As an introvert, I love reading! And ever since I found out about Goodreads.com, I have begun to set reading goals for the year of how many books I think I can read. This past year my goal was very modest. I only set out to read 12 books; one for every month. At the end of 2017, I ended up reading 14 books! Some of them were extremely long and some were pretty short. I enjoyed many of them, and others not so much. So let’s take a look at my best (and worst) books of 2017! First up are what I thought were the best books of 2017 that I read.
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BEST BOOKS OF 2017
UNGLUED BY LYSA TERKEURST
This book completely changed my life. No joke. I actually thought this book was about unplugging from social media and electronics in order to grow closer to God. What I didn’t know, was that God had something in my life that He wanted me to change! This book is actually about all the emotions we as women have and what to do about it. It will show you what kind of person you are when it comes to emotions. I am the “stuffer” which means I stuff my emotions down and don’t share them with people. You can stuff, explode, or react anywhere in between the spectrum. Reading this book changed the way I look at my emotions; “feelings we have that alert us of something going on inside.” It also changed how I handle my emotions and encouraged me to stop destroying myself by stuffing them deep down.
Any woman wanting to understand our emotions and how to properly handle them, should read this book! 5 out of 5 would highly recommend!
THE BOOK THIEF BY MARKUS ZUSAK
This book surprised me! I can’t say much about it because I wouldn’t want to ruin the plot! However, it was a fantastic book about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany and what happened during that time. The characters were extremely well written. The story includes an accordionist, a Jewish fist-fighter, secrets and stealing. The most interesting part was how it portrayed Germany and Germans during that time period. It was inspiring and sad, all at the same time. Be warned, this book will make you cry.
THE BEST YES BY LYSA TERKEURST
Somewhat related to Unglued, this book focuses on how to say yes and no to people and invitations in our lives. We cannot always stretch ourselves thin in order to keep up appearances or please people. This was another life-changing book for me. I tend to have a problem always saying yes when I really want to or should say no. This book helped me realize that sometimes, you need to say NO. In order to rest, focus, and be the best person you can be, sometimes you need to say no so you can say your best yes! I would also recommend this book to any woman, especially those of us in our 20s!
THE ZOOKEEPERS WIFE BY DIANE ACKERMAN
This book can be described as fun and intriguing. Pool-side or beach-side, I would 5 out of 5 recommend this book for summer light reading. Another book about Nazi Germany, this focuses instead on Poland and the German presence there. (I don’t know how a ton of my books ended up being about Nazi Germany and Israel. It was super funny that it ended up that way!) The book was not depressing, though. It was extremely interesting about a zoo, two zoo keepers, and how they ended up hiding Jewish friends and surviving the attacks on Poland.
WORST BOOKS OF 2017
Most of the time, I really enjoy the books I read. Maybe that’s because I am pretty picky about the books I choose to buy and read. It seems that this year, though, I read plenty of books I didn’t enjoy. Some of them were just realllllyyyy long. And some of them were uninteresting to me. So in case you were wanting to read them, here is what I thought about them. Here are my worst books of 2017.
ANNA KARENINA BY LEO TOLSTOY
I really wanted to like this book, and I really wanted to like Leo Tolstoy. So many reading lists have Leo Tolstoy listed as a classic author and his books as must-read books. However, it took me a whole year to finish this book. That has never happened before. Even with 1,000 page books, I can usually finish them in a week or two if they are engaging. The problem is, this book was not as engaging or interesting as I thought it would be. I found out after finishing it, Leo Tolstoy uses thousands of pages to say something that could be said in half the amount of pages. Sometimes I don’t mind this, as long as it is interesting. However, this book just failed to hold my attention that long. Maybe Tolstoy is a great Russian writer, but I probably won’t be reading one of those classics again.
INTO THE WILD BY JON KRAKAUER
My theme this year was to read books that would get me interested in the outdoors and fuel my wanderlust! I had no idea what this book was really about. I thought it was about a guy who goes to live in the Alaska wilderness. However, there is much more to it than that. The book may have also been spoiled a little because I ended up watching the movie with my parents before reading the book. I know, I know…. you don’t ever see the movie before you read the book! But it was very different from what I expected. And kind of a disappointing ending. So I ended up not really enjoying the book.
A WALK IN THE WOODS BY BILL BRYSON
Like the title states, I thought this was a story about one man’s journey hiking the Appalachian Trail on the East Coast of the country. Spoiler alert: The guy doesn’t even hike to the end of the trail! The book was entertaining in certain parts. However, it seemed to me like it was just poorly written and didn’t keep my attention. It took me a while to finish this book as well. Maybe because I have read the book WILD by Cheryl Strayed and I loved it. I thought this book would be something like that one, and since it wasn’t anything as good, I was disappointed.
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE BY J.D. SALINGER
Why is this book a classic? Why do they force high school students to read this book? Luckily, in high school, I wasn’t forced to read this book for a class. I asked my husband what he thought about the book before he read it, and he clearly stated his disdain. I thought, well maybe he just didn’t like it and I will. Yeah, wrong. I did not enjoy this book at all. It may be a classic, but it was so boring to me. Maybe you have to identify with the main character in order to enjoy the book. But I just did not get it. Sorry! I’ll try some other classics and maybe they will redeem this one.
Have you read any of these books? Did you disagree with my reviews? Let me know what you think of my best books of 2017 in the comments!
If you would like to see all the books I read in 2017, click on the Goodreads widget at the bottom of this page! It will show you the books I am currently reading. If you click on the top, it will bring you to the website where you can see my reviews for these books and all the books I’ve read!