My favorite reads of 2017

I only read 22 books in 2017. This is a crazy low number for me: less than half of what I usually read. But 2017 was a crazy year! I got married, we moved into a house (that we’re renting), we spent 2 weeks in Disney World, my cousin got married, my parents got divorced… so it’s no surprise that I didn’t read as much as usual.

And I certainly didn’t read many books that were published in 2017. But of the 22 books I read, I picked 5 favorites to share with you. Maybe you’ve read them (some are a few years old) or maybe you’ve never heard of them. They’re winners in my book, which means you haven’t read them yet, you should at least check them out!

5. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: A great motivational, non-fiction read. Whether you’re a writer like Gilbert or a small business owner like myself, the Big Magic she talks about in this book will give you hope, and a little motivation to work your butt off.

4. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen: If you’ve read Sarah Dessen before, you know her formula. A girl you relate to falls in love with a boy she probably shouldn’t, he lets her down and then redeems himself and we all live happily ever after. Yet somehow, Dessen always surprises me a little and I devour her books even if I expect to know exactly what will happen. Once and For All did not disappoint.

3. The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman: A wonderful historical fiction novel set in the early 1930’s in a circus. Not at a circus, in a circus. The characters are circus workers! I could not put this book down. It was incredible and made me want to read everything else Wiseman has ever written.

2. Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner: Another book that made me want to read everything the author has written. This one takes place both in the 1940’s and present day. We hear the miraculous, incredible life of a young woman who survived Nazi Germany while it tore her family apart as it is being told to a student working on a research paper. Have tissues close by.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: Grab some tissues and get ready to be angry, frustrated, sad, excited and anxious all at the same time. There’s a reason this book is getting a ton of attention: it is fabulously written, and a timely story that EVERYONE needs to read.


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Currently Reading- The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman


I love World War II history, in both non-fiction and fiction form, so you can bet I’m loving this beautifully written, historical fiction set in Germany during Holocaust. The Plum Tree is such an emotional story. I have to read it pretty slowly because it literally yanks at my heart strings. I’m praying, with the turn of every page, for a happy ending.

My To-Read Pile… Getting totally out of hand

Look at this:



These are all sitting on my dining room table (right now, not in this picture) staring at me… making me feel guilty for watching tv… making me wish I had like 6 more hours in my day. I need to read faster so this pile stops growing!


Or hey, publishers and authors, could ya take a few months off so I can attempt to catch up? That’d be fab.

Book Review- Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Are you tired of me telling you to read the Cinder series yet? Don’t worry, Stars Above by Marissa Meyer is the last book in the series. So go pick up the series now. No more reminders. This is amazing. You need it in your life.


Stars Above is a book of short stories about the characters in the Cinder series. In order of publication date, this is the last book in the series. Chronologically, it’s mostly prequels with one story that takes place after the other books. Each story shows us how one character got to the point where we meet them in the main series. Each story is FABULOUS. And the last story… the “after”… is wonderful, simply wonderful.

I was so incredibly invested in all of these characters that these short stories only furthered my love of each one. So if you’ve read the main series, but haven’t picked this one up yet, DO IT! And if you haven’t read the rest of the series yet, what on earth (or the moon) are you waiting for?!


GoodReads- A Librarian’s Social Media Addiction

I love to read. Did you know that? Have I made that obvious enough? When I was in high school I had a Shelfari account. Anyone remember Shelfari? I loved it. But then Goodreads got big and my friends convinced me to convert, which is easier said than done. Do you know how much time it takes to move your “to read” list of over 800 books to a new platform? A lot of time. Good news is I loved to procrastinate projects and papers in college so this certainly helped me do that.


Since starting this blog I’ve been putting my book reviews up on Goodreads as well. I use the site to help track my reading for the year. I always aim for 50 books a year. Some years I surpass it and some years, like this year, I’m nowhere near it. Getting married really takes time away from reading.


Are you on Goodreads? Friend me! I’d love to see what you’re reading =)

To Read 9/5/2017

This pile could be 20 books high at least. I recently had the task of wedding the library collection (discarding books that haven’t been checked out in a long time or that we have multiple copies of or are in really bad shape) and I discovered what feels like a million books that I must read right now.

But instead of checking them all out and having a huge pile staring at me at home every day, I picked out a two and added them to this pile.


Am I the only person in the world who hasn’t read The Girl on the Train? Could be. But I’m going to read it this month! It’s going to happen!

Do you have any “must read this month” books?

Book Review- The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman


The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman was an incredible read. I may have requested 2 more books by Wiseman from the library because I love her writing so much. The characters in this story were SO well written. You felt empathy, anger, hatred, love, frustration and compassion for every character, sometimes all at once.

We follow two main characters in two different time periods. In the thirties, we follow Lilly who was born Albino and locked away in the attic. Lilly has never been outside… until the day her mother sells her to the circus. Lilly’s life in the circus is not easy, and at times she’s not convinced it’s any better than being locked in the attic, but when she finds friends and even love she realizes this may just be the best terrible thing that’s happened to her.

In the 50’s we follow Julia. Julia moves home when her mother dies, to the same home that Lilly was locked in as a child. Julia struggles to find peace with the house and with her parents as she discovers mystery upon mystery of her family’s past.

How are Julia and Lilly connected? I was sure I knew. But with every twist and turn I second guessed myself a little and the ending was a lovely surprise.

I couldn’t put the book down after the first 100 pages. It was heart wrenching and beautiful. The ending was not the happily ever after that I always hope so, but it was extremely fitting to the story. I can’t wait to read more by this author.


Flat Lay Love


Just a little flat lay love today as I sit reading this book. Featured product of the week, a great book and a little Disney key chain.

These are a few of my favorite things…

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