9 Books I’ve Read This Year to Put on Your Holiday Reading List

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Books I've Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

Back in January, I was going to share books that I had read each month, and share what I thought about them. This new ‘series’ on the blog never eventuated because of a number of reasons. The main one being I’d sometimes take MONTHS to finish a book. So I have decided to share what I have read this year in one bumper book guide if you’re wanting to add some books to your holiday reading list.

9 Books I’ve Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

1. Work Strife Balance by Mia Freedman

work strife balance Books I've Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

I have had a fascination with Mia Freedman after I bought a book that featured both herself and Lisa McInnes-Smith (who is a woman I greatly admire). I was asked to be part of a women’s conference panel and Lisa was the guest speaker. I purchased the book at the conference and the segment on Mia caught my attention.

Mia’s earlier career impressed me, and being a blogger I have watched from the sidelines as she has built her empire media site: Mama Mia. The reason I wanted to read this book was simply for curiosity sake. There are stances Mia makes on public issues, that I don’t agree with. Yet there are others that I do. After reading her book I understood more clearly why she thinks the way she does. It still hasn’t changed my beliefs on those issues we differ on. After reading Work Strife Balance, I could see the woman behind the success. I enjoyed this book and Mia gives some hard truths about balance and some of the big issues she’s had to face in her career.

2. Secrets of a Happy Marriage by Cathy Kelly

secrets of a happy marriage Books I've Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

I love a good romance and this book has so many interwoven stories and layers, it took me a bit to get into it, but once I read a few chapters, I was hooked. It’s not your typical boy meets girl romance (although there is one part of the story where this sort of happens). The book explores the common stories around marriage – the jilted bride, the older woman who marries a grieving widow and receives an icy welcoming to the family, the single who has an affair with a married man, the single who has found love but is hesitant in making a commitment. The stories all relate to members of an extended family and I loved the ending. There was even a twist at the end I didn’t pick up on. If you love romance, you will enjoy this book.

3. The Good People by Hannah Kent

the good people by hannah kent

I bought this book after reading Rebecca Bowyer’s review on the story. It’s not the type of book I’d normally gravitate to, but I’m glad I persevered with it. If anything, it made me a little more grateful for the life I live in this present day. It’s about an older woman who loses her daughter and husband in the same year. She takes on the job of looking after her four-year-old grandson who can’t walk or speak. The story follows the journey of trying to ‘heal’ the grandson and it opens up horrifying strategies that would be considered abuse in this day, in order to get the grandson to be ‘normal’ again. I found the book a little slow, but I was keen to find out what happened to the grandson and as Rebecca wrote in her post, the end of the book is gripping and you won’t want to put it down until you finish it.

4. Stay the Path by Bobbie Houston

stay the path Books I've Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

I bought this book back in March when I went to Colour Conference, hoping for some sort of encouragement in my own life, and this book definitely gave that and more. I intend to read it again this summer because there is so much wisdom in the book, from a pastor’s wife, who has created her own identity alongside her husband, as they lead a world-wide church. I think we can look at success and where people are currently, and not realise they too had struggles and fears that they had to work through. This book shares insights into what Bobbie – as a wife and mother, of had to deal with, while offering wisdom and lessons that anyone can apply to their own life. I recommend this book as a good one to start the New Year with.

5. The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape

the barefoot investor Books I've Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

I have read a lot of finance books and this book by Scott Pape has been one of my favourites. A lot of the advice, we have done similarly, but there are a few tweaks we are planning to do to our finances in the new year to get ourselves a bit more ahead. If you’re after a finance book that makes sense, is easy to read and has steps that are easy to follow so you can get out of debt and start saving money – or even have money to spend when you want, this book is a must read.

6. That Book for Wives by Sally Poyzer

that book for wives Books I've Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

I was given this book by a good friend who is related to Sally Poyzer. Sally is a pastor and she shares four key ways to transform your marriage – even if your husband doesn’t want to change. It’s a book for wives that will give hard truths about fixing a marriage, rather than fixing a husband. It is bible based and the truths can be convicting. To those that don’t share our faith, I can see some of the advice being misunderstood. However I believe that is conviction working it’s magic in your life. If you want a marriage that lasts and is fulfilling, the advice in this book will help. It’s really about championing your husband. I recommend reading this if you are married and things are stale or you generally want to transform your marriage into a loving partnership, rather than two people who share a bed and house at night.

7. Friend Request by Laura Marshall

friend request Books I've Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

I read this book by the pool on our recent holiday to Coffs Harbour and the story is gripping. I read it within a couple of days. This was also another recommended read by Rebecca Bowyer. The story opens up old experiences of teen friendships and the desire of being in the ‘cool’ group. In their adult lives, the story starts when Louise receives a friend request and message from a friend in her past that went missing during their final year in high school. What follows is a thrilling work of fiction that you won’t want to put down. This is a great read. It was one of my favourite books to read this year.

8. Buddhism for the Unbelievably Busy by Meshel Laurie

buddhism for the unbelievably busy Books I've Read This Year to put on Your Holiday Reading List

I was sent this book in the mail as a gift and I laughed out loud when I opened the package because I was like Don’t they know I’m a Christian? But once I got over myself, I decided to read the book, to learn more about Buddhism, and to gleam some knowledge about handling busyness. I enjoyed the book, and while I’m not a convert, it gave me insight into why people believe in what they do. I understand why the mindfulness movement has been so popular. What I admired about Meshel in her book is her raw honesty about herself and why she has done the things she has. It’s always a good exercise to reflect on whether our behavior or things we get caught up in, have contributed to our busy lifestyle, and what can be done to break the cycle. While I’m no convert to Buddhism, there were some lessons I could take away from the book.

9. The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright

I read this book and felt all sorts of emotions reading it. Mostly, I was incredulous and a little angry at the characters for being more concerned about their following and image, rather than their followers.

The story follows 3 bloggers who are competing against each other in a blogging competition and have the chance to win $500,000.

The stereotypical blogger types are the main characters of the story. You have a full time working mum, a hippy ‘all natural’ mum who is against vaccinations even though her kids are secretly immunised, and the fashionable wife and mum who posts the most perfectly styled pictures of herself online, which are nothing like what she is in real life.

I would have shared a picture of the book, had I not given it to another blogging friend to read.

If you’re fascinated by the world of blogging, read this book. But also understand that while there are bloggers that are in it for the perks, there are bloggers who write because they want to help others and be useful and uplifting when sharing their lives online.

In 2017, I had a goal to read one book a month. Some books were easier to get through than others. I’m hoping I will be able to read more in 2018. Jacob bought me the first three books by Diana Gabaldon that have been turned into the Outlander series. I’m also currently reading a new book by Carl Jentz which I am LOVING. Will share about this book in the new year.

If you’re like me and don’t have time to read bad books, check our Rebecca Bowyer’s blog Seeing the Lighter Side  and Vanessa’s blog, Style and Shenanigans, as I usually get my next book recommendations from these lovely ladies.

What have you got on your reading list these holidays? What books can you recommend I read?

Disclosure: There are affiliate links on this post. Should you choose to purchase an item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.