Thursday, January 18, 2018

2018 Reading Bucket List

Every other weekend during my childhood I had to spend time in a place that I didn't quite love. It never felt like "home" and there was often so much taunting, imbalance and unfamiliarity. Whenever I could get away with it, I would tiptoe when no one was looking to the bookshelf and pluck a Nancy Drew novel off the shelf and escape. Away I would run through wooded trails and creaking buildings with each turn of the crisp, weathered page. That was my happy place.

Fast forward 20 years and I had found myself turning to books again for a little escape in 2017. This time though, I loved the life I was "escaping" from, but still needed the brain break to read and get inspiration. It was so refreshing getting back into reading!

Now here I am in 2018 asking for your recommendations for this year. You had some great ones when I asked on Instagram! I also found some from other resources that I'd been eyeing for awhile. I also thought I would share a little about the books I loved and didn't love in 2017. Leave any other suggestions for me in the comments or message me on Instagram!

First off, here are some of the places I love finding new reads: Grace at The Stripe's Monthly Reading Lists, Reese Witherspoon's Book Club, House of HarperA Beautiful Mess, Man Repeller Book ClubPinterest and recommendations on Audible where I end up listening/reading to a lot of my books in the car. I was also recommended to Good Reads (by CambronElsey) and Book of the Month Club (by ImMristenMwhich I plan to check out this year

So without further adieu, here is my 2018 Reading Bucket List - IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER! I also have to mention that it's a funny mix of #bossbabe books, self-help (my word of the year is WELLNESS) and fiction for a fun break. 

As always, these posts do contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you click on some of these links they could send some change my way at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting this little blog!
1. Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger - Explores why we do the things we do, from purchases to what we eat! I've heard great things about this author.

2. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine (recommended by KellyrenegarTheNashvilleMom and SherritHacker) - Currently "reading" via Audible and y'all WHAT is happening?! I'm a few chapters in and hooked.

3. Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod - I bought this last year, but loaned it out from self-help book overload. I'm excited to dig into it this time around!

4.  The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson - This one was shared with me from friend and fellow Mama biz owner Melissa. After having to learn the hard way how to grow a thick skin this year, I think this is just what I need.

5. The Dinner by Herman Koch - The Wall Street Journal described it as the European Gone Girl. Enough said :).

6. Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong - Named best book of the year by NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine and more. About the comedic and rollercoaster ride of a woman moving home in her 30s after recently becoming disengaged to her fiance.

7. Eleanor Oliphant by Gail Honeyman (recommended by CambronElsey) - Cambron is one of my closest friends so I trust anything she sends my way! Plus, Reese Witherspoon is producing it as a film. Sold.

8. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann (recommended by GraceFrederickDesign) - Believe it or not, I've never read this 50-year-old classic!

9. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan (recommended by Meg_Irvin) - About a woman in her mid-thirties living in that "sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap".

10. South of Broad by Pat Conroy  - I'm actually currently reading this in paperback right now. I picked it up after reading a couple chapters at a beach house this summer. I forgot how much I love Pat Conroy and his signature southern style of writing, especially as we get deeper into life in Charleston.

11. The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown - These are Tina's diary entries during her eight years as Vanity Fair's Editor. It's the perfect nonfiction addition to mix this list up!

12. The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham (recommended by SherritHacker) - The intersection of two pregnant women in different classes in London.

13. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkenen - I had to take a suspense/thriller break for awhile and now I'm ready for another one!

14. Braving the Wilderness by BrenĂ© Brown - I got to see BrenĂ© speak at SXSW a couple years ago and this sounds dramatic, but she changed my life. I can't wait to dig into her latest novel! If you haven't watched or heard her speak or read one of her books, but that at the top of your list NOW.

15. Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht - A PR go-to girl who spent 17 years at DKNY shares her stories and advice.

16. The Four by Scott Galloway - Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are the big four. This book deconstructs how they got where they are and became what they are today.

17. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (recommended by JenningsMoody and Ally_Kerl) - A Pulitzer Prize winner and I know anything Jay and Ally recommend is bound to be great!

18. Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman (recommended by girlmeetsbow) - Gentry is one of my favorite bloggers and recommended this novel. If you can't tell from my other selections and my #1 read of 2017, I LOVE a southern novel and this one is based in Georgia about two sisters fulfilling their mother's last wish.

19. Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening by Carol Wall (recommended by Meg_Irvin) - A true story! A white woman encounters and learns from an African American gardener.

20. A Simplified Life by Emily Ley - I swear by my Simplified Planner designed by Emily Ley and loved watching her Simplified Live series on Facebook. I'm already through the intro and first chapter here and can't wait to jump in more as I continue to simplify our home this year.

A few honorable mentions:
  • Beatriz Williams novels (recommended by South of Libbie) - I just haven't figured out which one I want to read yet!
  • The E Myth (recommended by The Yellow Bird) - Honestly, forgot to add to the visual above and I'm guessing I'll be reading this sooner rather than later after the roaring recommendation from fellow woman entrepreneur Nicole Pond at They Yellow Bird. 

At this point y'all know I love a good, informative (and yes long) blog post :) Here are...

My 2017 Favorites Reads
1. Cultivate by Lara Casey (#1 fav this year)
2. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (FAV! I love a good southern novel though...)
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (#3 fav this year)
4. The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis (LOVED, may just have a top 4)

And These in No Particular Order:
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (crazy twist, but pretty gruesome and depressing)
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (trilogy, just love them all - start with Crazy Rich Asians and then China Rich Girlfriend)
Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (total mind eff)
Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner (read, don't audio)

2017 Reads I Actually Didn't Like:
The Paris Effect by K.S.R. Burns - The storyline was a little all over the place and I like the idea, but wanted happier and Paris :)
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - Didn't love the story itself, but could be more because of my personal beliefs 
Class Mom by Laurie Gelman - Funny-ish, but weird pace and not good humor 

Ok y'all - what did I miss?! Have any favorites for me that aren't included on this list? Or are any in my 2018 list not worth the read? I know new ones are going to pop up and with 20 already, I've got an ambitious list!
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