Reading Goals: The End

Jan 16, 2018

I usually try to get this post up during the last week of the year, but at that time, I was busy making a 2018 calendar, writing up some memories for my family's blog, and just generally having a fun, relaxing week. Oh, and also finishing up a book for one of my goals. As usual, I was cutting it close, but I made it. Take a look (titles are linked to full reviews):

1. Read two books about childbirth 
Ian was born in April, so I made sure to prioritize this goal early in the year. I read Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent (January 2017) and The Gift of Giving Life (April 2017). Both were fantastic and skyrocketed to the top of my list of must-recommend childbirth books (what? you don't have such a list?). I loved the way they helped me prepare in different, but essential, ways.

2. Read three books with Maxwell and three books with Aaron
Bradley joined in with this goal, so it wasn't a strict three with Aaron and a strict three with Maxwell, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the same books as my kids. Here's a list of what we read (these were not readalouds):
3. Read Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott and The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
I finally finished Rose in Bloom (October 2017) after listening to it for literally half of the year. There's no reason it should have taken me so many months (it's not a long book). I just couldn't get into it at all. The Blue Castle (September 2017) was the exact opposite. Sweet, funny, and entertaining, I enjoyed every page of it and would read it again in a heartbeat.

4. Read a book about slow, conscientious living
I read The Year of Living Danishly (November 2017). My feelings were very polarized with this one: the parts I liked, I really liked; and the parts I didn't like, I really didn't like. But ultimately, I would say reading it achieved my objective, which was to learn more about slow, conscientious living, but more importantly, find ways to personally put these things into practice. 

5. Start a new mystery series and read another mystery by Agatha Christie
My plan was to read both mysteries in October, but I ended up only reading one--The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (October 2017)--at that time. That left me scrambling for a mystery to read at the end of December. I finally settled on Death at Wentwater Court (December 2017), and it was surprisingly appropriate for the season (the murder allegedly happens on a frozen lake). I made this goal purely for fun, and that's exactly what it ended up being.

6. Read Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelssohn throughout the year Read a book about cleaning
I began this goal with enthusiasm (and even wrote what I thought was going to be the first in a series of posts about it, but ended up being the only one). I became discouraged when, after reading for many pages and several hours, my only takeaway was that I needed to have a three-course dinner with real china and cloth napkins every night (totally not realistic for our family at this time). It was not an easy decision to give up on this goal (I hate admitting defeat), but I think it ended up being the right decision, especially since the book I replaced it with was How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind (November 2017), and it was a million times more applicable. (Although I will say that Home Comforts inspired one positive change, which was that we implemented a family Saturday cleaning schedule back in February, and it stuck for the entire year.)

7. Read a parenting book
A few years ago, I read Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax. I ended up loving it so much that I read it twice within the same year. Dr. Sax's candid look at the problems faced by today's boys made so much sense to me and gave me hope as I try to raise my own sons. (At the time, I only had three sons. Now, with five, it's even more relevant, so I need to reread it.) His latest book, The Collapse of Parenting, came out in 2015 and was immediately on my to-read list. But after a year went by and I hadn't yet read it, I knew I needed to make it a priority. I read it over the course of several months and found  the same blunt assessment I've come to expect from Dr. Sax with some really practical tools for how to combat some of our current problems. One of my big takeaways was that I need to have fun with my kids and enjoy spending time with them, and I'm really working to make that a big part of 2018.

8. Read two Young Adult novels
I tried, guys, I really did. I ended up reading six books that could be considered young adult (which I'm defining as 14+).

Out of all of those, the only one I'd actively recommend is The Blue Castle. They were all clean though (although I was a little nervous about The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman--there's a little bit of language in that one), and I was grateful for that. 

I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to approach this goal for 2018 because I'm still on the lookout for high quality, worthwhile, redeeming YA reads.

9. Read the 2017 Newbery winner
The 2017 winner was The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. I listened to it in May and enjoyed every word of it.

10. Read Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley
I started this book in January and finished it in December, which was exactly how I wanted it to happen. I loved having Marjorie Pay Hinckley be my guide and mentor through all of 2017.

And that's a wrap on my 2017 reading goals. Stay tuned for my 2018 goals.


  1. Congratulations! Especially on the mystery, because the only Lord Peter mysteries that probably shouldn't be your first are Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon, which are also the longest, so I was worried that was what you almost read. (Harriet is introduced in Strong Poison, and you should read that before those other 2).

    1. Whew! What a narrow escape! Thanks for the tip for the future!


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