. I want to continue to be a strong, confident, smart women who knows when to laugh and when to listen and knows that my experience is one side of story, but it’s important to be open to other stories otherwise you don’t really grow.

Also…listen to this book if you can. Amy reads it and it’s better that way.

 

So that’s my list. I know it’s long, but don’t worry. I’ll try to do this on a monthly  basis so it’s not so exhaustive! Hope some of the info is helpful!

-Allison

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s