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Top 10 Books of 2017

early sunset in Ft Langley 

I love reading all these "Top 10" lists of favorite books read throughout the year, so I'm adding my two cents.  I'm involved in a Book Club that I love with women from our church, a small group that meets every week and goes through a book every few months, my own list, books I'm reading aloud to the kids and  books I'm reading for educational purposes (think professional development). I took a look at all of those combined and this is what I got, in no particular order: 

The Problem of God by Mark Clark - I loved going through this academic apologetic book with my friends from church. It led us to great discussion, and good food for thought. I listen to Clark's sermons every week and so knew I'd probably love his writing style, too. If you have objections to Christianity, or are feeling confused about what to believe, this is a great primer. 

*You're Smarter Than You Think by Dr. Thomas Armstrong - I loved going through this book with my kids. It's about Multiple Intelligences, and how each of us are smart in different ways. This was great to go through with my kids who struggle in a few academic areas, but have skills more developed than mine in others. They thought it was a bit too long, but the information was so valuable. 

*Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown - I love Brene Brown. I adore her research and communication style. I will read everything she ever writes, maybe even grocery lists. The end. 

*Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler -  I know this won't be for everyone, but this was so mind-blowing for me to read as it pertains to one of my learners, and really helped give me permission to do things differently this year in our homeschool as it pertains to math. A very academic/research heavy read, but so worthwhile. 

*The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - I read very few fiction titles in a year so I know that I want to like the characters, and have them be page-turners, and this fit both categories. It is and was very relevant, timing-wise, to what is happening in the states with police and gun issues, too. I'm looking forward to reading Thomas' next book. 

*OLIO by Tyehimba Jess - Again another niche read, but Olio was the Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry this year and it blew me away. Filled with comedy, research, historical documents, back-and-forth dueling was so, so good. Not everyone likes poetry, and if you don't, don't bother. But if you do, or you love historical fiction/satire, you will enjoy it!

*Born a Crime by Trevor Noah - I read a lot of memoirs in a given year and this was one of my favorites. I didn't know Noah's history, and what little I knew about apartheid in South Africa was greatly enhanced by reading about his childhood.

*One Year Off by David Elliot Cohen - I liked this book so much because I'm passionate about traveling and adventuring with my kids, so this is totally up my alley. The Cohen's did an around-the-world trip decades ago before millenial was even a word. Their experiences are hilarious and heart-warming. 

*Hillbilly Eulogy by J.D. Vance - Again, another memoir I loved about a region (Appalachia) I know very little about, that I really enjoyed. The story is pretty sad, and the ending was a bit too quick and tidy for me, but I would recommend this across the board to anyone who wants to understand the Eastern red states, socially and politically. 

*Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - One of the first books I read this past year turned out to be one of my favorites of the 60+. I loved this fictional narrative about a family lineage that spans centuries. It was beautifully written, historically imaginative, and I loved the ending. Can't get much better than that! I  just can't get over the fact that this was her first novel. I will definitely be reading more Gyasi as she writes more!

Bonus! Read Alouds

*The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis - We finished up the Narnia series in 2017 and this is my favorite of the seven. I love the ending of the series as it goes through how Creation started in Narnia, and how it ends. I won't give any other spoilers other than telling you I can barely contain my emotion in the last chapter. It's so, so good. 

*Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - This was just a book I happened to pick up at a thrift store, and it blew me away. The writing was so real, that I've rarely seen outside of Kate DiCamillo books, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. The story, however, is extremely sad, but also, so so good. A childhood (8 yo +) must read. 

*The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill - This was another book I picked up from the library on a whim, and it became one of my absolute favorites. Miss Agnes is the teacher we all remember fondly, pushing us in our own ways to become successful with what we've been given. I look forward to reading more of Hill's books, too. 


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