My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

Favorite Books in January

I read a lot of books in January, 29 of them, which makes me 11 books ahead in my reading goal for the year.  To see all the books I read in January click here.

Here are my favorite books that I read this month.

Cooking for Mr. Right–Susan Volland
This is another fun, romantic comedy, and it had some food writing mixed in, which I always enjoy.  This is about a girl whose boyfriend proposed to her, she said no, and they broke up.  But when he is suddenly engaged to another woman she realizes that she has made the biggest mistake of her life.  The new fiancé can’t cook and the main character is a chef, so she decides to win her man back through his stomach, and things do not go quite as planned.  This book was just plain fun to read.  I highly recommend it.

Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me–Howie Mandel
This book was very funny.  It is an autobiography of Howie Mandel and his struggle with OCD and germaphobia.  I really enjoyed reading about Mandel’s life and his ups and downs with OCD and how it impacted his life and his career.  A very enjoyable read.

Night Film–Marisha Pessl
I guess you would consider this book a thriller.  It was suspenseful, scary, and had me on the edge of my seat.  The story is very well written and the twists and turns really took me by surprise.  A private investigator is nosing around the death of a famous horror film director.  People keep dying around him, shrouded in strange circumstances.  This book was great, and I really enjoyed Pessl’s story telling.

Wedding Night–Sophie Kinsella
This is a romantic comedy about a girl who thought her boyfriend was going to propose, but instead he asks her to go on a trip with him.  They realize that they are not wanting the same things in the relationship, so they break up.  The girl is reunited with a high school sweetheart.  They have dinner, and he proposes to her, saying that she was the best thing that ever happened to him.  They proceed to plan their wedding and their wedding night.  Their friends and family do their best to put a damper on the whole event.  This book is a very funny, well written romantic comedy and I really enjoyed it.





My 2014 Reading List

My 2014 reading list is currently 128 books home, 1 of those I am currently reading, and three of them are at home waiting to be read.  I keep an ongoing reading list that will increase and decrease throughout the year, but usually I am adding more than I am reading.  I decided to share with you 10 of the books off my reading list that I am most looking forward to reading.

the one#1 The One (#3 in The Selection Series)–Kiera Cass
This is a young adult book series that I have really been enjoying.  I read the first two as soon as they came out and I have just been waiting for this one to come out.  It comes out in May, so I still have a while to wait.  I am so excited about the final book in this series.  I can’t wait to see how it will of heavenly fire

#2 City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments Series)–Cassandra Clare
Lucky for me when I started reading this series there were 5 books in this series already out, so I had quite a few books to hold me for a while, but this book, #6 in the series, doesn’t come out until May.  (May will be a good month).  This series was one of my favorites that I read last year.  The characters are awesome and the stories are so gripping.  I am so excited for this next book in the series.

surprised by joy#3 Surprised by Joy–C.S. Lewis
I read a biography on C.S. Lewis recently that focused a lot on this autobiography.  I am looking forward to reading it.labor day

#4 Labor Day–Joyce Maynard
This movie just came out in theaters and I only just recently found out that it is a book.  The movie looks really interesting, so I decided to add the book to my reading list, and I’m pretty excited about it.

chasing god#5 Chasing God–Angie Smith
I saw this book advertised in a magazine or catalog that I read and I thought it looked really interesting.  It is put out by Women of Faith, and I have read other books in their collection that I have really enjoyed.gone girl

#6 Gone Girl–Gillian Flynn
This book has been a bestseller for a while now, and I have heard that it is really good, I just haven’t gotten my hands on a copy yet, but now that the movie is coming out soon I’m really going to have to read it.

MoG_Creative_PB#7 The Digital Diet–Daniel Sieberg
This book has been on a reading list since April 2013 when I heard the author speak at a conference.  I just haven’t read it yet, but I would really like to.
fear nothing
#8 Fear Nothing–Lisa Gardner
This is the next book in the D.D. Warren series and it just recently came out.  I read all the books that had been published so far last year and I have been anxiously awaiting this next book.  Hopefully it lives up to my expectations.

how to be interesting#9 How to be Interesting–Jessica Hagy
I just recently added this to my reading list.  I read a blog post and the author said it was one of her favorite books of the year.  So I am looking forward to this one.

#10 The Kinsey Millhone Series–Sue Graftona is for alibi
Just this last week I read book two in this series and I loved it.  You have probably seen these books around, I had before reading them, they are very good and I am excited to continue in the series this year.

If you have some books on your reading list this year that you are particularly excited about, I would love to hear about them!

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Favorite Books of the Year

As I told you in my last post, I read 222 books this year.  I have been keeping track of my favorites all year so I could share with you the best books that I read this year.  Hopefully you will read one of these and get as much enjoyment out of them as I did.  Click on the photo to be directed to Amazon for more information about this book

My 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Books Read This Year (#1 being my very favorite)

images  #10  Contagious by Jonah Berger
This book is about how to make your stories, your ideas, basically anything catch on and become contagious.  This was a very good marketing and business book, but I could see it’s application taken much further than that.  I enjoyed Berger’s straightforward way of explaining how to make ideas catch on and also his many illustrations were very interesting.creature of the word

#9  Creature of the Word  by Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger, and Josh Patterson
I read about this book on one of the blogs that I follow and it interested me, and it is also very inexpensive on the Kindle.  This book is about how the church is a creature of the Bible.  It is a living, breathing thing.  This book talks about being a biblical focused, Christ-centered church.  I found it very interesting and applicable to life today.

bonhoeffer#8  Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy  by Eric Metaxas
My mother had recommended this book to me and I got down to it on my reading list toward the end of the year.  I recognized the name Bonhoeffer, but I did not really know anything about him.  I really enjoyed reading this book about him, his beliefs, and his life.  This book was very well written and in spite of being very large, a rather quick read.  Reading this book has led me to read several of Bonhoeffer’s writings that I have also greatly enjoyed.
yes, chef
#7  Yes, Chef  by Marcus Samuelsson
I have really gotten excited about cooking since I got married.  One type of books that I have read a lot of this year has been food books.  Books written by chefs, books about food, or other general food writing and I have really enjoyed it.  I recognized Samuelsson because he is a frequent judge on Chopped.  It was very interesting to read his story.  He has led a very interesting life to get him to where he is today.  This book is very well written and engaging.

the glass castle#6  The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
This is a memoir about a girl’s interesting upbringing.  It is a story that many of us would find as abuse, but this story is very much told through the eyes of a child who did not realize that what she was experiencing could be considered abuse.  The story was very well told and interesting.  I highly recommend this book because while the content of the story can be difficult, the tone of the story is very innocent and true.  This is a book that I really enjoyed.
me myself and bob
#5  Me, Myself, and Bob by Phil Vischer
As a child I loved Veggie Tales, so when I saw an advertisement for this book in my Lifeway catalog, I knew I had to read it.  This story is about the creation of Veggies Tales and its subsequent rise and fall.  This was  a very good book.  I enjoyed reliving my childhood and picturing Bob and Larry bouncing around.  it was also very interesting to see the business side of what happened to Veggie Tales in the end.  A very well written and honest book.

dad is fat#4  Dad is Fat  Jim Gaffigan
I got this book from the library for Adam to read, because Adam loves Jim Gaffigan.  Hearing Adam laugh the whole way through the book made me want to read it.  This book is hilarious.  Gaffigan tells many stories about being a father, and the book is very good as a whole.  We ended up buying the book for both of our fathers and my dad also really enjoyed the book.
bread and wine
#3 Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
This book is all about community and connection around the table.  Niequist tells stories about how life is brought together around meals.  I really enjoyed this look at food and community.  It was a very enjoyable and uplifting read for me.

monuments men#2 The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel and Bret Witter
I do not usually read books like this, but I am so glad that I read this one.  I picked up this book because I saw that they were making the movie and it looked interesting.  This book is about a special group of soldiers in World War II saving artwork from destruction.  It is very interesting.  I am excited about the movie coming out in February.  I encourage you to read the book before the movie comes out.  It is just that good!
garlic and sapphires
#1  Garlic and Sapphires  by Ruth Reichl
This is a food writing book that I absolutely loved!  It is about a New York restaurant critic.  She has to disguise herself when going to restaurants to get an honest look at the food and the environment.  What she learns and experiences is amazing and makes a truly great story.  Please read this book!

Honorable Mention:  The Disaster Artist by Greg Sistero and I’m More than the Preacher’s Wife by Lorna Dobson

My Top Ten Favorite Fiction Books Read This Year
I’m not going to go into what these books are about because I wouldn’t want to ruin anything, but just know that they all have amazing stories.  The characters made me want to cry, laugh, fall in love again, scream in anger, and so much more.  These books captivated me this year.  I hope they will for you too.

memoirs of a geisha#10 Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
reconstructing natalie
#9 Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker

the green mile#8 The Green Mile by Stephen King

when you were mine#7 When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle





attachments#6 Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

silver linings playbook book# 5 Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

game of thrones# 4 Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin





the royal ranger#3 The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan

city of bones#2 City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

the storyteller#1 The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult





Honorable MentionWalking Disaster by Jamie McGuire and Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I hope that one of these books has piqued your interest and that you will find a great book to read!

Please comment with your favorite books of the year!  I would love to hear what you loved reading this year.  And I will gladly add them to my reading list!

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The Numbers are In

One thing I have tried to keep you updated on this year is the books and movies that I am reading and watching.  I have really enjoyed it.  I have compiled a few lists of my favorites from the year.  But first here’s a look at my year by the numbers.

205    movies watched this year
144     movies that I watched for the first time this year
222    books read this year
6         books I read this year that I had read before
68      non-fiction books read this year
10       the number of times I watched Pitch Perfect
38      the number of movies that were contenders for my favorites list
44      the number of books that were contenders for my favorites list
74,346   pages read this year
24,782,000  words read this year (based on 50,000 words in a 150 page book)

Coming Tonight–The list of my top 10 fiction and non-fiction books that I read this year
Coming Tomorrow–The list of my top 10 favorite movies I watched this year

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The Storyteller

the storyteller  The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I do not usually write book reviews on this blog, but this book was too spectacular to not mention on here.  I happened to see this book publicized on my goodreads and then I found it on the new bookshelf the last time that I went to the library.  The storyline on the inside cover sounded intriguing enough, so I decided to give it a try.

This book follows a young woman, Sage Singer, who is a baker at a local bakery.  She has lost both her father and her mother and attends grief counseling weekly.  One week she meets an elderly man Josef Weber who becomes her friend.  Their friendship is stretched to its breaking point when Josef makes a request of Sage that will haunt her.  Sage must decide whether or not she will let her past dictate her future.

This is a gripping, honest story told exceptionally well.  This story blew me away.  It was captivating and emotional.  There are parts of this story told about the Holocaust, which means that there is some difficult content.  But it is necessary for the character to hear the story and to help make her decision.

This was a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.  Even to you Dad.  I know you don’t like fiction, but this one is worth it.  If you find yourself with some extra time over your holiday, try to find this book.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

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My 150th Book

I am currently reading my 150th book this year.  I can hardly believe it.

My first goal for the year was 100 books.  When I met that I increased it to 150, and now that I met that I want to increase it again.  I have 2.5 months left, I’m thinking 200 might be a little hard to make.  50 books in 2.5 months?

Think I can do it?


Well, it’s finally happened

I didn’t think that it could ever happen to me, but this week it has.  I have reached my limit.  I have read way too much.  I need to sit in front of a TV or in front of Netflix for a while and veg because I have reached my reading limit for the week, something which has never happened before.  I don’t want to see another book this weekend.
too-much-readingI know, I have no one to blame but myself.  I am the one who just kept reading.  And now I’ve just read too much.  Since Sunday I have read 5 books for a total of 2232 pages.  I enjoyed all of them, and now I am 170 pages into another book.  But I think I’ll have to put it down for the weekend.  I’m booked out.

So far this year I have read 139 books.  My original goal for the year had been to read 100, then I increased it to 150.  I might have to increase it again before the year is up.  So far this year I have read 46,304 pages.  I don’t even want to know how many words that is.

Okay, now I want to know.  Google search: Average number of words on a page of a fiction book: answer: 50,000 words=a 175 page novel.  Do a little math….

I have read 667,500 words this week.
I have read 13,229,500 words so far this year.

Yikes, now my head really hurts.

I know declare this a book free weekend.  Phew.

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Reading Update

In January when I started Goodreads I set a goal of reading 100 books this year.  Well, I have surpassed that goal and have increased it to 150.

So far this year I have read 107 books.  That is about 13-15 books a month.

I have read a total of 35,565 pages and the longest book I read was 1,177 pages long.

I’m currently 17% ahead of my new goal and I’m hoping to have to increase it again before the year is up!


If you haven’t joined Goodreads, I highly recommend it.  You can keep track of the books that you have read and get recommendations based on your favorite books or from your friends.  Here is a link to join goodreads and automatically become my friend!

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New Blog

No, not mine, but someone related to me.

It’s my awesome sister!
And this is her new, awesome blog.  Check it out!

And as long as you are trying something new, you should also check out my best friend’s blog, also a Lauren, it must be the name.  She is wonderful and a great writer.  I hope you enjoy reading her blog as much as I do 🙂
The Albrechts Blog

And here’s one more gem for you.  My longest childhood friend just moved to Indonesia.  She is going to be starting very soon now to teach Kindergarden over there.  Here is her blog about the experience:

Check out these blogs and you won’t be disappointed!


i less than three reading

AKA I ❤ Reading.

I love it!

If you did not know this about me, I love it read.  In the month of May I read 24 books (listed here).  And so far in June I have read 7.  In January when I started using Goodreads (the most amazing tool for a reader), I set up a Reading Challenge.  And I challenged myself to read 100 books this year.  Want to guess how many I have read in the past 5.5 months?


I’m just about halfway through the year and I’ve already read 73 books.  Goodreads told me today that I am 30% (30 books) ahead of my goal.  And it suggested that I increase my goal.

I just love to read!  I love great stories that I can lose myself in.

I nifty stat:  so far as a part of my reading goal, I have read a total of 23,944 pages.

It has been 156 days since I set my goal.  That means I have read an average of 153.49 pages a day.

As you can see, I just love to read!

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