Byte of Prevention Blog

by Camille Stell |

My 2017 Reading Challenge Part 3

reading challenge“So many books, so little time.” 

Frank Zappa

In 2017, I set a New Year’s resolution – a reading challenge to read 30 books in a year. By December 31, I had achieved my goal plus some – 38 books read. I discussed the challenge in Part 1 and Part 2.

Here is the list of books I read in 2017, along with a few closing reflections.


Mentoring 101, John C. Maxwell

The End of Membership as We Know It: Building the Must-Have Association of the Next Century, Sarah Sladek

E-Lawyer: A Guide to Legal Practice Leadership in the Internet Age, Adam Newhouse

The Lawyer’s Guide to Succession Planning: A Project Management Approach for Successful Law Firm Transitions and Exits

The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, Reid Hoffman


Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver

Small Great Things, Jodi Picoult

Vanishing Acts, Jodi Picoult

Second Glance, Jodi Picoult

Salem Falls, Jodi Picoult

Winter Street, Elin Hilderbrand

Winter Stroll, Elin Hilderbrand

Winter Storms, Elin Hilderbrand

The Barrowfields, Phillip Lewis


Christmas at Biltmore: Celebrating America’s Largest Home, The Biltmore Company

Biltmore: An American Masterpiece, The Biltmore Company

Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making it Work, Tim Gunn

Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell

How to Life Like a Gentleman: Lessons in Life, Manners, and Style, Sam Martin


It Starts with Food: Discovery the While30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways, Dallas Hartwig

The Whole 30: The Official 30-day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom, Melissa Hartwig

Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt and Anxiety Around Food, Melissa Hartwig


What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy, Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant

A Long Way Home, Saroo Brierley

Open, Andre Agassi

One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, Marie Monville

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife, Dr. Eben Alexander

Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling

My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem


The Loudest Voice in the Room: How Roger Ailes and Fox News Remade American Politics, Gabriel Sherman


Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organzing, Marie Kondo


Holy Bible, New International Version

Give God a Year, Change Your Life Forever, Carole Lewis

The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene, Liz Curtis Higgs

When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life, Squire Rushnell

Lies We Believe About God, William Paul Young


As I mentioned yesterday, setting the Reading Challenge made me intentional in my desire to accomplish my goal. I spent less time watching television, reading magazines and web stories to focus on books.

Another benefit of my reading challenge was a health challenge. Several friends and family members read the Whole30 health books in 2017 and we followed the Whole30 eating plan. The idea is simple – whole foods for 30 days. It is a nutritional reset where you avoid dairy, sugar, alcohol, grains, and legumes for 30 days. As a result, I lost weight and saw an improvement in several medical markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol readings. I am a big fan of Whole30 and love sharing tips and recipes.

One reason I decided to leave my reading goal at 30 books in 2018 instead of increasing it is to spend more time writing. While I write plenty for work, I want to spend more time on recreational writing. I have a personal blog that hasn’t seen any attention in recent years so I’m dusting off “Traveling Mercies” ( and I invite you to follow me there.

Reading is my favorite pastime and I enjoyed the many hours spent on my reading challenge. I know many of us have this in common and I look forward to the conversations about books we will have in 2018.



About the Author

Camille Stell

Camille Stell is President of Lawyers Mutual Consulting and Services, offering succession planning, business development coaching, keynote presentations and more. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at or 800.662.8843.

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