What I Learned From Reading 50 Books in One Year
|My 50 Reading Challenge Books for 2014!|
I was one of those kids who would walk the halls while reading a book and simultaneously maneuver through the crazy student fraught hallways. I would read under my desk during class, during lunch, during church, and my parents would even LOCK MY BOOKS IN THE TRUNK OF THE CAR as a punishment if I was naughty, which of course was completely unjust. Some of my friends' parents would PAY them for every book they read (I would have millions, MILLIONS!$$!!).
Soooo... I've grown up (a little) and have used Goodreads on and off for a few years, but never consistently. Goodreads is an awesome website/app where you can track what books you have read, the books you want to read, and follow what books your friends are reading.
Last New Years Day they issued a challenge - Choose how many books you want to read this year, and Goodreads will track it for you! I decided on 50 books. It's a nice round number, and about one book a week (I gave myself two bonus weeks for when life gets in the way)! Today, I finished my 50th book!!! Yaaayyyy fiesta party party!! This was my first real New Year's resolution that I made AND kept. Movin' on and up in life guys ;)
So today I am going to share with you just a few of my favorites. Also included are a few books to stay faaar far away from, and also a few that I maybe shouldn't admit I have read? I hope you enjoy and get some ideas for what YOU want to read in 2015!
"The Story of the Trapp Family Sisters" - Maria Augusta Trapp
Do you love The Sound of Music? Do you love gorgeous mountains in Europe? Do you love FAMILY AND ALL THAT IS GOOD? Then you will love this book that is all.
"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" - Laura Hillenbrand
Another book they're making into a movie! AMAZING story about a guy with a CRAZY AMAZING LIFE. He's a survivor guys. Much interesting, such fascinate, much inspire.
"The Twelve little Cakes" - Dery Dominika
I LOVED THIS BOOK! And I'd never heard of it! Such a cute/real life story of life in Czechoslovakia under Communist Russia (doesn't sound "cute" as i'm writing that last sentence but it really really is). Dominikas family is such an amazing example of being positive, constructive, and resilient in the face of extreme hardships and adversity. Sooo great LOVE.
"Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" - Mindy Kaling
Ok so obviously I am in love with Mindy Kaling, and her book is as hilarious, informative, and wonderful as she is.
"The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio"
How my Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or less -Ryan Terry
So this lady has 10 kids, an alcoholic husband (he's not all bad though), and pretty much lives in the middle of nowhere. And YET she makes ends meet by winning promotional contests for limericks and jingles hosted by big companies! Hers are consistently chosen out of THOUSANDS of entries, and she uses her hard work and talent to raise a great family and fight for them to have the best she can provide.
"Yes, Chef" - Marcus Samuelsson
RAISE your hand if you are in love with the Food Network (yes all hands should be raised). Marcus Samuelsson, a judge on Chopped, has written or co-written or whatever a really inspiring book. He was adopted from Ethiopia by Swedes. He is very relatable and is also brave enough to share some of his most personal and private life experiences that helped him reach where he is. Reading his story has enriched my life personally :)
"Escape from Camp 14"
One man's remarkable odyssey from North Korea to freedom in the West - Blain Harden
Luckily the title of this book also serves as a perfect plot summary! I like to read books that teach me about real people in our real world, and this is an awesome amazing story. Compelling, interesting, and TRUE.
BEST WORKS OF FICTION
"The Goldfinch" - Donna Tartt
Great interesting book! It's a bestseller for a reason. Avoided reading it for a while because I thought the cover was boring (oops), but am so glad I tried it out anyhow! Such a great story that teaches about art, history, and people. Very well written. Even though it was over 700 pages, it was easy and compelling to read!
"The Time Traveler's Wife" - Audrey Niffenegger
(Lessbehonest...I almost feel a little racist just writing her last name)
Everyone in the world likes this book and ME DO TOO! It's cute, and interesting, and good. I rike it.
"The Shoemakers Wife" - Adriana Trigliani
T_T <---face crying tears. This book made my face cry tears (as illustrated). It's about love, beauty, family, Italy, and America. The simple life. Beautiful.
BEST OF "Let's Pretend I Never Read That"
Confessions of a Reality Show Villain - Courtney Robertson
So maybe I read this, and maybe it was great. NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE. But theoretically this is the "tell all" of the super hated Courtney Robertson from Season 16 of the Bachelor. And maybe it's good. And maybe I LOVE IT.
"Kris Jenner...And All Things Kardashian" - Kris Jenner
What? Alyne?? TWO reality TV show books on your best-of list??? WHAT IS THIS?! I'm sorry but maybe I also love the Kardashians a little and thank goodness Kris Jenner loves to overshare because then I. GET. TO. READ IT! Bonus: Inside info on the OJ Simpson case! (I know I sound like the cover of OK! Magazine)
BEST BOOKS ON HOW TO BE FRENCH
"French Women Don't Get Facelifts"
The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude - Mireille Guiliano
This lady has a cult following of lovers and haters. I am one of the LOVERSSSS. Listen, she can sound snooty and elitist sometimes but I DON'T CAAARE I still love her <3 All I want to know is what face cream she uses and what she eats and everything about her and all French people and she TELLS ME so I am grateful. Maybe I too can someday aspire to be as successfully elitist and rich-like as she is ;)
"Lessons From Madame Chic"
The Trop 20 THings I Learned While Living in Paris - Jennifer L. Scott
Why I am to like this book? It had some great points about life: Enjoy what you're doing! Enjoy cleaning! Don't watch too much TV!. Dress presentably! Don't spend a lot of time and money on your hair every day! Go with your natural style, wavy, curly, or straight! Eat well! Take time to host dinner parties! [And invite me! ;) ] Don't save all your good things, use them now! Why wait? Every day c'est une occasion.
MOST HONORABLE MENTIONS
"The Glass Castle" - Jeanette Walls
Addicting. Similar to "The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio" (above), a girl with a CRAZY vegabondish childhood overcoming her life obstacles.
A Story of Loss and Gain - Portia de Rossi
Sucks you in! Portia de Rossi is Ellen Degeneres' wife. Great book that gives great information on how it is to deal with anorexia and eating disorders. Very enlightening and well written.
"Global Mom" - Melissa Bradford
A little long winded, but great useful information if you're ever planning on living abroad! She lives in Paris, Munich, Singapore (and more), but of course I was most interested in Paris! The book also has info on living abroad with kids. It explores the loss of one of her children as well.
I read this book's title and was like, "That makes me think of people being easy for some reason". RIGHT I WAS. This books is literally about bathshebas. prostitutes. WHORESOMES. (Also so maybe now "whore synonyms" is in my search history?) This was just super boring and lame (Sorry, Ruta <3). THOU SHALT NOT READ IT.
"Wild" - Cheryl Strayed
So as you've probably heard they're making this bestseller into a movie with REESE WITHERSPOON (aka Wreath Witherspoon thanks to the brilliant Mindy Kaling). I love Reese just as much as anyone but I HATE DIS BOOK. BAH humbug. It's written badly! The voice of the woman narrating is annoying (sorry I'm sure you're a nice lady?)! And the final cardinal sin, it that is BOORINGGGZZZ #sorrynotsorrybutalittlesorryalso
HERE on Goodreads! I'm deciding if I want to redo this challenge again in 2015, so PLEEEASE leave amazing great inspiring book suggestions below! OR ELSE. Just kidding. But really. A lot of the books I read this year were actually suggestions from you guys when I asked on facebook :) Thanks again for all your great ideas, and thanks again for reading!