My 2017 Top Reads

Last year, I set a goal to read at least one new book every month. There were some months I managed to read two books, and some months that I just was unable to find the time.  In 2018, I plan to continue to my reading journey and have recruited some friends to join me in my goal of reading at least 12 books per year.  I also decided to go old school with how I read my books.  When my children see me reading on a tablet, they think I’m watching a YouTube video or playing a game.  Holding a book in my hands is another way for me to stress the importance of reading to my children. 

This year I read a lot of great books, but here are my top six. Sorry, narrowing to five was too much of a challenge. 


  • You Are A Bad Ass by Jen Sincero
  • What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey
  • Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
  • Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
  • The Nightingale: A Novel by Kristin Hannah  
  • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

I have always enjoyed reading and I want my children to do the same.  I started reading to my boys before they were born and now they demand a book before bed, which I’m happy to oblige. My oldest son is eight. He still enjoys listening to me read, but also takes time to read on his own.  Here are the books that either made him go wow or laugh uncontrollably this year.


  • The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
  • What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada  
  • Captain Awesome, Soccer Star by Stan Kirby
  • Dog Man: A Tale Of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey
  •  Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, Cabin Fever By Jeff Kinney


My youngest just turned four, and if up to him, I would read the same book every night.  He always questions my book choice, but then he loves every book we read.  We have read many of these books so many times. If you walked into one of our reading sessions, you would think he was reading, because he has memorized most of the words on the pages. 


  •  How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad? by Jane Yolen
  • The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
  • The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
  • The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
  •  Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems


Reader tip: A few years ago, I took my son to get a library card.  There are some books we buy and some that we rent from the library.  If you haven’t visited a library recently they have made picking up books easy.  I reserve our books online, pick them up from the express hold when I receive the notice they are available, and I check-out through a kiosk using a library card.  I'm in and out within five minutes, unless the boys ask to stay and browse.

I’m challenging myself to read two books in January, Nice Girls Don’t get the Corner Office by Lois Frankel and Small Big Things by Jodi Picoult.  Will you join me in the challenge? 

Chrystal NeelyComment