Books and Reading

Top 10 Books I Read in 2018

When trying to figure out my favorite books of the year, I usually start by trying to see which books I rated the most highly. This year I had the fun of narrowing from 16 to 10. These are my favorite books of the year.

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

I loved how this book took an in depth view of belonging and also being yourself. These are concepts I still struggle with, but I appreciated this book as a jumping off point for thinking about it. I listened to this on audio and I enjoyed the author’s narration.

Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright

The title of this book sounds controversial. In reality though this book explores the science behind meditation and mindfulness and I have found it to be a useful lens through which to look at the world.

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

I found this book to be wonderful fun. I appreciated how light it was. I listened to this on audio, which I loved because this made the book into an experience. There was music created to go along with the book. I found this book felt like a warm hug and I was sitting in the car listening to this book not wanting it to end, savoring every moment.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I read this after I read Sourdough and I found it to be a delight as well. I loved the mystery and I was engaged from the start. Also if you have a physical copy, the book glows in the dark, which is a fun fact that made me want to read the book even more. I whizzed through this one in a day and loved it too!

Unseen by Sara Hagerty

From looking through this list, my religious leaning may be questionable, and I think that is accurate. I found though the author talks about Christianity in a way that aligns with mindfulness, meditation and some of the themes of Buddhism. I also found that I felt like this book was written for me. I love her encouragement to notice the unseen places in our lives and to invite God to be there with us. I quickly read her other book as well, and followed her on Instagram. I love her words and she is a thought leader I will continue to follow.

Simple Matters by Erin Boyle

This year I went on a journey of minimalism. I started a few years ago with Marie Kondo’s book and have since read this, Essentialism, and Organized Simplicity. We downsized our amount of stuff and stopped looking for more containers, but rather used our containers as limits for what we own. I loved her viewpoint and practicality. I also appreciated how she made suggestions for progress not perfection. I sometimes feel like there are so many changes I need to make to be more environmentally friendly and minimal that I get overwhelmed. I appreciated that the author encouraged us to start where we are and go from there.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

I read Agatha Christie for the first time this year and loved her. My husband and I listened to all of Sherlock Holmes a few years back and have found that Hercule Poirot is a similar character in being unique and filled with eccentricities. My husband and I also listened to The Murder on the Links and loved that one too. I am thrilled to listen to/read more of this series this year.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

I feel like I have written about this book quite a bit. I enjoyed this book and was drawn into the environment and found it a very compelling read. If you want to know more of my thoughts look here and here.

Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

I loved this book. I found the author’s voice to speak to me in this book more than in Love Warrior. I also really felt like her honesty gives me permission to be myself and do what I need to do. I loved how she views religion as something we co-construct and I appreciated her boldness.

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

I listened to this on audio. When I started this I had heard good things, but listening to I found myself drawn in. I started seriously considering the idea of aging, and how to best serve the needs of others around me in the process. I love how completely the author addresses this topic and how he is willing to write about something that is taboo. I also felt like he was honest in his struggles and helped the reader to recognize that this is not a problem that has a simple solution, but it is rather complex.

Writing Day In and Out by Andi Cumbo-Floyd

I read this book in a day. I appreciated how the author addresses the topic of writing in an honest and practical way. I think from the outside writing can look very daunting, but I felt like she made it seem more approachable. I also loved her honesty and authenticity.

What are your favorite books of 2018? Any suggestions for the New Year?


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