Looking for a Good Book? 8 Books I’ve Read in 2017

I’m always curious to know what my friends are reading, because quite frequently that helps me know what I want to read next.   So, I thought I would share with you what I’ve been reading.  Well, I should say what I’ve been listening to.  As I said here, in this season of life I am really enjoying audiobooks.  Here’s what I’ve been listening to and my thoughts about them.

I recently listened to The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines , narrated by Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Since I’ve watched I think every episode of the show (who hasn’t?) and read about them online, I wondered if much of it would be repeat information.  Nope.  It was almost entirely new information to me.   The book tells how they met and dated and what their life has looked like since they met till now.  It tells how they got started with the show, which is a funny story.  I had wondered how much of their faith story would be in the book, but there isn’t a lot.  They share some circumstances where God clearly moved on their behalf but that is the extent of it.  I loved the book.   It was an easy and enjoyable listening experience and a good story, just what I was looking for.  Chip has a new book coming out soon and I look forward to listening to that too.

The book I most recently listened to was The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, narrated by Ian Cron.   I started hearing different folks mention the Enneagram over a period of probably a year when I was listening to podcasts and it piqued my interest. The Enneagram is a method of personality typing, with nine basic types.    Evidently, a lot of the other books on the Enneagram are pretty deep and complicated and multiple sources said start with this book.  There is a podcast by the same name The Road Back to You and I listened to it some before buying the book.  The podcast is hosted by the authors of the book.  The format of the podcast is interviewing guests and talking about their Enneagram type.  I initially enjoyed the podcast but began to find it annoying. The book doesn’t contain any of the aspects that I found annoying about the podcast and I really enjoyed the book.  I am always interested in personality, all the different types of personality testing and typing and  I’m always curious as to why people do what they do, so I found the book interesting.  I think I have figured out my Enneagram type.  I’m not 100% sure, but for those that know something about The Enneagram I’m pretty sure I’m a 9.  You can have a “wing” in other types, and there are aspects of other numbers that are true of me but almost everything about 9 is true of me.  Listening was a good initial way to take in the book, but it would be helpful to have this as a hard copy book for looking back at.

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind….Dealing with You’re House’s Dirty Little Secrets, written and narrated by Dana K. White, creator of the blog A Slob Comes Clean.  I always resonate with the books whose authors find keeping their house clean and tidy a struggle.  That has certainly always been true for me.  In reading the reviews before I purchased, some reviewers said she keeps repeating, “just do the dishes”, and they felt it was just too much repetition of a simple concept, while others found it extremely helpful that she keeps it super simple. Her method mainly consists of starting first one routine (doing the dishes everyday) and then adding another then another, remembering that no matter how overwhelming things get, to always do the dishes. While I don’t feel my house was ever at the same level hers was, I have always struggled with keeping my house clean and tidy.   I’ve read a ton of organizing and cleaning books over the years and agree with the author that,”…most organizing advice is…written by organized people….but that’s not how my brain works.”  I have found the most helpful books for me have been written by people who really struggle in this area because we have the same faulty thinking, therefore their strategies are most helpful. We have the same thinking patterns in many ways, so her methods of keeping it super simple make a lot of sense to me.  This book isn’t for the person who occasionally can’t keep up; this book is helpful for the person who continually feels overwhelmed, and like me, feels that the house just blows up completely out of control.  For that person, like me, this is a good book.

Different:  The Story of an Outside the Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him by Sally Clarkson and Nathan Clarkson. Narrated by Nathan Clarkson, Ruda Sanda, and Virginia Wolf.   I’ve loved and admired Sally Clarkson for many years now.  My first introduction to Sally was when a friend introduced me to  Educating the WholeHearted Child, which greatly influenced me in my homeschooling and parenting.  Sally’s son, Nathan, struggles with OCD, anxiety and ADHD.  I found it both interesting and helpful, hearing the same story from two points of view; the child and the parent’s point of view.  There are parts of the book that I felt were repetitive, I think because Nathan’s struggle has continued for all his life. At first I thought what I perceived as repetitive was a negative point, but by the end of the book I thought it served a good purpose.  It is helpful for other families reading who share the same ongoing struggles, to see that they aren’t alone in not finding a simple medicinal or therapeutic solution.  Nathan continues as an adult to struggle with these same issues but he has matured, has learned methods of coping, and has learned to rely on God for help.  Different is a true story of the power of a godly mother’s never ending love.  Different shows us too, that while their child may continue to have these difficulties, a godly mother’s love DOES influence how a “different” child sees themself, their world and their God.  This book offers hope to the Christian parent who is parenting an “outside the box” kid.

All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth, narrated by Lisa Larson.  I had come across Edie’s blog and had read just a little and didn’t know a lot of her story.  What  I knew about her before reading the book was that she was a doctor, no longer practicing but staying home with her kids, and that she was big into essential oils. Initially, I was intrigued to know more about her for those reasons.  I read the book description when it came up on Audible as “recommended” because of other books I’ve chosen. I was eager to know more of her personal story.  I was drawn into the book right away and finished it very quickly.  All the Pretty Things is a memoir and tells how Edie grew up in poverty with an alcoholic and often absent father.  While we weren’t poor in the same way, there were aspects of her story I could identify with.  One story in particular, where Edie’s sister gets in trouble, reminded me so vividly of a time when my younger brother (who is no longer living) got in trouble because of me.  That story had me squalling like a baby.  This is a good book that can be enjoyed by anyone, but I  think too,  that each listener/reader of this book would take away something entirely different according to their own personal story. I thought about this book for a while after I finished it.  Every reader will be amazed that she achieves her dream of becoming a doctor, and for Christians, there is rejoicing that she finds a relationship with her heavenly Father.

Unstuffed:Decluttering Your Home, Mind &Soul by Ruth Soukup.  Narrated by Windy Lanzl. If you think I read a lot of this type of book, you’re right.  Reading this kind of book helps me stay motivated and gives me the tools to keep making the decisions to live with less stuff, less clutter.  It is an ongoing process. Like  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo that I read last year, it gives strategies for making decisions that help you let go of having too much stuff.

How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup.  When I took a blogging course last December, this book was mentioned by several different people as a must read for new bloggers.  I actually read this one in print rather than audiobook, as there are pictures, graphics, etc.  It’s a pretty quick read the first time through but a book you’ll want to continue to go back to as a new blogger.  There are chapters that cover every aspect of blogging:  content, presentation, social media, growing your platform, monetization.  I agree with everyone that recommended the book to me, if you’re starting a blog, you’ll want to read this book.

The Bible.  In this post I shared my reading plan and a tip that has been helping me stick with it.  I’m tickled pink; I’ve reached 27% of my goal of reading the Bible in a year.

If you want to learn more about how to listen to audiobooks for free you can go here to one of my earlier posts.  To get a free trial from Audible, go here.  I listen to what I can for free and get one credit per month from Audible.

I am always looking for the next good book and prefer to read by personal recommendations.  So comment or send me a private message to let me know what I should read next!

Till next week,


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  1. Oooo! Excellent list!! I like your taste!!! I read about the Enneagram in 2016. Took me forever to decide what number I am, still not sure really!

  2. I’m curious to know which number you think you might be, although I don’t remember details about every number. I’m not 100% sure of my number but what it said about the internal motivations being the biggest tell, the book described 9’s as highly prioritizing inner peace…SO ME. Not everything about 9’s of me was true, but most was. I felt there were aspects of other numbers true of me too. Have you read this book or what else did you read? I’m interested to learn a little more.

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