Q1 2017 Reading Recap

It began in December 2016, I wanted to know how many books I had read that year. As I began scrolling through my kindle + audible library I had a hard time figuring out what exactly I had read and what I thought of each book. That, combined with it taking way too much time to provide quality book recommendations to others led me to this list. (And if I follow through, one like it each quarter this year.)

Here’s the good, bad, and everything of Q1 2017:

(I originally had this in order of when I read them but have since rearranged in categories from favorite to least favorite in each category.)

Books to make you better/smarter:

Shoe Dog — Phil Knight : The memoir of the founder of Nike, this behind the scenes look at everyone’s favorite brand was completely riveting. I laughed, I cried, and I loved most every page of this book. 
Rating: Read it now. *My most recommended book of 2017 so far.

“It’s never just business. It never will be. If it ever does become just business, that will mean that business is very bad.”

“Fortune favors the brave.”

The ONE Thing — Gary Keller : If you’re looking for organizational (or personal) alignment on goals and what you should be focusing on… look no further. 
Rating: Read it before whatever other business book you’ve been eyeing.

“What’s the ONE Thing you can do this week such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?”

Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products — Nir Eyal : This book certainly isn’t for everyone, but for those building any kind of technology/product (specifically digital) it has great insight. Bonus points because the author took a call with me to help with how some of this translates to New Story. 
Rating: Must read if it’s relevant to you.

Good to Great and the Social Sectors — Jim Collins : If you love Good to Great (and if you don’t… have you read it?) and work or consult on social organizations, go ahead and order this. Nothing revolutionary but some great insights and learnings on his work. 
Rating: Read it if it’s relevant to you.

Executive Toughness — Jason Selk : This book came recommended by my friends at Syrup. It’s a motivational book with real life (and bad ass) examples of being able to overcome mental barriers that are keeping you from doing great things. 
Rating: Read it when you’re looking for a kick in the butt.

“The second we stop growing, we start dying. Stagnation easily morphs into laziness, and once a person stops trying to grow and improve, he or she is nothing more than mediocre.”

Find Your Extraordinary — Jessica Herrin : Memoir meets motivation, this book by the founder of Stella and Dot does a great job encouraging you while showing the grit entrepreneurship takes. 
Rating: Read it when you have time.

“When you are at risk of losing you know you are competing at the right level. A true level of challenge.”

Books to entertain you:

Find Her— Lisa Gardner : Big fan of 60 minutes, Dexter, and Making a Murderer? You’ll dig this thriller that sucks you in and spits you out when you least expect it. 
Rating: Read it soon(but not when you’re home alone).

The Kricket Series (Books 1, 2, & 3) — Amy Bartol : Out of this world (literally) love story that’s really not a love story at all. If you’re into paranormal (kind of) love triangles and bad-ass females, go ahead and download this and block your weekend for reading. 
Rating: Guilty pleasure read & love.

A Court of Thorns & Roses and A Court of Mist & Fury— Sarah Maas : Highly addictive YA Fantasy novel with all things spells, faeries, witches, and courts at war. Oh, and obviously there’s love. 
Rating: Guilty pleasure read & love. *It wouldn’t be fair to let you start these without knowing the third book in the series doesn’t come out until May.

Red Rising & Golden Son (Books 1 & 2) — Pierce Brown : Hunger Games meets Star Trek? This dystopian series was interesting, detailed, and will likely be a movie. I kept feeling like I should like it more than I did. 
Rating: Read it if you’re bored.

All She Ever Wanted — Barbara Freethy : Best friends in college are torn apart by one of them dying; this books picks up years later when a book is written about their time in college. The complexity of the characters and multiple storylines in this suspense novel kept me coming back for more. 
Rating: Read it when you have time.

Anything You Can Do — R.S. Grey : R.S. Grey is one of my favorite guilty pleasure/beach read authors. Unfortunately this was my least favorite of all of her books so I won’t even go into a description. 
Rating: Skip this but read some of her others for a good beach book.

Wait for It— Marina Zapata : Single girl inherits two nephews and moves next to a rough around the edges neighbor. You can guess the rest. (If you can’t, they fall in love.)
Rating: Skip it.

Bonus section: Cookbooks!

I should go ahead and out myself, I have not read these word for word. I’ve skimmed all of them and have read 70% of most of them.

The Food Lab— J. Kenji Lopez-Alt : This book weighs about 10lbs and I’ve been working my way through it with my cookbook club for the last 7 months. It’s worth it. Amazing, amazing. 
Rating: Buy it now.

Damn Delicious— Chungah Rhee : If you haven’t made (or pinned) something off of this blog you must not be a 20–35 female. I assume you can find most everything in the book on her blog, but both are filled with delicious treats. 
Rating: Get for great dinner ideas! (Or check out the blog to save some $$.)

Skinny Taste — Gina Homolka : {Repeat sentence from review above.} I’ve only made 3–4 dishes so far but I’m not overly impressed. Maybe skinny just doesn’t taste as good…
Rating: Try out some recipes on her blog first; if you love them, get the book.

It’s All Easy— Gwyneth Paltrow : I borrowed this from my mother-in-law and was disappointed. Gwyneth, stick to “acting.” 
Rating: Nah.