It’s time for one of my favorite series: CFB Book Club! Despite another bumpy start to the year (yep, still!), I’m right on track to reach my reading goal for the year.
Have we talked about this year’s reading goal? I decided to keep it at 25 for 2019. Two books a month have been super manageable to pull off. I hope to increase it in the future, but it’s stretching me for now. I also recently agreed to help lead a book club through my son’s PTO. That means more books, and specifically books that I would probably never read otherwise. Good stuff!
So, without further ado, here are the books that I have finished so far this year:
(1) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Over the Christmas holiday, I gifted myself with a night in a hotel alone. It was glorious. I had every meal delivered (including Starbucks in the morning), and watched whatever I wanted on TV.
One of the things I watched was the movie version of Ready Player One. It was so fun that I was inspired to go back and read the book.
While there are significant differences between the two, the spirit is very much the same. The stories take place in a not-so-distant future and feature all kinds of references to 80s pop culture.
Even though some of the references were over my head, I still enjoyed the book very much. It’s a great adventure that makes me want to learn more about the future of virtual reality.
(2)The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
I have never considered clutter a problem that I have. In fact, I consider myself whatever the opposite of a pack rat is. That’s probably why it took me so long to pick up this bestseller.
Unpopular opinion: I didn’t love it.
There were some great, practical tips buried in there, but mostly it felt very repetitive. Plus, I don’t love the idea of anthropomorphizing my stuff.
“Thanks, old socks, for helping me through all those long walks.” I just can’t do it.
I will say, the Netflix show featuring Marie and her methods is very addicting.
(3) Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Giiiiiiiirl. I tend to not get into things that are really popular. I’m just stubborn that way. So, when Rachel Hollis started coming up all over my social media? Let’s just say I didn’t run to pick up a copy.
Alas, you know I can’t pass up a good sale. So when this popped up at a steep discount, I finally gave in.
And. It. Was. Good.
I understand the issues some people have with her basically saying “look at everything I’ve done!” But I really found it inspirational. Definitely take it with a grain of salt (in that Hollis’s story is exceptional), but also take from it what you can.
You may not end up headlining a speaking tour nationwide, but you CAN do a lot.
(4) Kind is the New Classy by Candace Cameron Bure
Another book purchased primarily do to the price, this one was encouraging in a different way.
It was pretty refreshing to read a book like this – from a Christian perspective, without being overly preachy.
What Bure writes about is primarily how to handle every day situations gracefully. It’s a lot of anecdotes. Some are relatable (dealing with difficult co-workers). Others are not (hosting dinners for twenty of your closest friends).
Overall, though, I learned a lot more about Bure. I’m a Full/Fuller House fan, and it’s nice to know that she’s as nice as DJ Tanner in real life.
(5) Little Fire Everywhere by Celeste Ng
It’s not entirely uncommon that I’m not a fan of some well-reviewed books. This was one of those. It wasn’t necessarily a bad story; I think it was just hard to qualify it.
It starts out like a mystery, but then it’s not really. Then, I guess it’s a family drama? But not quite. And the end is left very open. I don’t know. Just not my cup of tea.
The family dynamics and issues of race/class are interesting for sure, if not a little obvious. Beyond that, meh.
(6) The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Every so often, I am sent an early copy of books to preview. And that is how this one came into my life.
For about 90% of this book, I was really happy. It was a classic love story with a twist – a leading lady on the autism spectrum.
So where did it take a turn for me?
I was born in New York City, and I live here now. My heart is in this city. That’s why (yes, even all these years later) I hate when stories use 9/11 as a plot device.
Overall, I can see how it pushed the story. But at the same time, I think there were other ways they could have gotten to the same conclusion.
(7) The Assistants by Camille Perri
As a career administrator, it’s always fun to see yourself written about. Beyond that, who can’t relate to having a crazy boss, no matter the industry.
I enjoyed this book a lot! I’m actually surprised it hasn’t been optioned for a movie. We need more fun, female-led stories!
There’s a little romance thrown in for good measure, but at the root it’s a Robin Hood story. It’s a Robin Hood story where Robin Hood turns things around in the end. Spoiler alert?
So, there we have it. I think overall, my year in books is off to a great start. I’ve already got my next couple of picks lined up, but I’m always on the hunt for more ideas. Feel free to drop your recommendations in the comments
My favorite tool for tracking my reading goals and book lists is definitely Goodreads. Be my friend over there and happy reading!