2017 Wrap-Up

In just a few short days, 2017 will be over and we’ll all be venturing into 2018 together! I thought today I’d share my 2017 wrap-up, including my top ten books of the year, my favorite blogging successes, and some other fun moments and memories from the last twelve months.

Best Books of 2017

The question I hate more than any other question is “What’s your favorite book?” There are just too many to choose from! That’s sort of how I feel at the end of the year when I have to choose my top ten books of the year. There have been so many good ones–and there might just be more good ones in the next few days–I haven’t quite finished my 50 book goal, yet. That being said, ten out of fifty is a pretty big selection, so it’s not too hard to pick my top ten. Here they are, in a somewhat organized list. Please know that the order of these is subject to change at any time (It’s changed twice since I drafted this post!!). I’ve linked to my reviews whenever possible.

10. Silence by Shusaku Endo: One of those books that makes you think for a long, long time.
9. Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks: Unexpectedly fresh and creative plots, plus interesting characters and conflicts!
8. News of the World by Paulette Giles: Touching storyline with lucid prose and a look back in time.
7. The Radium Girls by Kate Moore: Nonfiction writing at its best, gripping and full of human emotion.
6. To A God Unknown by John Steinbeck: Thought-provoking fiction with unexpectedly spiritual themes.
5. Upstream by Mary Oliver: Poetic yet approachable essays about nature, life, and writing.
4. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger: Perfect in its treatment of faith and the miraculous.
3. Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave: Historical fiction with real characters and messy emotions.
2. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson: Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.
1. Prayer by Tim Keller: I haven’t reviewed this book for the blog yet, but it’s my number one choice because it was genuinely life-changing. My prayer life has grown so much over the last few months thanks to Keller’s teaching.

Honorable Mention: 

  • Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio
  • Hope Heals by Jay and Katherine Wolf

Best Book for Savoring Slowly: 

  • Every Moment Holy by Douglas McKelvey: This one would have been my number one pick, except that it’s not one you should devour. Use it regularly, and savor every liturgy!

Blogging Successes in 2017

This year has been a great one for Book Fifty. I launched the 2017 Reading Challenge about a year ago, and people really seemed to enjoy it! My Instagram (or Bookstagram, as we nerds call it) has grown to over 2,000 followers, which is an unexpectedly fun blessing. Over the summer I also created some fun printable resources for teachers or parents supporting young readers. It’s been so exciting to see these resources succeed. I also was able to launch my professional writing website, which will be the home for my future endeavors as a writer.

There have been more than a few slumps as things with work and grad school got busy, but with 53 new blog posts and over 4,000 visitors to the site, it’s been fun blogging for another calendar year.

Other Fun Stuff

2017 hasn’t just been about blogging, though! I was able to visit Savannah in the spring with my friends and travel out West over the summer. I was blessed with the opportunity to attend my very first Hutchmoot in October, which was a truly life-changing experience. I attended some great concerts with friends and family, and, most wonderfully of all, I graduated with my master’s degree in professional writing!

Most of all, I’m thankful to all of you for continuing to read these blog posts and book reviews. Your support and feedback means so much to me. God has been so good and faithful to me over the last twelve months, and I pray that He will show you His faithfulness in new ways this Christmas and in 2018.

There’s so much to look forward to next year–a trip back to the UK (!), actual free time in the evenings (!!), and some fun writing projects, but it’s been nice to pause and reflect on all the good that 2017 has brought. I’m signing off for the Christmas weekend, but check back early next week for the Book Fifty 2018 Reading Challenge. It’s going to be a good one!

Merry Christmas, and Keep Reading,
Sarah

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