2017 Reading Goal Update

Happy Tuesday! I’m very excited because, if you saw on Twitter, I’m slowly creeping up on my reading goal for 2017!!!! I set my goal at 25 books in January after failing to accomplish my goal last year… womp. BUT I’m right on track with 12 books read as of right now! If you can do math (I barely can), that means I pretty much need to read 2 books every month. I’ve been pretty swamped with school and grad school applications but SOMEHOW I’m still on track. It’s a miracle, folks.

I read a few (actually, 12) books since I last did one of these so let’s chat about what I read recently and I’ll tell ya which books I’d recommend!

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

I read this book on the plane to Florida back in January! Ryan and I went to Fort Myers and I tried not to pack 8,000 books for the trip (it was very hard… I love reading books on the beach). This one was a super quick read. I love Mindy Kaling from The Office but I don’t know much about her other work. I haven’t seen the Mindy Project and, of course, she talked about it a lot in her book. I liked this one though because she does talk a lot about her personal life and does make some pretty funny points. If you’re looking for something lighthearted and you love funny, smart women this book would be a good pick for you! 3.5/5 stars

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

FIRST THING’S FIRST: read YOU by Caroline Kepnes and then return to finish this post.

hidden bodies
Okay. Have you read it? Good. YOU is one of my all-time favorite books. So creepy, so amazing. Kepnes has me falling in love with the bad guy and after I finish her books I’m always confused about my own morals lol. I can’t explain it, these books are just SO good and I’d recommend them to anyone. HIDDEN BODIES is the sequel to YOU and I couldn’t read it fast enough. I devoured it over two days at the beach in Fort Myers. I wish I would’ve made it last a little longer though. That’s the problem with good books though, isn’t it? You want to read it so fast because it’s so good and you want to know what happens but once it’s over you’re sad. If you like thrillers and are okay with some suggestive content and being in the mind of a creepy stalker character, you should definitely read these. 1000% recommend. 5/5 stars.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

the woman in cabin 10

Really liked this one! I had to pick it up because everyone was raving about it. My grandmother got it for me as a Christmas present and I ended up finishing it a little bit after our vacation ended. The beginning and middle were very slow for me. There were SO many characters to introduce and I had a hard time keeping them all straight. It took me almost a month to finish it because of this. I was just not in the mood to pick it up. However, the ending of this book was MIND BLOWING and definitely got me back into the book and forced me to give it 4/5 stars.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Ryan and I listened to this as an audiobook while we were road tripping along the east coast. Let me start by saying this book was NOTHING like what I thought it was going to be. I was really surprised that it talked a lot about research and actually studying modern relationships and how they have changed over time. I loved listening to this with Ryan because we’re in a relationship and we could definitely connect on some parts of it together. Only downside was that it sometimes got boring. Aziz as a narrator made up for that though. 3.5/5 stars.

What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage by Amy Sutherland

This one was a pretty quick read. I needed to read it for a behavior analysis class but I actually thought it was pretty interesting! Sutherland gives a very beginner perspective on animal training and behavior analysis and how we can apply those principles to our daily lives with our boyfriend/mother/spouse/co-worker. Really interesting and easy to get through. It teaches you something without being too daunting and filled with jargon. 4/5 stars.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

husbands secret

I read this one during a book swap with one of my friends in the spring! This was another book that I couldn’t get into until about halfway through. There was lots of action and a good twist though so I ended up really enjoying it. 4/5 stars.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I had this e-book for a while but hadn’t cracked into it. I ended up deciding to read it because the movie was coming out (which I still haven’t seen… whoops) I enjoyed reading a YA book for a change… before this I hadn’t finished one in a while. YA used to be the only genre I’d read but now I’d say I’m much more interested in thrillers! This book was cute but I do think the movie trailer spoiled the heck out of this book for me. I pretty much guessed the ending right from the first few chapters. Overall, I liked the characters and they seemed like they were actual real people which I love. I hate when YA authors make high schoolers super whiny and annoying! I’d give this book 3.5/5 stars.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

i let you go clare mackintosh

This book had another slow start! The middle and ending really picked up for me and made this one totally worth reading. The author is from England and this book follows a detective so there’s a lot of police slang that I didn’t understand because 1. I know nothing about law enforcement and 2. I’m not from England. If you can get past the jargon, this book is a great read. The twist absolutely threw me for a loop. 4/5 stars.

Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

This was the first monthly book I ever received from the Book of the Month club! I liked this one but, again, it had a slow start and lots and lots of background. I don’t know if the ending really packed enough of a punch for me though so I’m going to have to give it 3/5 stars.

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

the magnolia story

This story was SO cute and I read it in one afternoon! I’m a huge fan of Fixer Upper and I love Chip & Jo. I didn’t think it was possible, but after reading this I’m even bigger fans of them. They are so inspiring and such hard workers. There were so many anecdotes that they shared that made me love them even more. Not only do I admire their work ethic and their gorgeous homes, I admire their friendship and relationship. SUCH a good read and it was exactly what I was hoping for. I’d recommend it to anyone! 5/5 stars.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This was another audiobook I finished! I really enjoyed it, maybe because I am a neuroscience nerd. This is a memoir, written by a neurosurgeon who has terminal cancer. The messages he presents are interesting and really got me thinking. However, I was expecting this book to be a bit more poignant. I think it lacked what I was looking for because I was listening to it as an audiobook instead of reading the words for myself. Not sure though! 3/5 stars.

Wonder by RJ Palacio

wonder rj palacio

Had super high hopes for this book! I had it on my TBR list for at least a year now and I finally picked it up on a whim at Target a few weeks ago. I started it last week because I wanted to read something outside but I didn’t want to read it on my phone (which is where I read 99% of my e-books). I picked up WONDER because I wanted something easy and quick to get through. I did enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but I do think I hyped it up a lot in my head. This book is written for children, which was sort of hard for me to keep in mind at times. I did really enjoy it though and can’t wait for the movie to premiere! 4.5/5

Before you go here’s a quick note about Book of the Month:

BOTM is a book subscription box that brings you the latest new releases for only $9.99/month. If you sign up using my code you’ll get your first month for $1 and I’ll get a free book! It’s a total win/win. I’m not being sponsored by them (although I’d like to be — hey!) but they’re just an awesome way to get cheap books. Everything is a hardcover which is awesome. You can add more books to your box every month for just $9.99 so you’re getting hardcovers for at least $5 off prices you’ll find at Target, etc but usually more!

That’s all I have for now! 12 freakin’ books. I’m so excited and I really hope I can stay on track to hit 25 this year! I’m currently reading SIX STORIES by Matt Wesolowski (e-book) and I’m about to start INTO THE WATER by Paula Hawkins (hardcover, also from BOTM!). What have you read recently?

More book posts:

My Summer TBR List

My TBR List: Thrillers I’m Dying to Read

My Year in Books 2016

Follow:
  • Love this book round-up! I’m also reading a lot this summer, I’m on my 18th book of the summer! I didn’t necessarily read Modern Romance, but I did listen to it on Audible, and it was super entertaining. My favorite books of the summer so far are probably The Husband’s Secret, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Zookeeper’s Wife (definitely my favorite so far!).

    Adding the books I haven’t read to my to-read list on Goodreads, thanks and happy reading!

    Mallory | hoosierstateofprep.blogspot.com

    • 18th of the SUMMER?! That’s amazing and I’m so jealous! I listened to Modern Romance on audible too. I should check out the Zookeeper’s Wife! Add me on Goodreads if you haven’t already, I love connecting with more bloggers there! :)

  • Hooray for new books to add to my reading list! I’ve only read The Woman in Cabin 10 and Wonder from this list. I really liked both of them. I thought Wonder was cute. I read it a while ago, before it had been talked up TOO much. And I actually really loved the Woman in Cabin 10 until the end. Is that weird? Like yes, the surprise plot twist was awesome. But the actual ending was so anticlimactic! Still a great read.

    • I think I would’ve liked WONDER more if I had read it before the hype. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Samantha!

  • I read You by Kepnes and thought it was pretty good. I loved how gritty and distributing it was. However, I’ve been a little skeptical about reading the sequel. I’ve read a few mixed reviews on it, but maybe I’ll give it a try! I recently read Do Not Disturb by A.R. Torre, and it was incredible. It’s the sequel in the Deanna Madden series and if you’re into suspense, then you’ll enjoy this one! Especially if you enjoyed You.

    Kathlyn | Kathlyn’s Korner

    • Definitely read the second book! It’s not as good as YOU but it is good in its own way. I think I’d be into that series, I’ll have to check it out!

  • Ok I think I’m reading the Magnolia Story next!

    • DO IT! You’ll love them even more afterwards, trust me!

  • Kate

    Great list! I was thinking of the Magnolia Story the other day and think I may give it a try.

  • Tasia Bruderer

    You go GIRL! ❤️ Thank you for taking the time to write reviews, it’s always hard to make a choice on what to read next. But based on reading this post, you totally help me make a decision! Thank you ❤️❤️

    • Yay! Thanks Tasia! What book stuck out to you most?

  • I really want to get back to reading! At the beginning of my contract on the ship, I was reading like crazy, but then it slowed down. I love YA so I read Everything Everything awhile ago, and I really enjoyed it. I can understand how the movie trailer can definitely spoil it for you though. I also loved Mindy’s book. I thought ‘Why Not Me?’ was good, but her first book, ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ was so much better, in my opinion. So many of these books need to be put on my TBR list!

    • I read Mindy’s first book so long ago so it was hard for me to remember, but I don’t think either of them packed a big WOW factor for me. I do always think reading about celebrities’ lives is interesting though!

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    Be right back, need to check out all these books! Just kidding, but I do need to read more for sure!

    • Which book stuck out to you most? Thanks for reading Kaitlyn!

  • Samantha

    You have so many great books here that have been on my reading wishlist for a while! I really liked The Husband’s Secret – she’s one of my favorite authors.

    • I have a few other books by her on my shelf… I have to get reading! Thanks for your comment Samantha!

  • Tabitha Bitner

    I like how you made each cover look professional. As someone who loves to read and would like to do reviews like this, I really enjoyed your layout. It was a very easy to see your passion for books.

  • Sophie

    This post is just what I needed before my trip to the book store later today! Thank you :)

  • This is so awesome! I love reading books, but have fallen off the wagon lately and need to get back! I’ve never heard of most of these, but I’ll have to pick some up. I just recently read Option B by Sheryl Sandberg (highly recommend) and now want to read Lean In. But also some fun ones to like The Trail, a fiction murder mystery on the Appalachian Trail!

    Cassie
    Cassie’s Big Adventure

    • Will definitely check those out! Thanks for your recs Cassie!

  • You are doing so much better on your reading list than I am. I have only read a handful of books this year, I just don’t feel like I have the time. Although, I’ve bought books like I read one a day! So I’m pretty much set for the rest of the year!

    • That’s okay! Any reading is better than no reading. I try not to get too caught up in my reading goal but it’s a good motivator to get me to read more often and incorporate it into my daily schedule!

  • Christina S

    Ahhhh MORE books to add to my list! Do you post them on Instagram? If so, jump in on my hashtag #17booksfor2017! I’ve made it through 10 thus far :)

    Happy reading!

    • I do! I’ll add that to my hashtag list thanks Christina!

  • Rachel Ritlop

    Hmm some great choices! I need to find myself a new book!

    • Which one stuck out to you most Rachel? Thanks for reading!

  • I want to read The Magnolia Story! I’m not the biggest fans of Fixer Upper (I prefer other HGTV shows) but it’s starting to grow on me! Plus, I really want to read more non-fiction books!

    • I love reading memoirs! I want to try moving away from them and onto a different kind of non-fiction but I feel like most non-fiction books are boring

  • mckenna bleu

    I love Chip and Joanna so im sure I would love their book!

  • Carly Ned

    Some of these books have been on my reading list for some time. I need to get to reading!

    • It’s so easy to get caught up in life and not make reading a priority! Setting a goal really helps

  • Bethany Evans

    Ohh I love your blog so much!!
    I loved reading Wonder so much. I’m always nervous about seeing the film of books i love though because it can sometimes spoil it. Everything Everything though, I read it, and it was ok but i like you guessed very early on what would happen and from someone who cares for and also has a disabilityI find it not quite right and slightly unsettling. The movie doesn’t look great either. Its hard to get these sort of books right if I’m honest.
    Loved this!

    • Thank you so much Bethany! I agree, Everything Everything was kind of weird. Who lies to someone about a serious condition?? I couldn’t get past that. I agree, it is hard to find books about disabilities and conditions that aren’t seriously exaggerated or so far removed from the truth.

  • The Magnolia Story looks so cute- I’m a huge fan of their show and Jo’s style, so I might just have to cave and get the book!

  • You’ve got this! Do you use Goodreads? That would be such a great way to keep track! I love the reading challenge feature. The Woman in Cabin 10 has been on my TBR list!

    • Yes! I have all the books linked through there so you can easily add to your TBR!

  • Joline

    Our reading goal is almost the same! Mine’s 24 and I’m not nearly halfway yikes! I will definitely check out The Woman in Cabin 10.

    • It was a really good book! I can’t believe I’ve read this many so far, I think mixing it up and adding audiobooks in there really helped me stay on track

  • Great options! I think The Magnolia Story is something I would enjoy.

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

    • It was really cute, you should totally pick it up!

  • I need to add some of these to my reading list! They look great.

    • Thanks Jenny! Any ones in particular you think you might enjoy??

  • I loved the audio of You, but haven’t hit Hidden Bodies yet! I liked Wonder, but found it a bit preachy. Eveything, Everything was everything, ha! And all the others are honestly on my TBR!

    Lorna x

    • Sometimes I wished I listened to YOU on audiobook first, I’ve heard from so many people that it’s really good!

      • Dude could read the phonebook and I’d listen.

      • The dude could read the phonebook and I’d be happy.

  • Ashley

    I read You but have yet to pick up Hidden Bodies, so that is definitely going on my TBR list! I just finished Behind Closed Doors. It was really intense and had me hooked from start to finish. I definitely recommend!

    • Oooh I’m definitely checking that one out. Thanks Ashley!

  • Got me hooked on The Magnolia Story! I’ve been wanting to read it, so now I just might pick it up!

    xo, L

  • Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie

    So many good recommendations! I’ve been wanting to read The Magnolia Story for a while now, so I think I’m going to get it after your review!

    • Woo! It was such a cute, quick read. You’ll love it!

  • alyxsheerheart

    Funny, I enjoyed Since We Fell more than I thought I would. Blogging about books is one of my favorite topics!

    • I actually agree. I chose it because my friend was doing the book of the month club and we wanted to read the same book. it didn’t seem that interesting to me at first but I ended up enjoying it, it just wasn’t one of my favorites! thanks for your comment :)

      • alyxsheerheart

        I can definitely understand your point of view. I’m writing a book review on it as we speak. There were definitely times where it fell flat and I found myself aggravated with Rachel’s character. But then the last third of the book had me reeling. Definitely reminds me of a lifetime movie!

        • haha yes! the ending was so strange and some of things that happened I was like ???? this would not happen in real life

  • I really want to read the Magnolia story, I love them so, I might have to grab that today! Liana Mortiary is amazing, if you haven’t read her others, I highly recommend!

    • I haven’t, but I have Big Little Lies on my shelf! Hopefully getting to that soon!

  • Ahh so many good books here! The Woman in Cabin 10 is on my “tbr” list.

    • It was pretty good! A little slow to start, but I enjoyed it!

  • I really need to make some time to read, it always ends up getting left behind for me. I want to read the Shack and the Magnolia Story.

    • I’ve heard great things about The Shack! I want to read that at some point too.

  • mQs

    so many great books! I’m working to start reading more again. It’s something I love but never make time for. I’m adding some of these titles to my reading list. I read Wonder with my students in the past- they loved it!

  • Kristine Circenis

    I live for your book recommendations! When I first learned that the Asiz book was based on research I was surprised and the nerd in me is itching to read it!

    • It was really good and interesting but I was definitely not expecting it!

  • Hannah Palamara

    Anything Chip & Joanna Gaines gets my attention. I definitely want to read that!

    • It was so cute! I learned so many new things about them

  • So glad i just discovered your beautiful blog for these book recommendations!Such good books here! I really want to get my hands on The Magnolia Story
    Have a great day,
    Karen| http://chocolatyprints.com/

    • Thank you so much Karen! The Magnolia Story was such a cute read, I hope you love it!