12 books read so far this year…
Every year I set a goal for my reading. My goal for 2023 is to read 25 books (5 more than last year’s goal). I know goals aren’t everyone’s thing, but for me it’s more of a purposeful intention. If I set out to accomplish something specific, it keeps me motivated. More importantly, I will actually carve out the time to sit and have a relaxing read. All good things for mind and body.
Get hooked on a series
Now and again I stumble across a series of books that intrigue me. I’m one of those people that has to read a series in order. I’m picky though. A series that has a “to be continued” vibe in every book are not my thing at all. It always feels like maybe it should’ve been just a longer book… it’s totally a personal feeling, but I’d rather one story end and other pick up from a new place. Give me closure on the book I’ve invested myself in, thank you!
New Beginnings Series – by Debbie Macomber
This last month I devoured the New Beginnings 4 book series from Debbie Macomber. I say devoured because it only took me two or three days to read each book. If you haven’t read Debbie Macomber books before, they are super quick reads. Not too long yet long enough she builds the characters well. There’s always some sort of conflict or misunderstanding, then a resolution that renews your faith in humanity. Yup, we could all use those kind of stories every now and again.
Book 1 – Last One Home
Last One Home was a random pick whilst browsing for a light read. It’s a story of sisterhood, family messes, and as always with Macomber’s books, a bit of a love story. The characters in Last One Home are what led me to take a look at the other books in the series.
Book 2 – A Girl’s Guide to Moving On
Okay, I’ll admit, the title A Girl’s Guide to Moving On made me roll my eyes and my inner voice said “NOPE.” I’m not into the bitter, sad, revenge-seeking woman stories. But, read past the title here. That’s not at all what this story is. Focused more on the theme of “new beginnings,” this is a sweet story of two lives getting a makeover. Honestly, the references to the “girl’s guide” felt a bit forced the few times it was mentioned. Sort of like an attempt to make the title fit when it really doesn’t.
Book 3 – If Not for You
The story of If Not for You was less memorable for me than the other three books, but still a good one. I’d say the characters are what made this a great read. Truth be told, the series would be great just as the other three books, but it’s a nice story along with the rest.
Book 4 – Any Dream Will Do
A great series ends as strong as it began. The last book, Any Dream Will Do, is truly as good as the first, and in my opinion maybe even better. I found myself thinking it would make a great Hallmark-type movie. Terrific story, great characters, and unusually believable all around.
Should you read them in order?
Obviously, it’s up to each reader whether they want to read books in the order they were published or at random. This series in particular uses secondary characters from the previous book as main characters in the next book. However, each book stands on it’s own and explains relevant pieces. My recommendation, to fully appreciate what the author is doing, is to start at book 1 and read these in order.
Like I mentioned, they’re super quick to read. Each one is more like a long movie than a giant novel. Perfect for beach days, plane rides, or a curl up and read any time of year.
Now Get a Book and Get Reading!
Books I’ve Read in 2023
- Winter Solstice – Rosamunde Pilcher
- Book Lovers – Emily Henry
- The Hurricane Sisters – Dorothea Benton Frank
- The Hotel Nantucket – Elin Hilderbrand
- Stone Song – Tricia O’Malley
- Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings – Lydia Sherrer
- The Shell Seekers – Rosamunde Pilcher
- Last One Home – Debbie Macomber
- A Girl’s Guide to Moving On – Debbie Macomber
- If Not for You – Debbie Macomber
- Any Dream Will Do – Debbie Macomber