Life Lately

Ten Books that I’ve Read So Far this Year (And My Reading Goal for 2017!)

July 12, 2017

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve unabashedly been a huge bookworm and voracious reader. I used to start and end every day from elementary school all the way through college with a book in one hand and a pen in the other so that I could write down quotes I liked or character’s names that I found unique. In fact, I actually somehow managed to read the first three books in A Song of Fire and Ice series (love me some Game of Thrones!) over one summer a few years ago because I couldn’t bring myself to put my Kindle down.

Despite my love for books, I have to admit that ever since I started my full-time job two years ago that I’ve become more likely to turn on a reality tv show than pick up a book once I get home after a long day. There’s just something about reading financial statements all day that makes me want to turn off my brain and indulge in the trashier side of life… To counteract this in the hopes that my brain won’t turn to total mush one day, I made a new year’s resolution this year to read at least 15 books in 2017 and I’m happy to report that I’m already over halfway to my goal!

Here’s a list of books that I’ve read so far this year and I’d love to hear any suggestions that y’all might have! I tend to gravitate towards mystery and true crime, but I’ve been good about switching up the genres lately to keep from getting to paranoid that my neighbor might be out to get me.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

This book had me bawling by the end but in that feel-good kind of way where you’re smiling and silently thanking the author for coming up with such a wonderful story. I loved every aspect of the book, with the romance and heartbreak set against the French countryside during WWI and almost couldn’t put it down (which I unfortunately had to do so because of work).

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar

I first heard about the mystery surrounding the Dyatlov Pass Incident on the podcast Astonishing Legends and immediately bought this book on the hosts’ recommendation. The story is absolutely fascinating, mostly because no one knows exactly what happened to these 9 experienced hikers to leave their tent in the middle of the night in below-freezing temperatures, but it even got a little hard for me to read at some points because I kept getting so sad about how most of the hikers were only 20- 23 years old when they died and had so much life that they had yet to experience. Definitely a must-read for those of y’all who like a true-life mystery.

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

I listened to Macmillan’s book What She Knew on Audible a few months ago and thought it was absolutely brilliant, so I had high hopes for her newest book. While the book made for a quick and entertaining crime read, I personally felt that it lacked the same oomph that kept me on my toes throughout What She Knew. I was able to guess who the killer was after the first chapter which killed the “surprise” ending but I’d recommend this as a beach read.

Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire) by Jen Glantz

loved everything about Jen Glantz’s autobiography and how she somehow managed to become  a professional bridesmaid for hire. What started as a joke has now become a full-time job, that allows her travel around the country to help brides on their big days. Glantz’s wiring style is hilarious and I also love that we grew up in the same town in South Florida!

A Dangerous Age by Kelly Killoren

This book reminded me so much of Sex and the City that I couldn’t not help but fall in love with the story from page one. I started binge-reading it while Matt and I were in Paris and he was probably very tired of me talking about how I wanted to eat/visit all of the spots in Manhattan that the four protagonists visited throughout the book. Very chic and the author was actually on the early seasons of The Real Housewives of New York, which is my favorite franchise.

Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration by David Roberts

I’ve never had a real longing to ever go to the Antarctic but I had never been so happy to be sitting on my couch under a blanket as when I finished reading the story Douglas Mawson, a pole explorer who survived an expedition out to an unexplored area that killed his two cohorts. I literally have to sit under a blanket at work because I get too cold, so I could not imagine having the fortitude to march (sometime crawl) through the snow and ice to make it back to base camp. Some aspects are a little gory (i.e. the soles of his feet become completely detached because of the cold) but totally worth the read.

Own It: The Power of Women at Work by Sallie Krawcheck

My dad actually sent me this book a few months ago and by the time I put it down, I felt so empowered. I have to admit that working in a primarily male-driven industry can seem daunting at times but reminding myself that I, and other women throughout the world, have so much to offer is incredibly important. This is one of my favorite passages from the book:

“The future is ours to seize. But we aren’t going to seize it by contorting ourselves into the male version of what power and success look like or continuing to do exactly what we’ve done to date. Instead we’re going to do it by embracing and investing in our true female selves–and bringing those badass selves proudly and unapologetically to work.”

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

My boyfriend looked at me like I was a crazy person when I bought this at the book store because he couldn’t figure out who in their right mind who want to read about the true story of a child who brutally murdered his mother in the late 19th century. But for me, personally, it’s about more than just the crime – it’s about the logic (or madness) behind why such an extreme step was taken. As you can probably already guess, physical abuse was pretty much an acceptable for of punishment by parents on their children 100+ years ago, which I personally believe was a strong motivator.

Confessions of a Shopaholic & Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella

These books are SO MUCH FUN to read! I know that Confessions of a Shopaholic came out 16 years ago and that I’m late to the game but I’m so glad that I’m finally reading the series. One of my coworkers insisted that I give the books a chance and I finally gave in one night and downloaded the book on my Kindle. Next thing I know, I’m hooked and finished the book over the next two days. I just bought the third book, which I’m waiting to read while on a weekend away.

I’m currently reading King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hoschchild, which has been absolutely eye-opening since I knew very little about the genocide that occurred along the Congo River in the 19th-20th centuries. Definitely a must-read for those of you who enjoy historical non-fiction. Once I finish that, I’m planning on reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan which I’ve heard is hilarious!

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  • Living on Cloud Nine

    What a great and well rounded list! I find that I read so much more in the summer and Sophie Kinsella books are some of my favorite summer reads!

  • What a great list! I have not read any of these so I need to get to it. Thanks for sharing Courtney!

    http://www.kathrineeldridge.com

  • Blaire Bingham

    This is a great list! I just finished The Girl You Left Behind and thought it was fantastic. I can’t wait to pick up some of these others to read.
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  • Violette

    You read so many books! I’m not a read kind of girl because I’m busy all day long so I prefer doing nothing during my free time!

    http://violettedaily.com

  • Book work! I love that confession of a shopaholic too!

    https://marchhappythoughts.blogspot.com/?m=1

  • This post couldn’t have came in a better time. I was just exploring to get some inspiration for what I should be reading and this selection of yours sounds great.

    X❤X❤,
    Dimito Michiyo

    http://dimitomichiyo.blogspot.sg/

  • This sounds like a great list 😀
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Kiss xx

    https://thathappymess.com/

  • Confessions of a Shopaholic has been on my list for what seems like forever, I need to finally move it to the top <3
    Green Fashionista

  • Zee

    I’ve always wanted to read confessions of a shopaholic but wasn’t sure but now I will definitely get around to reading it, it sounds addicting xx
    http://www.itszee.blogspot.com.au

  • isn’t reading the best!? I will need to try some of these fun reads!

    kelseybang.com

  • Oh that’s so good, keep it up girl! And love that passage too, love the empowerment!! Xx

    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

  • Kim

    Oh my goodness, I don’t know how you manage to read so much! But kudos to you. I’ve been hoping to get ahold of some other Jojo Moyes books to read soon!

    Kim
    Simply Lovebirds

  • Suze

    I’m not much of a chick lit reader but I did enjoy Confessions of a Shopaholic too. A Dangerous Age sounds like a fun read, will you feature the places it talks about?

  • I wish I had more time for reading. When I was younger, I would read several books each month, but even with the best intentions, I just can’t find the time. I did read several of the Shopaholic books and I also liked them a lot, but otherwise I’m more into crime novels:)

  • I love reading a book too! I love those self-help books such as The Secret and other marketing books also!

    http://www.thequinoxfashion.com

  • That’s a great goal to have and it sounds like you’re on your way to meeting it! Love your list of books!

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

  • Katie Schubert

    YES! Sounds like we have the same taste in books so I can’t wait to look into your picks! I’ve read a handful of good ones recently too and will also do a review soon! <3

    xo, Katie
    Willow and White

  • Mary

    Courtney,

    I really love this post, as I’m a big fan of reading myself. I love your picks and I’m going to find some of them for my summer reading too!

    http://www.districthilo.com

    Love, Mary

  • I’ve been slacking on my reading too, for obvious reasons though, lol! When I was pregnant, any spare time I had, I was sleeping and now that I have the baby any spare time I have is spent catching up on blogs and sleeping, haha! Once I get back to feeling like myself, I’ll definitely be reading again, so I appreciate the suggestions! I hope you have a great weekend, girlie!

    Xo,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

  • Thanks for these recommendations! A Dangerous Age sounds like a MUST! It’s definitely harder to pleasure read as an adult – I always read on the subway!

    xo Annie

    New England Romance

  • Thank you for sharing your book picks, I really don’t read often enough and there are some great ones here that you’ve listed I would be keen to look at, in particular The Girl You Left Behind, it sounds very moving indeed.

    Laura xo
    http://www.shehearts.net

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