2017 word

I felt a little too prepared for Christmas this year- most of my shopping was done a few weeks before, and we wrapped a few presents a night to keep wrapping fatigue away. It got to the point where all of our presents were stacked by the wall adjacent to our tree, and I thought, “What am I forgetting? We can’t possibly be done already.”

I forgot about New Year’s.

We’re typically only in California for Christmas, but since we were able to visit for both holidays, I completely forgot about the new year. This means I had no New Year’s resolutions, no plans, not even a word.

On January 1st while I was sitting at church, we read a scripture in Mosiah, and the thought just came to me that this is what I needed to focus on this year:



My word and my focus for the year is: cheerful. I want to be cheerful even if my car is buried under two feet of snow, even if I got toothpaste on my shirt so I have to wear a scarf all day, even if it’s -15 when I wake up in the morning. (These are all inspired by true events that have already tested my cheerfulness this past week.) I want to be cheerful even when things aren’t going my way, maybe especially when things aren’t going my way. I’m looking forward to it, cheerfully, of course. 🙂


2016 Bibliography

Maybe my 2016 word should have been “Read” because that’s pretty much all I did this year. I really wanted to spend the last year focusing on creating something (specifically a manuscript) I could be proud of, but this year had other plans in mind.

With my emotional reserves depleted, I did what I do best- I hid in a book. Instead of spending 2016 creating, I spent it consuming literature. Some of it was great, some not so great, and some was borderline embarrassing (I wish I knew how to quit you, celebrity memoirs). Regardless, it was just what I needed.

Some of my fondest memories of this year happened at Lagoon, while Tyson was in line for a roller coaster and I sat on a bench and read my book, finding healing I knew I desperately needed. To me, there’s nothing as therapeutic as getting lost in a book, so I guess I spent  most of my time in therapy this year.

I hope to one day be able to stay current with my Instagram reviews of the books I’m reading, but for now, here are my ratings for all the books I read during 2016:

1 Star – You Can Skip These
The Heart Aroused – David Whyte

2 Stars – Meh
At First Sight – Nicholas Sparks
Austenland – Shannon Hale
That Summer – Sarah Dessen

3 Stars – Good to Pass the Time, but Wouldn’t Recommend
Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Maria Semple
We Could Be Beautiful – Swan Huntley
Summerlost – Ally Condie
The After Party – Anton DiSclafani
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo
Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty
Bookends – Jane Green
Great – Sara Benincasa
Liars, Inc. – Paula Stokes
We Are All Made of Molecules – Susin Nielsen
The Rose Society – Marie Lu
Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
21 Principles – Richard G. Scott
Glass Sword – Victoria Aveyard
The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen
Wildflower – Drew Barrymore
Before I Go – Colleen Oakley

4 Stars – Really Liked These, and they Kept my Attention
Anne of Avonlea – L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Windy Poplars – L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Ingleside – L.M. Montgomery
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B – Theresa Toten
Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes
Quiet – Susan Cain
Maybe in Another Life – Taylor Jenkins Reid
What Happened to Goodbye – Sarah Dessen
The Crown – Kiera Cass
Mosquitoland – David Arnold
Assassination Vacation – Sarah Vowell
Every Last Word – Tamara Ireland Stone
All of Us and Everything – Bridget Asher
The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Atlantia – Ally Condie
The Continuous Atonement – Brad Wilcox
Face to Face – S. Michael Wilcox
Love Live – Rob Lowe
Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld
Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close
Eligible – Curtis Sittenfeld
Beautiful Chaos – Kami Garcia
After You – Jojo Moyes
The Moon and More – Sarah Dessen
Please Ignore Vera Dietz – A.S. King
The Holy Temple – Boyd K. Packer
Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
Cinder – Marissa Meyer
Saint Anything – Sarah Dessen
The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls 

5 Stars – Page Turners that Made me Weep when They Ended, which I Have Since Recommended to Every Person I’ve Met Since 
Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
Anne of the Island – L.M. Montgomery
Anne’s House of Dreams – L.M. Montgomery
The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord
The Great American Whatever – Tim Federle
My Heart and Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga
The Siren – Kiera Cass
Temple Worship – Andrew C. Skinner
Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum
Landline – Rainbow Rowell
Since You’ve Been Gone – Morgan Matson
Attachments – Rainbow Rowell
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Infinite in Between – Carolyn Mackler
Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella
The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriarty
Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
Off the Page – Jodi Picoult

I’m so flattered whenever someone asks me for book recommendations or tips on how to become a more active reader. I want to share some of what I’ve learned on here because I truly believe that everyone can be a reader. I hope 2017 can be the year everyone finds the perfect book, and maybe it can be the year I write mine.


Here’s to another year of reading!