Traditionally, I share my list of books that I read (or tried to read) in a year at the new year. This exercise used to hold a lot of guilt for me, ever since 2003 when I began recording the books I read. Negative thoughts plagued me as I wrote, things like, “I didn’t read as many books as I did last year,” or “I read only junk and nothing insightful or edifying.”

Being a mother changes everything, doesn’t it? When my daughter was first born, I went from reading a lot to reading all.the.time. Nursing for 45 minutes every 3 hours leaves a lot of time for books – the library was my favorite place, and I went through 4 or 5 books a week. Then my daughter got older.

Suddenly I find myself chasing a toddler, about to have another baby, and with no time for reading, let alone even returning the books to the library that I bothered to check out two months ago and haven’t touched since I picked them up.

So it is without guilt that I surrender to the season of life I am currently in. Someday, I will be able to read again. Perhaps even for long, luxurious periods of time. I will still post the books I managed to pick up in 2016. Meanwhile, I will continue reading books to my daughter (and I will to my next child as well) – many of them over and over until I have them memorized and I am bored out of my skull. But she loves them, and I will do everything in my power to give her the gift of being a reader. I take comfort in the fact that we participated in a library program asking parents to read 1000 books to their children before they start school. And we accomplished it by her 1st birthday, with 4 years to spare.

And I will post a book that I hope to read this year. Yes, A book. Just one. I already have it; I have even already started it. And I hope to finish it this month because I will be hearing a talk from the author in my mom’s group at the end of the month. Beyond that, I haven’t set any reading goals. And that’s okay.

List of 2016 Books (in chronological order):

Symbol Key: *Favorite, ^Didn’t Finish (for whatever reason – book was terrible, didn’t have time…)

*The Mark of the Golden Dragon (L.A. Meyer)

*Viva Jacquelina! (L.A. Meyer)

*Boston Jacky (L.A. Meyer)

*Wild Rover No More (L.A. Meyer)

The Tale of Desperaux (Kate DiCamillo)

Touching Stars (Emilie Richards)

*Guinevere’s Gamble (Nancy McKenzie)

Whiskey Island (Emilie Richards)

One Mountain Away (Emilie Richards)

Somewhere Between Luck & Trust (Emilie Richards)

Pacific Vortex (Clive Cussler)

No River Too Wide (Emilie Richards)

Iceberg (Clive Cussler)

The Color of Light (Emilie Richards)

Blessed Is The Busybody (Emilie Richards)

Let There Be Suspects (Emilie Richards)

Sahara (Clive Cussler)

*The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (Katarina Bivald)

Beware False Profits (Emilie Richards)

A Lie for A Lie (Emilie Richards)

*Vintage (Susan Gloss)

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Alan Bradley)

Speaking from Among the Bones (Alan Bradley)

*The Cuckoo’s Calling (Robert Galbraith)

*The Hired Girl (Laura Amy Schlitz)

Shockwave (Clive Cussler)

Endless Chain (Emilie Richards)

The Dead In Their Vaulted Arches (Alan Bradley)

The Silkworm (Robert Galbraith)

^A Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling (Tamra B. Orr)

^The Homeschooler’s Book of Lists (Sonya Haskins)

^The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas (Linda Dobson)

A Truth for A Truth (Emilie Richards)

Treasure (Clive Cussler)

Games to Play with Babies (Jackie Silberg)

^*The Giant Encyclopedia of Lesson Plans for Children Ages 3-6

^*Charlotte & Lionel (Stanley Weintraub)

*The 4-Hour Workweek (Timothy Ferriss)

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (David Lagercrantz)

Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine)

^Better Together (Jill Savage)

*The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris (Jenny Colgan)

Inca Gold (Clive Cussler)

101 Things to Make with Canned Soup (Donna Kelly)

What Can I Bring? Cookbook (Anne Byrn)

Harry Potter 6 (J.K. Rowling)

*How to Shop for Free (Kathy Spencer)

^The Four Ms. Bradwells (Meg Waite Clayton)

Miserly Meals (Jonni McCoy)

Miserly Moms (Jonni McCoy)

*Havana Storm (Clive Cussler)

^52 New Foods Challenge (Jennifer Tyler Lee)

^Eat Cheap but Eat Well (Mattocks)

*The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet (Laura Fuentes)

^*Getting Schooled (Garret Keizer)

^International Night (Mark Kurlansky)

^The Country Cooking of Ireland (Colman Andrews)

*Loving My Actual Life (Alexandra Kuykendall)

*No Baggage (Clara Bensen)

*Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper (Phaedra Patrick)

*Around the World in 80 Dates (Christa Barister)

^*Good Omens (Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett)

^*Nothing Daunted (Dorothy Wickendon)

Here is the book I am currently reading. Nothing has made me cry more in the first two chapters, perhaps because it totally embodies my current mom life and I can relate to nearly everything. It comes highly recommended so far, especially for mom readers who need encouragement, or for dad readers who need to understand a little more about mom life.

Image result for hope unfolding cover

Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson

I also just found out she has another book coming out this month, Love Unending. Here’s hoping I’ll have time to read that, too!