Favorite Books of 2018

I will readily admit that I fell short on my reading goal for 2018. I had hoped to read around a book a week (my number goal was 30 total). That worked pretty well through June and then things got crazy with lots of travel and graduate school. Since September I have only read three books. So throughout the whole year I read a total of 24 books (five of which were re-reads) and chose to include eight of those in this list of the best books I have read in 2018.

Educated by Tara Westover: Such a fantastic and inspiring memoir of a woman who grew up in a very religious family in rural Idaho. I listened to this as an audiobook and was thoroughly captivated the entire time. Tara’s story is heartbreaking, uplifting and inspiring all at the same time. It brought on so many emotions for me (it even brought me to tears at one point).

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrass Tyson: This is a short book that gives a great overview of general astrophysics concepts. It is so easy to read (especially if you have to background in physics) and incredibly interesting. I am so glad I picked it up because I feel like I learned a ton and didn’t have to work super hard to understand things.

Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall: I had no idea that this one would be more than just her life with the gorillas. It is so inspiring and uplifting (read my March Book Round Up for more on this one). I highly recommend it.

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez: This one took be quite some time and focus to get into but the story is so very beautiful. My friend has told me its her favorite book several times so I finally got around to reading it. I seriously loved it and it will probably be one of my favorites as well!

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: In all honestly I am mostly remembering the show for this one since I read it so early on in 2018. I do remembering really liking the book though. Liane Moriarty’s style of writing was refreshing for me and the characters were so intriguing. I will say that I did not like Madly Truly Guilty nearly as much.

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: I did an entire book review on this one so I won’t go to into detail. This story did a great job of reminding me to appreciate and understand where I come from and to change my outlook on the future by accepting that I can’t control everything.

Circe by Madeline Miller: This story of Circe (the Greek goddess) was a recommendation from Bad on Paper Podcast and I am so glad they chose it. The tragic and beautiful story of a underdog goddess, looked down upon by many, is told in full. I think this is my favorite fiction read of the whole year!

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green: This is the most recent book I read and I really enjoyed it. I have been excited for Hank Green’s book for a while and for me it lived up to that hype. I don’t want to give anything away so I will only say that it is about this girl, April May, and her journey to fame through her discovery of a stature in New York City (yes that sounds vague but just read it!). I will say that it took me a while to get through. I am not sure if thats because I’ve just been busy or because I took a while for me to really get into.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear what your favorite books from 2018 were. I am always looking for new things to read! Happy reading!

Erin

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Life Update

So I am going to be doing this semi-new series where I kind of do a little bit of reflection on where I am right now and what is coming up in the near future. I think it will really help me stay organized since I will be moving around a lot and it might make things a little less confusing from a reader stand point. Part of the post will be what has been going on for me and the second part will be about any new/favorite products, books, movies, etc… that I have been really into. I do Around the Web posts, but usually those are more focused on articles, videos and news that are fairly current with the occasional item thrown in. I really like making those and will continue to for now but I wanted a place to just mention the current book I am reading and my other new/favorite things.

After returning from Steamboat it got a little crazy with catching up from the break but I was able to fit in some fun adventures and lots of relaxation. I did a photo shoot for a friends company, RockHill Designs, last week which was so fun. It was freezing cold and sunny which made it pretty hard to shoot (especially because it was the spring collection) but it was such a fun experience. My mom and I also headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park to find some snow and do some hiking. It was really dry in Boulder last week so I have been wishing for a winter wonderland. This week I am mostly packing up and finishing some last minute projects/logistics.

On Wednesday I will be flying back to Indiana to finish up the research job I have been working on. I really love the work and the people so I am excited to go back for a bit. It probably won’t be a very long stay, but the goal is to finish up that job and to look for future jobs. I will be going to visit a friend in Philadelphia for a bit, post Indiana.

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Movie: The Greatest Showman. So I saw this in theaters with my family last week and it was amazing. The music and choreography were both incredible. It wasn’t actually on my radar until the Golden Globes but I am so glad it won, because it inspired me to go see it!

Currently Reading: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. So I am trying out a 2018 reading challenge that I found on Pinterest and this week’s book is a childhood favorite so I, of course, chose Harry Potter. I was trying to read them around Christmas but I ended up having lots of books to finish and then things got super crazy with people in town and vacation.

Hair Product: Batiste dry shampoo. I have a serious hair struggle. My hair is really thin and the ends get dry quickly so it is so hard to keep looking healthy. I have tried lots of different products and I am always looking for new ones. My favorite is the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum, which is great for dry ends. I have not however found a dry shampoo that I really like and I decided to try Batiste several weeks ago. So far I am really liking it.

Drinking: Celestial Seasonings ‘Almond Sunset‘ tea. This is one of my favorite finds from the past few months. I was doing some Christmas shopping at the Celestial Seasonings factory and I saw this new flavor and had to try it. It is an herbal tea and seriously amazing.

WearingComfy slippers (mine are Ugg). I have been living in comfy clothes for the past few days. The temperature dropped quite a bit and I have had lots of time at home to spend reading, blogging and just hanging out with my family. It has been really nice and I am savoring the moment as I go back to work on Wednesday.

Lipstick: Afterglow lipstick. My mom actually introduced me to this brand since she is super into healthy make-up especially when it is on your lips. I wasn’t really sure how I would like it but it is amazing. It basically goes on like lip balm (which is my ideal lipstick). I have been wearing it so much!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Erin