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Tag Archive: Books

40 Books I Plan to Read in 2019

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I plan to read these 40 books from my bookshelf in 2019!! What's on your list?

One of my goals for 2019 was to read 40 books I already own. I finally had a chance to go through our bookshelves today and pick the 40 books I want to read.

For those who are interested, here are the books I chose (please note: I have not read these books, so by sharing them here, I am not endorsing or recommending them):

  1. Secret Daughter
  2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
  3. The Choosing
  4. Paris Letters
  5. Becoming Mrs. Lewis
  6. How to Walk Away
  7. A Gentlemen in Moscow
  8. Before We Were Yours
  9. Beneath a Scarlet Sky
  10. The Austen Escape
  11. Come Matter Here
  12. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way
  13. Bearing Hope
  14. A Severe Mercy
  15. In the Secret Service
  16. Brave Love
  17. The Wondering Years
  18. Etched in Sand
  19. Embrace the Suck
  20. As Many Reps as Possible
  21. Forgiving God
  22. Daring to Hope
  23. Thirst
  24. Off the Clock
  25. Slow
  26. Everybody Always
  27. Begin Again
  28. The Healing Compass
  29. Book Girl
  30. So Good They Can’t Ignore You
  31. Dare to Lead
  32. Life on the Vine
  33. Preach to Yourself
  34. The Ministry of Ordinary Places
  35. Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors
  36. Parenting
  37. The Path Between Us
  38. Fierce Marriage
  39. Whisper
  40. Only Love Today
  41. When People Are Big and God is Small (whoops! I guess I actually picked out 41! I guess the last one is a bonus!)

By the way, I’m tracking the books I read this year on GoodReads and I’ll be doing a monthly update on what I read and a little review of each book!

Have you read any of these books? Which one(s) should I read first?

The 3 Books I Read This Past Week

Welcome to my weekly Book-ish post where I share what I’ve been reading and watching recently. If you missed it, you can see my Reading Goals for 2018 and 44 Books I Plan to Read This Year

(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

I told you that I’m shooting to read three books per week through the end of the year. And I’m happy to report that I read three more books this past week! It helped that we had two 18-hour flights to South Africa and back.

Here are the 3 books I read:

1. And Still She Laughs

I honestly expected this book to be about the author’s journey losing a daughter to cancer. While she did talk some about that, mostly it was not biographical and just talking more about the lessons and faith journey she’s been on since experiencing such heart-rending loss.

I think this book would be an encouragement to someone if they have lost a loved one and need some honesty and hope while walking through grief.

2. Educated

My sister recommended this book to me. I hadn’t heard of it, but since I posted about reading it on Instagram, I’ve discovered that it’s a really well known book.

I’m not sure yet what to say about this book. As someone who was homeschooled and grew up in a sheltered environment and knew many families who sheltered their kids a LOT more than I was sheltered, this book hit pretty close to home. And I found that I could relate to much of it in a way that maybe many people wouldn’t be able to.

That said, it also made me so grateful for the education I received through homeschooling and how much my parents invested in me. I know that isn’t always the case, as evidenced in this pretty extreme story. If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

3. Love Lives Here

I didn’t have expectations for this book just because I didn’t know what to expect, but I ended up really loving it. I underlined and highlighted so many parts of it. And one of the parts of it dredged up some really unexpected emotions about a painful situation in my life — and shed some clarity on it and brought some healing for me.

I did find that the book jumped around more than I would have liked and left a lot of details out where I would have loved the author to paint a clearer picture on some of the stories, but overall, I found it be a very worthwhile read and one that will sit with me for a long time to come.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes: “I knew something needed to change, so here’s what I did. I stopped listening to the loudest voices in my life and started listening to the truest ones.” (This sort of sparked this post on Instagram this morning.)

When I Find Time to Read

People are always asking me how I find time to read. Honestly, it’s because I love to read, because I’ve chosen to prioritize it, because I don’t have a lot of other hobbies, and because I can’t not read. Also, when you love something, you usually can find ways to get creative to find time to fit it in — even if it’s in the little nooks and crannies of life.

I wrote a post on 3 ways to find more time to read — even when life is busy. And here are 7 more ways to find time to read.

What did you read and watch this past week? Any books or movies or shows you really think I need to read or watch

15 Books I Want to Read to My Kids in 2018

Last week, I posted about 44 Books I Plan to Read in 2018 and talked about my own personal reading plans for 2018. This week, for our weekly book post, I wanted to share about my plans for reading aloud to my kids.

You all know I’m a big fan of reading aloud to my kids! It’s something I’ve done since the time they were newborn and I am so grateful that I have. In fact, just the other day, Kathrynne (almost 13), was talking about how so much of what she knows she’s learned through books I’ve read to her, books she’s read, and audiobooks and audio drama she’s listened to. That made me so happy!

As the kids are older and in school, we have to be more intentional about making reading time happen. Recently, we’ve found that reading at dinner time works well. We usually just read for 10-15 minutes right now. We don’t fly through books at that rate, but my goal is to at least get through 10 books this year as a family. I chose 15 to give us options and also to encourage us to see if we can actually read all 15! 🙂

15 Books I Want to Read Aloud to My Kids This Year

What are some of your family’s favorite read alouds? I’d love to hear!

My Top 10 Favorite Books From 2017

Want to know what my Top 10 Favorite Books were that I read in 2017? Well, of the almost 90 books I read, here were my Top 10 Picks (these were chosen based upon how much the books resonated with me, how much they impacted me or stuck with me since reading them, and how much I enjoyed reading them):

1. Finish

If you’ve always struggled with setting and following through with goals and new year’s resolutions, I highly recommend this book.

It’s a fast read, but it will likely challenge and conflict with most other goal-setting advice you’ve heard. And I think it will inspire you that you don’t have to be this amazingly disciplined person to actually finish goals you’ve set. You just have to change your process for goal-setting, and maybe completely overhaul your perspective on what goal-setting should be.

One of my favorite parts in the book is when the author, Jon Acuff, talks about “Strategic Incompetence” which is the act of deciding what you will bomb ahead of time so that you have energy and capacity to actually finish and win in those few areas that matter most.

It’s so freeing to claim a long list of things I’m not good at or don’t want to win at in order to focus on the short list of things I am good at and the few areas that are really important to me longterm (like my marriage and my kids!)

2. The Golden Goblet

Kaitlynn and I read this book as part of her Sonlight curriculum in homeschool and really enjoyed it! It was one of our very favorites this year — especially if you love Ancient Egyptian history.

It was a Newberry Honor Award winner and I’m not surprised. The storyline is compelling and interesting and it brings Ancient Egyptian history to life.

Plus, it’s a story of endurance and resilience in the face of many odds. It was one of those read alouds that we just didn’t want to stop reading and both of us looked forward to each day to see what was going to happen. And we were kind of sad when the book was finished!

3. The Rest of God

I really loved this book and slowly savored it over a month — reading just a few pages each day. I will say that it took me a few chapters to really get into and I almost didn’t think I would actually finish it in the beginning since I found it had a pretty slow start.

But I’m so grateful that I didn’t stop after the first chapter or two because so many sections of this book challenged me in new ways to think about what rest truly is and why it’s so important in the life of a Christian.

Here’s a quote from it that I especially loved:

“One measure for whether or not you’re rested enough… is to ask yourself: How much do I care about the things I care about? When we lose concern for people… when we cease to laugh when our children laugh (and instead yell at them to be quiet) or weep when our spouse weeps (and instead wish they didn’t get so emotional)… When we hear news of trouble among our neighbors and our first thought is that we hope it isn’t going to involve us…When we stop caring about what we care about…That’s a signal that we’re too busy. We have let ourselves be consumed by the things that feed the ego but starve the soul.”

4. The Upstairs Room

We really enjoyed reading this book together as a family. It’s the true story of a young Jewish girl who was hidden in a room for two years to protect her from being captured or killed by the Germans. While the writing in the book could have been tightened up a bit, we all found the story fascinating and such a good reminder of the gift we have of freedom to be able to go outside and live our normal lives without fear.

Note: It totally caught me off guard that this book had language in it that I never would have expected for a kid’s book and I’ve had to edit out a few words here and there. Just keep this in mind if you’re planning to read this to your kids or let them read it.

5. The Broken Way

This book really, really impacted me in a number of different ways. One of those was in the area of friendships. I wrote this as a result of how the book challenged me:

“We weren’t created to be loners; we were created for community.”

I’ve said this from stages and written it in posts. And yet, for years, I’ve worked incredibly hard to not inconvenience anyone around me, if I can dare help it.

I’ve gone way out of my way to avoid causing someone else to have to go out of their way.

I’ve struggled through many things privately and not shared them with those closest to me lest I add one more thing to their already-full plates.

I’ve put on a brave face and kept it together when I felt like my world was falling apart because the last thing I would want to do would be to be a burden to someone else.

But I’m slowly learning this is the road of loneliness and isolation.

If we want to develop authentic deep relationships, we have to spill out the vulnerable, broken parts of our soul and let other people in to the messy, hurting, raw spaces. And be a safe place for them to do the same.

It requires the willingness to inconvenience and be inconvenienced. It means we let others bear our burdens and we’re willing to bear theirs. It will result in disappointing others and in being disappointed ourselves.

But when we let others get close enough that our brokenness and messiness is on full display, they also get to see the most beautiful, intimate parts of our heart and soul, too.

And let me tell you, getting to experience that depth in relationship is so very worth being inconvenienced and inconveniencing others for.

6. A Gospel Primer

Please don’t judge this book by its cover. The contents are GOLD.

I firmly believe that every Christian’s life could be deeply impacted by a slow reading of this book. It will challenge you to truly understand, grasp, and live in light of the gospel like never before.

As soon as I finished it, I wanted to start reading it again.

“Preaching the gospel to myself each day nourishes within me a holy brazenness to believe what God says, enjoy what He offers, and do what He commands.”

7. Lilac Girls

I listened to this book as an audiobook and I loved it. I think the fact that it is so well narrated has made it such a good listen and I’d highly recommend it on audiobook. It’s a really compelling, tragic, and gripping story of the horrors of concentration camps.

(Note: I almost stopped listening to it because there was some edge-y stuff in the first part and I was afraid it was going to get worse as progressed. But it ended up getting quite a bit better as it progressed. Do note that it it is very much PG-13 and I would only recommend listening to it with headphones in if you have kids at your house!)

8. Wonder

This book is such a worthwhile read! I read it in two days and can’t recommend it highly enough — especially if you have kids around ages 9-12 like mine are. I think it’s a book that can really impact your thinking on what compassion and empathy look like and the importance of being a true friend.

My girls read it and we had some great discussions about the book. We also went to the movie and I wrote a really honest review of my thoughts on the movie and why I felt like it missed the mark.

9. No More Faking Fine

I picked up this book because the title intrigued me. It wasn’t at all what I expected — but it was exactly what I needed to read. It was all about the importance of being honest before God and others. I wrote this as a result of reading this book:

I’ve been studying what “lament” is recently. It’s not a word we hear a lot, but it’s a word that is completely changing how I pray. I’m realizing how often I sanitize my prayers because I’m afraid to just bring the real, raw, ugly, messy, yucky to God. Like He can’t handle me saying that I’m angry and hurt and upset and or that a situation doesn’t make sense. But isn’t that what David — a “man after God’s own heart” — did all throughout the book of Psalms?

It’s been really, really freeing for me to get brave enough to bring the ugly to God. He doesn’t need me to hold back how I feel. He wants me to be honest and when I’m being honest, He can meet me there in the darkness and yucky.

Think about it: if you’re a parent, don’t you want your kids to tell you ALL of how they are feeling? Even if it’s really ugly or dark? Of course! You want to exactly what us going on in their heart… because you care so deeply about them.

It’s the same with our Heavenly Father — only He loves us infinitely more than we could ever love our kids.

Bring Him your ugly, your broken, and your messy. Don’t hold back. It’s when we fully acknowledge our broken, that He can show up as our Healer. It’s when we completely verbalize our our messy, that He can show up as our Redeemer. It’s when we admit the hurt, the heartache, and the heartbreak, that He can show up as our Savior!

10. The Giver

I read The Giver for the first time this week. And you guys, I don’t quite know what to say about this book. At first, I was so frustrated by the ending.

That’s it?!?! No! There has to be more!

I couldn’t get the story out of my brain. What am I missing? Why is it haunting me?The more I pondered, the more it started to make sense to me and I actually started to love the book and the powerful way it reminds us that without pain and suffering, we can’t experience emotional connection or truly feel at a deep level.

If we took all of the pain away from the world, it would also take away so much depth and the ability to experience life in full color.
I wished I would have read this book with a book club because I would have loved to hear what other people thought of things as I went through it. And I totally understand why some people love it and some people don’t like it at all.

I have been working on a surprise project the past 2 months and finally get to tell you about it! I’m launching a live group coaching in January called 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life where I’ll be walking you through some life-changing principles to help you live a much more productive and fulfilled life.

It’s designed for you if you…

  • Wish you could change your life, but don’t where to start
  • Hope to find a way to become more productive and get more done, but feel overwhelmed by the thought of taking yet another productivity course or reading yet another book on time management.
  • Want to make 2018 the year that you actually stop wishing and hoping and planning and start DOING.

Doors will open for a few days only beginning January 1, 2018. If you are interested, you’ll want to sign up to be on the waitlist because you’ll be the first to know when it’s available and you’ll also get access to my brand-new printable called 6 Ways to Start your New Year Well.Go here to sign up — I can’t wait to have you join me for the live coaching!

What were YOUR favorite books from 2017? I’d love to hear! Tell us about them in the comments!

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Our 10 Favorite Christmas Picture Books (& one of our frugal yearly traditions!)

Christmas Picture Books to read as a family! This is a unique and frugal holiday tradition the kids will LOVE!

Making memories together doesn’t have to be complicated and costly! One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to read picture books with the kids. And even though they are 11, 9, and 7, they still humor me and listen in. I think they enjoy it, too! 😉

When they were younger, we’d get a stack of books from the library, wrap up the books individually, and they’d get to unwrap one per day during December to read. (You could also turn this idea into an Advent Countdown Activity, too!)

This year, we’re skipping the wrapping part since it’s not the thrill it once was when they were younger, but we’re reading one Christmas or winter-themed picture book together every night — either after dinner at the table or right before the kids go to bed.

Our Favorite Christmas Books

Our Favorite Christmas Books

We stopped by the library earlier this week and checked out a big stack of Christmas books (our library has a limit of 30 books checked out at a time!)

I was excited to find some new-to-us library books to read this year along with some of our longtime favorites and am looking forward to making more December read-aloud memories together.

This is such a simple and frugal tradition, but it’s one we’ll probably always look back on in years to come with so many fond memories.

Our Favorite Christmas Books

Our Favorite Christmas Books

10 of our Favorite Christmas Picture Books:

What is one of your family’s favorite Christmas books? Leave a comment so I can check to see if our library has it!

I share more about this tradition here on yesterday’s YouTube video. By the way, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel for new money-saving ideas, simple recipes, and practical home management ideas every week!

More Posts to Read:

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Fifteen Favorite Children’s Read-Alouds – Part 4

Missed the first parts of this series? Read Part 1 of Fifteen Favorite Children’s Read-Alouds, Part 2 of Fifteen Favorite Children’s Read-Alouds, and Part 3 of Fifteen Favorite Children’s Read-Alouds.

And remember to check out my post on Five Ways to Get Books for Free for ideas of how to pick up copies of these and other books frugally.

13. Curious George Books — No book list of our favorites would be anywhere near complete without mentioning the Curious George books. I first introduced the girls to them when I was pregnant with Silas and very sick with morning-noon-and-night sickness. I stayed mostly in bed for a weeks because I was feeling so sick and the girls piled in bed with me and we read and looked at books for hours on end.

The girls would ask me to re-read the Curious George books again and again. And to this day, it’s not changed! Anytime I ask them to go pick out books to read, you can be sure there will be at least one Curious George title in the mix.

14. Little House on the Prairie — We’re currently reading through the The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set, but we also love the My First Little House books, as well. We’ve had so many great discussions on how blessed we are to live with so many modern conveniences and how important it is to have a strong work ethic, thanks to the Little House books.

15. Little Jewel Books — I highly recommend the Little Jewel books, especially for younger children. They are fun to read and full of great character lessons that even very small children can understand and apply. We’ve accumulated most of ours by requesting them for birthday and Christmas gifts for the girls.

A few more Honorable Mentions

I had trouble narrowing our list of favorite books down to 15, so here are a few more we really enjoy: The Little Animal books by Judy Dunn; Farming with Father; God’s World and Johnny; Blueberries for Sal; The Courage of Sarah Noble; Make Way for Ducklings; and A is for Adam.

One resource I’ve used extensively to find quality books to read-aloud to my children is the Hand That Rocks the Cradle: 400 Classic Books for Children. It has excellent reviews and book summaries, as well as dividing up all the books by three different reading levels.

What are some of your favorite children’s read-alouds?

This post is brought to you in part by HarperCollins and the Borders Double Dog Dare You Reading program. Kids 12 and under can join the Borders Double Dog Dare You Reading program and earn a free book when they read 10 books. Just fill out this form and bring it in to any Borders, Waldenbooks, or Borders express store by August 26, 2010 to participate in this program. Find more Summer Reading Programs here.