Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Favorite Reads of 2014


With the New Year nearly around the corner, I am still working my way through a pile of books in hopes of tallying up as many titles as possible for 2014. Included in my stack are The Joy of Fearing God by Jerry Bridges {a reread}, Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp {yes, still}, Homer's Iliad {for my Great Book's list}, and French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guillano {another reread}.

All things considered, out of the 50 titles I've completed thus far, these were my favorites.

Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic. Never has a parenting book left me so refreshed, inspired, and encouraged. Rachel hits the nail on the head- she addresses my sin struggles as a mom, the grace we have for parenting in Christ, and how to creatively instruct and build into our children. All in short and succinct chapters {on average only 3 or 4 pages}, and with a wicked sense of humor. I also enjoyed reading her follow up this year, Fit to Burst.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I can't tell you how many times I've started to read this book. This year I determined that I would finally get all the way through it! I was so glad I did. Lewis is genius at arguing and explaining the basic tenements of Christianity in a way that is simple to understand, yet leaves you pondering for days.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. If you enjoy the television series, you will definitely want to check out midwife Jennifer Worth's memoirs that it is based on. Sometimes gritty, Jennifer writes eloquently and candidly on her experience in London's poverty stricken, 1950's East End. The chapter on prostitution is unfortunately, very explicit. I understand that she is telling things as they are, but you might want to skip it. Otherwise, such a fascinating read!

The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot. Renowned former missionary and prolific Christian author Elisabeth Elliot gives us a peek into the Christian home she grew up in. I was challenged on weak areas that I need to change, but was also fascinated to see how much room there is for grace and diversity within the family of God. A beautiful and compelling read.

Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. This might have been my very favorite. All about developing a culture of reading in your home. Gladys shares recommended reading lists for all ages. She also includes a chapter on Scripture reading that is indispensable.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I felt very accomplished upon finally finishing this giant tomb. Steve Jobs was no saint, but I was intrigued by this peek into the corporate world. I learned a lot about how {and how not too} collaborate with others, and what strong leadership entails. I was encouraged to work single-mindedly towards my goals {albeit, totally different from Job's goals}.

The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith. Gorgeous pictures. I've never considered myself much of a decorator, but the Nester's book gave me encouragement and confidence to try new things and make mistakes, with the goal of achieving a homey space for the ones I love. Very fun and breezy, with the reminder that perfection {in all areas!} is overrated.

As far as novels go, I did read a handful of enjoyable ones. I think the best ones were The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Attachments, and Big Little Lies. Each would have to come with a disclaimer- some language and sexuality, which I neither endorse nor care for. What makes them stand out for me? Gripping or unusual plot lines with subject material that kept me thinking for days afterward.

What were your favorite reads this year?

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