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? 

Good question.

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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.

Here's my favorite books of 2017: the read alouds and fiction and non-fiction and how I read so much as a busy homeschooling mom of four!

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:

  • 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:

  • 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

  1. Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
  2. Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz
  3. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  4. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  5. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
  6. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  7. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  8. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  9. The Birchbark House by Louse Erdrich
  10. The Erstaz Elevator by Lemony Snickett
  11. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snickett
  12. The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snickett
  13. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
  14. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  15. 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

How about you? What were your favorite book titles you read last year? And do you have a reading goal for 2018? SHARE below!!

Here's my favorite books of 2017: the read alouds and fiction and non-fiction and how I read so much as a busy homeschooling mom of four!

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