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The 107 Books I Read in 2018

January 15, 2019

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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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In 2018, I started the year with a goal of reading 26 books. On December 31st, I finished off book number 107. Now, I want to share with you all 107 books that I read throughout 2018. I know that I personally am always looking for new recommendations, so if you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments below and help your fellow readers out!

The 107 Books I Read in 2018, Version 1
  1. The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Number two in a trilogy that I started in 2017, I can’t say I loved this book. It’s almost like a grown-up version of Harry Potter, but I had a hard time getting through it. Don’t get me wrong, parts of it were good. But I never got excited to sit down and read it.

  1. Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado

We’re really off to a great start here, but I also didn’t love this book. It also wasn’t awful—I just didn’t feel like it addressed anxiety deeply enough to be much help. It felt more like an overview, or for someone with slight anxiety/worry. Whereas my anxiety at the time was heavy.

  1. The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

I had similar feelings about this book as I did for the second (and first) book in this trilogy. See number one for more.

  1. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

Okay, this book made me really question the way I thought about things. Of course, what Jodi Picoult book doesn’t? This one discusses topics of sexual abuse, murder, and waiting on the justice system to prevail. Definitely one I would recommend.

  1. Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin

I’m going to tell y’all right now that I don’t tend to like books without a happy ending. *Spoiler*. So, while I enjoyed reading the book, I didn’t like the way this one ended. It was poetic and wrapped up nicely, but it wasn’t happy that’s for sure. I read to escape reality, not so that I can be reminded of all the bad stuff in the world.

  1. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

Full disclosure: this one was a re-read. It’s pretty much a guarantee that I’m going to love any Nicholas Sparks novel (except The Notebook). Here’s Wikipedia’s summary of it:” The Guardian is the seventh novel by the American writer Nicholas Sparks. The book is a romance/thriller about a Great Dane named Singer who is the pet of a widow named Julie who is trying to find a new life partner.”

  1. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

I picked this one up because it was supposed to be based in my hometown-Aiken. Despite the fact that Aiken was mentioned all of a handful of times, I really enjoyed this one. I won’t spoil anything for you, but the story had me so intrigued that I devoured it quickly. It’s based around the horrific things Georgia Tann did in the Tennessee Children’s Home Society back in the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

  1. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

You’ve likely heard of this book already, since it’s been made into an HBO show. (Which I haven’t seen but want to…is it any good?) Right away, the book lets you know that someone has died, and you spend the rest of it trying to piece it all together. Who was dead? What happened? Was it an accident?

  1. The Future of Us by Jay Asher

This is a YA novel, but I loved the concept of it—two friends in 1996 who get an AOL cd (who else remembers those?!) and once they boot it up, they discover the future within Facebook. Slightly cheesy, and definitely not a hard read, but I really enjoyed it.

  1. Rework by Jason Fried

This is a business book, so most of you probably won’t be interested, but I read it so it’s on the list. Jason and his company take a simpler-is-better approach to running, growing, and scaling a business. Since I’m all about simple living, it was really nice to read this towards the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.

  1. Make it Happen by Lara Casey

If you don’t know by now, I’m team all things Cultivate What Matters. Powersheets are life changing, give me all of the sticker books, and yes please to the write the word journals! I also devoured this book not once, but twice this year (see number 104). If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or unsure about the path you’re taking you’ll want to give this book a read. Also, if you’re curious about Powersheets and wanting to get your feet wet, this is a good place to start.

  1. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

So, I picked up Gone Girl back in 2014, and subsequently the rest of Gillian’s books. At the time, I didn’t love the other two because they just didn’t hold a candle to Gone Girl. So, when I decided I wanted to re-read them, I figured I would do Gone Girl last.

It didn’t help. Dark Places is dark and disturbing in so many ways.

  1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

See number 12.

  1. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

This is another one that I ended up reading twice this year. (See number 95) Although, this one was on accident and Make it Happen was on purpose. This book is labeled romantic fiction, but I’m not sure if I’d agree with that. It’s more about the ties that bind family than about love. Either way, it was great both times I read it.

  1. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

I spent the first half of this book so dang confused. I kept trying to figure out who in the world the book was about, and it wasn’t until I was more than halfway through that I realized that it was about an entire town—not just one character. I think that if you start it off knowing that, that it will be a lot better for you. I really did enjoy the story itself.

  1. I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh

I love a good psycho-thriller, and this one was no exception. Nothing is ever what you thought it was. A woman, Jenna, loses her son and tries to escape the past only to have to confront it head-on in the end. Definitely one to add to your list.

  1. This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

While I enjoyed this book, and it definitely provided a nice catharsis, it was a little too real at times. It details the day of a high school shooting, and those are just all too common for me to really want to be reading about in a fictional book. However, it was well-written and I think that commonsensemedia.org sums it up nicely: “Intense and compelling, this debut novel balances the senseless violence of a school shooting with uncommon acts of courage and compassion by a diverse cast of characters. The students come from a range of ethnic and religious backgrounds (white, Latino, African-American, Christian, Muslim) and sexual orientation.”

  1. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

Another book for business, but this one was the most impactful one I read all year. In fact, we even gifted it to my brother in law for Christmas because he’s starting his own business and it’s just that good. If you’re a business owner and feel even slightly like you need to know more about making sure you’re paying yourself in your business, you’re going to want to read this.

*At this point in the year, I began to keep track of what I read each month. Going forward, I’ll break that down for you.

May

  1. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

If you are interested in what exactly minimalism is, and different areas it can affect in your life, this book is an awesome place to start. It’s a simple and fairly quick read, but it really helped me to shift my mindset on a lot of things (including saying no!).

  1. Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau

This book is actually number 3 in The Testing series. However, it’s the only one of the 3 that I own, so I picked it up to re-read it for fun in May. I highly recommend the entire series—it’s a postapocalyptic series but the ending is actually good (*I’m looking at you Divergent*).

  1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

If you don’t know what Twilight is, I’m pretty sure you’ve been living under a rock. While I read all of these in high school, I wanted to re-read them this year because my mom is a huge fan and we were going to be going to Forks when she came to visit during the summer. Honestly, they were better this time around than they were then.

  1. Start with Why by Simon Sinek

I won’t lie, I struggle to get through Simon’s books. They’ve got good information in there, but they seem a bit repetitive throughout. Start with Why discusses great leadership through inspiration vs manipulation, and is geared towards entrepreneurs. I definitely agree with his stance on things, but again, think it could all be shortened.

  1. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Okay, I was secretly shocked at how much I loved this book. I won’t lie, I was skeptical because Twilight, and because I’ve never really heard much about this one. But WOW. I devoured this book. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a strong, smart heroine though. The heroine in this book is an ex-agent that’s on the run from her former employers (the government). She’s had to disappear completely, and when an opportunity turns up to clear her name, she can’t help but take it in an attempt to get back to normalcy.

  1. Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

If you’ve ever struggled with perfectionism or not being able to live in the moment, you’re going to want to pick this book up. Shauna gets so real and vulnerable about her personal struggles with perfectionism and because of that, she had me nodding along all the way through the book.

  1. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Ah, Mistborn. This series came highly recommended to me by well, tons of people. If you have any interest in Fantasy books, you’ve probably already heard of this/read it. If you’re not typically into Fantasy novels, I’d still suggest giving this one a read. The books are quite long, but Brandon is a master storyteller, and you can’t help but get sucked into this new world he’s created. The series starts with an attempt to overthrow an empire and a man who believes himself to be a God, and you get sucked into the plotting, the emotions, and the hopes of all of the characters very quickly.

June

  1. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Again, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know all about this one. Refer to number 21 for more.

  1. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Refer to numbers 21 and 26 for more.

  1. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This book, and Jen Sincero herself, has become wildly popular. Who can’t help but be drawn to someone willing to put badass in their title, right? It makes you at least want to pick it up and check it out. This iteration of her books (but really, they’re all basically the same book) is exactly what you would expect from a self-help book. Only, Jen is a master at putting in humor and attitude to make it seem less, well serious. I’d recommend this one, but would probably say you could stop there.

  1. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  2. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  3. You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

While I enjoyed You Are a Badass, I felt that this one was….mediocre. It’s basically the same book, only there are sentences and paragraphs about money thrown in. Essentially, if you’ve read one, you’ve read the other. Refer to number 28.

  1. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

I’m a bit ashamed to admit that this is the first of C.S. Lewis’ works that I’ve read. I’m definitely hoping to read more of them in 2019. I did this with my bible study group at church, and I’m glad I did because they really opened my eyes to a lot of themes and ideas that I hadn’t seen. This book really made me question what I believe heaven and hell to be like.

  1. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

Book two of the Mistborn series. (Refer to number 25). This was probably my least favorite of the series, but it was still really good. It felt a bit like filler information, because books one and three are so action packed and this one isn’t quite so much. However, all of the “filler” is necessary and important and help you really understand the realm better. Still one that I would highly recommend.

IMG-9339
Here’s the page I made in my bullet journal for my reading goals at the beginning of 2018. I was so proud of this page, and even added a few extra spots for book titles (thinking that they wouldn’t be needed!)…and then ended up having to add in sticky notes to keep going!

July

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Another one of those books that you know about unless you live under a rock. This summer Russell and I decided to read these together. I’d read them previously, and he never had. Then we watched the movies. Well, I don’t think we ever actually finished all of the movies….BUT it was a fun thing to do together over the summer and I hope to make it a tradition of sorts.

  1. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Another YA novel. This one is about a boy’s death, and you spend the entire novel trying to figure out what happened, who’s lying, and who murdered the kid. Ew.com reviews it by saying, “Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club”.

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

Each summer I re-read the Harry Potter series. If you haven’t read them, you need to do it because the writing is just so dang good. J.K. Rowling really nailed this series with her storytelling. Although, I’m more than a little miffed at her and the new Fantastic Beasts movie (don’t get me started).

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

See number 36.

  1. The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst

This is one of those books that I borrowed from the library, and immediately added to my “Buy” list once I finished. Lysa is full of Godly wisdom on saying no and reserving your bet yes for the things God places into your life and calls you to.

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

See number 36.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Can I be honest? I was shocked when I discovered that this book was written in the 80s considering its recent fame. So, I suppose I also live under a rock. BUT I highly enjoyed this book (I love basically all post-apocalyptic novels). I was frustrated with the ending, but I just read somewhere that Margaret is working on a sequel finally and I’m so excited to get my hands on that one! (Supposedly it’s coming out September 2019).

  1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

See number 34.

  1. Unexpected by Christine Caine

This book came highly recommended to me by my bestie (Hi Meggie!) and I really enjoyed it. Christine talks at length about learning how to embrace the unexpected through your faith in God instead of being constantly anxious about what may come.

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Another re-read. (Refer to numbers 12 and 13). Definitely the best of Gilian’s works, and I’m really hoping she currently has something amazing in the works. If you enjoy psycho-thrillers and you haven’t read Gone Girl, go check it out now. You spend the novel trying to figure out what happened to Nick’s missing wife, and wondering if he had something to do with her disappearance on their anniversary.

  1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

See number 36.

  1. Mockingjay by Suzanna Collins

See number 34.

  1. Caroline by Sarah Miller

When I was a kid, I loved Little House in the Big Woods. For whatever reason, that was the only one of the entire series that I read, but I was fascinated by how they lived as pioneers. When I saw this one at Costco, I immediately put it on hold at the library and anxiously awaited it to come out. Sarah Miller recreates the Ingalls family travels/settling from the Big Woods to the new territory in Kansas—told through “Ma’s” perspective. If you ever read the Little House books as a child, you should definitely pick this one up.

August

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix by JK Rowling

See number 36.

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

See number 36.

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

See number 36.

  1. All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin

I’m not sure if I just didn’t know enough about marketing when I read this one, or what. But I also felt like I got the point pretty quickly—you have to tell stories with your marketing, but I never really got any good information on how to go about doing so.

  1. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

The thing that I love most about psycho-thrillers is the twist at the end. I never see it coming. Now, like I said before, this is a fantasy series. But it ends with a majorly unexpected twist. At first, I wasn’t thrilled because of the way the series wraps up the romantic relationship, but now that I’ve had some perspective the twist is really well done. Brandon Sanderson is a master storyteller. (Refer to numbers 25 and 33).

  1. Always Enough, Never Too Much by Jess Conolly and Hayley Morgan

I was completely blown away by this devotional. They were short, and connected really well with teachings from the Bible. And they spoke volumes to me each night. I would often find myself reading 3 or 4 instead of just one!

  1. Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt

This was another book that I immediately put on my “buy” list. Although I love Powersheets (and their goal setting process) very much, I like to combine some of the practical tips that Michael uses in this book when setting goals. For example: focusing on just 3 goals every 90 days. Since I’m an overachiever, I need practical things like that to keep me in line with my goal setting.

September

  1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I’ll just start off by letting you know that this novel has won multiple medals. Based during WWII, the novel follows the lives of a boy from Germany and a girl from France. I, personally, did not love this one. I’m likely in the minority as you can tell by those medals, so don’t let me stop you from picking up a copy of your own. The story was great, but the style the book was written frustrated me a bit. It was mostly very short chapters, and each chapter switched character perspective. I prefer to read meatier chapters when that kind of thing is happening.

  1. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Read this book. Put it to the top of your list right now. Bryan Stevenson is an attorney that works solely to get wrongly accused men off of death row before it’s too late. The injustices in this book had me crying throughout multiple chapters. I’ll never understand how there could be so many wrongly accused on death row. How there could be so many that should never even have been tried for death row (children, men with the mental capabilities of children….). It’s heartbreaking and disturbing, and so important.

  1. My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

I wasn’t blown away by this one, but it wasn’t awful either. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, and none of them were particularly likable, but the story was intriguing at least. It’s a psycho-thriller which leaves you with lots of questions that keep the pages turning, at least.

  1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Hi, yes, if you don’t like fantasy books you should still read this one. This is a young adult fantasy series, which makes it a much quicker read than typical fantasy books. There’s almost a Cinderella vibe going on with a horrible stepmother and the main character becoming a princess of sorts. As you can see below, I immediately dived into book 2 of the series, which I don’t typically do when reading fantasy series. Normally, I space them out because I can only take so much.

  1. The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

See number 57. This book was just as good as the first. I wanted to immediately jump into number 3, but it wasn’t published yet. (At the time of writing this post, book 3 has just come out and we are waiting for it to become available at our library.)

  1. Cultivate by Lara Casey

This is Lara Casey’s second novel, and I also ended up reading it twice this year. This was the first time though. Where Make it Happens talks a lot about Lara’s story, and gives you practical foundations for setting goals, this one is less practical and more encouraging. One of my favorite parts of the novel is where she talks about how flowers grow out of the dirt—and so do we. Lara uses garden metaphors throughout the entire book. Which, I thought would be annoying since I’m not a gardener, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed it and could relate to it all.

  1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

This is a young adult post-apocalyptic novel. I actually read the first 3 books as a teenager, but never finished the entire series, so I decided to go back and get that done. Overall, it’s a good series. The first book is by far the best and filled me with the most hope. After that, it seemed like the main character did a lot of fumbling around and getting things wrong. Actually, I guess the second was good too and the third was the one that made me feel like that. Anyways, worth the read if you really enjoy this type of genre.

  1. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

See number 60.

October

  1. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

This psycho-thriller was GOOD. A couple leaves their baby home sleeping in her crib, take the baby monitor, and go right next door for dinner with their neighbors. They take turns going home and checking on her every hour. And when they return home for the night she’s gone. But who took her, how did no one notice, and where is she?

  1. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

So, when I first read this book, I loved it. I devoured it. I found Rachel to be clever, smart, and funny. But something about the way she talked about her vision board—how she looks at it every day and envisions herself with all of these extravagant things—made a small little yellow flag go off in my mind. Then, after I finished the book, I noticed there were quite a few articles out there calling out parts of the book for being unchristian and not biblical.

Here’s the thing. I think that Rachel had some great advice in there. I also know that she’s human and humans are not perfect. Anything we read that we are taking life advice from? (Or really, just reading period.) We should be examining it against what we know to be true of God and the Bible. So, read it if you want, don’t read it if you don’t want. I’ll be reading her new book when it comes out this coming spring.

  1. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

GWTW is my favorite book of all time. I usually read it each summer but I ran out of time this year. (Who knew that running a business was so much work? ????) In school, we’re taught the facts about history. So, when we learned about the civil war, we learned dates and battles and new vocabulary words such as reconstruction, carpetbaggers, and scallywags. However, I love the way that Margaret Mitchell brings that time to life. It’s interesting to see the southern side of things, and the way they justified their actions. (Let me be clear, that’s exactly what they were doing—justifying something atrocious.) I’ll always be so sad that Margaret was killed before finishing her sequel—I hate the way things “end” between Scarlett and Rhett.

  1. The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

Another fictional history, this one about the Titanic. This book also had a major twist at the end which was a delightful surprise. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was good. The novel details a young lady’s journey from Ireland, over to America on the Titanic. Then, as an old woman, that same young lady travels back to her original home with her granddaughter to say farewell.

  1. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

Another devotional. It was informative and I was glad to be praying specifically over my husband each night before bed, but it definitely faltered in comparison to the last one I had just finished. (Refer to number 52.)

  1. Love Life Again by Tracie Miles

I did this study with Proverbs 31 and really enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I gifted it to a friend for Christmas! Tracie talks about how she found herself in a really hard time in life, and how she and God pulled her out of that dark place into a place of loving life again.

  1. The One and Only by Emily Giffin

This book was well-written, but I’m not entirely sure how I felt about the story and the way it ends. The novel begins at the funeral of the main character’s best friend’s mother. (Did you follow that?) Then, main character effectively seems to get it all, just to throw it away for said best friend’s newly widowed father. That’s a bit of a spoiler, but I don’t know how else to describe the novel to you otherwise. Sorry, friend.

  1. Leaders Eat Least by Simon Sinek

Again, Simon has wonderful points in this book. I love his stand on leadership. But I got the gist after the first few chapters. It took me months to finish this book. In fact, I think I had to check it out and put it back on hold 3 different times! The first time I checked it out was in June!

  1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Oh, my goodness this novel was so good. Very short chapters, but it stays from the same perspective the entire time. It’s not exactly a happy novel…. well it’s not at all. But it’s well told and it’s easy to fly through. Russell even ended up reading it towards the end of the year!

  1. Where’d You Go Bernadette? By Maria Semple

This one was recommended to me by an Instagram follower, and I’m so glad I picked it up. I was intrigued because it’s based in Seattle, and we’re living very close by. But the story itself is just so good I could barely put it down. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that there are some major character breakthroughs that are so good.

  1. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Like I said when I reviewed Caroline (Refer to number 46.), I decided to read the entire Little House series finally. Even as an adult, I truly enjoyed the novels and would highly recommend them to anyone. I just love learning about how others used to live before all of the modern conveniences that we’re blessed with now!

  1. Specials by Scott Westerfeld

See number 60.

  1. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This one details the childhood of Laura’s future husband. Great novel, I was just really confused at first as to who the characters were and where they fit in. (Refer to number 72.)

  1. Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle

This book is in a similar vein as Just Mercy. However, it focuses on prior gang members and their lives (and deaths). Gregory Boyle opened Homebody Industries as a way to rehabilitate those gang members that wanted to turn their lives around—they’re given jobs within the company, and even more than that, they’re given support, love, and encouragement. I would actually recommend this one over Just Mercy (although you should totally read both), simply for the fact that Gregory’s writing style is phenomenal. He’ll have you laughing and in tears all in the same sentence.

  1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

I know that there are tons of people raving about this book, but truthfully, I found it to be kind of…meh. There were some interesting ideas and chapters, for sure. However, her whole thought about how if an idea comes to you, and you don’t act on it, it’ll go find someone else to take hold of it—really just created more fear which seems ironic considering the title.

  1. The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

So, if you recall from number 20, I re-read number 3 in a series at the beginning of the year.  I ended up deciding to go back and borrow the first two from the library and read those again as well. This is a phenomenal series, and I highly recommend it.

  1. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Refer to number 72.

  1. The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

This one was a recommendation by my mom. It was a nice, light read until the end when things got really dark and heavy. Two former best friends spend an entire summer searching for answers about their past, and then when they come to light, they are not easy to stomach. However, it’s a good read and an easy read as well.

  1. The Power of a Praying Husband by Stormie Omartian

We ended up getting this devotional along with the praying wife one at a marriage conference that we went to a few years ago. And I figured that since I’d finished the wife one, that I might as well go through this one. I figured it would be helpful in praying for friends and such. However, I wish that this had actually been written by Stormie’s husband instead of just the occasional post script that he’d thrown in there.

  1. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Refer to number 72.

November

  1. Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

The jury is still out on this one for me. I think that Lysa had a lot of good points, but I also think that maybe my heart just wasn’t really in the message she was trying to give, so I didn’t take much in.

  1. Extras by Scott Westerfeld

See number 60. Also, if you decide to read this series—just a heads up that this novel is based in the same era and place, but with completely different characters. There’s a small time jump as well.

  1. Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver

I really enjoyed this one. It wasn’t the most well-written thing I’ve ever read, but Courtney has a lot of wonderful ideas and thoughts on ways that you can simplify your life.

  1. Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

Refer to numbers 20 and 77.

  1. By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Refer to number 72.

  1. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Refer to number 72.

  1. Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Refer to number 72.

  1. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Towards the end of this year, I went on a bit of a Liane Moriarty kick. I really enjoyed how this one was written. At the beginning, you discover that a day with friends has gone horribly wrong, but you spend the entire book flashing back and forth between the past and present discovering what exactly happened, and what the outcome of that was.

  1. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

As much as I liked the other book I read by Shari, The Couple Next Door, this one was 10 times better. A real psycho-thriller/mystery book, my mind was all kinds of twisted by the time I discovered why everyone that was snowed into this old hotel was dying.

  1. These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Refer to number 72.

  1. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This is the last of the novels, but you could probably stop at These Happy Golden Years. This last one was still in the beginning stages of writing when Laura put it down and never picked it back up. After her death, it was published, but the company and family decided not to try and recreate her magic. Instead, they left it as it was. As you read through it, it’s very obviously an incomplete manuscript and you really miss all of those little details and stories that she normally wrote in. (Refer to number 72.)

  1. The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World by Susan Veness

We got this book during a mad Santa exchange, and I was excited to get into it. Susan had a lot of little details that I had never known, and I love to know new trivia about Disney. However, the book was clearly dated because Disney changes so quickly. There were a lot of things in there that no longer exist, or that have been dramatically changed.

  1. Prayer by Timothy Keller

I picked this book up during a time where I was really trying to do more with my prayer life. It’s still a work in progress, but I learned a lot from Mr. Keller. I ended up taking notes and notes and I love that he backs everything up from the bible itself.

December

  1. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I was excited to read this book, mostly because it had such a long wait list. I expected a lot from it. However, the first half of the book was incredibly slow. Once it picked up though, it really picked up. Things got seriously crazy and I couldn’t put it down.

  1. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

See number 14.

  1. Launch by Jeff Walker

If you’re an entrepreneur and own an online business, I definitely recommend this book. I learned so much on how to launch a product, and I’m excited to use his methods to launch my next course!

  1. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty

This book starts out with a young lady being gifted an entire home from her ex-boyfriend’s great aunt. From there, she decides to move in, and she quickly gets caught up in the mystery of the island. Namely, what happened to make Jack and Alice Munro disappear and leave their infant behind?

  1. Cultivate by Lara Casey

See number 59.

  1. Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

This novel by Liane is about a set of triplet sisters, and it starts out with them celebrating their birthday together at a restaurant…where they quickly become hysterical and one ends up stabbing her pregnant sister in the belly with a fork. Then, you travel into the past and work your way up to that moment trying to unravel who was pregnant, who threw the fork, and WHY.

  1. The Bible

It took me a good three years this time around, but I was determined to finish up before the end of the year.

  1. The Good Girl by Mary Kubrica

In this novel, a grown daughter is discovered missing and once she finally returns, she can’t remember anything that happened to her from the time she was kidnapped. You spend the entire book unraveling exactly what happened and why, and trying to understand the heart behind the man who did this.

  1. She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst

I first read this book in the mindset of a hard time in my life. I was struggling to be and do it all with a perfectionist mindset, and was desperately unhappy. I read it again this year with fresher eyes, and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it before as well, but I don’t think that I was really in a place where I was capable of taking in all of the good things Chrystal had to offer. The book is all about how we often end up wandering from the life we wanted to live, and I think it’s probably even more applicable to overwhelmed moms than it was to me.

  1. The Hypnotists Love Story by Liane Moriarty

I enjoyed getting to see a bit inside of what it’s like to be a hypnotist. This main character isn’t exactly what I expected a hypnotist to be, and when she ended up falling in love with a man who was being stalked by an ex-girlfriend, my heart ached for the ex, the man, and the hypnotist.

  1. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

This book was recommended by a friend since it’s based on the University of Washington rowing team that ended up going (and winning) the Olympics in Germany right before WWII. It was fun because I knew all of the areas they were talking about, but more than that it was a story of beauty, grace, and coming of age. The first half was a bit slow, but I was in tears by the end of it.

  1. Make it Happen by Lara Casey

See number 11.

  1. Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

The last of the books for 2018, and it was definitely worthy of its position. It details two best friends getting together for the first time in years for a summer on the island they spent their childhood summers on. They get back together to work on a project and both are dealing with some major baggage. Things get better before they get worse, but in the end they spend the summer really healing together.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, I want to hear your opinions! What are some books you’ve read recently that you recommend? Have you read any of these and think my assessment is far off the mark? Leave me a comment below!

If you want to check out another blogger who shares what she reads frequently, you should head over to Elizabeth McCravy’s blog. She recently posted her 2018 reading list and goal for 2019, and she also has a FREE reading goal setting workbook that you can download if you want some extra help hitting your reading goal for 2019! Elizabeth is a business coach and web designer, but she also talks a decent amount about goal setting and work/life balance and I just adore following her!

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  5. Jennifer Dougherty says:

    This is awesome! I’m so glad I finally got you read your book list. We had many of the same books on here, no surprises there (;
    I’m hoping to hit 100 books this year too and track it/write reviews as you did!! I think you also inspired me to finally read Gone With the Wind!

    • Amanda Warfield says:

      Hahaha I’m sure you inspired many of the books on this list honestly!! I’m constantly putting your recommendations on my list!

      It was so fun to keep track of everything I read-I had never done that before. So far I’m continuing it in 2019, but I’m trying to be a bit more intentional about what I read instead of just consuming massive amounts like I did last year????

      And yes!! Gone With the Wind is so good. Her writing just sucks you right in. Let me know what you think of it!

  6. Vox says:

    Wow! You’re quite a reader! I am impressed. ???????? The most reading I have done is to read blog posts lately. I keep meaning to make it a habit, but then 10 other fun activities occur to me (like learning ukulele) and I put whatever book I am reading down! Thanks for sharing your wonderful accomplishment. ⭐️????

    • Amanda Warfield says:

      One of my favorite ways to get some reading in is by reading for 15-20 minutes before bed! I charge my phone across the room so I’m not distracted by it, and then I have some uninterrupted reading time. That being said, reading is one of those “fun activities” for me that I get distracted by which is why I was able to read so many books last year. It’s my favorite hobby! If it’s a habit you want to create, I’d encourage you to set aside specific time for it—and don’t feel guilty during other times where you’re more easily distracted!

  7. Natasha Heino says:

    I love the variety on this list Amanda! Thanks for all the reading inspiration! One of my favorite reads recently was The Hate U Give. I haven’t seen the movie, but I found the book well written with a compelling voice and characterization.

    • Amanda Warfield says:

      Oooh that one has been on my list for awhile now—I went ahead and added myself to the wait list at the library for it. Thanks so much for the recommendation dear!

  8. Hannah says:

    Girl! You are MY INSPIRATION! 107! That’s incredible!! I am saving this list for future reference 🙂

  9. Allison Wolf says:

    I love that you read the Twilight series this year! Brings me back to a good time in book life! :p

    • Amanda Warfield says:

      Hahaha I felt the same way as I read them!! It was my first time reading them since moving to Washington (from South Carolina) which made it a lot of fun to know the areas they talk about!

  10. Tren says:

    Wow! This is such a great list! I started back reading in December. I’m hopeful I’ll stay focused and consistent.

    • Amanda Warfield says:

      My favorite way to get consistent reading in (even when things are crazy) is to leave my book by my bed and then read for 15-30 minutes before bed. It’s enough to move you forward in a book without getting completely overwhelmed trying to find the time.

  11. Colby Bouchillon says:

    Added so many of these to my own “to read” list. Thanks for the insight!

    • Amanda Warfield says:

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear that! If you have any suggestions of your own, please let me know. I’m constantly adding books to my list. I hope you’re well dear!