I read a lot of great books in 2017. I’m linking up with Leah Kramer’s What I’m Into again. Here are my favorites from 2017 by category.
What I’m Reading…
Favorite Fiction Book
The Book Thief – I realize this is not a new read. It was published in 2007. I regret that I didn’t read it sooner, but Marcus Zuckus’s young adult book, I Am the Messenger, was not my favorite. This one was oh so much better. It was brilliantly written with the Death as the narrator–trust me it works. This book is also a movie. I haven’t seen it yet. Would anyone recommend the movie or would that just ruin it for me?
Amazon Summary: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
Favorite Non-Fiction Book
The Memoir Project – This was essentially a memoir on how to write a memoir. I loved it. It was very entertaining and informative. I will go back to this book and try to use her tools in the blog writing.
A recent study revealed that the Number 1 thing that baby boomers want to do in retirement is write a book….about themselves. It’s not that every person has lived such a unique or dramatic life, but we inherently understand that writing memoir-whether it’s a book, blog, or just a letter to a child-is the single greatest portal to self-examination.
While there have been other writing books, there’s been nothing like Marion Roach Smith’s THE MEMOIR PROJECT. Marion has written four books and she’s been teaching a sold-out memoir writing class for 13 years. Her new book is a disarmingly frank, but wildly fun, distillation of all the unsentimental lessons that WORK. Tired topics like writing exercises, morning pages and “writer’s block” are replaced with quirky, provocative tactics that teach you to write with purpose.
Previously self-published in April 2010 (under the title Writing What You Know: Realia), the book has already proven hugely popular, and with its new title and updated content, it is sure to find an even bigger and even more enthusiastic audience
Mrs. Kennedy and Me – Who is not fascinated by the Kennedys? This book was from the memoirs of Jackie’s secret service agent, Clint Hill, during the time JFK was in office. If he remembered all of the details correctly, this made their lives and that time in history even more interesting.
Amazon Summary: The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir by Clint Hill that Kirkus Reviews called “clear and honest prose free from salaciousness and gossip,” Jackie Kennedy’s personal Secret Service agent details his very close relationship with the First Lady during the four years leading up to and following President John F. Kennedy’s tragic assassination.
In those four years, Hill was by Mrs. Kennedy’s side for some of the happiest moments as well as the darkest. He was there for the birth of John, Jr. on November 25, 1960, as well as for the birth and sudden death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy on August 8, 1963. Three and a half months later, the unthinkable happened.
Forty-seven years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the one vivid image that never leaves Clint Hill’s mind is that of President Kennedy’s head lying on Mrs. Kennedy’s lap in the back seat of the limousine, his eyes fixed, blood splattered all over the back of the car, Mrs. Kennedy, and Hill as well. Sprawled on the trunk of the car as it sped away from Dealey Plaza, Hill clung to the sides of the car, his feet wedged in so his body was as high as possible.
Clint Hill jumped on the car too late to save the president, but all he knew after that first shot was that if more shots were coming, the bullets had to hit him instead of the First Lady.
Mrs. Kennedy’s strength, class, and dignity over those tragic four days in November 1963 held the country together.
This is the story, told for the first time, of the man who perhaps held her together.
Favorite Young Adult
The War that Saved my Life – I love stories told from the perspective of a child. This child had a disability and that make it even more sweet to me. Very well written.
Amazon Summary: Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
Favorite Christian Living
Still Waiting – The older I get, the more I realize much of life is about waiting. This book gave a biblical perspective on waiting while the author wove in her own personal struggle.
Amazon Summary: What if God wants you to wait? Most of us know what it’s like to wait for God to change our circumstances. But, whether we’re waiting for physical healing, emotional breakthrough, or better relationships, waiting is something we usually try to avoid. Why? Because waiting is painful and hard. The truth is, it’s also inevitable.
In Still Waiting, Ann Swindell explores the depths of why God wants us to wait by chronicling her own compelling story of waiting for healing from an incurable condition. She offers a vibrant retelling of the biblical account of the Bleeding Woman that parallels her story―and yours, too.
Let Ann help you see the promise that is hidden in the ache of waiting and the hope of what God can―and will―do as you wait on him.
What I’m watching…
We are also watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime streaming. This one is by the same writer as the Gilmore Girls–fast talking dialogue and wit. It is not for the faint of heart however.
Happy reading and watching!
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My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!