Thursday, November 14, 2013

Books, Books, and More Books Minus Pics

I made some easy and some pretty lofty goals when planning out my Filthy Fifty list. One of them was to read 50 books this year...and children's books don't count. Now if you consider that the last time I read even 20 books in a year was probably before I had children...50 books was crazy ambitious.

Cass, daughter of mine...I don't know how you do it! She reads over 100 books every single year, right through pregnancy, two newborns and potty training.

If I'm being honest, after Jocie's death I simply lacked the focus to read anything. Even the grief books that showed up on my doorstep were nearly impossible to plow through. I was in the middle of reading The Passage by Justin Cronin when my girl passed away, and still haven't been able to pick it back up again.

I typically read everything in digital format and even listen to some on Audible. Michelle got me addicted to listening to great books, that's how I fell in love with Les Miserables. I also discovered Goodreads, a social networking/organizing site for readers. I love it! It keeps me inspired when I check in to see what my friends are reading and their recommendations! I am religious about keeping it updated. I have a few friends that are impossible to keep up with their mad reading skills. They go through books like I go through Diet Coke...Kate I'm talking about you! You are welcome to add me on Goodreads if you are interested in following what I read. No judgement though...sometimes I don't love everything I read, but I do read everything!

I tried to include a variety of genres on my book list. Somehow I missed the entire Outlander series that was popular years ago, so I read a few of those. Lots of pages, but fun to read. And confession...I have never read more than the first two Harry Potter books. Yikes...I can hear the outcry...blasphemous! So I read #3 and #4 of Mr. Potter and am in the middle of #5. I read classics as well as trendy new reads  from Nicholas Sparks, Dan Brown, and JK Rowling..errr I mean Robert Galbraith.

My favorite books from this year taught me so much about life, death and all the living and loving in between. I constantly used my digital magic marker to highlight quotes that resonate. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green sits atop the stack of my favorites. Sentences like “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”  and “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”  Speechless and touched by the end, this book reminded me what I have been missing from literature. The characters in Donna Tartt's Goldfinch kept me wrapped up in the story until the final word. Oh goodness...and Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller was stuffed with good stuff oozing from every page...

“Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying, 'You're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.' It's saying, 'You don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.” 

“I don't know what it is about death that makes it so hard. I suppose it's the one-sided communication; the fact that we never get to ask our loved one if she suffered, if she is happy wherever she is now...if she is somewhere. It's the question mark that comes with death that we can't face, not the period.” 

“If you've lived through it, you already know there are no words that will ever come close to describing it, and if you didn't - you will never understand.” 

So here's the list...sort of sorted by genres! Marked with a "*" for my top ten faves!

Divergent by Veronica Roth *
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Science Fiction
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett
Under the Dome by Stephen King *
11/22/63 by Stephen King
One Second After by William R. Forstchen

Popular Bestsellers
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt *
Defending Jacob by William Landay *
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling (wink wink)
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walkter
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett
The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple *
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Still Alice by Lisa Genova *
The Disreputable History of Frankie Lando-Banks by E. Lockhart
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green *

Beach Read
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Drums of Autumn Outlander #4 by Diana Gabaldon
Voyager Outlander #3 by Diana Gabaldon
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult *
Dragonfly in Amber Outlander #2 by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander  by Diana Gabaldon
Now You See Her by James Patterson
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton *
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
Inferno by Dan Brown

Non Fiction
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
Empty Mansions:The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark
Because I Said So! by Ken Jennings
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
Global Mom: Eight Countries, Sixteen Addresses by Melissa Bradford
(I know her and adore her...and was surprised to read about myself in her fabulous new book)

Fantasy/Fairy Tale
A discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Historical Fiction
New York by Edward Rutherfurd
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

Historical Non-Fiction
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Secret Garden by Frnces Hodgson Burnett
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L.Frank Baum
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Les Miserables by Victory Hugo *

62 books...and counting...since I started almost one year ago. Can I hear a Holla and a What What!!! Now it's your turn...switch on your Kindles, open those paperbacks and get to reading, and if you have any good recommendations please please let me know in a comment! I have a personal record of 62 books to break for next year. Ready set read!


  1. Haha - thanks for the callout and congrats on 62 books. That's a great list and you definitely didn't take the easy way and pick short books - some of those are definite doorstops. :) I can't wait to see what you read in the next year too - I also love being able to compare on Goodreads. Happy almost birthday!!

    1. Hmm - I thought it would show my name - this is Kate. :)

    2. Kate you're the greatest! Glad you found my shout out and thanks for being a reading Ninja with me.

  2. You are such an inspiration to so many ways!

  3. Added you on Goodreads! Love the filthy fifty list - inspiring for sure!

  4. love this list! thanks for the suggestions... you must add the book "wonder" by r.j. palacio. i read it in a day, haven't stopped thinking about it since.

    1. Ashli...thanks for the suggestion, I loved it...and just finished it in a day!

  5. love this list! thanks for the suggestions... you must add the book "wonder" by r.j. palacio. i read it in a day, haven't stopped thinking about it since.

  6. You don't know me but I absolutely love your blog! I wanted you to know that you have inspired me to read, read and read :) I do wish I knew you though because I would give anything to have quilting lessons!!!

    1. Thank you, thank you for the sweet comment...and you are welcome to quilting lessons anytime...and I am totally serious!

  7. You don't know me either but I love your blog as well.I found your blog from Michelle's, but I don't know her either. I am in awe at how you live joyfully and gratefully in spite of the great tragedy you have to deal with. I also love jiggy sticks! You have inspired me to retry on my goal of fifty books in a year. Thank you!

    1. I never thought I could do it either, but you can absolutely read fifty books in a's just one book a week with two weeks to play catch up! Thanks for letting me know you like to stop by here.

  8. I'm late reading this post, but you MUST add The Kite Runner to your list. Also, by the same author.... and The Mountains Echoed. The Book Thief is great too.... by Markus Zusak. I just tallied up my books for the year and the list totaled 55. Not too bad!