this year’s favorite reads [2017]

This is my FIFTH annual ‘favorite reads’ list and, I’m going to be honest, this year I wasn’t able to devote as much time to reading so the list is on the shorter side.  Plus as I was compiling try list, I realized they are ALL pretty dark and depressing story lines.  War. Racism. Poverty.  They’re heavy reads. But there’s one book in particular that I believe is a very important read for everyone to add to their list.

Check out my book recommendation list. My FIFTH annual 'favorite reads' and this year is a short (and pretty dark) list but worth reading!


  • Small Great Things.  I think everyone should read this book.  It’s a fictional story about racism, but it brings to light the hate that exists in America in a very real way.  I happened to finish this book the week before the incident in Charlottesville, VA and it made me realize that this book is hardly fiction at all.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns.  I’ve had this on my bookshelf for years (I bought it after loving The Kite Runner) and finally picked it up.  It’s a tough story, like Kite Runner, but featuring female leads this time.  I would rank this second to Kite Runner, but still very much worth reading.
  • Icy Sparks.  This was a unique book. It’s about a strange little girl struggling with Tourette’s though she doesn’t know it. For some reason I found it hard to put down.  Oprah picked this as her book club selection back in March 2001 so I’m perhaps a little late to the game here.
  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.  A pretty shocking love story about the daughter of a meth dealer.  It’s dark, but also captivating.
  • Girl at War.  This is a fictional story about a Croatian girl taken from her family during the war.  My jaw literally dropped during the scene where she’s separated from them… very tough to read.  Still recommend it though!

Like I said, this year’s list is particularly dark and depressing so if you’re looking for more recommendations (some are upbeat!), check out my lists from 20162015, 2014 & 2013!


Are your photos a mess? 

Do you want to create photo books for your family, but things feel like too much of a mess to know where to begin? Do you carry a constant worry that you could lose ALL your photos? (sure, you're paying for iCloud, but do you understand how it works?) 

Free Training!

In this free 10 minute video, I've compiled my TOP THREE TRICKS to stop your photo stress.