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Bucket List Item #23: Read 30 Books

As maker of the list, I am reserving the right to call “Mulligan” and swap out one item on the list for a new one.

When I originally put “Jump in a pool with all my clothes on”, I was basing it off of a very specific wedding venue my friends were getting married at in August. The reception area has a full pool with a water slide and little cove area where the DJ would set up. I’d seen photos from other weddings where the entire wedding party ended the night by jumping into the pool and I thought it looked like so much fun! I thought we’d take advantage of the water feature and take a plunge in our heels our dresses.

However I learned later that because there were kids in attendance, a lifeguard was required to be on site if anyone was to use the pool. Otherwise the bride and groom risked their security deposit. I totally understand, but I struggled to find a plan b for this particular bucket list item. There was a rooftop pool at our Arizona hotel, but it ended up being only 3 feet deep and pretty crowded with people so I nixxed that option as well.

Now that it’s winter in Idaho, when most people here don’t have pools anyways, I’m beginning to see this task as a set-up for failure so I’m swapping it out with another feat I accomplished this year.

I read THIRTY books in 2022, the year before I turn thirty!

Here they are, in order that I read them. I’ll also give them my own rating:

  • The Hunting Wives, by May Cobb (6.5 out of 10)
  • The Book Charmer, by Karen Hawkins (7 out of 10)
  • The Art of Making Memories, by Meik Wiking (7.5 out of 10)
  • It Ends With Us, by Colleen Hoover (8 out of 10)
  • Love Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz (10 out of 10)
  • The Vaccine Book, Robert Sears (non-fiction, no rating)
  • Love Your Life, by Sophie Kinsella (I honestly cannot remember one thing from this book. ? out of 10)
  • Becoming Babywise, by Robert Bucknam (so vague. 3 out of 10)
  • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (6 out of 10)
  • Pasta Wars, by Elisa Lorello (9 out of 10)
  • Moms on Call Newborn to 6 Months (10 out of 10)
  • The Golden Couple, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (8 out of 10)
  • The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager (8 out of 10)
  • The Therapist, by B.A. Paris (10 out of 10)
  • Book Lovers, by Emily Henry (8.5 out of 10)
  • Moms on Call 6 months to 18 months (10 out of 10)
  • The It Girl, by Ruth Ware (10 out of 10)
  • It Happened One Summer, by Tessa Bailey (7 out of 10)
  • The Perfect Marriage, by Jeneva Rose (Did NOT expect the ending twist.10 out of 10)
  • What Matters Most, by Chanel Reynolds (non-fiction, no rating)
  • Reminders of Him, by Colleen Hoover (10 out of 10)
  • Verity, by Colleen Hoover (disturbing. But still a 10 out of 10)
  • Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman (SO ANNOYING. Could barely finish. 2 out of 10)
  • It Starts With Us, by Colleen Hoover (The sequel that did not need to exist. 3 out of 10)
  • Back in the Burbs, by Avery Flynn (7 out of 10)
  • Love Story, by Erich Segal (8 out of 10)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (10 out of 10)
  • Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes (10 out of 10)
  • In Five Years, by Rebecca Serle (The only book I finished in 1 day. 10 out of 10)
  • When Stars Collide, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (4 out of 10)

I’m really proud of this reading list for this year! I found out how much less free time I had with baby, and I was able to still maintain my book club with local friends and try out new genres that are typically outside of my comfort zone! This was more time consuming than jumping into a swimming pool with formalwear on, but also less chilly ;)

Speaking of chilly, I just dropped off a batch of books at my local “Little Free Library.” Do you have one of these where you live? We have THREE of them in our neighborhood, all within a half mile radius of our house. I love it! I have scored some good books and then replaced them with some of my own in return.

Since my 29th year started with Sarah Grunder Ruiz’s book Love, Lists and Fancy Ships, I’ve decided that I will start my 30th year with her most recent release – Luck & Last Resorts – and I’m really excited to start it after my birthday!

Bucket List Item #17: Read To Kill A Mockingbird

Happy New Year! Now I know we are alarmingly close to our deadline to complete this 30 Things to do list…..and noticeably far away from the goal. The good news is that I have completed several more items on the list, I just haven’t had the time (made the time) to write the blog posts about them. There are a couple items on the list that I am getting a little nervous about (*eh-hem* half marathon *eh-hem* 30 push-ups) but I have not given up hope that I will finish the list by February 12th :)

(Throwback to newborn days)

Reading is something I’ve loved since I was a toddler. I vividly remember reading the June B. Jones series when I was in kindergarten/first grade. I also loved the Box Car Children series, and later the Harry Potter series. I started a book club here in Boise 4 years ago and we take turns picking a monthly book and meeting at each other’s houses for girl time, wine and snacks! Occasionally, we do actually talk about the book 😁

To Kill a Mockingbird seems like one of those classics that everyone was required to read in high school, but for whatever reason it was not for me. We read some other classics like Great Gatsby and Scarlett Letter, but this one never came up. I wanted to make a reading-related item on my bucket list so I decided to pick an old classic since I usually favor new modern-day picks.

First I must admit that I actually listened to this on Audible. I still count audiobooks as books completed towards my yearly total, because you still spend hours and hours on them and you are consuming the same content. You’re just able to multitask while you do it! I usually listen to my audiobooks while I’m driving or while I’m in my bathroom doing my hair and makeup.

The narrator on Audible for this book is the best; she has the thickest sweetest southern accent. I really enjoyed how the book was from the perspective of the children, primarily Scout. I didn’t have a clue what the storyline was going to be about, so I was going into it completely blind. I went through the book pretty quickly and I enjoyed the time period it was set it. I know there is a black and white movie of it, and I might see if Zeb wants to watch it with me soon. The ending was not what I expected – pretty much from the outcome of the trial on.

I finished 30 books total in 2022, which I’ll do a separate post on. Our book club pick for January is “Daisy Darker” which I will also be reading on audiobook. My physical book that I’m starting the year off with is going to be A Court of Thorns and Roses. Not my typical genre but I’ve been hearing so many people rave about how addicting it was, I became curious.

Brynnley is only 10 months old but she seems to really enjoy our time reading her little books too. I refilled her bookshelf with all Christmas books for the month of December, and just swapped them back out for her regular baby books over the weekend. In her room full of toys and stuffed animals and blocks, she always prefers to go over to her bookshelf and pull out books to flip through for her. Proud mama moments! I can’t wait til we can read more books out loud together! My parents saved all of my Junie B. Jones books in perfect condition to pass down to her :)

Let me know if there are any other books I should add to my 2023 reading list. I always end up somewhere between 28-32 books per year, but we’ll see if I can hit a personal record this year.

The Summer Reading List

The Strong Like My Coffee Summer Reading List  Stronglikemycoffee.comReading lists are not mandatory anymore, they’re very much elective. When I was little, I was completely consumed with the novels I read for fun. Some stand-outs in my mind include Bridge to Terabithia, Ella Enchanted, The Giver, and Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. They were more addicting than reality TV.

I have this paranoia about staring at electronic screens for too long. We are the first generation to grow up with so much screen-time, constant phone interaction plus work and homework on the computer. It can’t be good right? I keep thinking that twenty years down the line, it will have some negative side effect. Like our eye color will fade or our skin tone will change. Call me weird but whatever, limiting screen time can’t be a bad thing!

My post-it note with books to read this summer has been growing growing growing over the last few months. Some of these are books that were recommended in magazines, some had good reviews on blogs I follow and some were referenced by my professors. Since I buy books by the dozens when I go home, I’m definitely not opposed to buying used books. I think a major Amazon purchase is in my future!

The Strong Like My Coffee Summer Reading List is Here! | Healthy College Girl Blog

  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: This book appears on my reading list because of its relevance to a 22-year old college graduate without a concrete life plan mapped out yet. It’s timeless! (Or so I’ve heard.)
  • It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell: All of my favorite bloggers have been reading and talking about this memoir, a story of a food blogger and her self-acceptance over body image issues.
  • How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World by Jordan Christy: Another book I spotted on a blog book review. Apparently this book includes “assignments”, and as someone who would rather be domestic than dramatic, I am intrigued!
  • Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedland: Oh if this isn’t appropriate to the introduction paragraph above. A book that encourages us to look up from our mobile devices and have human interaction! One of the greatest disappointments of college was being surrounded by millennials who would rather text than talk. (So the people that need to read books like these won’t, and the people that want others to read it will. Sigh.)
  • How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz: A story about three college BFFs and their lives twenty years post-grad. Cosmo-magazine recommended.
  • Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne: This book has its own trailer…..a best-seller on five continents about competition and strategy, it must have something I can learn from!
  • The Human Brand by Chris Malone & Susan T. Fiske: A man I sat next to on one of my many flights to New York was reading this book. I told him I was a senior marketing student and he highly recommended it. Word of mouth is the best advertising, so I added it to the list!
  • Worth the Wait by Jamie Beck: because sometimes you just need a juicy rom-com summer read too.

Any others that you recommend? I love all varieties…biographies, mysteries, romance, thrillers, educational, historical, classics and currents!

Summer Reading List on Strong Like My Coffee | Healthy College Girl Blog

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