Six Months of Reading

Cover Collage

Back in June, I shared the first twenty-five books I read in 2017 (if you missed that post, you can check it out here). From July through December I read another twenty-five. The list is pretty heavy on Young Adult (YA) fiction, but I did try (perhaps unsuccessfully) to vary the genres I picked up to read.

Just as before, I had some really amazing surprises. One of the novels was written in verse and published back in 2008. It was so beautiful and tragic and scary and hopeful . . . so many conflicting emotions all at once. I can’t believe it took me ten years to find it (Crank by Ellen Hopkins). There are thrillers on this list . . . fun, easy reads that kept me engaged and turning pages (Little Monsters by Kara Thomas). There are old tales from my childhood that I read out loud with my kids and now understand why, after the decades it’s been since I read them for the first time, I still remembered them so well (Charlotte’s Web and James and the Giant Peach). I still feel the stirring of emotions I had when reading lines from a memoir so poignant that I could probably still quote sentences from the book (I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia E. Bitton-Jackson).

Just like last time, I wish I had time to write detailed reviews for all of them and give specifics about what it is exactly I loved about each particular book. I liked all of them for different reasons and learned something about writing from each one. Some of them are heavy reading, some of them are quick beach-reads. But I’ll stick with what I did back in June . . . I’ll pick one or two favorites and talk about them next week. . . . not an easy task since they are all so different from each other and so many of them are so good.

In the meantime, feel free to pursue the list and see if you feel inspired to read any of these titles. And if you’ve read a book recently that you think I should add to my to-be-read list for 2018, let me know in the comments.


You Will Know Me Cover


You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott



Twisted Cover


Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson




Crank Cover


Crank by Ellen Hopkins




A Good Man Is Hard To Find Cover


A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor




Girl Against Universe Cover


Girl Against Universe by Paula Stokes




Before I Fall Cover


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver




Little Monsters Cover


Little Monsters by Kara Thomas




Love and Gelato Cover


Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch




180 Seconds Cover


180 Seconds by Jessica Park




What to Say Next Cover


What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum




Where the Red Fern Grows Cover


Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls




Ella Enchanted Cover


Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine




The Enchanted Cover


The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld




The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 Cover


The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis




Dear Mr. Henshaw Cover


Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary




Charlotte's Web Cover


Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White




Shiloh Cover


Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor




Cut Cover


Cut by Patricia McCormick




James and the Giant Peach Cover


James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl


The Anatomy of Story Cover


The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller by John Truby



Queen Bees and Wannabes Cover


Queen Bees and Wannabes, 3rd Edition: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boys, and the New Realities of Girl World by Rosalind Wiseman



Screenplay Cover


Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field




The Great Cholesterol Myth Cover


The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease—and the Statin-Free Plan that Will by Jonny Bowden, Stephen Sinatra, and Deirdre Rawlings



Son of Hamas Cover


Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef




I Have Lived a Thousand Years Cover


I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia E. Bitton-Jackson

7 thoughts on “Six Months of Reading

  1. Good to know that 50 books is achievable; I set that as a goal for myself this year because I’ve gotten away from reading for fun. I went on BookBub and downloaded 50 right away (free ebooks are great! They have many many free ones.) And have completed one, which I loved: Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet. Pretty easy read, YA genre I think; it’s about a reaper who takes souls to their final destinations. It’s also a series but I didn’t move on tot he next book. Instead I’m now reading Dying For A Living by Kory Shrum. It’s ok so far, interesting enough to keep me turning pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I, too, went through a season in which I got away from reading for fun. I think what changed things for me was that I got in the habit of lying down with my kids to help them fall asleep at night. I started reading on my phone while they’d fall asleep. I’d turn the brightness all the way down and put it in night mode (white writing on black background) and it wouldn’t bother them. Daughter is five now and doesn’t really *need* me to lay down with her, but she still likes me to . . . and I like to, too, because it’s my reading time 🙂

      But for me, what really helped me to reach my fifty was to (mostly) give up social media. I rarely get on Facebook anymore. Instead, when I get a moment and find myself picking up my phone, I continue with my book instead of reading mindless click-bait articles on Facebook.

      Thanks for letting me know about BookBub. I had never heard of that before. You could also see if your library has an e-reading checkout system. My children’s school offers a program called Overdrive. You put an app on your phone and you can check out e-books from the school library. It works just like their library system. If a book is “checked out”, you can put yourself on a wait list and check it out when it’s returned. I don’t know if Overdrive is mostly an International School thing or if libraries in the States would offer it, too.

      And thanks for the recommendation for Graveyard Shift. I’ll look it up.


    • I think we have similar taste, Allie. I remember A Monster Calls was my favorite from my last 25, and you said you loved that one too. Before I Fall was my favorite from this 25 and the one I’ll write a review for next week. It was a-ma-zing. Truly. It’s not often that I find a book like that. I can’t decide which one I like better, though (A Monster Calls or Before I Fall). They were both so good, but so different from each other.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think we do too. If it was up to me, I would put Before I Fall on the required reading list for high school. It spoke to me that much. Just thinking about A Monster Calls makes me weepy.

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