2015 Reading List Progress & Book Reviews

At the beginning of the year I laid out what I intended to read in 2015. My stack had 16 books and I’ve gotten through 6 plus 4 that weren’t on the list. In order of reading:

“What I Know for Sure” by Oprah Winfrey

I really love O Magazine. When I set aside the fact that it is marketed to 50-something women, I read it and am always inspired, motivated, or healed in some way. Every month! Oprah has a column in every issue that shares the title of her book. The book itself is a compilation of those columns. Some may have been expanded, but each tells a story and speaks to the heart. Quick and easy read that made a great bedtime book.

“Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed” by Glennon Melton

Glennon’s message resonates with me. She is right about taking our armor off and being more of ourselves. Much of the book is posts from her blog, but I loved that they were organized into one book. My only beef is that it felt a little religious preachy, which isn’t my cup of tea.

“Simple Weeknight Favorites” by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen

Move over “The Best 30 Minute Recipes,” because you’ve been replace. (Seriously, I love that cookbook and have counted on it for years.) We’ve worked a dozen of the recipes into our menu over the past few months with some coming back over and over. I love both books and wouldn’t be able to recommend one, but it has been awesome having a change of pace with relatively easy, quick meals.

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

It took me a little bit to get into the book given the unique narration perspective, but once I was in, I was hooked. There were times where I found myself thinking of my teenage self curled up with “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Beautifully written with great imagery. Highly recommend.

“Don’t Panic — Dinner’s in the Freezer: Great-tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead” by Vanda Howell, Susie Martinez, Bonnie Garcia

In short, don’t waste your time. Grab your mom’s recipe box and take out all the casserole (hot dish, if you are from Minnesota) recipes, make and freeze them. If you can’t do multiplication grab a calculator to make multiple dishes of it.

“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

This was a very easy read beside the very sad story line, but I’m glad I read it. The book lacked the depth I typically enjoy in fiction, but wasn’t awful. I thought the movie was better.

“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Yet, I loved reading this book. I guess, I expected it to be more of a novel or story. If Maya Angelou had a blog, each chapter of this book would be a post. The book was a collection of essays. She is a beautifully deep writer and woman. I found it inspiring for my life and writing. A quick read that reminded me that life hands us challenges, but we can triumph.

“Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brene Brown

Best book I’ve read all year. It has made me rethink how I’m being vulnerable (taking risks) in all facets of my life. It was the impetus to my thought that I need to model failure to my children. Brene Brown has a way to make all of her academic research applicable to regular people and life. Definitely one I’ll go back to again.

“The Make Ahead Cook” by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen

I really wanted to love this cookbook, because conceptually make ahead makes sense to me. The reality is that 90 minutes of prep and then an additional 50 minutes of baking time is just too much. Many recipes are this way. However, there are a few slow cooker gems and I love the section of “1 grocery bag, 3 dinners.” They do have some interesting techniques for altering traditional recipes so that one can put them in the freezer to store until ready to use.

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein

Wow! I love this book and I’m not a race or dog lover. I’m only half way through and bracing for a sad ending, but so far a great read that is thoughtful and funny.

What are you reading that you love right now?

4 thoughts on “2015 Reading List Progress & Book Reviews

  1. Okay, did you know that Glennon is coming to Milwaukee in June? You’ve got to come. I loved her book. I adored the fault in our stars. I am preparing to watch the movie soon, just me and a box of Kleenex. 🙂


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