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5 Books That Are Worth Your Time

12 February 2018

I have become really very good at not finishing books in 2018. I guess I'm just at the point where I can sniff out a book I'm not going to like pretty early on and I don't want to drudge through the crap in the hopes that it will get better.

That means I'm not checking off a lot of books in my Goodreads goal, but my overall star rating so far this year is pretty dang high. Here are a few that I actually finished and enjoyed.

(I'll be linking up with Steph, Jana, & Anne.)


Beartown by Fredrik Backman:

This was my Reading FOMO pick that so many of you LOVED last year. I thought I was just reading about a town and the hockey team that would save the it from ruin, but it turned into this whole moral conundrum. 

It's the kind of book that makes you really look at yourself and ask yourself the question, "Which is more important, the one or the many?" in a whole new way.

I will say, that I wish there were less characters for me to keep track of. I understand that it's about an entire town and how they are each facing the same dilemma in different ways, but I have a difficult time truly connecting when I have to keep reminding myself who is who. 

The overall style ended up reminding me a lot of Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, so if you enjoyed that read I think you may enjoy this. Apparently there will be a sequel. Honestly though? I'm fine with where it ended. 
Culture is as much about what we encourage as what we permit.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey:

I didn't get around to reading the MMD December Book Club pick, but I did read this flight pairing. My hatred of snow runs pretty deep and, by default, so do locations that are known to be snowy. I do, however, love fairytales, so I sucked it up and decided to give this retelling a shot.

I'm so very glad that I did.

This is the perfect winter read. I kid you not, as soon as I closed the book I found myself wondering how plausible it would be to move to Alaska as try out farming. Am I too late? It's a very well written novel that you should fit in this month before spring arrives.


When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey:

I spent some time attempting to figure out how many books I owned, including those on Kindle. It's an outrageous number, so I let Goodreads pick one at random and this is what came up. 

I have no idea when or why or how I got this book, but I'm feeling rather pleased that we found one another. 

It's a slow read where not a ton seems to be happening, but the writing itself was so good. This is one of those books where I kept finding myself feeling like I knew what was going on but I was never quite sure. 

If you have any beliefs that maybe just maybe there is some sort of higher power in the universe then I think you could appreciate this read.
She cried because she understood that people don't weep because they're weak, but because they've been strong for too long.

50 Ways to Yay! by Alexi Panos:

(Big thanks to the publisher for allowing me access to this title via Netgalley.) 

This title sounds all kinds of fluffy, but I promise you the content is anything but. This book is ideal for those who are interested in finding ways to bring more joy into their lives, but don't really want to read all of the books to figure it out.

Panos provides 50 of the best ways found throughout the self-help section to cultivate more joy in your life. I'll be honest, I wish it was actually 52 ways, because this book is set up as a sort of workbook. It's one you'll want to immerse yourself in and spend some time applying each of the suggestions and I would even suggest making it a year-long journey where you try out one tool per week.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin:

I am on a pretty consistent kick to improve myself and my habits. This read has been on my to-read list for the longest time, but when Janssen from Everyday Reading started discussing it on her Insta Stories, I got the push I needed to actually pick it up.

I am now slightly obsessed with Rubin's Four Tendencies and spend far too much time trying to analyze everyone around me. Rubin provides some great insight into what motivates people and provides you with some tools to try to help you crack the code to yourself.

This is a truly fascinating read that I would recommend to just about anyone, but especially to those who may have a habit they have wanted to start or stop and just can't seem to get it to stick. 
We won't make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other people's habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own nature and what habits serve us best.

What kinds of books have you found yourself drawn to lately?


5 Books That Are Worth Your Time

19 comments on "5 Books That Are Worth Your Time"
  1. ahh i didn't know the snow child was the MMD book club book, i wondered why so many people were reading it when it came out several years ago. i remember liking it well enough. i loved beartown, and i was totally not prepared for what it was about. i love when that happens.

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    1. I agree. It's so fun to go in a direction you never saw coming while reading. I'm relieved that I didn't come across any spoilers before I picked it up!

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  2. The Snow Child was being read in a facebook book club I'm in too, so I have seen it everywhere lately. I really liked it too as I've already told you ;) I loved Beartown and did not expect it to be anything like what it was. The comparison to the Casual Vacancy is a good one - I actually read those both around the same time and I see the similarities for sure! I can't wait for the sequel personally!!! Yay Better than Before :)

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    1. I'm glad I'm not alone in seeing the similarities between Beartown and The Casual Vacancy! I'm curious to see what he does with the sequel. I felt like the ending was a good one. In the meantime I'm trying to catch up on his backlist!

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  3. I always think it's much better to not finish something, vs taking the time to read the entire thing only to really dislike it still at the end! Beartown is one of my favorite books, and I've had The Casual Vacancy on my bookshelf for years now and haven't read it yet- now I'm definitely more interested!

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    1. From what I can remember, Beartown is a much better read than The Casual Vacancy!

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  4. Her concept of the four tendencies is fascinating. I need to pick up that book.

    I haven't read Beartown despite all the love it gets.

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    1. I've had the chance to read some more of Backman's work now and honestly Beartown isn't my favorite when compared to some of the other work. It's still worth a read!

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  5. I think Beartown did have a shockingly large number of characters.
    Loved The Snow Child and Better Than Before. Rubin's podcast really digs deep on her theories if you want more.

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    1. Yes! I've been listening to her podcast. It's super interesting!

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  6. Beartown is on my TBR and I plan to read it this year but I've holding off until I no longer have it on such a high pedestal. Another SUYB participant reviewed The Snow Child and I added it to my TBR based on her review, so it's great to see another positive recommendation. The quote from When Mockingbirds Sing completely sold me on reading it, adding it to my TBR.

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    1. Oh yay! I'm glad that someone else will be reading When Mockingbirds Sing! I was so surprised to see such a lack of reviews for it.

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  7. I loved Better Than Before and hope to pick up The Four Tendencies sooner rather than later. As a fellow snow/winter hater I'm totally intrigued by your review of The Snow Child--that one may just have to get added to the top of my list. And Beartown. YES.
    Out of curiosity, how did you have Goodreads randomly select for you? My TBR is ridiculous and sometimes have trouble knowing where to go next.

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    1. Okay, so on Goodreads if you go to any shelf, at the bottom there is an option that says sort with a drop-down to the right of it. Random is one of the options, so I just click on that and it organizes your entire bookshelf in a random order. I usually end up reading the first one on the list.

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  8. Oh, I really loved Better Than Before. I still need to read The Four Tendencies though! that's great you're doing well with reading books that you really enjoy this year.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  9. I've had The Snow Child on my shelf for over a year and I still haven't read it. I've seen so many good reviews that I really feel like I should, but I never seem to be in the mood for it.

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  10. I love everything by Gretchen Rubin!

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  11. Oh gosh, loved The Snow Child!! It was so atmospheric; I read it wrapped up in blankets because I could almost feel the snowy Alaskan weather! I don't typically read fairytale/magical realism so this was a delightful departure from my usual reads. I definitely want to read more by the author!

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    1. Yea! It really was atmospheric! It snowed the entire week that I read it and it just made everything seem that much more magical.

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