Earlier this year I shared about my 2017 Reading Challenge. I love reading and I’m always trying to figure out what to read next. This year I wanted to have a plan in place so that I would have a list of books mapped out for me and there would be no guessing.
I plan to start doing some regular updates about what I actually read. I won’t share my thoughts on every book I read, but I’ll tell you about the highlights… And maybe even the flops.
For the first three months of this year I felt like I read so slowly. I have only made it through 19 books! I know some of you think that’s a ton of books to read in three months but when I have a goal of 85 for the year, I’m a little behind! I’ve had a few bumps so far in 2017 that have taken me away from reading but I feel like I’ve gotten back on track the last week or so. I was able to finish a few books I’ve been working on for a while and finally move on to new ones.
Here are some of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year.
From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
I will tell you that I didn’t used to have much interest in history. I wish I had cared about it more in school but I just didn’t. As an adult I am much more interested in real history, and in turn, historical fiction. From Sand and Ash is set in Italy during World War II. It follows the lives of Eva Roselli, an Italian Jew, and Angelo Bianco who becomes a Catholic priest. The two friends who grew up together have an unlikely love story. They try to ignore those feelings as they navigate the horrors of the time they’re living in.
I love a romance that spans several years. To put yourself in the lives of two people who could have lived during a real time in history is fascinating to me. This is an equally heartfelt and heart-wrenching story. While there are some graphic scenes due to the war themes throughout the book, these characters will inspire you with their perseverance and sacrifice.
A friend of mine first introduced me to Amy’s books and I read Making Faces. I knew instantly that this was an author who I’d want to read many more books from. She writes beautiful love stories!
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables is one of my most loved series of all time. Just over a year ago I had an Anne (DVD) marathon with my good friend and her daughter. We hung out in our jammies and watched hours and hours of this beloved story.
Audible has been producing some really great audio versions of favorite classics with celebrity narrators. When I saw that they were releasing Anne of Green Gables read by Rachel McAdams at the end of last year, I knew I needed to have this in my library.
McAdams does a phenomenal job reading Anne. She is a great voice for this feisty redhead. If this is one of your favorite books, I highly recommend checking out this audio version. Or if you’ve never read Anne, this is a wonderful place to start.
Right now you can get two free audiobooks when you sign up for Audible! Listening to audiobooks is one of the easiest ways for me to get in extra reading time!
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
I have my husband to thank for introducing me to the awesomeness that is Star Wars. Shortly after we were married we watched all of the movies. (including the new ones…) Because of my addictive personality, I quickly became a big fan. I think at some point I could easily out-geek my husband in the Star Wars universe.I could easily out-geek my husband in the Star Wars universe.Click To Tweet
I knew that I wanted to start reading some of the books but I had NO idea where to begin. Just the list of books that are a part of the official Canon is a long list. If you look to the Expanded Universe, now referred to as Star Wars Legends, that list is much longer. I looked at several websites to point myself in the right direction. I finally determined that because the release order of the movies isn’t chronological, that I don’t need to read the books chronologically. So I just decided to pick one that sounded interesting and start reading!
Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I would want to read Star Wars books… Sometimes I love the side stories even more than the main event. I love reading about extra characters that you might not otherwise meet, or learning the back story of the good guys and the bad guys.
Lost Stars spans events from A New Hope to Return of the Jedi and beyond. It was so fascinating to see how these characters intermingled with the stories from the movies. This book is considered a YA novel so I felt like it was a great way for me as a new Star Wars reader to ease into these books. There was a little bit of romance but lots of exciting action!
Little Women on audiobook. Audible has a ton of versions of this book and I listened to the clips of all of them before I found just the right narrator. I think I have read this book more than any other book on my shelf. Always a favorite! But for all the times I’ve read this story, I never read the other books in the series. I think I know what’s going on my next list!
Bridget Jones’s Diary. I have been wanting to read the book of this for a long time. I’m a big fan of cheeky British chick-lit and I love the movie. I just can’t get enough of all things Brit. It could be because I saw the movie first and then read the book, but this was one of those rare instances where the movie was better than the book!
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