Surly's Reading List, Taking care of Me

Surly’s Reading List


“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” Wait a minute. That isn’t right. But a Surly trivia point to whoever can name that movie!! For as long as I can remember, I have always loved reading. I had stacks of Babysitters Club books, and I would spend my weekends reading and rereading them. To this day I still love libraries and book stores and am always on the hunt for the next great book.

After college I sort of fell off the reading train and I wanted to make myself more accountable so I set a goal to read 40 books by 40. I am so glad I did because completing this goal revived my love of reading, and I reached my goal in the summer of 2016! read more

Surly's Reading List, Taking care of Me

5 Nonfiction Books for Fiction Lovers

If you need a nonfiction book to read, check out this post for 5 nonfiction books you (and your book club) will love! It features historical nonfiction, true stories, and memoirs.

I love to read. This summer I was really able to catch up on my reading list since my kids wanted to go to the pool everyday. I literally sat in a lawn chair for almost the whole summer. It was glorious. I am an avid fiction reading. I love mysteries, novels, suspense, young adult literature, and so on and so on. But every once in a while, I need to change things up and read an awesome nonfiction book. A book with a great story, excellent point of view, and keeps the reader engaged. Today I wanted to share with you 5 nonfiction books I thoroughly enjoyed and quote from each book that stuck with me. read more

Surly's Reading List, Taking care of Me

40 Books by 40 – We Are Water by Wally Lamb

Book number 18 (almost halfway!) in my reading goal is We are Water by Wally Lamb. You may know Wally Lamb from his previous works: She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much is True, and The Hour I First Believed. My all-time favorite book is She’s Come Undone. If you have not read it, you must!!! It was one of Oprah’s Book Club selections years ago which put it on the map. It’s a given since She’s Come Undone is my favorite book, that I will read all of Lamb’s works. We Are Water was published in 2013, and I have been waiting patiently for the library’s copy to become available. I was so excited to read it, and this book does not disappoint. read more

Surly's Reading List, Taking care of Me

40 Books by 40 – The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns

It’s time for book number 17: “The Burn Palace” by Stephen Dobyns. I heard about this book from an Oprah Book Club email. Oprah started the whole book club movement years ago on her talk show. Or at least that is my earliest memory of book clubs 😉 I signed up for the book club when reading “East of Eden” over 10 years go. Even though she no longer has her talk show she does have Book Club 2.0 through her website, and I still get emails with book recommendations. “The Burn Palace” was listed as a “crazily compelling page-turner.” And that it is!! read more

Surly's Reading List, Taking care of Me

40 Books by 40 – Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls


I have become a lazy reader in recent years. In order to get back into a reading routine and make myself more accountable, I challenged myself to read 40 books by the time I am 40. I am, ahem, 33 years old which only means about 5 books a year so it will probably be more, but 40 by 40 has a nice ring to it so I’m leaving it 🙂

Book 16 is “Half Broke Horses” by Jeannette Walls. It is the true life novel of Lily Casey Smith, a “spirited woman, a passionate teacher” and rancher born in 1901 who lived through the Great Depression and World War II in Arizona. It’s “Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults,” but even better! Lily is the grandmother of Jeannette, mother of the memorable Rosemary Smith Walls in Jeannette’s memoir “The Glass Castle.” If you haven’t read “The Glass Castle” it is another great read. read more