April 3rd, 2017

2017 Book Challenge: 1st Quarter Report

Books Emily read first quarter of 2017

100 books. This is my goal for 2017: to read 100 books. I completed 28 books in the first quarter of the year, so I am ahead of schedule if I stay at this pace. Reading has always been a big part of who I am and how I spend my time. However, 100 books in a year is a stretch goal for me. Here are my book stats since 2012:

Emily Reeves books read graph 2012 through 2016

I have set no parameters around these 100 books. They can be physical books, digital books, or audio books. The books can be any number of pages, be that 40 pages or 800 pages. Fiction, non-fiction, award-winners or book candy — it doesn’t matter. The point is to read. I believe that all books contribute to brain betterment.

The question I get asked most frequently is: how do you find time to read? When I am getting ready in the morning, when I am walking my dogs and when I am driving around town running errands, I am listening to a book. When I am waiting on meetings to start, I am reading from my phone. When my husband is watching basketball, I am probably sitting next to him with my nose in a book. It is just what I do.

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I don’t write reviews on all the books I read, but I do give them star ratings over on my Goodreads profile. And for stand-out books, I write “mini book reviews” on my Instagram account. Follow me on those channels to keep up more regularly.

Now that we’ve made it through the first quarter of the year, I thought I would share my five favorite reads for the quarter.

The Nix, by Nathan Hill. This is long read, but worth it. Check out my “mini book review” from Instagram below.

{mini book review} I. Loved. This. Book. At its most basic, The Nix by Nathan Hill is a story of a woman finding herself, as told in part through her life experiences and in part through her adult son. Or is it the story of the son finding himself? It is both. It is long and there are parts where I wondered where the hell the story was going. But it all comes together in the end. The cast of characters is bizarre, the timeline hops around and I got frustrated with the story as I encountered sentences that ran for pages before finding a period punctuation mark. And those are all the things that kept me glued to this book. The author nails emotion, regret, consequences and redemption beautifully. #bookclub #goodreads #lovetoread #amreading #readersofinstagram #reader #readingissexy #readingislife #readersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookworm #booklover #bookshelf #readersareleaders #bypartyimeanread #thenix #thenixbook

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Nutshell, by Ian McEwan. I’ve been a McEwan fan for a while, but I wasn’t so sure about the premise of this book: a story told from the perspective of an unborn child who is listening to what is going on in the world around him. Once I got into however, I enjoyed the perspective and the mystery of not knowing all the visual details. This was a quick read.

Palace of Treason, by Jason Matthews. This is the second book in a three-book series (here is a link to the first one called Red Sparrow; the third — The Kremlin’s Candidate — is due out in January 2018). This is a spy thriller with twists and turns between a female Russian double agent for the U.S. and her male CIA handler. It is so good. And, I recently learned that there will be movies based on the books!

The Murder House, by James Patterson. I can always count on a Patterson read to be quick and intense. This one kept me guessing until the end.

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead.¬†You can’t go wrong with Oprah recommends the book. Check out my “mini book review” from Instagram below.

{mini book review} I finished this treasure last night. This is one that has been in my queue for sometime, but I was reluctant to start, worried it would be too heavy. It was heavy, but beautifully written with a story that moved at a pace that made me want to keep reading to see what happened next. And I love that the author took liberties with the meaning of “underground railroad.” At a time when we are hearing too much about civil liberty violations for our modern times, this book is a reminder that we are all humans and should value each other equally. #bookclub #goodreads #lovetoread #amreading #readersofinstagram #reader #readingissexy #readingislife #readersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookworm #booklover #bookshelf #readersareleaders #bypartyimeanread #cupsinframe

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Link to book on Amazon