I failed again, but not really

Last year, I said I would read 40 books; I was 55% successful. And yet, I aced reading new books that challenged my thinking, confirmed some beliefs, tickled my funny bone, and a few made me look over my shoulder to make sure there was no boogeyman monster killer thing.

A list of all books read is here. My top 5 picks are listed below with a little sentence or two explaining why.

Lila  GoodReads
Third in the Gilead trilogy, Marilynne Robinson brings closure to many questions about Lila, the enigmatic second wife of Reverend Ames.

The Art of StillnessBlog | GoodReads
This book is life changing. Before reading it, I had been exploring the idea of a quieter life of reflection but didn’t have any literary reference, mainly a few articles and some conversations with friends who appeared to me to have more figured out than me. Of course, no one has it figured out, that is the point!

Bird by BirdBlog | GoodReads
I fell in love with Anne Lamott over a decade ago in my Creative Writing: Non-Fiction class when I was an undergrad. Her crisp, lyrical honesty is addicting… and empowering!

Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of ViolenceBlog | GoodReads
The history is fascinating, but what really struck me is the author’s accuracy–there is a celebration of violence in our culture, and not just of the criminal variety. His last chapter is devoted to prison reform, and for good reason.

Renegade History of the United StatesBlog | GoodReads
This was fantastic. I love alternative/history-you-don’t-learn-in-schools books: hello! I’ve shoved off Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen on all of my friends! But this one is different, I can’t put it into words, so let me quote GoodReads “In this groundbreaking book, noted historian Thaddeus Russell tells a new and surprising story about the origins of American freedom. Rather than crediting the standard textbook icons, Russell demonstrates that it was those on the fringes of society whose subversive lifestyles helped legitimize the taboo and made America the land of the free.”

Honorable mentions:

I refused to wallow in my defeat. Although my 2017 goal is less than previous (30 books, instead of 40 or 50), I will, of course, try to exceed the goal. I don’t think I’ll follow a prescribed list this year. There are several books I want to reread and so 2017 will just be keeping track of everything I read. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride! 😉

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