2016 Book List

My goal is to read 36 books this year. 12 on writing, 12 non-fiction and 12 fiction/biography.

Writing (5 of the 12 finished)

On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft by Steven King – January

The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing by Roy Peter Clark (library) – February

You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) By Jeff Goins (audible) -March

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser – April

✅The War of Art. By Steven Pressfield ( Medina library) – June

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t. By Steven Pressfield – July

How Not to Suck at Writing Your First Book. By Chandler Bolt – July


Non- Fiction books (Goal Reached!  13 Books Read)

When Life Hurts: Finding Hope and Healing from the Pain You Carry by Jimmy Evans – January


Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – January

Prayer Points: Praying God’s Promises at your Point of Need by Ken Petersen -February

Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer – February


Entitlement Cure, The: Finding Success in a Culture of Entitlement. John Townsend – February

Backwards Beauty: How to Feel Ugly in 10 Simple Steps By Jessie Minassian – February

Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace & Purpose In A World of Crazy. By Alli Worthington – March

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. By Chip Heath (library) -April

How to Live in Fear: Mastering the Art of Freaking Out. By Lance Hahn – April


Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World. By by Emily P. Freeman (Kindle 258 pgs) -May



Fiction/Biography books (6 of 12 finished)

The Invention of Wings. By Sue Monk Kidd (audible) -February

The Poisonwood Bible By Barbara Kingsolver (library overdrive) – April

Water for Elephants. By Sara Gruen (library overdrive audio) – May

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis – (Library Overdrive) May

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (Kindle-Library) May

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel. By Katherine Reay (audible) – June


American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. By Chris Kyle, Scott McEwan, Jim DeFelice (audible) – July


Entrepreneur/Finance  (New Category) I have found such value in reading about writing, I decided I wanted to read 10 books on business and money.

Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women and Money: 50 Common Money Mistakes and How to Fix Them by Kevin O’Leary – (library) June

The One Thing. By Gary Keller (audible) July *Want to read again next year

The Miracle Morning. By Hal Elrod – (library) July

The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker – (audible) July




Reviews of the Books I’ve Finished


41cqe00ZzsL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft.  By Steven King. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ I can’t find the article I read a few months back by Steven King. It was really helpful and at some point I must have requested his book at the library because it became available two weeks ago.

I started his book and was immediately drawn in. His writing style was refreshing and his advice left me feeling like I was drinking from a cup of cold refreshing water.  I am not much into horror and have only read one of his books “11/22/63,” which I absolutely loved.  I read half of “The Stand” but got too scared.  I kind of want to finish it…kind of.

He answered a lot of questions I had about writing and a lot of what he said made sense to me.  Given his success as a writer, he is someone I would want to sit down and chat with. Since that’s not likely to happen, I am thankful he took the time to write down his journey as an author.  I’m not going to outline to book.  Many other people have already done that.  Here’s one example.

My only hesitation in recommending the book is that he curses.  I can look past it for the content of the book.  I will tell you it was the hardest non-fiction book I’ve ever read to put down! I know it sounds silly, but I kept reading just one more page!



51+e-7RQXfL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_When Life Hurts: Finding Hope and Healing from the Pain You Carry. By Jimmy Evans  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Our small group did a video series last summer with Jimmy Evans. When I saw this book on Amazon for a dollar, I snagged it and I’m glad I did. The biggest take-away from this book was seeing how wounds from our childhood can affect our thinking and choices today. He is vulnerable and humble as he shares his stories and encourages the readers to find hope and healing.



410knfB9VYL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ By Marie Kondo. I got on a waiting list at our library months before this book came out. I was super excited to read it as her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing changed my life. Her fresh perspectives on decluttering showed me what was weighing me down. In a process of three months and countless trips to the Goodwill, our home was transformed.  

Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same love for Spark Joy. Honestly, I had a hard time staying engaged.. Maybe it would have been helpful if I had read it before I started the tidying process.  Much of what she said just delve deeper into the “how to” process – which I’d already figured out and tweaked on my own. I did find a few helpful hints on tidying the kitchen. Her culture and religion are different from mine and there was a lot of why behind the how. She recommends talking to and thanking your objects. She also talks a lot about energy and what feeling you get from different objects/rooms.  I rate it a three star.


81uabLRs95LThe Invention of Wings. By Sue Monk Kidd ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  Stunningly beautiful biography set in the early 1830’s.  Two sisters, Sarah and Angelina Grimké rebelled against society in Charleston, South Carolina as advocates against slavery.  The author weaves a fictional character Hedy “Handful” throughout the story bringing me to laughter, tears, horror and pride.  This book will stick with me for a long time to come.  I highly recommend it and rate it five star.




51KRrT-dCML._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_The Art of X-Ray Reading: How the Secrets of 25 Great Works of Literature Will Improve Your Writing.  by Roy Peter Clark. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ It took weeks from when I ordered this at the library for it to come in.  When it arrived, for some reason I had it in my head that it was a book to teach speed reading.  It took me a few minutes to figure out what it actually was.  Roy Peter Clark takes apart 25 books and shows you details that you would most likely miss if you weren’t looking.  I love the concept and I think the techniques he taught are already helping me read with my eye a little more wide open.

Many of the books I have not read, but that didn’t stop the book from being useful to me. He does a good job with summarizing the book and including short sections for his examples.  I gave it a four start – but this is probably a case of it’s me, not you.  I would like to read some of the books and then go back through this book.  I bet there are more tidbits to be gleamed.


⭐ ⭐ ⭐ This is a quick read that is intended to motivate you to write.  Jeff Goins challenges you that to be a writer you have to believe in yourself and you have to write.  He gives tips on how to network, build a platform, brand yourself and get published in magazines.  When I was listening to the book I felt annoyed at his cheerleader style of writing. However, over the last couple of weeks some of the things he talked about in the book have come back to my mind.  So, now I’m thinking he may influence my writing more than I originally gave him credit.  For example, I’ve realized that if I want to write, I have to make it a priority – cut other things out of my life and write.  If you need encouragement or want an overview on writing, this may be a good pick for you.  I rated it three star.

 51vGlTE+x5L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Mistakes Can Kill You by Kouis L’Amour ⭐ ⭐  I generally make every effort to finish a book I start.  Occasionally, I call it quits to prevent me from sitting in shear misery for hours on end.  I am sad to say this was one of those books.  No offense to the author or anyone who loved the book.  I wish I could have – really  I do.Last year I read Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry and fell in love with the wild, wild west.  I guess that’s what attracted me to Mistakes Can Kill You.  But, I quickly found out Lomesome Dove was unique as it intertwined the stories of cowboys lives and kept you enthralled for almost 1000 pages.

When I started reading Mistakes Can Kill You it took me about a half hour to start to figure out the characters, plot and story.  And then the story ended and another story with new characters and plot began.  I read for another half hour to find that story ending similar to the first.  Remembering the title of the story, I realized this was going to be the pattern for the next two hundred pages or so.  That’s when I decided to cut my losses.  It got lots of great reviews on Amazon and so I’m sure many people love it – but unfortunately, I need to rate it a two star.

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