Final Book Blog 2016

In 2016, my friend Katie and I set out to read 36 books. We figured 24 (2/month) sounded too easy. We were a little bit overzealous in our goal, but it was worth it! We carried a book everywhere. We were rarely reading the same books, but it felt like teamwork. Final counts:

Katie: 28

Cody: 23

For those keeping score, she won! But it was never a competition. And together we read over 50 books!

Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/
Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/

Don't worry. We carted all of our books to the park and had a photo-shoot to ring in the new year. [Yes, we laughed at ourselves the whole time. No, we don't regret it.]

Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/
Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/
Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/
Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/

Because goals are goals, and we didn't reach them. But we worked for them, and they're still worth celebrating.

For me, this year of reading reminded me how much I love it. It reminded me that sometimes you have to force yourself to do what didn't come naturally anymore but what still brings me so much joy. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself to re-establish habits that you know are for your good. For my quiet-loving, alone-time-needing self, to sit in my room or in a coffee shop or on the couch with a good book is rest and refreshment.

But I had forgotten. And I needed this challenge to remind me to crack open a few new spines and immerse myself in someone else's words and story. Sometimes discipline really is required to get us back to delight. [I'm sure there's a longer lesson there for all of us.]

A few notable titles:

Kate Morton was hands-down my best reading discovery of 2016. She writes great, intriguing stories that are mysterious but not scary. And her characters! You'll love them. There's usually an element of history mixed with the modern, and the whole combination really is perfect. If you haven't read her yet, start with The Secret Keeper.

A good, not-so-gentle reminder that we are in this together and not against each other. We're not here to compete. We're here as sisters. End of story. She said it much more beautifully and with a lot more Scripture. I highly recommend it if you struggle with comparison/competition/rivalry. And honestly, who doesn't?

I read this book to kick of 2016, and it was such a fun read! Noelle Hancock spent the last year before she turned 30 doing something that scared her everyday. Maybe it's because she was the same age as me. Maybe it was because of my own #30in30. But whatever the reason, I loved this book! I loved her adventures and her lessons and her challenges. She doesn't do everything in life the way I would recommend doing it, but she communicates her experiences very well, and there's truth in it for everyone because we're all human.

My goal for 2017? 30 books. Because I still need a challenge, but maybe one that feels slightly more attainable. I've already started my list. I'm trying to be a little more organized this time.

Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/
Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/

Because at the end of 2016, I started about 5 books and finished 0. Some people are perfectly fine with this. I am not. It makes me feel scattered and chaotic, and I don't read because I can't remember what I'm reading.

I have every intention of updating you monthly about 2017's progress. And I usually post whatever I'm reading on Instagram too should you care to follow along :)

And just for fun, here's a glimpse at our photographers/creative directors. They took their roles very seriously.

Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/
Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/

And when given creative liberty, here's what they came up with. (They also served as spotters in the taking of this last one. Books are for reading, not for balancing. No one was harmed.)

Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/
Final Book Blog 2016 | Cody Andras | https://www.codyandras.com/final-book-blog-2016/

Cheers to 2016. And happy reading in the new year! Do you have any of your own reading goals? Do share!