I've always enjoyed reading but through seasons of raising six kids and homeschooling, growing a business, and just way too much stress in general, I let my reading go by the wayside.
Then in 2021, I decided I wanted to make reading a priority again. During that year, I read 15 books.
To keep the momentum, I set a goal to read 50 books in 2022, but ultimately only finished 25. That might sound like a big fat failure, but the truth is, it was 10 more than I read the year before so I was thrilled to have finished as many as I did!
Books to Read in 2023
For 2023 I'm setting a goal to read 52 books (one per week). You can read about my goals for that here and here, but in the meantime, I thought I'd do a quick post sharing my favorite reads of 2022 just in case you're looking for some new reading material this upcoming year!
45 books. I put together 45 books that I already own but have not read (or have not finished) and aim to finish in 2023. My goal for 2023 will be 52 books (one per week). I doubt it will be all of these... I also have a ton of books on my Audible account AND I have the list of books from my previous post (12 friends/12 months/12 books post). But I hope many of the 52 will come from this selection!
*Some of these were gifts, some were bought at a library sale (ie., cheap), some were gotten from Paperbackswap, and MOST I bought because I wanted to read them... knowing I have WAY more than I can read in a lifetime in our homeschool room. I bought some of them last week... others years ago. #itsaproblem
My favorite genres of books
One more thing before I tell you about my favorites. Just in case you're wondering, here are my favorite genres...
- True Crime
- And then books for women? Haha... I hesitate to call them "self-help" but any books about friendship, relationships, marriage, and yeah... self-help.
- True stories... including memoirs and some biographies.
I do not like Fantasy/Supernatural/Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, or Horror.
My top 5 books of 2021
- Your Blue Flame: Drop the Guilt and Do What Makes You Come Alive by Jennifer Fulwiler. This was such an inspiring and encouraging book. And Jennifer will make you laugh out loud at every turn. Her authenticity is one reason I've always loved following her!
Note: I do not know her personally but I feel like she's my friend so I speak about her as if she is. Haha! I've read and loved all of Jennifer's books! The first two were Something Other Than God and One Beautiful Dream.
- Love Centered Parenting by Crystal Paine. I can probably count on one hand the number of "parenting books" I've read in my life and I honestly had to really force myself to read this one. But after rave reviews from so many, I decided to go for it! And I'm so glad I did! I highly recommend this book for ALL parents, with kids of any age!! So many incredible nuggets of truth... not just for parenting, but for life!!
- Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win by Ryan Babineaux, John Krumboltz. This book really was a kick in the pants for me to start pursuing other streams of income in my business... throw it out there and just see what sticks. And it worked!! I had already written my first ebook but I had so many ideas that I was not pursuing. After reading this book, I committed to myself to start writing and selling ebooks! It was just what I needed... I've currently sold almost $7000 of my ebooks in under 2 years since reading the book. No, I haven't gotten rich off of them but they've added a nice little bump of passive income that requires almost zero continuing work on my part after each ebook is written & published. See them all here ➡️ https://rosebakes.com/shop/
- If You Tell: a True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood by Gregg Olson. I hesitated to put this book on my "favorites" list because it was an incredibly disturbing story that kept me up at night and it's hard to say it's a favorite story. It's a horrible story. But I am fascinated by true crime and this is one book I'll never forget. Be warned: the content is hard to read because of the brutality, cruelty, language and so much more.
- The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Unlike the previous book, I don't remember many details about this book. But I do remember enough to say that I was sucked into the great storytelling and didn't want to put it down. I laughed and cried and made a note to myself that it was a favorite. So ... there you go 😉
My top 5 books of 2022
- Organizing for the Rest of Us: 100 Realistic Strategies to Keep Any House Under Control by Dana White. This might seem like an odd choice for my favorite book but it is legit... my favorite of the year! My house is always full of clutter. Always needs "picking up" and I struggle to let go of things. But for the first time ever, I feel like I have doable tasks that will help me get control of our messy, cluttered house. This book was written almost like a devotional... 100 topics total but they're broken down into small bites (2-5 paragraphs... 1-2 pages at most for each topic/tip) so I would read 2-3 tips a day in the bathroom (TMI?). And then choose to begin putting at least one of them into action. I actually plan to re-read it a few times until I can get more order in my life.
- The Hard Good: Why Every Struggle Matters More Than You Know by Lisa Whittle. This book was suggested to me by my friend Lesley and it was SO good! Enduring hard things is a normal part of life but in this book, Lisa shares how these hard things can lead to growth and purpose, and even joy.
- The Terminal List by Jack Carr. I can't remember who suggested this Jack Carr series to me but I really enjoyed it. It's a military/action-themed book that kept me on my toes. I've actually also read True Believer (the second in the series) and have the rest of the series on Audible... I need to get busy listening!
- Verity by Colleen Hoover. So, I'd never read a Colleen Hoover novel and WOW... this was such a twisted and shocking book. At times, the language and content were too much for my personal taste (I don't use foul language at all), but I could not put it down and the ending... just WOW. Having said that, I doubt I'll read any more Colleen Hoover... Call me a "stick in the mud", but it was just too much for me.
- Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. I listened to this book on Audible and because I felt it was so impactful for me, I actually bought the physical book and a study guide to go through it again. I feel like I struggle with an authentic view of who God really is and this book ... well, it helped me a lot.0
Alrighty... so that's that! I'd love to chat about your reading goals, favorite books and genres, and any book recommendations you have! Leave me a comment!