Reading: 2016 Edition

I didn’t keep up with my reading by season this year, mostly because there wasn’t nearly as much reading this year as in years past, and also because I worked this summer! #reallife ha!  But, I did manage to read several books, all of which were pretty good.  
According to my post last November (click here) I was set to read Jep and Jessica Robertson’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly next. Which I did read, on my kindle and not sure when I read it, if it was over Christmas Break or into the new year.  If you’re a Duck Dynasty fan, this was a good read, biographies are my favorite and I love getting to know the story of people before what you see on TV is what you believe to be their story.  
Another favorite is bloggers who become authors, because their books are much like their blogs; personal stories sprinkled with wisdom.  This one was just a little salty and sweet all at the same time of stories from the south. Sophie writes the BooMama blog and podcasts with another favorite Melanie Shankle, commonly known as Big Mama from her blog.  I’ve written about podcasts this year, and theirs is one of my favorites.
Of course I always love a Nicholas Sparks read, and The Choice was a good one. Typical Nicholas Sparks, but not typical in that I don’t even think I cried reading this one.  
I led a Bible Study at my house in May and June and we read this Tommy Nelson book, A Life Well Lived, which was a really good read and study of Ecclesiastes.  You’re probably familiar with Ecc from the “time for mourning, time for laughing” verses you’ve heard sometime in life, but there is so much good wisdom in the book of Ecclesiastes and this book makes it very easy to understand and apply when used in parallel with your Bible. 
While in Austin this summer I read Looking for Lovely by the pool outside for some fresh air after full days trapped working on textbook review in a hotel conference room.  Annie is another blogger and speaker and this book challenges you to look for lovely in the every day. 
Adriana Trigiani is a long time favorite author, and The Supreme Macaroni Company was just as good as her others and a quick fiction read. 
Confessions: I started Blue Like Jazz at the pool, read over half of it, and haven’t finished it. #2017goals It is a challenging book to make you really think about faith and I took a while to think on what I had read, and will have to get back to it and finish it up soon. 
In August my reading was overtaken with articles assigned from Harvard Business Review and this book. The Leadership Challenge is a great business read, principles that are applicable not only in the workplace, but also in life and relationships outside of work. 
I am leading a year long group at my church, called Life Together, which is a mix of book club, discipleship and community. I have such a great group and have really enjoyed our meetings this fall. The first book we read was Unashamed by Christine Caine. You might think you’ve never dealt with shame, but I would just about guarantee you have and this read opened my eyes to how we shove those feelings away and gave me freedom is overcoming them. 
Another reading assignment was Getting to Yes for my MBA class, and I was wishing I could have put that book away for The Undoing of Saint Silvanus.  I did read Getting To Yes, and luckily I didn’t start Undoing because it is the second book in my Life Together group for December and January discussion. So far, it is so good. 
I have a couple of other unfinished books that I pick up and read a chapter on from time to time; one is #GIRLBOSS and the other Bob Goff’s Love Does. Both are excellent and give a little boost just when you need it. 
Over the Christmas break I’ve done a bit of Kindle reading, books I got on Cyber Monday for $1.99.  I am a Bachelor watcher and this book, I Said Yes, by former Bachelorette Emily Maynard Johnson was a super quick, great read. I love the behind the scenes, but mostly the thread of her faith woven throughout and where she’s ended up.  Same with the The Magnolia Story.  I started watching Fixer Upper at the beginning, before it was a hit, and it was interesting to read about their lives for 10+ years of building the Magnolia brand. What seems like overnight success has really been years and years in the making. 
The last book I read for 2016 I started on 12/30 and finished on 12/31.  Hope Heals by Katherine and Jay Wolfe recounts the harrowing trials from her AVM and their journey to hope. I followed their blog in 2008 and 2009 and Katherine’s miraculous recovery which has grown to a flourishing ministry, Hope Heals.
Definitely diversified reading this year…fiction, biography, business and faith. All of these were good reads, and I’d recommend any of them.  
My goal for 2017 is to the read most of the books I have here that I haven’t read. Hopefully that will lead to more frequent reading posts…. 
we’ll see. 

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