2018 Reading List

Here in December I was the Mystery Reader for my little’s pre-school. I chose to take in one of our Christmas favorites, “Bear Stays Up For Christmas” written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman.

We were introduced to the bear books by friends of ours when our daughter was first born and we have read several to date. They are beautifully illustrated and written.

Anyway, the kids’ joy that day at having a Mystery Reader led me to remember my own love of books. Do you know that the average American will only read one book after they complete their formal education? One book!

I have been working on my 2018 reading wishing list (aka the books I would like to read if I can stay awake long enough to read them) and thought I would share them with you. If any of you have read these and care to send me a review of them I would appreciate it. Or read along with and we can have a book discussion.

So, in no particular order:

The Daily Edge & The Trust Edge – these are two books that were gifted when we attended the CHS New Leaders Forum in Minneapolis this December. Author David Horsager spoke at the event and I took home several tips. I look forward to reading his books about leadership, relationships and results.


The One Year Uncommon Life – I have been a fan of NFL football coach Tony Dungy for a long time. Not only is he an excellent coach, but he seems to be an excellent human being who has the same struggles and victories as the rest of us. I am excited to crack open this daily devotional come Jan. 1.




Turtles All The Way Down – From author John Green (“Fault in Our Starts” author) comes a messy, dark book about teenage angst and in particular one girl who has OCD. I hear this book is gut wrenching and awkward, but a fantastic read. We will see…




All The Light We Cannot See – This book by Anthony Doerr has been on my want list since it was released way back in 2014. I tend to gravitate towards World War books and this book is set in occupied France during WWII. “Deftly interweaving the lives of characters Marie-Laure and Werner Pfennig, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another,” says the book summary.


Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half The Story – This is singer, Jewel’s,

autobiography about her childhood, music career, failed marriage and motherhood. I have to admit I watch her family – the Kilchers – on the Discovery Channel’s “Alaska the Last Frontier” and find amusement in some of the situations that arise on their homestead. And of course, I’m interested in what she has to say about ex-husband Ty Murray (who happened to be my number one celebrity crush in middle school).


The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health – Written by David R. Montgomery, this book is of interest because I have been impacted in recent years by friends and family members who have suffered grave illnesses or even passed on. This book looks into the relationship of microbes on are our health. In essence, Montgomery investigates the relationship of the garden to the gut and how agriculture can play a role in the “best medicine”.



Where the Sidewalk Ends Special Edition – long ago I fell into a deep appreciation for writer Shel Silverstein’s quirky way of writing poems. It’s kind like Mother Goose meets Cat in the Hat. This special edition has 12 new poems which are sure to make us smile.



Last Bus to Wisdom– this is the last novel from author Ivan Doig before he passed away in April 2015. Many of his books are set in his native Montana – a state he had a great affinity for due to its landscape and its people. Never have I been disappointed by a Doig novel and I am sure I won’t be with this one. The reviews say it is, “Charming, wise, and slyly funny, Last Bus to Wisdom is a last sweet gift from a writer whose books have bestowed untold pleasure on countless readers.”


Wayne and Ford: The Films, the Friendship and the Forging of an American Hero – I grew up on John Wayne films. McClintock, The Cowboys and Red River are my top three. This fall a book was released by Nancy Schoenberger about director John Ford and how he gave the “Duke” the first chance to star in a money-making western. Their relationship was said to be close, but often turbulent. Drawing on previously untapped caches of letters and personal documents, Schoenberger dramatically narrates a complicated, poignant, and iconic friendship and the lasting legacy of that friendship on American culture.

Happy 2018 and happy reading!

– Codi Vallery-Mills