Books of 2017 & My Top Three

I’ve always been an avid reader and ever since I decided to read a book a week back in 2014, I’ve kept a list of the books I’ve read for each year. For 2017, I mostly read what was available on Prime First or Prime Reading. It was easier, I was lazy, and mostly, I was not very intentional in my choices. Never mind the ever growing list of books I want to read or that have been recommended, and as a result, there were few books this past year that moved me. Also, I’ve learned that sometimes, for me, it’s best not to reread a book that I considered life altering in my younger years e.g., Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, simply was more profound at the age of 20 than it was at 42.

  1. Three Wishes, Liane Moriarty
  2. The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk
  3. The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland, Rebekah Crane
  4. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In The End, Atul Gawande
  5. The Danish Girl, David Ebershoff
  6. Man’s Search For Meaning, Victor Frankl
  7. Sisters One, Two, Three, Nancy Star
  8. Never Again So Close, Claudia Serrano
  9. The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter, J.S. Drangsholt
  10. All The Lies We Tell, Megan Hart
  11. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd, Jim Fergus
  12. One Last Thing Before I Go, Jonathan Tropper
  13. Mrs. Saint & the Defectives, Julie Lawson Trimmer
  14. Stillhouse Lake, Rachel Caine
  15. The First Word, Isley Robinson
  16. PS From France, Marc Levy
  17. The Dark Lure, Loreth Anne White
  18. What Remains True, Janis Thomas
  19. Milk And Honey, Rupi Kaur
  20. Coming Clean, Kimberly Rae Miller
  21. Love & Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

As I review the list, it’s predominantly fiction, and as I select my top 3 as must reads, I’m not surprised to find, I consider non-fiction and memoirs more impressive to me.

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In late 2016, I began working in hospice and this book presented as a necessity to read. It’s a peculiar thing, the relationship we have with death and dying. People not in the field always seem so mortified when I tell them I love my job. They moan, “Ugh, I couldn’t imagine dealing with death every day.” They’re mostly surprised when I tell them I don’t deal with it every day and sometimes people who know their time is limited, live more than those living day by day.

“People with serious illness have priorities besides simply prolonging their lives. Surveys find that their top concerns include avoiding suffering, strengthening relationships with family and friends, being mentally aware, not being a burden on others, and achieving a sense that their life is complete.”

 

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I learned a long time ago, true life is much more fascinating than fiction and this memoir sheds light on growing up with parents who are hoarders. It’s surreal and eye opening.

“In my reading I found that many hoarders have similar stories to my dad. Maybe they weren’t the children of abusive alcoholics, but they were emotionally neglected at some point in their development. One of the more popular theories behind the triggers for hoarding indicates that people who are neglected emotionally as children learn to form attachments to objects instead of people. When they do connect with others, they then keep any object that reminds them of that person as a way of holding onto those attachments.”

 

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While I really value and enjoy my work in hospice, one of my other favorite positions I held was in a grant funded marriage education program in which I worked one on one with couples for a year who participated in a 12 week group education program. Couples learned communication and conflict resolution skills, as well as understanding  expectations and how each person shows and receives love. We revisited these topics in our visits together, allowing them the opportunity to put what they learned to practice, and review their couple specific marital inventory that highlighted their strengths and growth areas. This book touches on the differences men and women tend to have in showing and giving love.

“That a husband values respect more than love is very difficult for many women to grasp. God has made you to love, and you see life through pink lenses that are focused on love. You give love, you want love, and you may not quite understand why your husband does not operate the same way. When I say a husband values respect more than love, do I mean that your husband does not value love at all? Of course he values your love – more than words can describe – but he spells love R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”

Reading for 2018 is well under way. I’ve decided to put more thought and selection into my choices and no longer feel obligated to finish a book simply because I’ve started it. I’ve already abandoned two. Time is precious so I might as well spend it pursuing something worthwhile. Happy Reading!

 

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