I am making a personal challenge for myself to read at least 30 new books this year.  At least 12 of these will be from my lending library and/or related to my work, and the rest can be just for fun.  I keep track each year of how many books I read, and try to beat that number the following year.  Last year’s was embarrassingly low, so I am trying to get back on track with a number I think that I can reach easily.  Many years I have challenged myself with closer to 50. However, with busy children now, I don’t seem to have as much reading time as I once did.

audio book

The first book that I read was The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks.  This was one of the first movies that had come out where I hadn’t already read the book, so I knew that I would enjoy it.  I was traveling to visit family over winter break after the holidays, which was a 5+ hour drive one way, so I borrowed the audio book version from our local library.  I love to listen to books while I drive — it gives me something productive to do, and seems to calm down my kids as well.  My 8 year old loves to listen along, so I make sure to pick out something that I can enjoy, yet is appropriate enough for her to hear as well.

I knew the basic story already, as I had seen the movie and enjoyed it.  However, the book is different, and I kept listening to it, trying to figure out when it would tie into the movie.  They took an interesting twist to change the story, that’s for sure.  I can see why they did it each way, but most Nicholas Sparks movies follow the book plot pretty closely, so that surprised me.  I enjoyed the narrator’s voice, which kept me sane during the 14+ hours I ended up spending in the car with my kiddos, and then finished the book once I got home.

I would recommend this book to anyone, in whatever form you enjoy best — audio book, hardcover, paperback, or Kindle version.  I am looking forward to the new movie coming out soon, as I haven’t read that book yet.  Maybe that should be next on my list for 2016.

 audio book
 hardcover

 paperback

 Kindle book

What books are you already reading, or looking forward to reading this year?