January 5, 2022

book your wedding
picasso, the million dollar napkin and live painting
I create timeless heirloom paintings for couples looking for an original and intentional way to capture their wedding day, and I do it live.

more categories

If you’ve followed along for any amount of time, you probably know-

I love to read.

Books are my LOVE LANGUAGE. Literally. If you want to have a place in my heart forever, give me a book, recommend a book, loan a book. I’ll love you forever and ever.

I was trying to figure out how *best* to share what I read this year, when miraculously popped up Sarah Mackenzie of Read Aloud Revival with her yearly reading reflection.

So, using Sarah’s prompts, in this blog I’m sharing my year in reading for 2021.

And yes, there are affiliate links in this post… 🙂

The genre I read most this year: Business

The best new (to me) author I discovered this year: Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow is one of the BEST books I’ve read this year. I currently have Rules of Civility sitting on my nightstand…

The book I recommended to others most often: You Are the Girl For the Job by Jess Connolly

A book that made me laugh out loud: Jury is still out on this one… I didn’t read a lot of *humorous* books — heartfelt is my JAM …

But quite possibly The Most Fun We Ever Had by Clare Lombardo which is also…

A book that made me cry: The Most Fun We Ever Had by Clare Lombardo (a recommendation from Jen Olmstead of Tonic Site Shop)

A book that made me think in a new way: Atomic Habits by James Clear

A book I was disappointed in: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

great read until the very end. Read The Grapes of Wrath instead.

Let me start by saying Digital Minimalism was also one of my favorite books of 2021… I LOVED it, and truly believe living minimally is important. I’m not sure what it was that I didn’t like, but I felt like I was reading the same work over and over.

Best nonfiction book I read this year: In the Flo by Alisa Vitti

Best fiction I read this year: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

My favorite audio book of the year: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (AND OMG—Wingate’s story is heartbreaking but such a good read)… now to decide what’s next!

…okay full disclosure I didn’t listen to this book, but I read it in all of 8 hours because it was JUST. THAT. GOOD.

Also a good reminder that there’s a lot of history we don’t actually know anymore, and it’s good to always keep learning…

The family’s favorite read-aloud this year: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

A book I absolutely know I’m going to re-read: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

A book I underlined/marked up the most: Lit! by Tony Reinke

Something I want to keep doing in my reading life next year:

Keep 3 books or more on my side table. This helps me pick up whatever I’m in the *mood* for while not feeling guilty for not finishing a book.

Also, the advice from Tony Reinke — to discern if you’ll like the book, subtract your age from 100. I’m 31, so I have to read 69 pages of a book to know if I’ll like it. The older you are, the more discerning so you need less pages to know if you’ll like the book or not.

Something I want to change about my reading life next year:

Read ALOUD more! Both from books and my kids’ Bible! Growing closer to God as a family is one of my BIG GOALS for 2022.

A book I’m looking forward to reading in 2022:

A book I’m looking forward to reading aloud in 2022:


Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Swiss Family Robinson Series


Honorable mentions that I enjoyed but didn’t *quite* make the above cut:

This is Marketing by Seth Godin

All Marketers Tell Stories by Seth Godin

Deep Work by Cal Newport

God and the Pandemic by N.T. Wright

The Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov <Interesting mostly because it was banned for so long

Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – still rocking me and I’m trying to figure out this digital declutter thing.. all tips welcome!

South and West by Joan Didion

Circe by Madeline Miller (it’s a good read but it’s been a slow one for me…)

The War Against Grammar by David Mulroy

Let’s be real — I believe reading is a DISCIPLINE. It’s hard but you have to make time to do it.

My goal in 2021 was to read 52 books, and I can honestly say I HAVE NO IDEA IF I MET THAT GOAL.

I stopped counting because the *count* got overwhelming for me!

BUT — I made time to read almost every night, and I feel good about that.

What did you read this year?! What was your favorite!? Tell me in the comments — I LOVE hearing other people’s recommendations.

If you found this post helpful, share it on Pinterest! Comment READING below if you want more content like this! 🙂

Books on a shelf, books I love to read

Bringing your wedding day to life, thrilling your guests with a show-stopping live wedding painting experience, and creating a timeless keepsake that honors your sacred bond and will warm your heart every time you look at it – it’s what I do best.

Hey, I'm Courtney.

From behind the easel, I serve timeless brides who still embrace the unexpected by creating heirloom painting experiences that are immersive, one-of-a-kind, and thrilling to watch.

Comments +

  1. […] start. If you’re new here, you may not know I’m an avid reader (check my book list). But one of my FAVES from 2021 was ATOMIC HABITS. James Clear says […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Live wedding painting: an awe-striking guest-experience unlike anything else in the wedding industry tied with a stunning heirloom to be treasured for generations