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Bookworm Goals for 2017? Start with These Must Read Books

I love reading!!! It’s a great way to learn about new topics, it’s a great escape, it expands my vocabulary, it’s a stress reliever, and it teaches me about all kinds of cultures that I may never get to experience.

Like many other adults, I am in a book club. In fact, I am in three book clubs, which makes it sound like I’m a voracious reader, but there is some overlap of books across the clubs and one of them only meets bi-monthly. Besides the knowledge I gain from listening to the many viewpoints expressed during the discussions, I find that my book clubs stretch me. They choose books I probably wouldn’t pick on my own.

So, if you’re an avid reader (or not), allow me to encourage you to choose a book from my list of must read books below, one per month for the rest of 2017, and an extra for good measure. They are all rated 4.5 or 5.0 (out of 5) on Amazon, so I’m not alone in endorsing them.


Calling Me Home

1. Calling me Home by Julie Kibler

A lovely tale of the challenges of interracial relationships back before they were acceptable in society. An absolutely poetic ending.

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

2. Sycamore Row by John Grisham

Grisham is back in rare form, comparable to The Firm and A Time to Kill. Masterfully written with all the perfect twists.

Historical Fiction

Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

3. Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The American rowing team triumphs over Nazi Germany at the 1936 Olympics. This book depicts the struggles and commitment of world class athletes.

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

4. Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Another take on Beryl Markham from the days of Out of Africa – her tenacity is admirable, maybe less so her ‘friendship’ with Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton.


Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

5. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

How to approach end of life issues. Wish I had read this before my parents passed.

Becoming Dr. Q by Alfredo Quiñones Hinojosa

6. Becoming Dr. Q by Alfredo Quiñones Hinojosa

This is also a biography, but I put it in the inspirational category because it’s a wonderful story of an immigrant rising to the pinnacle of his profession through tenacity and passion. A friend knows him personally, and he’s the real deal.


Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

7. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

A peek into Appalachia and the struggles with growing up in that culture and community.

Red Notice by Bill Browder

8. Red Notice by Bill Browder

An important read given the state of our relationship with Russia. A scary look at their leadership by the author who faced their animosity.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

9. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

This book sheds light on our criminal justice system vis a vis the death penalty, and includes important commentary on the state of racial unrest today.


Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

10. Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This hilarious tale is about a guy with Asperger’s who doesn’t know it. It will keep you laughing out loud.

See if, by the end of the year, you don’t feel enlightened and happy that you have broadened your horizons through these interesting must read books!


If you’re looking for a book to help with a career change this year, give Kristin Robertson a read.

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