My goal for the year was 15 books, but based on the way I’m powering through them this year, I’m going to have to up that for 2018. I’m sharing more about what I’m reading because it’s one of my favorite posts on other blogs. I’ve found the best way to keep my nose in a book is to join group book clubs at work, they sure are keeping me busy.
★★★★★ – All time favorite, there aren’t many of these in the world.
★★★★☆ – Loved this book, held my attention and made me want to keep reading.
★★★☆☆ – Good book, I liked it.
★★☆☆☆ – It was fine, definitely won’t be recommending it to my friends.
★☆☆☆☆ – I finished it, but it wasn’t that great.
☆☆☆☆☆ – Didn’t bother finishing it. There are too many books on the shelf to finish one that isn’t grabbing my attention.
The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2) + Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)
by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym J.K. Rowling)
Fiction – Mystery | ★★★★☆
I read the first book in the series after I found out that this novel was written by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and was hoping to get my fill from the first one in the series. Unfortunately, it’s very different from the HP series, but fortunately, it was a really great read. It’s been about 3 years or so since I read the first in the series, but that didn’t affect the reading of these books, which I appreciated. Similar to the first, these two feature private detective Cormoran Stike and his assistant Robin Ellacott who spend both books searching for pieces of the puzzle that hopefully lead to solving the mystery.
You might like this if: your a J.K. Rowling fan and enjoyed the first book in the series.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
by Greg McKeown
Non-Fiction – Self Help | ★★★★☆
I grabbed this book up after seeing so many of my Good Reads friends rate it highly and while I don’t disagree with their rating, it could have been about 100 pages shorter and still covered all major points. I think my main takeaways included not being afraid to be unavailable, choosing priorities that get you where you want to end up, and allowing things the time they need to be completed. Overall a good read, especially for someone like me who tends to overplan and set high expectations for myself.
You might like this if: you want to learn how to be more productive while doing less.
Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race and Getting Free From the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us
by Benjamin Watson
Nonfiction | ★★★★★
Benjamin Watson is a tight end for the New Orlean Saints and on the day after the grand jury decision was announced that there was no probable cause to indict officer Darren Wilson of the shooting of Michael Brown, Benjamin wrote a heart felt facebook post which quickly went viral. This book is his expanded thoughts on each of the topics he touched on in the post. Not only was this a thought provoking read for me, a group of us at work got to get together to talk about about it. I think everyone would benefit from reading this book.
Favorite Quote: “The solution to the problem of race in America will be found only by ordinary people, “good” people, looking inside themselves, being honest about the assumptions and biases that have formed, and beginning to change what’s in their hearts.”
You might like this if: you’re hoping to understand a clearer picture of the ongoing race issues in America.
Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose.
by Lara Casey
Nonfiction – Self Help/Christian | ★★★★☆
I just love Lara and have been following her blog for quite some time. I began using her PowerSheets this year and found this book to be a great companion to that. She talks a lot about letting go of the “do it all” mentality in order to move forward on purpose. It’s thought provoking and includes sections to stop and think about implementing the things she talks about in your own life. Not really a leisurely read, but so worth it.
You might like this if: you like goal setting or feel like you are constantly striving for perfection.
All the Words are Yours: Haiku on Love
by Tyler Knott Gregson
Poetry | ★☆☆☆☆
I picked this book up because I saw another book by this author at Anthropology and figured it had to be good. I was wrong, this is one of those pretty books that looks nice on a book shelf but takes two seconds to read. I actually feel pretty bad giving it this low of a rating, because he probably put lots of emotion into these poems but there’s just too much lovey dovey and bad photos for me to rate it any better.
You might like this if: you’re a writer and want to get inspiration or want short bits of lovey poems.
Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
Nonfiction – Business/Leadership | ★★★★☆
This book has been recommended to me multiple times since I became a leader at work, so I just knew it had to be on my reading list this year. From the get-go, this book kept me more interested than maybe any other nonfiction book has. I was so interested to hear about starting a company from the ground up and hearing about how big name people like Steve Jobs have made an impact not on the world but on the people who worked with him as well. I think what I related to this in particular was how leadership style and creativity go hand in hand. There were times I felt myself nodding along and there were times I scribbled down lots of notes. All I have to say is that I love books like these because they help make me a better leader.
Favorite Quote: “I believe the best managers acknowledge and make room for what they do not know—not just because humility is a virtue but because until one adopts that mindset, the most striking breakthroughs cannot occur. I believe that managers must loosen the controls, not tighten them. They must accept risk; they must trust the people they work with and strive to clear the path for them; and always, they must pay attention to and engage with anything that creates fear. Moreover, successful leaders embrace the reality that their models may be wrong or incomplete. Only when we admit what we don’t know can we ever hope to learn it.”
You might like this if: you’re a leader or like learning about business in general.
Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want
by Maria Goff
Nonfiction – Christian | ★★★☆☆
I still don’t know what to think of this book. I’ve read a couple books in the last year or so that have been heavily marketed towards women that are faith based but aren’t necessarily a bible study and, in general, I just haven’t had great experiences. I read this with a group at work and I was one of the few women who don’t have children. Although it prompted great discussion about craving the things in life that matter, it’s was very clear to me that I wasn’t the target audience of this book. I found it particularly hard to connect with her examples and often felt indifferent to her woes. Her husband, Bob Goff, who wrote Love Does, is a missionary lawyer who does mission in other countries so Maria talks a lot about her experiences doing mission in her home and community. Overall, not awful, just not for me.
You might like this if: you want a quick read that will encourage you right where you’re at.
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
by Alfred Lansing
Nonfiction – History/Leadership | ☆☆☆☆☆
This year, I joined a leadership team at work and we were given a list of books to pick from that we would meet to discuss on a monthly basis. This was not my choice, but it won the majority so we went with it. It was encouraged as a leadership related book and while I’d love to say that it really opened my eyes to something, it really didn’t and I ended up not finishing it. Thank goodness for the internet and summaries that have gotten me through the discussions.
You might like this if: you’re really into history and LOTS of details about ice floes/ships.