Wednesday, February 21, 2018

5 Must Read Books + Reading Goals

    Today I am thrilled to finally be sharing with you the top five must-read books on my list this year and my new reading goals for 2018. I must admit we are farther into the new year than I would have liked to be posting this. As some of you know I am a University student and with that comes a dramatic change in the amount of free time I have. It’s a dramatic change in time for just about anything in all actuality. I do apologize as blog posts are not being posted as frequently as I would have liked. That is why I have made the decision to post one blog post a week, every Wednesday. I hope you can all understand why I am having to make this change.

   Now onto the Books!

         I am an avid reader and truly enjoy a trip to the bookstore (more than I should) when I can get lost in all the books. When Kolby does breakfast with they guys, I’ll escape to the bookstore for a couple hours and I look forward to it all week.

That is why I am thrilled to share with you my all-time favorite books that I believe to be must-reads. I know in the title I have said five, but as some of these books I have talked about in so many other posts, I have decided not to include them as part of the five. They are just something extra for you to enjoy! I have also broken up the list into two categories. The first being life cultivating books and the second being fun reads. 

  Must Reads Cultivating Life

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Bonjour Happiness! by Jamie Cat Callan
Goodbye, Things: On Minimalist Living by Fumio Sakaki 
The Inviting Life by Laura Calder
Daily Rituals by Mason Currey

Must Read's for Fun!

     Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
The Lanterns Ember by Colleen Houck
The Young Queens by Kendare Blake

      Must Reads… Again!   

The Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck
Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton
Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott
Love the Home you Have by Melissa Michaels
Ooh La La! By Jamie Cat Callan

         While at the beginning of the year I had high hopes for my reading goals, University has affected how much free reading I am able to do. 😕 Reading is one of the greatest gifts I believe we have been given and that is why I make reading a priority here on the blog. It allows us to be swept away into someone else’s life and world carrying us on their adventure as if it were our own. Every time I finish a new book, I have walked away with some sort of life lesson or new perspective that enriches my own life. This is one of the greatest gifts authors give us.

Reading Goals

         Because I value reading as much as I do, I decided to challenge myself to meet reading goals this year. I have never set reading goals for myself and was originally unsure of where to start. I have had always had books piled on my bookshelf that I want to read but I have never had a set way of determining how and what books I was going to read.

         This brings me to my first reading goal: to read certain books every month. This may seem like a bit of an odd reading goal but it comes from life lessons. I have had books for special holidays that I would always set aside and say “Oh, I’ll read that during blank month”. The month would come around and I would either a. forget about the book completely or, b. find the book in the middle of the month after I was already working on another book and say “Oh, I’ll read it next year”. As I am sure you can assume, the cycle went on and on.

         How can reading certain books a month break this cycle? Well, I love my charts so I created a yearly book chart that allowed me to organize which books I would like to read during what months. In this chart, I have created different sections so I can keep the chart as a yearly goal and reference. One aspect of the chart that I love is the rating section. I created this section so that after reading each book, I can go back and rate them on a scale of five stars. My idea with this stems from two places. The first is when recommending a book, I like to remember just how much I enjoyed it. And the second is that at the end of 2018, I would like to do a blog post highlighting the top rated books of the year.

         The second goal has been edited a bit due to life. Originally I wanted to challenge myself to read three to five books a month. I have found this challenge is no longer realistic due to my schedule. Therefore I have decided to challenge myself to read one book a month that is not assigned by a teacher. To some, this challenge may seem small and easy but to me, it’s been difficult. Since school starting up again I have spent maybe three hours total reading (that’s including January and February thus far). I am giving myself some grace when it comes to this challenge. If I find myself reading one book easily I will up it to two books a month.

         The third reading goal I had this year was to expand the literature that I read. I found that I usually stick with young adult books or Parisian lifestyle books. This year I would like to add some classics to my reading lists along with suggestion books.

While I kept my reading goals simple this year, they will still be challenging for me while I am juggling so many different changes. That's one thing about goals, there is no point in making them if they are impossible or something you won't do. If you are struggling with a new years resolution, go back to your original goal. See if this goal needs changing to a smaller goal that will lead you to your end goal. Not every season in life is meant for the big changes but the small ones that lead up to the big change. 

I hope you found several books to add to your pile and that you create your own reading goals for 2018. It's never too late to start! Enjoy your reading! 


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