To wrap up this year, my first full year of blogging, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things from 2017. I love seeing what others have discovered throughout the year and reflecting back on what I loved the most. I hope this list helps inspire some new adventures for you as you dive into new books and podcasts, discover new shows to watch, and travel to new places. I’m so very grateful for all of you who are readers of this blog and can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!
My Favorite Things from 2017
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My Favorite Books
A World War II middle grades novel with my favorite protagonist since Jo March. See my review
The 13th book in the Chief Inspector Gamache series from Louise Penny. See my review
Friendship and war and second chances. A story of female espionage from WWI. See my review
My favorite travel memoir from a family just like mine who was brave enough to say yes to adventure. See my review
Two narrators, almost a hundred years apart, both trying to find justice in racially divided Tulsa. See my review
My new favorite personality system, the enneagram, all explained in one easy-to-read book. See my review
My Favorite Podcasts
Emily P. Freeman’s quiet and gentle reminder to slow down and make space for my soul to breathe is a much needed reminder most weeks. She does speak from a faith perspective but her overall message is for anyone who is feeling habitually overwhelmed.
If you’ve been a reader for a while you know my love of Pantsuit Politics‘ nuanced take on each week’s political headlines, but now hosts Beth and Sarah have launched another podcast all about their own choices and values as mothers, women, and the messiness of living wisely. Such a thought-provoking listen.
If you’re an online business owner and you’re wondering how to make Pinterest a part of your marketing strategy, this podcast is for you. Kate Ahl runs a Pinterest strategy company and her episodes are packed with tips and tricks for using Pinterest to grow your business. I heard Kate speak at a conference and she’s wicked smart about all things Pinterest.
A total guilty pleasure listen, this true crime series is just 6 episodes but you’ll want to binge them all in one sitting. You do not know what will happen until the very end and I appreciate that while it is true crime, this case isn’t horrifically graphic or creepy, just juicy and gripping.
My Favorite TV Shows
From the BBC, two hosts go behind-the-scenes in some of the most unique hotels in the world. This travel show will have you adding place after place to your bucket list. The stories of the individual workers who serve in these hotels are just as beautiful as the luxury destinations they’re found in.
This Masterpiece production is based on the true story of a widow and her four children who move from England to the Greek Island of Corfu in the 1930s. The whole family is a bit of a hot mess and in need of a fresh start and the quirky island village gives them just that. There are two season available so far on Amazon.
I didn’t love Season 1 of this show but Season 2 was delightful. It’s creative and risk-taking and doesn’t feel like any other show. Aziz Ansari is just as loveable as he was in Parks and Rec, but in a more vulnerable and honest way and storytelling is super creative.
If you’ve had your fill of formulaic House Hunters but like a good renovation story, then check out Grand Designs from the BBC on Netflix. The hour-long episodes show construction from start to finish, anywhere from 1-3 years, and focus on interesting and unique builds throughout Britain. Finally, a realistic look at home building.
Smart and pointed satire of each week’s increasingly bizarre headlines is John Oliver’s sweet spot and this year has given him unending material. I appreciate that his comedy is well researched, and while not necessarily very balanced, it does provide plenty of laughter. A fun way to catch up on the headlines each week.
This Emmy Award-winning show from Hulu is worth watching for a reason. Exquisitely acted with an eerily timely plot line, you don’t have to have read the book to watch this series. In fact, I think the show is better than the book. Want to see how a dystopian future comes true? Watch this show.
My Favorite Recipe
I don’t love cooking so for a recipe to even make my list is a big deal. Thanks to my Instant Pot conversion this summer, I’ve been introduced to several new recipes and this is the stand-out of the show. I’ve made it at least 5 times and it’s never failed me, which a huge win in my book.
My Favorite Trips
Our outdoor adventure to this Indiana State Park was one of our favorites this year. It’s the best hiking we’ve done in a while and we can’t wait to go back in the warmer months.
A brand new place for us this year, Oregon was an incredible getaway for my husband and me. I wish we’d had more time on the coast to explore and I’m still dreaming of many of the restaurants we visited in Portland.
So what made it onto your favorite list this year? What do you recommend I listen to, watch, read, or cook in 2018? Anything I should add to my travel bucket list? Leave a comment below with your favorites from 2017!