Wednesday, January 18, 2017


First of all, thank you all so much for your sweet comments about my previous post. I so appreciated them all, and I cannot tell you how much we appreciate your prayers. Thank you, thank you thank. My sister officially starts chemo tomorrow, so when I can, I will keep you updated. She also started a blog to keep everyone updated, so feel free to check it out too.

Now onto books - I was never the child whose parents had to force them to read (well, except those annoying summer reading books - Watership Down, are you kidding me?!). For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed reading. To this day, it is still one of my favorite hobbies, and I even became a middle school English teacher! 

Now, finding the time to read as much as I used to these days is the tough part. I used to read and read and read on the elliptical at the gym (yes, I can do that without getting sick), and I also read when I was teaching due to our mandatory 30 minutes of silent reading everyday, but I don't do the elliptical very often anymore, and I'm not teaching, so, I also don't read as much. Since one of my goals for the year is to manage my time better and in turn have a little more me time, I am incorporating reading more books into that goal as well. I love nothing more than to sit down with a good book and get totally lost in it! 

Being the former English teacher and book junkie that I am, I tend to get lots of questions about book suggestions from my friends, so I thought it would be perfect to write a post on my favorite books from 2016. Well, lets say all the books I can remember from 2016. I'm hoping to keep better track of my 2017 books and possibly write a monthly post on the books I've read. I'm sure I read more than just the books below, but I struggle to remember what I did yesterday let alone all the books I read over a year! 

I received Sarah's Key through an online book swap and was thrilled. This was a book that I had eyed in the bookstore before, but was never in the right mood to read it. Getting it in the mail forced me to read it, and I absolutely loved it. Two storylines cross between Paris 1942 (France under occupation) and Paris 2002, and it is beautifully written. I loved the characters, I loved the story, and I loved the way the story played out.  

What Alice Forgot took me a second to get into, but I ended up really enjoying it. It may have taken me a minute to get into because I read some and then didn't have time to read, so I was constantly trying to get back into it. I loved the character of Alice in this book, and I loved the way it ended! I also happened to start taking a spin class not long after I finished this book, and I definitely had some flashes to Alice's little mishap in my first class! 

Gosh this book was so suspenseful! I kind of figured out the secret a little earlier than it was revealed, but that did not ruin the book at all. This book is an absolute page turner, and left me wanting to read lots more Liane Moriarty books in the future! 

I think technically the only book I read in this series in 2016 was The Crown, but The Selection Series  definitely deserves praise on this post. I LOVED LOVED LOVED this series. Yes, it is probably meant for a younger age group, but I have recommended it to plenty of friends, and they have enjoyed it as well! It is a total cross between Hunger Games and The Bachelor and I could not get enough of this! In fact, I first started reading the series when I was pregnant with Henley and Ben and I were in Europe for a month. I finished the first book so fast that we made a special trip to a bookstore in London so I could see if the second was already out. I finished that one in London too! 

Well, there are really not enough good things I can say about Elin Hilderbrand books. I have a feeling I will be attempting to read all of her books in 2017. The Matchmaker was an adorable book and I could not get enough of Dabney Kimball Beech. I just wish I was her friend! I'm pretty sure I cried at the gym while finishing this book, but there was absolutely no shame! 

I recently read this book, and again, it took me a second to get into, but it was well worth the wait. It is another suspenseful book that kept me turning page after page. I actually think Ben got annoyed with me at one point, because I brought this book literally everywhere we went! 

I took this book to Hawaii with me, because I felt like I was literally the only person in the world who had not read it yet. Everyone's reviews were so big and amazing, that I felt like I just had to take it, and I was positive I would read it in a day. Well, I may be the only person in the world to say this, but it wasn't my favorite book of 2016. I still liked it, but it took me until about halfway through to figure out why everyone loved it. I would definitely recommend Girl on the Train, and I still want to see the movie, but it didn't live up to the hype for me. That could just be because there was a whole lot of hype. 

I still have one more book in this series before I'm finished, and I cannot wait for it to come in! I loved that I read this during all of our Christmas festivities! Again, Elin Hilderbrand can just do no wrong in my book, but I'm pretty bias as this point. I love the way this book is written with it being broken up into characters instead of chapters, and I just love the little family in it. 

No need for me to continue raving about the author here, I hope I've convinced you by now! Silver Girl may have been my favorite of all the Hilderbrand books I've read so far. I couldn't put this one down and found myself trying to find down time whenever I could to squeeze in a chapter or two. I love the two best friends in this book, Meredith and Connie, and even found myself wondering who I would call in Meredith's situation, or who I would want to move to Nantucket with to just get away. I would so read this book again! 

And last but certainly not least, my very favorite book of 2016. I have recommended this book to so many people and just raved and raved and raved about it. I have always loved Kristin Hannah. Her books just completely capture you and absolutely rip at your heart strings. When I read her books, I find myself doing nothing other than finding ways to fit reading into my life. Many extra hours have been spent on the elliptical just to keep reading her books. That being said, The Nightingale did not disappoint. The time period is set when the Nazis were invading France and goes on throughout WWII. The two sisters in this book are just incredible. I was constantly wanting to know what one or the other was doing. This book is just so well written. I will definitely be reading this book again at some point! If you are just looking for one book to start out your year, this would be my pick. I even struggled for a little bit after The Nightingale to find a new book to read, because I just knew that no book would be as good at it was. 

I would love to hear your book recommendations in the comments. I will need them to help with my goal to read lots, lots more in 2017!! 

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