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2018 Reading Goal & 2017 Reading Recap

On January 1st, 2016, I set a Goodreads Reading Challenge to read 40 books in 2017. 

I read a total of 10,523 pages across 36 books. My shortest book was 64 pages (The Grownup by Gillian Flynn) and my longest book was 480 pages (Ill Will by Dan Chaon). My average rating was a 3.6 out of 5 stars.

To some, reading 40 books over the course of a year might seem easy — just ask my friend Melanie, who read 71 in 2017 or Emily, who read 205! To others, it’s an implausible, difficult goal. But for me, it was a solid balance between stretching myself to read more without setting the bar so high that I think I have no chance of ever reaching it.

Book Review: The Girl Before


The Girl Before

Author: Rena Olsen
Publisher: Putnam
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 314
Format: Softcover
Source: Library
My rating: 3/5

Clara Lawson is torn from her life in an instant. Without warning, her home is invaded by armed men, and she finds herself separated from her beloved husband and daughters. The last thing her husband yells to her is to say nothing.

In chapters that alternate between past and present, the novel slowly unpeels the layers of Clara’s fractured life. We see her growing up, raised with her sisters by the stern Mama and Papa G, becoming a poised and educated young woman, falling desperately in love with the forbidden son of her adoptive parents. We see her now, sequestered in an institution, questioned by men and women who call her a different name — Diana — and who accuse her husband of unspeakable crimes. As recollections of her past collide with new revelations, Clara must question everything she thought she knew, to come to terms with the truth of her history and to summon the strength to navigate her future.

Book Review: Never Let You Go


Never Let You Go

Author: Chevy Stevens
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 406
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
My rating: 5/5

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?


2017 Reading Goal & 2016 Reading Recap

On January 1st, 2015, I set a Goodreads Reading Challenge to read 16 books in 2016. I surpassed my goal and ended up reading 23 (27 if you count DNF) books! Last year, I read 13 books so I’m happy I doubled my amount! You can see my 2015 list here.

New Year’s quests to diet and exercise usually crash and burn in about a month. Rather than making vague promises to eat right or work out, how about turning to books as a method of self-betterment instead?

Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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