Monday, December 26, 2016

My 2017 To-Read List

Ach! Happy Boxing Day, Canadian friends! Please excuse me for being possibly the least festive blogger ever. I truly feel terribly about my recent absence from blogging, especially because I had multiple Christmas-themed posts I wanted to get out! Guess I'll just have to move onto New Year's posts. Oh well.

In 2016, my GoodReads reading goal was 40 books, but I only got through 33. I don't feel badly about that, though; I read so many great books! But moving into 2017, here are just 20 titles that I really should must read. Books I've been putting off. Books everybody and their cousin have recommended to me. Books I need to read to prepare for my GRE in Literature exam.

Let me know which you've already read and your thoughts, if you see something familiar, please!

[Caution: I neither have read, nor can wholly recommend anything on this list. If you would like to leave me a note via my Contact page concerning a certain book, I can let you know my thoughts on it after I read it.]

1. The Grapes of Wrath

Steinbeck. For GRE Literature Prep. Also, I've been wanting to read it, and they're showing a play of it in April here, so maybe if I like the book, I could go to the play...?

2. Catch .22

Heller. It's safe to say I know noting about this book, save only that it's important I read it before trying the GRE Lit. exam.

3. David Copperfield

Dickens. Ever since I was in sixth grade and had to write a report on 'Oliver Twist' and detested it, I thought I just didn't like Charles Dickens. But last month I read 'Great Expectations' as a part of the GRE Lit. Prep reading list (full GoodReads review coming soon), loved it, and  am really looking forward to reading more Dickens, now!

4. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Wallace. A friend gasped at me last year when I told her I had never read 'Ben-Hur' nor seen the movie. Not that I haven't meant to! So this year, I need to read it.

5. The Man Who Knew Too Much

Chesterton. Before 2016, I had never heard of G.K. Chesterton, but several blogs I follow have brought his name to my attention this year, and I've determined I need to find out what all this acclaim is about.

6. Mansfield Park

Austen. Because Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors of all time, and there are still just a couple novels of hers I have yet to read!

7. Northanger Abbey

Austen. (See above.)

8. The Atonement Child

Rivers. Mykaela has been wanting me to read this ever since we met, and I'm going to.

9. To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson

Anderson. Because I have been obsessed with Burma missions work ever since I saw it first-hand.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird

Lee. You might remember the book tag post I did back in August? This was the book I listed as the one I was ashamed to say I haven't read. 2017 is going to change that for me.

11. God's Smuggler

Brother Andrew. Because I've considered smuggling logistics, myself.

12.  Mother

Norris. Apparently, this is a "classic" for Christian girls, reminding them the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence, and pointing them towards the beauty of God's highest calling for women. I say "apparently" because I haven't read it, and don't know anyone personally that has (or has told me, at least). However, I'm really hoping to get my hands on it this coming year; maybe the library will ship it in for me? I'll have to let you all know how I like it!

13. Stepping Heavenward

Prentiss. So many of my friends have read and re-read this one; I'm really excited to discover all that I've been missing out of, having never read it before! The GoodReads description has sold me.

14.  Born That Way After All

Nixon. Here. Just go read the GoodReads description. It's a topic I want to understand more comprehensively through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, not the world.

15. Will Our Generation Speak?

Mally. I've read all of the Mally family's other books, why not this one?! And especially being that it's a topic right up my alley?! This is the year I fix that.

16. Grace Triumphant: A Tale of the Slave Trade

Willis. I actually won this in eBook format back right after publication. Can you believe that? I own this book, and I've never read it? Grr.

17. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Metaxas. Prophet? Eh. No. But. I can't not read this book. World War 2 + Baptist Pastor smuggling Jews into Switzerland?! Yes, please!!

18. Ten P's in a Pod: The Million-Mile Journal of a Home School Family

Pent. One GoodReads reviewer, Rachel, said, "I had so much fun reading this with my brother! It's an inspiring story of a family that prioritized Scripture in their life, spending time together, and who weren't afraid to live differently." And if that doesn't sell me on reading it, nothing will!

19. The Virginian

Wister. Being a westerns fan, and this being "the first great novel of the American West", I simply must indulge myself.

20. The Little Sparrows

Lacy. Firstly, I want to say that despite the many negative reviews you might see when you look this one up, I happen to already know that I love the Mr. Lacy's writing style, and I so appreciate his clear Gospel presentations. I also know that orphan trains make for fun stories. This will make for a nice, easy read in the middle of all of the other Shakespeare and such I need to work on.

~ ~ ~

You've finished the list!

Seriously, congratulations! Quite the feat! Glad I didn't bore you to death. ;)

Now that you're way down here, I'd love to see a comment from you! I read 33 books in 2016, and only have 20 on my list for 2017- help me out with recommendations for my empty slots! What's a book you recommend to everyone?

Also, if you want to hear [read] my musings on books (along with tons of other stuff), I send out my posts via email as they're published (once, sometimes twice a week, at most), and if you're interesting in following along, please subscribe!! (Subscribing methods: 1- on web version, enter your email address on the 'Follow By Email' bar on the top right of the page. 2- on either web or mobile version, access my 'Contact' page, fill in the form, and click 'yes' to subscribing.)

And finally, I record all of my book reading on GoodReads, where you should totally follow/friend me, if you, too, love a good book! (Here is the link to my personal page.)

Thank you so much, friends! I have a lot of ideas I really want to implement around the blog soon, so stay tuned!!


  1. I loved this post!! And I'm SO HAPPY to see "Atonement Child" on your reading list. ;P Haha! So, Dickens. *deep breath* Umm...How do I go about describing my feelings about his writings?!

    I adore David Copperfield. And A Christmas Carol. And Nicholas Nickleby, (movie especially). And the movie of Little Dorrit is okay, but no more than okay. And there my love for his works ends with a jarring, screeching halt. I absolutely LOATHE Bleak House (at least the movie), can't stand Great Expectations, never read Oliver Twist fully, but...I dunno. His characters are sometimes just SO. STINKING. WEIRD. Like too weird for me. So I very much have a love/hate relationship with Dickens.

    I've read God's Smuggler, and it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are going to LOVE it.


    1. Heehee! Thanks!!

      So I really didn't like Oliver Twist when I read it back in the day, but I *think* I remember liking the movie okay? That's the only book-to-movie I've seen from the Dickens collection (besides the plethora of 'Christmas Carol' renditions we've all seen, of course). I really, really did like 'Great Expectations', though! The characters were so real to me, and it ended not the way I wanted it to, but still kind of like the realistically good way you want to hear about. Does that make sense? Like, yes, life is hard, and you're going to be thrown some curveballs, but if you get the right perspective on what a "good life" is, then you'll find it wherever you are. I'm still arranging my thoughts for my GoodReads review. ;) (P.S. If alcohol references bother you, don't even open 'Great Expectations'-- it's that English timeframe when they drank rum to warm up...)

      I am really looking forward to it!! It's been on my list of things I need to read for way too long!!

      Yes ma'am, yes ma'am. ;)

  2. 'Will Our Generation Speak?' Is a GOOD one!!! I'm sure you'll enjoy it, I know I did!! ;)

    1. Yay! I can't wait to get it and read it!!

      Thanks for commenting!! <3

  3. Kimberly, I love your book list! I'm familiar with quite a few of those titles, and the ones I haven't read I'd like to try! (Especially Mother,Will Our Generation Speak, and the one about the homeschooled family.)

    I've heard of the Grapes of Wrath but not Catch. 22.
    I've read the All Lacy's, I think,and I've seen the movie adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird but haven't read the book yet.

    Dickens... I kind of second what Mykaela said. I loved A Christmas Carol (who wouldn't? It's all about hope and second chances!) and I think I liked David Copperfield. (It's been a while since I read it..when I was younger I kind of cheated and read the Great Illustrated Classics version.) But I hated Oliver Twist. I cried so hard when nasty old Bill Sykes murdered Nancy! I felt like my heart had been ripped to pieces.. First it had been introduced to this gentle young woman in such harsh circumstances, and then it was dashed on the ground when she was brutally killed for making the right choice and trying to save a helpless boy. Maybe I should try to read it again,perhaps I was a little more emotional then. But still. That book has bad memories. Ugh.I might be just a wee bit prejudiced against Mr. Dickens after he killed off my favorite character!

    My brother and I just watched the movie Ben-Hur after reading the book. We'd seen the movie as kids but only remembered the chariot race,rowing parts on the slave ship,and the belching scene. They were both good,but as is the sad case with so many movie-from-book-adaptations,the movie changed a lot of the book,sacrificing a lot of the plot to make it more exciting. Still,definitely worth it.

    The Man Who Knew Too Much sounds interesting! Have you ever read any P.G Wodehouse?

    Mansfield Park is wonderful.. How in the world have you not read it yet? Just a warning,though,I haven't been able to find any movie versions that are acceptable for younger kids. And Northanger Abbey..I never liked it as well as any of the others. The main character I found ridiculous, with her fantasies. And the Gothic part was not very edifying. But is better let you form your own opinion, I do know people who enjoy it.

    You haven't read The Atonement Child? How long have you and Mykaela been friends? She made me read it within a month or two of our first acquaintance,and threatened me with bodily harm if I failed to enjoy it! ( OK, so I might be stretching the truth a little bit here, and I am actually really glad she encouraged me to read it! ;) It's good. Very good.

    And then Born That Way after's a life changing message,and one that must be heard!

    I hope you have a great year! How could it go wrong, with a God like our God and a book list like that?

    1. Oh, Jenny! Your comments are the best!

      I guess Dickens is hit and miss, eh? I'm on David Copperfield now, and really enjoying it! I love his narrative voice!

      Movies always twist books. Except the 90s Pride and Prejudice. It's the most true-to-the-book movie, and I love it. But I'll try Ben-Hur, too, after I read it. ;)

      I have not read any P.G. Wodehouse! Would you recommend a specific title, or just anything?

      Haha! I don't know how I have any Austen left! I wonder if Jane Austen wrote Northanger Abbey later during life? If she started feeling Gothic?

      NO! I know! I can't believe I haven't, either! Hahahaha! That's really funny, but I don't think Mykaela would threaten me because way, way, deep down.. she knows I could clobber her. ;D

      I'm having a hard time getting my hands on a copy of Born That Way After All. I might just have to order it retail. (Which I never do. Me and my cheapskate self. Ha!)

      Haha! Thanks for your vote of confidence! Book lists totally do make the world go round, though! ;) <3

  4. Ha! I'm glad you can make sense out of my often-rambling,scatterbrained comments! ;)

    I'll put re-reading David Copperfield and perhaps Oliver Twist on my reading list. Mr. Dickens deserves another chance!

    The BBC version of Pride and Prejudice is THE BEST!! 1995 was a great year for Jane Austen movie adaptations..Not only was there Pride and Prejudice but Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion as well...aah. :) It's amazing, but I'll have to admit that I like Jane and Mr. Collins in the absolutely-does-not-follow-the-book-and-otherwise-atrocious-Kiera Knightley version a little better. :P

    P.G.Wodehouse wrote the books that were the basis of the British TV show Jeeves and Wooster,if you're familiar with that at all. I've read a few of those,and thy are hilarious.. British humor at its classiest. Jeeves and Wooster is about a rather conceited young bachelor and gentleman Bertie Wooster,who is rich and has no ambition in life,but thinks he's quite topping. His valet,Jeeves,is dignified and extremely wise,and both the books and the TV show are about the scrapes Wooster gets in and how Jeeves gently fixes everything without insulting his master (too much). I live the way they talk,with lovely big words.. :) Anyway, after a while all the books sound the same,but they are still good!

    Actually, Northanger Abbey was Jane Austen's first novel. It was written in the late 1890s under the title Susan,then she changed it to Catherine, and finally Northanger Abbey. It's a slightly satirical parody of the Gothic romances that were popular during that time period. As she continued writing she left the Gothic side off and focused on the ironically humorous romances that have become so beloved instead. :)

    Tee hee! (That's my version of ha ha,in case you've never heard it! ;) I don't know if Mykaela could beat me up or not... I hope it never comes to that! She's threatening to make me try Ranch on my pretzels now...

    Yes,I was really surprised at how much Born That Way After All was on Amazon! Books can be really spendy.. Have you listened to Brother Nixon's sermons on the subject? I think they're on Blessed Hope Baptist Outreach's website.. that could be an alternative to reading the book. Perhaps not quite the same,but still powerful!

    Have fun reading!


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