A Review of Books I Read in 2017

A Review of Books I Read in 2017 | casilong.com/blog #casilongdesign

One of my friends says every book has little “nuggets” of truth or knowledge to be learned in them. You just have to mine sometimes.

I’d say I count every finished book a success if I walk away with one new thing I didn’t have before. New knowledge, a different perspective, a new truth.

I typically try to switch back and forth between business/self-help books and christian or leisure reads. So in my (short) list of books I read this year—because let’s face it, who ever reads as much as they hope to—you’ll find a variety of genres.

A Review of Books I Read in 2017 | casilong.com/blog #casilongdesign


1 | Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

I actually went through the small group discussion version of this book, but it included all the same full chapters from the original book.

This was the most impactful study I’ve ever done. It required a lot of self-reflection, which I think is good for the soul. The author held nothing back and certainly didn’t worry about hurting the reader’s feelings. Luckily, I enjoy straight-forward and blunt, so it was right up my alley.

The book is basically about all the sins that society deems as acceptable—like pride and gossip—and it sheds light on how those sins should really be portrayed. It’s an eye-opening, gut-wrenching, growth-spurring read.

Almost a year later and I still think about the nuggets of truth I learned from this book.

A Review of Books I Read in 2017 | casilong.com/blog #casilongdesign



2 | Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad is all about a guy—Robert Kiyosaki—who was influenced by two very different types of men. One, was his biological father—poor dad—who had a good education and a good job, but struggled financially his entire life.

The other dad was his best friend’s father—rich dad—who was an entrepreneur and taught his son and Robert how to make themselves rich.

The book is all about mindset. If you want a new car, find a way to make extra money to pay for the new car, instead of going into debt or spending money you don’t really have.

I liked this book, but did find myself a little bored mid-way through.

A Review of Books I Read in 2017 | casilong.com/blog #casilongdesign



3 | Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley

I love Emily Ley. And her design team is just perfection. This book was actually gifted to me, and I really enjoyed it. It’s beautifully designed and a super easy read.

Grace not Perfection is all about giving yourself grace instead of constantly worrying about being perfect. It’s about simplifying your life. Focus on the more important things in life.

It has sections for you to jot down thoughts and notes, and to answer questions. I’m a little weird about writing in books so I didn’t love that part, but I could see how it would be helpful for other non-OCD people.

Overall, great easy read that left me feeling refreshed.

A Review of Books I Read in 2017 | casilong.com/blog #casilongdesign



4 | The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

I am not a morning person. But I desperately want to be. I have friends who wake up early every morning, have no trouble getting out of bed, and (in my mind) enjoy their morning coffee near an open window where birds chirp as the sun rises. Ok, ok. I added that last part.

Either way, that’s not me. I’ve spent my entire adult life wishing, hoping to become a morning person. I’ve gone through phases of getting up early and being super productive all before 8am. It’s the best feeling. But it’s not sustainable for me.

All this background information is so you understand how desperate I am to be a morning person. Especially now that I work from home on my own schedule. It seems like it would be a really valuable, helpful trait!

So I read The Miracle Morning after many people recommended it. Honestly? I really liked the book. I found it helpful and motivational. And it lead me into a phase of listening to Hal’s podcast,

Did it magically transform me into a morning person? No.

The book included several valuable, helpful tips but ultimately you have to incorporate the tips into your actual life.

A Review of Books I Read in 2017 | casilong.com/blog #casilongdesign



5 | The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines

Who doesn’t love Chip and Joanna Gaines? Their book, The Magnolia Story, was such an easy, enjoyable read. I loved that it was written by both Chip and Jo, and was so saturated with their personalities.

It denotes who is speaking throughout the book by using different fonts for Chip and Jo. (Chip is in serif, Jo is sans-serif.)

If you love the Gaines, you’ll find this one entertaining. Nothing earth-shattering, by any means, but it gave me a few giggles nonetheless.

A Review of Books I Read in 2017 | casilong.com/blog #casilongdesign



6 | What’s Best Next by Matt Perman

This book was all about productivity from a gospel point-of-view. I really enjoyed it and found myself underlining and folding the edges of pages! (I know, I surprised myself too.) I will say it was a bit long for my liking, so I took several months to get through it. However, I found dozens of helpful little nuggets.

I struggle a lot with productivity and getting the right things done. So I was looking for a book on productivity. (I’ve heard Getting Things Done is good, but haven’t read it.)

It’s also really important to me that my work and daily actions glorify the Lord. I try to seek His guidance through everything I do for my business, but it can be hard to understand how exactly to do that with mundane, daily tasks.

This book helped. It shed light on some of those gray areas and gave me several new perspectives on the way I tackle tasks.

Like I said, it’s a little longer than I thought it needed to be, but overall a good book.

A Review of Books I Read in 2017 | casilong.com/blog #casilongdesign

Other Books On my radar…

  • A Simplified Life by Emily Ley

  • None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

  • For the Love by Jen Hatmaker

  • Business Boutique by Christy Wright

Each January I set a reading goal for the year ahead. Typically I strive to read one book per month, but hardly ever reach it. But that never stops me from buying an endless amount of books and making a stack of to-reads.

What books did you read this year that you would recommend? Which new books are on your wish list?

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