The Year of the Books

The unread books on my shelves, in my Kindle, and on my Amazon wish list were beginning to pile up in embarrassing numbers, so I decided it was time to do something about them.
My goal is to read three books every month.
That's quite a lot of hours of reading per month...have I been over zealous?
(I think I can, I think I can)

Because I know y'all want to help keep me accountable, the post on the first Tuesday of each month will be a review of the books I read in the previous month.
This way I absolutely, 100% have to commit to reading them.
I'm also hoping that some of them sound good enough to you to spend time in as well.
How will I find the time?
Great question.
For starters, I'm not turning the TV on.
I don't watch much to begin with, but I've already begun this little experiment and have come to realize that even when I think I'm turning it on for "background noise" I end up with my eyes on the screen and time passing quickly before I even know that it's got a hold of me. 
Also, less scrolling through social media which is such a waste of precious time (not to mention just a total drain of joy most of the time).
Lastly, some intentionality paired with my competitive spirit should fuel my goals a good bit.

If you want to join me, leave a comment below and you too can make 2017 "The Year of Books"!
Or, if you have a suggestion for me to add to my list, let me know that too!

Speaking of book recommendations, keep scrolling to find my list of the top 5 books I read in 2016.

Thanks for cheering me on!
Happy Reading!

Here they are! The 5 best books I read in 2016! 

Little Women (Puffin in Bloom)
By Louisa May Alcott

A classic for a reason. I have always been a fan of the movie, but hadn't read the book until this year. WOAH was I missing out. I had no idea how many golden nuggets of life wisdom would be found here. The lives of the four March sisters made my heart ache for a simpler time. However, I also came to see how nothing at all has changed over the last 150 or so years concerning our wants and desires as women or just as humans. This story is a treasure and the characters in it have come to feel like dear friends. I actually read it twice this year, thanks to Audible. It is a great one to listen to!

This one is a must read, whether single, dating, engaged, or married for any amount of time.  It bolstered my heart as a newlywed and gave more purpose to our marriage than I could have hoped for. Marriage is so much more than a romantic wedding and a happily ever after. Please oh please do yourself, your relationship, your marriage, your family, your community, a favor and devour the wisdom found here. 

How refreshing to pick up a book and find a kindred spirit in the author! This book sat on my shelf for some time and I regret not reading it sooner. Matthew and I have every intention of choosing less in a world that is shoving MORE and MORE down our throats, but it isn't easy. The author of this light read breathed encouragement and life into our passion for less stuff and more life. I put it down knowing I will pick it up again many times over the years. It's compelling and convicting, while at the same time, a breath of fresh air.

I tell girls younger than myself now that I wish I had prepared my heart more than I protected it as a single woman. I was too busy trying not to get hurt to realize that I needed to prepare my heart for the commitment of marriage. Once married, I quickly realized I had LOTS of catching up to do. This book, among others, has been a great help to Matthew and me as we figure out how to be married folks. See The Meaning of Marriage (above), Sheet Music, and Scary Close, for more relationship help.

Why oh why had I gone my whole life without reading these books?! I'm even named Ann (no 'e' though)! I haven't gotten to read the entire series yet, that's to be completed in 2016, but I am 3 books in and love the characters more after every book. Like the previously mentioned Little Women, Anne of Green Gables is full of the charm of life that seems to have gone missing in present day. Full of simple, heart warming lessons as well as adventure, humor, and romance, these books will brighten up life and bring some light into a world that feels too dark most of the time. I am listening to them though Audible.

I wanted to give you a heads up on the 3 books I will be reading in the month of January too.

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
By Michael Pollan

I'll also be continuing my journey through The Chronicles of Narnia series, by reading, via Audible: