Recently Reading

I love to read and would always like to read more.  I usually have stacks of books sitting around my house, a few books I'm in the middle of, and more I'd love to own.  I hope to list them here and review some of my very favorites so that you can pick them up also.  As a sort of disclaimer, I wouldn't recommend every book I read to every person I know - if you wonder more about a certain book feel free to ask!

Books read in 2012...

Home to Harmony  by Phillip Gulley
(recommended by a friend, found at our public library)

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Our Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson
(recommended in a Seminary Wives "Redeeming the Time" class as a supplemental text, found at our public library)

Blessings by Anna Quindlen
(found while browsing the library, the cover and title caught my attention as well as the praise for the author's other works - I'm a sucker for good marketing I suppose!)

MOM: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps
(a friend's recommendation, borrowed from the public library)

Front Porch Tales by Phillip Gulley
(I often discover a new to me author and like to read more!)

Standing on the Promises: A Handbook of Biblical Childrearing by Douglas Wilson
(a lovely Mother's Day gift from Matt, thus far should be read slowly to be thought through, not a quick one to read without mulling over)

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
(this was a fun summer novel though I was a bit disappointed by the author's direction during the last part of the book)

Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles
(while this was an interesting memoir of sorts, and I wouldn't find myself sharing much in terms of theology with the author, I was helped and challenged by her views of serving many and learning much)

The Forgotten Garden: A Novel by Kate Morton
(the summary seemed SO intriguing, and I've already become quickly interested - it's a long read, though probably fast as I get into it more, and will likely be my last summer novel - novels seem more fitting to me in the summer!)

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
(again I find a new author and want to read more!  I was disappointed that this didn't seem nearly as gripping at The Forgotten Garden, I also put it down before finishing it as I didn't like the adulterous theme that emerged)

The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund
(a great and quick read, I do love historical fiction, and this being written with John and Elizabeth Bunyan's story in mind made it extra fascinating to me, it did tend towards the romance genre which I usually wouldn't read so while I enjoyed it, I'm not planning to jump on that ship!)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
(This is one I've seen at bookstores for quite some time and wanted to pick up, I just got it from our public library.  It was pretty graphic in the violent situations experienced by the author as a boy soldier, I felt that it was an important read in order that we be acquainted with the reality of daily life for those in all parts of the world, even seemingly far removed.)

From One Ministry Wife to Another: Honest Conversations About Ministry Connections by Susie Hawkins
(My current Seminary Wives Institute assigned reading, very helpful thus far.  It was a good read that discussed various and common aspects of life in ministry.)

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
(Another find at the public library, and VERY good in helping me to consider our family's values and the ways in which we are or aren't fully pursuing them.  While not a distinctly Christian book, the author says many things which show his awareness of and need for treating children holistically including their spirituality)

Love Does by Bob Goff
(An intriguing book written like a memoir with lessons teaching that to love means to do something.  A fast read that could be utilized in so many settings, and encourages me to keep a list in my homemaking binder of the most outrageous ideas I have for doing love as the Lord leads.)  

Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey
(A step-by-step guide to simplifying a hair routine for healthier curly hair - I'm seeing great results after about 2 weeks, and am still making some modifications to find a workable plan for my hair, a really helpful source!)

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
(This was an intriguing book written really as a memoir of two men with very similar backgrounds and the same name, growing up in Baltimore.  Their lives have very different endings in spite of their similarities and the book is written to help the reader think through the small elements which led to such outcomes.  I'd highly recommend it, especially to those who have a heart for serving in areas with urban youth.  I wish I'd read it when I was teaching.)

Building Her House by Nancy Wilson
(A compilation of articles she'd written seperately, the subtitle is telling "commonsensical wisdom for Christian women".  It's a short book and quick read, much like her daughter's parenting book Loving The Little Years which I also found highly instructive and encouraging.)

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life by Emily Freeman
(The title speaks for itself!  I find myself relating to many of the author's illustrations as I'm convicted and ministered to with her wise perspective.)

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
(I'd requested this from the library after loving The Forgotten Garden, and anticipating another great book!  I may have enjoyed this one even more.  The mystery and history told from the perspectives of each character make it a great book that's really hard to put down!)

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler
(A fun read in a new-to-me genre of books about cooking.  I'm already learning lots that I didn't know as a home cook who typically follows recipes and doesn't venture into much cooking "creatively"!)

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
(Historical fiction about the events that unfold on a lifeboat of those who've survived the sinking of an ocean liner, it's already intriguing and a bit like reading the events of a reality TV show, though that doesn't seem to really capture the quality.  An EXCELLENT read!)

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach
(A great find on the "new non-fiction" shelf at our public library - part cookbook, part memoir of sorts, this author sets out to demystify the idea of a family dinner with helpful and practical suggestions along with high quality but family friendly recipes along the way, I'm partly intrigued that having a family dinner can be so overwhelming to many, and even more thankful that growing up it was our normal life)

Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison
(This book invites readers into the life of a family committed to serving children though foster care.  Such an encouraging book that really caused me to think more about caring for children in this way someday perhaps.)

One Small Boat by Kathy Harrison
(This was the second book I read by Kathy Harrison telling another gripping story of her life as a foster mother.  This was especially interesting as the child's story is not one of a poverty or abuse as some often associate with children in foster care.)

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
(I read about this on a top 10 list of women's fiction for 2012 and I'd whole-heartedly agree it deserved to be there.  A story following a young woman's life as she leaves a group home and begins her independent life.  Really well written with fascinating characters as the story ties together throughout and ends redemptively.)

Books read in 2013...
*I'm going to start including cover pictures... behind while we shouldn't only "judge a book by its cover" sometimes that a compelling start :)

Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris
(This showed up on a "best books of 2012" list I read, and as Christianity Today's "best fiction of 2012" book.  It's a Southern story that fascinates me and quickly draws you in, not in a really dramatic way but one that makes you want to find out what will happen in the lives of the characters described so vividly.  It makes me think about faith, greed, and unlikely "heroes" of sorts.  A good read that gets better as the book progresses.)

The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
(I've had various friends mention this book, but I'd never read it.  This was one of my favorite books on motherhood.  While I wasn't initially sure if I'd love it, I found it to grow in depth and thoughtfulness as it went on.  I'd highly suggest this book for other moms, as it offers encouragement in a Biblical and structured way.)

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio
(Another "Best of 2012" book that didn't disappoint!  This was a novel that quickly caught my attention as a little boy goes missing in a 1933 snow storm.  Paralleling the story of his mother who searches for him, is the story of a present day reporter in the midst of her own struggles.  Once again I found myself telling Matt, "How do people think of stories that connect together so well?"  I'm amazed at the creativity of authors like this.  While I wish the story could've been written without some of the suggested affairs going on in the background, I found the actual story excellent.)

Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth
(I'm so thankful to have read this book and the practical wisdom contained within it.  I look forward to practicing many of these suggestions as we continue seeking to simplify or lives in order to glorify the Lord more greatly.  This book encourages us to adopt simplification in many ways for significant reasons as we honor the Lord in all areas of life.)

Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood by Rachel Jankovic
(I don't think I've read another author who concisely summarizes motherhood so well while bringing deep Biblical truths to light.  Each of these chapters is short but is packed full with much to consider and meditate upon as I go throughout my days as a mom.  So often convicting the author also writes with plentiful grace in a way that encourages me to repentance and change.  Here's a glimpse of one chapter "The Unbaked Biscuit" if you're curious!)

Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie C Martin
(A short and digestible read encouraging mothers in many aspects of life.  The author suggests a system of do-able and customizable routines to ensure that time is well spent and families are nurtured throughout their days.  I appreciated much of her wisdom, was encouraged in some of our current systems, and was inspired with new ideas as well.  This will be a book I hope to continue referring to!)

A Praying Life: Connecting With God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller
(I'm finishing up this book that I started and stopped a few months ago.  It's a straight-forward and candid book on prayer, dispelling our misconceptions and encouraging growth, particularly in the fast paced life of our generation.)

An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff
(I requested this from the library, picked it up, and finished it within two days!  It was a quick read because I was so interested in the true story of an executive woman who met a homeless young boy and began a long friendship with him.)

No comments: