The Little Things
January 15, 2018

Last year I did a top 10 books post, so I decided that I would do one again this year! I read 140 books in 2017, so I had a good amount to choose from (I read 140 books in total in 2016 too). I actually had a harder time choosing my top 10 this year. I think I liked books in general a little bit less than previous years, although I read a lot of books in the 3-3.5 out of 5 stars that I really enjoyed. Here are my top 10, in no particular order:

Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors (Janina Fisher): Unless you’re a therapist or really interested in trauma treatment, this book probably won’t interest you. However, as a counselor who is consistently trying to learn more about trauma and even better ways to treat trauma, I absolutely loved this. After finishing this I convinced a group of counselors to read it again so we could discuss it chapter by chapter, and I love the learning involved!

Saint Anything (Sarah Dessen): I wrote a post about Saint Anything hereSaint Anything follows Sydney, a high schooler who’s life has been dramatically changed due to the choices of her brother. She is left to pick up the pieces in her own life, understanding that she has to live with his consequences. Underneath this is her own feelings of hurt, betrayal, fear, and guilt.

Born A Crime (Trevor Noah): I had heard multiple people recommend this book, so I was pretty excited to sit down and actually read this one. This is written by Noah, and it’s his story of growing up in South Africa during apartheid. I didn’t know anything about the author before I read this book, and I found his story to be incredibly interesting. I found myself feeling thankful for his vulnerability and what he shared. I also appreciated the moments he stepped away from his story and gave a few pages of history and context for what was happening within apartheid, and then placed his story in that context. A must read.

Slow Kingdom Coming (Annan): This book is all about how to do justice and healthy helping well. IT ROCKED MY WORLD and I absolutely loved it. I’m actually going to be using this in a class I teach coming up in a few months, and I’m so excited to read it through again.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (Brene Brown): This book was one of my absolute favorites from the month of February. Brene Brown also wrote the book Daring Greatlyand has such beautiful and truthful words to speak. This book she focuses on the idea of wholehearted living, and writes about several guideposts that people who live wholeheartedly share in common. Her books are written based off the research she has done, but she writes in such a beautiful way.

The Road Back to You (Ian Cron & Suzanne Stabile): I could write a whole post about this. This book is about the Enneagram, a 9 type personality that is rich with history. They talk through each of the types, and include steps for growth towards health for each type. I find that there is so much understanding and empathy that comes from understanding these 9 types! The enneagram is all about self-discovery and getting to a healthier place in life for ourselves, as well as understanding better the people in our lives. I’d definitely recommend this book!

Winter Garden ( Kristin Hannah)I’ve read other books by this author and enjoyed them, but knew nothing about this book going into reading it. Short story: I adored it. The book goes in depth into the relationship between mother and daughter, of sisters, of family dynamics. It takes place in the present and in the past, and merges these two together. The end of the book made my heart ache so deeply and I wanted to cry for quite awhile. I’m not sure my heart has felt simultaneously so heavy and so wonderfully about the same story. I so appreciate the author’s ability to take the reader to deep emotion as she walks them through the story.

The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood): I watched Handmaid’s Tale on hulu this summer, so I was able to breeze through this book and fill in aspects from the show (or maybe- details from the show). I loved this book and was engaged from the start. I did find that some of the details in the middle part to drag a bit. Overall, I really enjoyed it, and would definitely encourage anyone to read it… especially if you enjoy the show.

Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card): My family read this book out loud when we got together in March, which made reading this extra fun. This is a book about Ender (just a child) who goes to a military type school and learns to play computer simulated war games. Through twists and turns he learns that he is to play a much bigger role in the world…

A Man Called Ove (Backman): I was so excited to read this one, as I’ve heard SO so much about this since the spring. This story follows Ove, a curmudgeon, and the relationships he has. The book bounces back and forth between present day and Ove’s past, and the reader gets to know layer after layer of Ove’s story. There was a warmth and beauty in seeing his story unfold.

ok… a bonus one… because I couldn’t JUST choose 10!

Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng): Oh my, I loved this story!I didn’t know what this book was about going into reading it, but had high expectations because I like the author- she did not disappoint! I loved the layers of family dynamics playing out throughout this story.

Honorable mentions go to At Home in the World by Tsh Oxendreider and Reading People by Anne Bogel- I LOVED both of these as well! So, those are my top 10 books (plus some extras!) from 2017!

Now it’s your turn to share! What was one of your favorite books you read in 2017? What are you looking forward to reading in 2018?

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