Best of 2017

February 1, 2018

Better late than never, I’m getting around to posting about my favorites from 2017.  I’ll be honest, 2017 was kinda a strange reading year for me.  I was barely able to reach my “100 books in a year” goal, it took me to the very last hour.  Not kidding… I hit it on the last day of the year.  I really struggled reading and felt I was in a reading rut for so much of the year.  I reread a lot of my favorites  and I even reread some within the same year!  There were SO many books that I started that I really wanted to love, and books I knew I would love if I weren’t in such a reading slump that will have to wait until better reading days. Does anyone else feel this way sometimes?  That you know you would love a book that you just can’t get into at the moment?

Regardless, I did read some fabulous books last year.  Today I thought I would share my top 10 fiction and top 10 non-fiction picks.


The Lady of the Lakes, Josi S. Kilpack – I am LOVING that Kilpack is writing regency novels now!  I read that she originally started with regency, but then started her mystery and contemporary novels and has now returned.  Thank goodness!  I love that she writes parts of history into her books and that she puts so much research into each character.

Romancing Daphne, Sarah M. Eden – Oh course Sarah M Eden was going to be on my top 10 – she actually is on here twice.  I read and reread many of her books this year.  My reading slump never would have survived without Sarah Eden.


To The Farthest Shores, Elizabeth Camden  – Camden has always been an author that I enjoy, but some of her books have similar aspects to me and can feel repetitive.  But I did enjoy this one and felt it was different than her others.  She has a unique ability to transport you to a period in history though her stories.

Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult – Oh my goodness.  I cannot even say enough about this book.  It was AMAZING and so thought provoking.  I had a hard time reading anything after this because nothing compared.  If you haven’t read Small Great Things, I highly suggest you read it now!


Lies and Letters, Ashtyn Newbold – I was SO happy when I found this new author, and even more surprised when I found out she was local to me!  (Not that it makes a difference but I love to see my little town full of so many talented people!)  Then there is the fact that Newbold is still a college student!  Wow….I cannot wait to see more from her in the future!


Mischief and Manors, Ashtyn Newbold – Of course she made it on the list twice.  This is her very first book released.  I read them out of order (they aren’t a series, so don’t worry, you can too) I loved them both, but did feel that she really was developing her own writing style by her second book.

For Love or Honor, Sarah M. Eden – I told you she would be on here twice!  I couldn’t wait for this book to be released!  YAY for more Jonquil brothers!  My only complaint about this book (and it serious is such a petty complaint) is that I’m not a huge fan of the cover.  I don’t know why – but it’s not my favorite! And seriously, if the only reason I don’t like a book is a cover, that’s really not a reason.


The War I Finally Won, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – I read the first book in this series in 2016 and adored it, so of course I had to read the sequel when it came out.  I was happy to find out that the sequel was nice and continued the story without ruining it – like many sequels can do.  My eight year old daughter recently read The War That Saved My Life and is currently reading this one too.  She loves them as much as I do.

Winter Garden, Kristin Hannah – I saw this book on Instagram being suggested for a book club.  I’m not a member of any book club, but I figured if it was good enough for one, it was good enough for me!  I loved it.  I think it would be a toss up between this book and The Nightingale for my favorite book by Hannah, I just don’t think I could pick one.  I read many books by Hannah after reading this one too.  She is a talented writer and has a new release coming soon too!

Keeping Kinley, Annette K. Larsen – This is the 5th book in a sweet series that I’ve been reading along the way as they are released.  I love that they are sweet and clean reads and each sisters has her own story.  Now that all 5 books are out I would recommend to readers to read them all in sequence.  Fun books!


I love nonfiction!  This year was one that I really read and studied and did some personal spiritual growth.  I always have a hard time narrowing down my top ten, but my top ten non-fiction are even harder for me.  I LOVE learning from what I read.

The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson – One of my favorite scriptures is “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass”  And while this book has NO religious reference at all, I truly think that the two go together.  Small things that we do everyday can make a huge difference in the long run.

Worth the Wrestle, Sheri Dew – How do you live by faith when you don’t feel like you are receiving answers?  Sheri Dew examines when we question and when we struggle with faith in this book.  I love her approach and could read and re-read this book numerous times.

Even This, Emily Belle Freeman – Emily Freeman is going to be on this list a couple times.  It was my year to read and study books by her.  I even read more by her that didn’t make the top 10 cut!  I felt that this book was just for me.  Where is God when bad things happen?  Do we ever feel abandoned?  This book answers and has so many faithful uplifting answers.

The Promise of Enough, Emily Belle Freeman – This book examines difference principles of abundance and shows you that you are enough , despite what you might feel or think about yourself.


More than Just Making It, Erin Odom – Erin is a blogger that I have followed for many years so when she released her book last year I knew I would want to read it.  I felt this book was super easy to read and had good suggestions.  It felt like sitting down and chatting with a girlfriend about how we can improve our household and finances.

Reading People, Anne Bogel – Anne Bogel is another blogger, and podcaster that I love, so again, I knew I would have to read her book when she released it in 2017.  This book was SO interesting and made me really reflect on our personalities and how that affects our life and relationships.  This book sparked me to read a few more personality type books too!  All great reads.

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert – I read this book early on in 2017 and felt it was such an inspiring book.  It would be a great book club book and one to discuss with friends.  If you haven’t read it than I highly recommend it. If you are a creative person, and I truly believe that all of us can create something in one way or another, this book is for you!

Get Over Your Damn Self, Romi Neustadt – I love my Rodan and Fields side business. It has blessed me with not only better skin, but it has blessed our family finacially.  This book is written by one of our top team leaders, but is not R+F specific.  I’ve read it and re-read it a few times this past year and find Romi has helpful and great ideas on how I can grow my business successfully.


The Christ Centered Home, Emily Belle Freeman – Are you surprised to find another book by Emily Belle Freeman?  You shouldn’t be!  I love her books.  This small book is one of my favorites because of the format.  Super easy!  Each month we can focus on a theme and each chapter gives us stories and even ideas for how we can focus on Christ.  I’ve read a lot of similar books but sometimes feel like that they are too young for my older children, or too boring for my younger children.  But I felt this book would work for us!

Seek This Jesus, Neill Marriott – On the last day of the year I finally sat down and read my 100th book.  And it was this one.  And it was the best book to go out of the year with.  I love Sister Marriott when she speaks to the Relief Society (women’s organization in my church).  I feel like it is directly to me, and her southern accent makes me feel at home.  I could hear her reading this book in my mind as I read it.  I love her honestly and openness telling her conversion story in this book.

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I know there are SO many more books that I read in 2017 that I loved and it is so hard to narrow it down to just 10.  I would love to hear some of your favorites from last year, or if you read any of my top picks, what you thought!  Leave me a comment and let me know!

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