4 Books to Read This Year


4 Books to Read This Year

You guys. Growing up, I was the biggest nerd. A total bookworm. And I am not even remotely embarrassed to admit this. My best friends were the March sisters from Little Women, Matilda and Miss Honey (Matilda), Sarah Crewe from A Little Princess, and all of the heroines from the Shoes novels: Skating Shoes, Dancing Shoes, and Theater Shoes. I read all the time. Before school, on the way to school, during meals, late into the evening by flashlight after my mom told me to go to bed — I could never get enough. My favorite Friday night activity was a trip to the local library for more books.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this was the groundwork for my love affair with the written word. But then something changed.

You get older, busier. You grow up. It starts with the (boring) textbooks and novels you’re assigned for school, but can’t stand. And don’t even get me started on college coursework and reading requirements — I wouldn’t have had the time to read for fun even if I’d wanted to. (Hello, social butterfly.) Then you start a career, you get married, and have kids. And some days, you’re lucky to have a hot shower and three decent(ish) meals. I am always incredulous of women who say they are in Book Clubs, and have time to read for pleasure. Are they secretly duct-taping their children to their walls?

I just don’t get it. But then I look at my daily activities, and realize how much time I actually waste. Dawdling on social media, watching those ridiculous Housewives, surfing the Internet looking at clothes, and shoes, and home decor I have no business purchasing — nor the budget to do so. (Unless I want a new husband; and I am pretty happy with the one I have. 😉 ) So it dawns on me, if I stop wasting time on all these other silly things, will I have more time to read? I think I might. And it’s a new year so I am putting this theory to the test. Don’t worry, I am starting small. I am going to be reasonable. I put out a request for suggestions from these friends of mine “who claim to read” and I got some really great responses! Here are the four books I have decided to tackle (first).

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


This novel is set in France, in 1939, just as the Nazis are invading (WW2). It follows the story of two sisters “separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France.” Juicy, right? This one came highly recommended by multiple Facebook friends, so I have to give it a try. Obviously.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver


The author and her family “abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life — vowing that for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, it’s an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth. You are what you eat.” This recommendation came from a friend who reads and reviews books for a living. So I think she probably knows what she’s talking about — I am at least giving her the benefit of the doubt. Plus, I really need to take a closer look at my own family’s eating habits — hamburgers are basically a food group — and this seems like a good place to start. Don’t you think? (Wink, wink.)

Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose by Candace Cameron Bure


“How do you do it all? That’s the question wife, mom, actress, and best-selling author Candace Cameron Bure is often asked. And it’s a question that women everywhere are asking themselves as we seek to balance all of our roles, responsibilities, and opportunities.” I love Candace Cameron Bure. And I love the concept behind this book. So perfect for all of us women and mommies, just trying to keep our heads (and hearts) afloat. I can’t wait to see what she has to say!


Nobody’s Cuter Than You: A Memoir About the Beauty of Friendship by Melanie Shankle


Nobody’s Cuter Than You is a laugh-out-loud look at the special bond that exists between friends, and a poignant celebration of all the extraordinary people God had the good sense to bring into our lives at exactly the right moments. From the friendships we develop over a lifetime, to the ones that wounded us and taught us to love better, Melanie Shankle reveals the influence our friends have on who we were, who we are, and who we will become.” Sounds pretty good, right? A sweet and simple read. And the blogosphere is (apparently) buzzing about it right now, so there’s always that! (We’ve got to keep up, you guys.)

What books are you looking forward to reading this upcoming year? Was there anything fabulous you read over the holidays? We’d love to hear! Surely I’m going to get through these four before September. At least I hope so! Feel free to share in the comments.

About the Author /


Wife, mommy to three precious little girls, currently pregnant with baby a boy, and owner of The Plaid Pony!