2016: Books I've Read This Year

2015 was the year I'd start reading books purposely. I fell short of a very high goal but I'm so happy with the results of my efforts. All that reading took me back to my high school years when I would shut the door to my bedroom and lay on my bed reading for hours. There are many things I've forgotten since then but not what it felt like to escape into a book. I'm on a roll now and look forward to reading many books again this year. I'm not setting a goal this year.
  1. The Girl on the Train by Paul Hawkins.  Good read. Unexpected ending. Not very gritty. I'd recommend to anyone who likes a book that's careful in its language and gore factor, I thought it was lite in those areas. 
  2. Looking for Alaska by John Green. I loved this book. It was broken down into 3 chapters:  Before, After, and Looking for Alaska. I liked the writing style. This book is about teens at a boarding school. Alaska is a quirky, up/down teen who catches the eye of all the guys. Everyone wants to be with her. There is a lot to think about in the end and the questions for a book club at the end are spot on. Might want to read this one again in a few years.
  3. Never Broken: The Songs Are Only Half the Story by Jewel.  After I read this book, I couldn't read for awhile. I loved this book so much and I think it is one of those rare books that I will read again. I've always called Jewel my home-town girl because I grew up in Alaska also. She had it much rougher than I did, for sure. Her story is amazing and full of grace. I think she is someone I would love to sit and shoot the breeze with. Someone with depth. You should read it.
  4. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick.  Loved the writing style. Simple, elegant, descriptive book about a mail order wife in the early 1900's who travels to Wisconsin with ill intentions. The book takes many turns. This was a fast read and I enjoyed every page of it.
  5. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.  I picked this book up at an estate sale for .35 cents. Best money and time I've spent on a book since I read Jewel's book earlier this year. Natalie writes this book in short 2 and 3 page chapters that make a lot of sense for a writer like me. I'm glad I have this in hard copy. I'll never part with it. If you are a writer, this book should be on your shelf.
  6. Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton.  A nice memoir with some naked truths. Loved this book. I'm looking for the right person to rehome this book to.
  7. Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini  Oh man, I couldn't put this book down. It wasn't great writing but the content was so fascinating. Scientology. Just a weird cult. If you're born into, you don't know any different.  Leah Remini has suffered being shamed and cut off from family and friends because she spoke out against the "church". Read it!
  8. And I Don't Want to Live this Life: A Mother's Story of Her Murdered Daughter by Deborah Spungeon  "Her days were numbered. ... She'd gotten too close to the flame.  This story is riveting and true. I couldn't put this book down until I finished it. Rarely do I cry when I read, but this mother's struggle through her daughter's early onset mental illness for 21 years was painful and inspiring. The doctors back then laid all the blame on the parents and Nancy Spungeon received very little treatment for her mental disorder. She eventually died seemingly at the hands of her boyfriend, punk rocker Sid Vicious, who later killed himself before the murder trial.
  9. Blessed are the Weird: A Manifesto for Creatives by Jacob Norby Unless you're a creative weird person, you may not really understand this written word. This book will change lives. I will never part with my copy.
  10. This is Not the Story You Think It is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness by Laura Munson Great read. The author is having a terrible time with having anything published. Her marriage is at the edge of the abyss. She sits down and starts writing about it ... and truly, this is not the story you think it is. Lots of things take from this book to reflect on. LOVE IT!
2016 is over and I'm pretty sure I read more than 9 books but I was remiss in reviewing them. I'll keep trying.   love, susan

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