How This Crazy Busy Mom Read 36 Books in One Year
You’ve read the blog posts or followed those people on Good Reads that read 100+ books per year. That is so great! But that is so not me. I’ve been tracking my reading for several years now, but anything over 24 books for me is a lot. In 2017 though, I read 36 books and I am SO pumped about my reading progress this year. And the books of 2017 didn’t disappoint!
For the new year, my new goal is to read 50 books. I’m a little nervous to say that number out loud, but between Audible, reading aloud the the kids, and the teetering stack beside my bed, I’m going to keep the faith in myself!
2017 was a great reading year for me. There were several books I was blown away by–thinking they’d be sweet little stories, but they turned out to be HUGE stories that completely impacted me.
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You’re probably wondering this: how does a busy working homeschool mama read 50 books in a year?
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This last year, I really made reading a priority. My kids need to see me read. I need to read to quiet my busy mind and relax before bed. Reading is important to me, so I made it a priority.
Make more time for reading this year
I agree, finding time to read is HARD! Being a mom is busy and we are usually putting ourselves behind the needs of so many. There were so many more books I wanted to read last year, but the books I did read were because I made a point to set aside time to read.
Here’s some quick ideas to read more this year:
- Listen on Audible. When I’m making dinner and the kids are busy, I just pop my ear buds in and listen to a chapter or two. Folding laundry is another time I LOVE to listen to a book. It makes the chore so much more enjoyable!
Best audiobooks I listened to this year:
- Three Sisters, Three Queens by Phillipa Gregory
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum read by Anne Hathaway…so good!!
- The Distant Hours by Kate Morton…I have SUCH a hard time getting into Kate Morton books, but listening to them helps me SO much. I LOVED this book!
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr…I actually listened to this book twice through. I think it might be my all-time favorite book. It’s simply beautiful.
- Speaking of Audible, I listen to books on 1.5x or double time. Most of the time, the narrator reads pretty slowly. I just hit that 1.5x button and speed it up a bit. That makes the reading time much faster.
- Have a book in your car or purse. When waiting for my kids at band or picking up from activities, I just read a few pages and they add up so fast!
- We listened to SO many books in the car this last year! We grabbed audiobooks from our library every week or so and popped them in when we drove to and from my son’s work and other activities. Everyone in the car was so quiet! It worked perfectly!
Favorite book in the car with the kids:
- The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events)…we still quote this one!
- Add reading aloud to the kids in the morning, mealtime, and/or bedtime.
Favorite read alouds with the kids this year:
- Have something fun to read beside your bed. I can’t read nonfiction or self-help books before bed. They get my mind going too much and I feel like I have to sit up and take notes. But a great fictional thriller or historical book helps me ease into sleep so much.
Favorite bedtime books:
- The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell…I loved this one because it reminded me so much of our old neighborhood in North Carolina.
- Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly...I had NO idea this book would be as heavy as it was. Judging by the cover, I thought it would be a sweet love story or something. Not so. It’s a really heavy book, but based on so much fact and really very beautiful.
Books that make memories
There’s a thing I do when I’m reading a book–especially books that make me think deeply. I will tie that book to what’s going on in my life at that time.
For example, I think of Before the Fall by Noah Hawley so many times when I walk upstairs because I was painting the stairwell while I listened to it a couple years ago.
Or Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald will always remind me of the season I had really bad post-partum depression after one of my babies.
And the Laura Ingalls Wilder series will always hold so many memories with my kids and I because we’ve read them SO many times and because of our Laura Ingalls Wilder road trip last summer.
The Books of 2017
Here’s a quick list of all the books I read this year!
Read Alouds with the Kids
- Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
- Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
- On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- The Birchbark House by Louse Erdrich
- The Erstaz Elevator by Lemony Snickett
- The Austere Academy by Lemony Snickett
- The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snickett
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snickett
RELATED: Our 35 Favorite Family Read Alouds
Fictional Books I Read
16. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
17. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
18. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
19. The Dry by Jane Harper
20. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
21. The Underground Railroad by Coleson Whitehead
22. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
23. The Secret Place by Tana French
24. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
25. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
26. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
27. The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
28. Broken Harbor by Tana French
29. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory
Non-Fiction Books I read
30. A Gracious Space: Fall Edition by Julie Bogart
31. The Life-Giving Magic of Not Giving a F*** by Sarah Knight
32. Breathe, Mama, Breathe: 5 Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms by Shonda Moralis
33. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
34. The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner
35. Design Your Day: Be More Productive, Set Better Goals, and Live Life on Purpose by Claire Diaz-Ortiz
36. A Gracious Space: Spring Edition by Julie Bogart