Imani’s Top Books of 2016

Now that the year is over, I can FINALLY discuss my favorite books that I read this year.   I made it a mission to read a new book every month that had nothing to do with work or school.

1.Daughters of Jerusalem

This gem was one of the first books I read in 2016.   Joan Wolf explores the story of Mary Magdalene, a woman we often hear about when discussing the bible. Some believe she was a whore. In this fictional story the author explains how Mary got the label and how she transitioned to be one of Jesus’ first female disciples. It is a beautiful story of redemption, faith and female empowerment.

2.Milk and Honey

Rupi Kaur has a beautiful and raw way of expressing what it means to be a woman. Through short poems and simplistic art, she perfectly captures the complexities, emotions and power that make up womanhood. This is a must read.

3.Parable of the Talents

Octavia Butler’s talents, follows the life of Lauren Olamina when the world is filled with complete anarchy, pain and suffering. Butler clearly has some prophetic gifts as this story painfully mirrors the direction the world seems to be going in. There is even a president the spews hate and discord such as the president elect now. Similarly to my first two picks, this story has a strong female lead and captures her ambition, empathy and ability to love perfectly.

I read so many other awesome books last year but the above three really stood out to me.   I am so excited about exploring more literature in 2017. If you love to read as well, I suggest becoming a Kindle Unlimited member. I have access to thousands of free books and Audibles. I was able to explore so many books that I wouldn’t have read otherwise. Through Kindle Unlimited I read Daughters of Jerusalem, The Wait, Queen Sugar, Yellow Crocus, and Trail of Broken Tears.

 

What books are you all reading?  What books do you suggest for others this year?

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A Year in Review: Imani Vision (2016)

2016 was good to me.


I know many have complained about how terrible this year has been but I don’t share this sentiment. It was a good year. I was able to grow personally, spiritually and professionally. I had some major moments this year. I was able to see my friends and family thrive. I was able to deal with my life’s obstacles and make the best of many situations. I had a few fails as well but overall, my failures, mistakes and obstacles didn’t taint all of the positive thinks that happen to me and my loved ones. To kick off the new year and my return to blogging regularly, here are a few of my highlights from last year.

 

  1. I bought a house! This was literally the last thing that happened this year. On December 23, 2016, I officially became a homeowner. My house was a short sell and the battle to close was long but soooo worth it. My home is beautiful. It has character and it was purchased undervalue. Everyday I come home, I feel blessed and amazed. God saw it fit for a 25 year old to become a homeowner. I plan to blog about my buying process and tips at a later date.
  2. I know travel is not new to me but after a year of struggling financially, I was able to get back to my love affair with traveling. I was able to go to several new cities including: Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., Miami, Memphis and Baton Rouge. I lived it up in New Orleans with my best friends, danced with the locals in San Juan and drink free wine Beachside in San Juan. I had to sit back towards the end of the year to purchase my home but this years travels definitely make up for the year I spent grounded.
  3. In 2016, I completed year one of teaching. I survived a year with teenagers and began year two. I have improved in so many ways and my desire to improve is only growing. I have built relationships with my students and peers. While teaching can be stressful and its hard work, I love my job. I love that my career directly impacts the people I care about the most. How many people can say that their job has the potential to make the world better? I go into work with this attitude and it helps get through the hard days and stress.
  4. I failed at this in 2016. I am still trying to understand how I allowed fitness to get almost none of my attention this year. In previous years, health and fitness has been a top priority of mine. I ran a ½ marathon, increased muscle mass, found holistic health options. So why didn’t this translate in 2016? Stress! I wasn’t giving myself enough self care. I was so focused on negativity and work that I forgot to take care of my body. I was burning out. The last few months of this year, I began to take care of my body again. I am losing some of the weight I gained at the first half of the year. It is definitely a goal to get back to my ‘pre-teaching weight.
  5. I am really proud of the relationships I have with my family and friends. It can be so hard to balance work, self and relationships. I like to think I did a good job of balancing the ones I love with my endeavors. There is always room for improvement but I know my loved ones know my love for them. As far as dating, I suck but we can’t be good at everything.
  6. Faith. I spent the greater part of the year rededicating my life to God. I never forgot about God but God was not a priority. I joined my church about a year ago and have been so inspired by my River of Life church family.  They are constant motivations to live a life of purpose and faith.

 

Bonus: Books. I have always been a lover of books thanks to my mother and TeeTee. This year, I wanted to get back to this love. I decided to read a book a month that had NOTHING to do with work or school. Sounds silly but when you are reading two-three books at a time for something other than pure enjoyment, it takes the fun out of reading. I read some awesome books this year. Find my top picks here. Reading is a powerful tool.