Favorite books I read in 2017


In January I set a goal on Goodreads to read 17 books in 2017, and I fully acknowledge how pitiful that number is. I used to read three times that in a year (easily!), but at the start of 2017 I sat down and looked at my life—two young kids, limited childcare, a business to run, a book coming out (!), a marriage to care for and friendships to maintain and a plethora of other daily responsibilities to complete—and I decided: 2017 is a year for realistic expectations. I ended up reading around 20 books this year and today I'm telling you about a few of my favorites!


Wow - where do I start? Reading this book was like holding a mirror up to my heart in a rich and hard and necessary way. 

Excerpt: We live in a culture that's all about self ... This me-centered message affects every area of our lives--our friendships, our marriages, even our faith--and it breaks each one in different ways. The self-focused life robs our joy, shrinks our souls, and is the reason we never quite break free of insecurity.

Favorite quote: "The more we focus on ourselves, the bigger we will seem, and the greater a burden we become to ourselves. When we focus on God—his vast power and might, his unsearchable and unknowable ways—we realize our smallness. It's like standing on a mountain or beside the ocean. In that moment, you discover your true proportion. You feel small in comparison with the cosmos, and there is a beautiful lightness in that realization. You are tiny. You are fragile. You are not in control. The world does not rest on your shoulders, and that is good news. There is so much relief in accepting our smallness, and praising God takes us to that place."


This book! I could not put it down. Finished it on an airplane and cried real tears at the ending. 

Excerpt: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

p.s. The movie comes out in 2018! 

Best SPIRITUAL read 

I read None Like Him over the course of a few months on Sunday mornings. This book was so meaty, I had to read and process one chapter at a time. I will definitely read it more than once. 

Excerpt: God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible. We're not. And that's a good thing.

Favorite quotes: 

“If I am fully known and not rejected by God, how much more ought I to extend grace to my neighbor, whom I know only in part?” 

“Knowing who God is matters to us. It changes not only the way we think about him, but the way we think about ourselves. The knowledge of God and the knowledge of self always go hand in hand.” 


I adore Lauren Graham and loved getting a peek into life behind the scenes of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. Easy, quick read. 

Excerpt: In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

Best ME TOO Read 

I love reading (and writing!) about friendship, and I found myself nodding through this entire book. Through personal stories and practical tips, Lisa-Jo Baker encourages readers to pursue and maintain friendships that last. I loved this book so much I ended up leading the We Saved You A Seat bible study with a few gals from MOPS over the summer! 

Favorite quotes: “This is the secret to finding and keeping lasting friendships: become women who want to see the women around them flourish.” 

“Friendship isn't something we passively receive. Friendship is something we actively do."

“If I wait for my house or my life to be perfect before inviting someone into it, I might never let anyone come through the door.” 

Best book of ESSAYS 

I love a good book of essays, and couldn't put this one down. My favorite story was The Wall (which you can read here).


This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.

As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.

I'm currently reading The Mothers and after that I'll be reading Born A Crime and The Road Back To You.

I'd love to know: what were the best books you read in 2017? What's on your reading list for the new year?