I read 55 books in 2015. Quite an accomplishment for a stay-at-home mom to two toddlers. I get most of my reading done during nursing the littlest, or while trying to get someone to fall asleep. I think it also helped that I gave up social media for Lent last year. It’s amazing how many books you can read if you ditch all your procrastination tools. I know we’re well into 2016, but I wanted to share my favorites with you.
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
This was one of the last books I read last year, but was also one of my favorites. I picked it up earlier in the year, but never got around to reading it. When we ended up in a less-than-desirable rental after selling our house that we loved so much, I knew it was time to crack it open and see what she had to say. I was really struggling with making our apartment feel like home and she really gave me great ideas. It’s full of great advice about not second guessing yourself and doing things that will make you happy. As we look forward to purchasing a house here in the Boston area, it’s been great information to keep in mind as well.
Three Many Cooks
This was a book that I heard about through the Atlanta History Center. They bring in various authors throughout the year and one of my favorite things to do is read the books they write. I never make it to the presentations, but it has opened my eyes to several authors I’ve never heard of! This one reminded me of my own family – we lived in the kitchen growing up … and I model that same thing for my own children. I loved the stories, as well as the recipes, and it’s now on my “real books to buy” list (I read the Kindle version).
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
This is my absolute favorite cookbook of all time. Even more than Weelicious (did you think that was possible?!) Her recipes require more preparation and work, but they always pay off.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I really struggled with this book at first. It’s slow to start, and is a little bit difficult to read. I’m so glad I kept at it though, because in the end, it totally paid off. It’s such a beautiful story of the goodness of people. It’s one of those “must-read in your lifetime” books.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
I am not sure how I found this book … I discovered it on my Kindle one day, which likely means I got it free years ago and just never read it. This was one of the few books I gave 5 stars last year. It’s a little difficult to keep the characters straight at first, but it doesn’t take long for a good flow to happen. This is such a remarkable story of love & perseverance. The characters are relatable, and although it ends up to be a real “feel good” novel, there’s a lot of depth hidden in it. I loved every word.
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
I ended up reading a lot of books about Nazis right after another last year – and it was in no way planned. I’ve always been a “meh” fan of Jodi Picoult. Her stories all tend to be a little more dramatic than I’d prefer, but I thought this one was so creative. The ending completely caught me by surprise – and I love that about a book.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Yet another book about Nazis, but this one looks at the invasion of France – which I have never read much about. This was another 5-star read, in my opinion. I’ve read a lot of Kristin Hannah’s work – they are usually “feel good, beach read” types – but this one goes to a completely different level. I thought it was beautifully written, and it highlighted so many things about WWII that I never knew before. I loved it.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I know, not a new book by any stretch of the imagination, but I re-read it and just fell in love all over again. I actually re-read it in preparation for the release of Go Set A Watchman and I’m so glad I did. I hadn’t read it since high school, and I think it has such different meaning now that I’m an adult. It’s one of those books that deserves to be pulled off the shelf again and again.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
Whenever people ask me for a book recommendation, I always give them this one. It was my favorite book … maybe ever. I loved every single word – I got completely captured in the story, with the characters … I felt like I was falling in love. When I closed the book on it’s final pages, I had what I described as a “book hangover” … I was sure there was never going to be another book I loved as much as that one, and I absolutely did not want to read anything with any other characters in it. Moyes has come out with a sequel, and I cannot wait to read it with my book group in a month or so.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
This one is brilliant. I simply adored the characters, and I was so intrigued by the whole idea of what might happen if we woke up one day and couldn’t remember how we got to where we were. It made me appreciate little things in my life, and I vowed to take notice of those good things every single day.
What did you read and love last year?