...And by reading, I mean listening too.

Y'all stop. I love a good book. It's funny because when I was little I would be so pissed if you told me you read for fun. But now, I am itching to get in my car, do the dishes or be home alone so Alexa can read me my story.

In no particular order, this is how I have spent the last quarter of my life while in the car or doing a mundane task. Some of these I have read, some I have listened too and some I have done both. I loved some, I hated some and the rest are ones that have me re-reading the entry 55 times.

Here is what I thought about these and if I truly recommend them or not, but what do I know. Do what you want!

The Light We Lost   ★★★
Lucy, the main character of this book is reliving the highs and lows of her first relationship and first real love while moving on, somewhat, with her life. Something that I think we have all been through making us find ourselves back in those memories. Would I say this is an easy read, yes! But definitely have a thousand Kleenex on hand. But y'all I might have thought about calling this girl out in real life. 

Church of the Small Things   
Two words: MELANIE SHANKLE. I probably don't need to say more, but for those who have not read The Antelope in the Living Room, Sparkly Green Earrings and Nobody's Cuter than You run. RUN to your nearest book store, or Amazon and get these books. Mel (because besties, duh), is funny, real and the only other woman that married a man who shops at Cheaper Than Dirt (not the real store) to by 3,000 flashlights besides myself. This book is spectacular, reminding you that life is about the little things and a bunch of ordinary in between.

The Woman in Cabin 10   
A thriller that leaves you hanging until the very last sentence. I love, love this book and Ruth Ware in general … there is a murderer on this boat. And no one knows but Lo Blacklock. This is a must read.

Year of YES!   
This book is a life.changer. No joke. I have been a pessimist for as long as I can remember saying no to things because, "It's a school night" (I am not in school, neither are my children) or "I like to be in bed by 9 p.m." and Shonda shows you that you are only missing out on finding yourself and your true happiness. Do me a favor and make this a must read, just say YES.

The Young Wives Club 
The Young Wives Club was a quick and easy read that kept you wanting to know more without being over the top. The main thought process of the  book really stuck with me and made me love the book just a little bit more. The ages of the characters bothered me just a hair, but I think we all know someone like each of the husbands and might have dated them! “You should never feel guilty about doing things for you. When you love yourself, it’ll be so much easier for you to love someone else.”

The Lying Game 
The Lying Game was one of my favorite books I read in 2017. Weaving a tangled, and more importantly, plausible mystery that also gave you twists, turns and EXTREME tension that kept me turning page, after page, after page. The friendships, the loyalties and relationships are so woven together. Isa is the best narrator reminding us that there is no way any of them can be separated. 

My (not so) Perfect Life 
This story is so much of what I see in everyday life right now. It is crazy. My (not so) Perfect Life came at the right time, reminding me that everyones Instagram lives aren't always what their lives really look like. "Cat" shows herself to be living the perfect life, though she can't afford most of what she wants to do, pretends to have the job of her dreams and end up stumbling upon the greatest love and herself all in her own truth. This book had me anxiously awaiting what would be around each new page. You will find a small part of yourself that will feel the need to find another piece of yourself.

Truly Madly Guilty 
I am going to be honest, I restarted this book... probably 15 times. And owned it for about a year before FINALLY finishing it, and that was only because I had read everything that I was currently thumbing through. Truly Madly Guilty, after forcing myself to continue reading, was alright at best. I think perhaps because I did not relate to any of the characters that it made seem boring or too much for me. I also think introducing me to 73 new characters before page 2 was also a little much.

The Last Mrs. Parrish 
T H R I L L E R. I am so impressed by this book, the creativity, the research and the talent. Job well done. I absolutely love the back and forth of both Daphne and Amber the manipulation and the scheming is makes this a psychological thriller making this book YOUR NEXT BOOK.

The Husbands Secret 
Imagine finding a letter that your husband wrote for you, but was not to be opened until after his death...would you open it? What would you do next. This book is addicting and all consuming but will leave you wondering about all the skeletons in the closets of those closest to you. For me, it is definitely not a re-read but LM did an amazing job creating a next level mindbuster. 

Braving the Wilderness 
You guys, this entire year is about focusing on braving my own story, finding out who I am... and WHAT I can do for me and my family. We all have this feeling of " I was meant to do something B I G" We also all have the same dreams over and over again between us all. The difference, the person who does something about their dreams and turns them into the things you did. This book gives me confidence, Brené shows you what it's like to be real, what its like to make something happen. I can only say that if there were a few people in the world I would want to in a room with and enjoy a glass of Tito's chilled with a lime... it would be Brené, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Shonda Rhimes and Emily Schuman. With this book, you will read it again, and again and will want to make all of your dreams come true. Do your self a favor and read it.

Of Mess and Moxie 
Jen Hatmaker. You are life. Of Mess and Moxie is a little bit Christianity, a little bit Saucy (and I don't just mean the Honey Dijionnase) and a little bit Momma needs a chill pill. All. of. the. things. Jen is one of those girls, both dreamer and doer. Welcome to the life of a real momma in books, on Instagram and in life. I feel like we are friends, I feel like we sit on your porch and drink all the wine. I feel like I made the Fried Chicken Sliders and the Honey Dijoinnasie and one word. GOALS. Momma's dive in, read it twice and pass it along. Of Mess and Moxie will make your taste buds, your love for Jesus and the quick realization that it's okay to hide in the bathroom for however long it takes to relax all feel okay.

Into the Water 
OH MY HEART STRINGS. I am in love with this book. From the twists, the old world stories and the reality this book reminds me that we all see the same stories with a different point of view and that love, is love. This book was a perfect follow up for the Woman in Cabin 10. I might have been so into this book, that I sat in my closet, and read until I got tired after my son and husband went to sleep. Read it, love it and let me know what you think about the Sheriff's daughter-in-law.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before 
Did you watch Laguna Beach, The Hills or One Tree Hill. This brought me back to that moment in time. That was my Jr. High and High School. That's what this series did for me. It is sweet, The Song Sisters make you remember why family is so important and Lara Jean also shows you what it is like to not be that "perfect" sister, like Gogo.

P.S. I Still Love You 
Following with the last, falling in love and getting her heart kind of broken. This book makes you cheer for the under dog and wish you had a friend like Lara Jean to help you through the hard times. Being the "Big Sister" now that Gogo is off to school only makes you think about where LJ has been and where she will end up. Also, Hi Peter, figure out your life already.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean 
College. Break-Ups and Make-Ups. Weddings. Chocolate Chip Cookies. All the things we love. A great finale and a great hopeful story that made me feel 16 again. The time really does fly, but having it all on paper only lets you re-live the good ol' days over and over again.

Wildflower 
Hi, Drew Barrymore... I think you are my soul sister. This Autobiography is just the pick-me-up you need for a lost in the world, kind of week. D, (as she likes me to call her), is smart, witty and mindful of all things beautiful. The worlds greatest Mom and someone who really knows what it's like to live the Drake lyrics of "Started from the bottom, now we here". Braving it through the hard times I think being where she is, with the greatest Children, only show you that ANYTHING is possible. Keep dreaming, keep writing and keep letting the bougainvillea grow. 

Big Little Lies 
Reese Witherspoon. Yes. Also, I read this before I watched the show, but... Reese. Do you ever read a book and think, which friend am I? Always wanting to be the other character but then realzing you're the Madison? My life. Who would I be if I had a choice, Bonnie. But that is besides the point. Liane Moriarty, does it again. With the perfect characters and the perfect scenery, I think we could all do good by spending a little time at Blue Blues.

The Magic of Motherhood 
Did you ever read Chicken Soup for the... Soul when you were growing up? Well here we are. This is the same essay inspired style book. It is fantastic, with all of the topics from the good, the bad and the ugly of motherhood. This is special and brave. Being a mom is everything they said it would be, but most of all it is rewarding. Grab a coffee, or an iced green tea, sit back and read until you cry. Because you will. Because motherhood. And hormones.

Uninvited 
This book was everything. This book made my feeling and fear of abandonment and the anxiety that I create for myself relative. It allowed me to make self-reflection a priority while incorporating the Bible and the ability to use it in suck a practical way. This has helped me improve my relationship with God, myself and my family.


What are you reading, I have to know about something good! Do you listen on your Audible, read in iBooks or read a hardcover? What's your favorite place to read?

Can't wait to hear back!

Sincerely, Shelbi

...And by reading, I mean listening too.

Y'all stop. I love a good book. It's funny because when I was little I would be so pissed if you told me you read for fun. But now, I am itching to get in my car, do the dishes or be home alone so Alexa can read me my story.

In no particular order, this is how I have spent the last quarter of my life while in the car or doing a mundane task. Some of these I have read, some I have listened too and some I have done both. I loved some, I hated some and the rest are ones that have me re-reading the entry 55 times.

Here is what I thought about these and if I truly recommend them or not, but what do I know. Do what you want!

The Light We Lost   ★★★
Lucy, the main character of this book is reliving the highs and lows of her first relationship and first real love while moving on, somewhat, with her life. Something that I think we have all been through making us find ourselves back in those memories. Would I say this is an easy read, yes! But definitely have a thousand Kleenex on hand. But y'all I might have thought about calling this girl out in real life. 

Church of the Small Things   
Two words: MELANIE SHANKLE. I probably don't need to say more, but for those who have not read The Antelope in the Living Room, Sparkly Green Earrings and Nobody's Cuter than You run. RUN to your nearest book store, or Amazon and get these books. Mel (because besties, duh), is funny, real and the only other woman that married a man who shops at Cheaper Than Dirt (not the real store) to by 3,000 flashlights besides myself. This book is spectacular, reminding you that life is about the little things and a bunch of ordinary in between.

The Woman in Cabin 10   
A thriller that leaves you hanging until the very last sentence. I love, love this book and Ruth Ware in general … there is a murderer on this boat. And no one knows but Lo Blacklock. This is a must read.

Year of YES!   
This book is a life.changer. No joke. I have been a pessimist for as long as I can remember saying no to things because, "It's a school night" (I am not in school, neither are my children) or "I like to be in bed by 9 p.m." and Shonda shows you that you are only missing out on finding yourself and your true happiness. Do me a favor and make this a must read, just say YES.

The Young Wives Club 
The Young Wives Club was a quick and easy read that kept you wanting to know more without being over the top. The main thought process of the  book really stuck with me and made me love the book just a little bit more. The ages of the characters bothered me just a hair, but I think we all know someone like each of the husbands and might have dated them! “You should never feel guilty about doing things for you. When you love yourself, it’ll be so much easier for you to love someone else.”

The Lying Game 
The Lying Game was one of my favorite books I read in 2017. Weaving a tangled, and more importantly, plausible mystery that also gave you twists, turns and EXTREME tension that kept me turning page, after page, after page. The friendships, the loyalties and relationships are so woven together. Isa is the best narrator reminding us that there is no way any of them can be separated. 

My (not so) Perfect Life 
This story is so much of what I see in everyday life right now. It is crazy. My (not so) Perfect Life came at the right time, reminding me that everyones Instagram lives aren't always what their lives really look like. "Cat" shows herself to be living the perfect life, though she can't afford most of what she wants to do, pretends to have the job of her dreams and end up stumbling upon the greatest love and herself all in her own truth. This book had me anxiously awaiting what would be around each new page. You will find a small part of yourself that will feel the need to find another piece of yourself.

Truly Madly Guilty 
I am going to be honest, I restarted this book... probably 15 times. And owned it for about a year before FINALLY finishing it, and that was only because I had read everything that I was currently thumbing through. Truly Madly Guilty, after forcing myself to continue reading, was alright at best. I think perhaps because I did not relate to any of the characters that it made seem boring or too much for me. I also think introducing me to 73 new characters before page 2 was also a little much.

The Last Mrs. Parrish 
T H R I L L E R. I am so impressed by this book, the creativity, the research and the talent. Job well done. I absolutely love the back and forth of both Daphne and Amber the manipulation and the scheming is makes this a psychological thriller making this book YOUR NEXT BOOK.

The Husbands Secret 
Imagine finding a letter that your husband wrote for you, but was not to be opened until after his death...would you open it? What would you do next. This book is addicting and all consuming but will leave you wondering about all the skeletons in the closets of those closest to you. For me, it is definitely not a re-read but LM did an amazing job creating a next level mindbuster. 

Braving the Wilderness 
You guys, this entire year is about focusing on braving my own story, finding out who I am... and WHAT I can do for me and my family. We all have this feeling of " I was meant to do something B I G" We also all have the same dreams over and over again between us all. The difference, the person who does something about their dreams and turns them into the things you did. This book gives me confidence, Brené shows you what it's like to be real, what its like to make something happen. I can only say that if there were a few people in the world I would want to in a room with and enjoy a glass of Tito's chilled with a lime... it would be Brené, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Shonda Rhimes and Emily Schuman. With this book, you will read it again, and again and will want to make all of your dreams come true. Do your self a favor and read it.

Of Mess and Moxie 
Jen Hatmaker. You are life. Of Mess and Moxie is a little bit Christianity, a little bit Saucy (and I don't just mean the Honey Dijionnase) and a little bit Momma needs a chill pill. All. of. the. things. Jen is one of those girls, both dreamer and doer. Welcome to the life of a real momma in books, on Instagram and in life. I feel like we are friends, I feel like we sit on your porch and drink all the wine. I feel like I made the Fried Chicken Sliders and the Honey Dijoinnasie and one word. GOALS. Momma's dive in, read it twice and pass it along. Of Mess and Moxie will make your taste buds, your love for Jesus and the quick realization that it's okay to hide in the bathroom for however long it takes to relax all feel okay.

Into the Water 
OH MY HEART STRINGS. I am in love with this book. From the twists, the old world stories and the reality this book reminds me that we all see the same stories with a different point of view and that love, is love. This book was a perfect follow up for the Woman in Cabin 10. I might have been so into this book, that I sat in my closet, and read until I got tired after my son and husband went to sleep. Read it, love it and let me know what you think about the Sheriff's daughter-in-law.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before 
Did you watch Laguna Beach, The Hills or One Tree Hill. This brought me back to that moment in time. That was my Jr. High and High School. That's what this series did for me. It is sweet, The Song Sisters make you remember why family is so important and Lara Jean also shows you what it is like to not be that "perfect" sister, like Gogo.

P.S. I Still Love You 
Following with the last, falling in love and getting her heart kind of broken. This book makes you cheer for the under dog and wish you had a friend like Lara Jean to help you through the hard times. Being the "Big Sister" now that Gogo is off to school only makes you think about where LJ has been and where she will end up. Also, Hi Peter, figure out your life already.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean 
College. Break-Ups and Make-Ups. Weddings. Chocolate Chip Cookies. All the things we love. A great finale and a great hopeful story that made me feel 16 again. The time really does fly, but having it all on paper only lets you re-live the good ol' days over and over again.

Wildflower 
Hi, Drew Barrymore... I think you are my soul sister. This Autobiography is just the pick-me-up you need for a lost in the world, kind of week. D, (as she likes me to call her), is smart, witty and mindful of all things beautiful. The worlds greatest Mom and someone who really knows what it's like to live the Drake lyrics of "Started from the bottom, now we here". Braving it through the hard times I think being where she is, with the greatest Children, only show you that ANYTHING is possible. Keep dreaming, keep writing and keep letting the bougainvillea grow. 

Big Little Lies 
Reese Witherspoon. Yes. Also, I read this before I watched the show, but... Reese. Do you ever read a book and think, which friend am I? Always wanting to be the other character but then realzing you're the Madison? My life. Who would I be if I had a choice, Bonnie. But that is besides the point. Liane Moriarty, does it again. With the perfect characters and the perfect scenery, I think we could all do good by spending a little time at Blue Blues.

The Magic of Motherhood 
Did you ever read Chicken Soup for the... Soul when you were growing up? Well here we are. This is the same essay inspired style book. It is fantastic, with all of the topics from the good, the bad and the ugly of motherhood. This is special and brave. Being a mom is everything they said it would be, but most of all it is rewarding. Grab a coffee, or an iced green tea, sit back and read until you cry. Because you will. Because motherhood. And hormones.

Uninvited 
This book was everything. This book made my feeling and fear of abandonment and the anxiety that I create for myself relative. It allowed me to make self-reflection a priority while incorporating the Bible and the ability to use it in suck a practical way. This has helped me improve my relationship with God, myself and my family.


What are you reading, I have to know about something good! Do you listen on your Audible, read in iBooks or read a hardcover? What's your favorite place to read?

Can't wait to hear back!

Sincerely, Shelbi

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