Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 book list

I don't think I'd ever before kept a list of what books I read over the course of a year. I took great satisfaction in recording each title after I'd turned the last page, and it's fun now to look back over the list and remember each one.

You'll see that I lean heavily towards non-fiction. Of the 41 books I read this year, just 4 are novels! When available, I've linked to review posts on particular books. Otherwise, I've written a brief description after each title.

1. Instructing a Child's Heart
2. Mountains Beyond Mountains (Compelling story of a doctor who feels called to transform medicine in Haiti)
3. The Five Love Languages of Children
4. 1001 Ways to Introduce Your Child to God
5. One Thousand Gifts
6. The Dirty Life (Former city girl falls in love with a farmer)
7. The Prodigal God (Fresh perspective on the well-known prodigal son parable)
8. American Wasteland
9. The Heart of a Mother (Collection of reflections about motherhood)
10. The Complete Tightwad Gazette (More coming on this later--chock-full of frugal inspiration!)
11. 365 TV-Free Activities (Creative play ideas for kids)
12. The Bookseller of Kabul (Tough read about a family in Afghanistan)
13. The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook
14. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
15. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Makes you stop and think about the story you're living)
16. MomSense (This year's MOPS International book)
17. Organized Simplicity (Get organized with the author of the Simple Mom blog)
18. Loving the Little Years (I read this one twice this year--it's that good.)
19. Misplacing God (Making time for God a priority)
20. Acedia and Me (Not my favorite book by Kathleen Norris, but still an interesting read)
21. The Dry Grass of August (A fictional, gritty story of a Southern family dealing with racial issues)
22. The Happiness Project (Wanted to see what all the hype was about--an intriguing book)
23. The Hidden Art of Homemaking (Classic thoughts from Francis Schaeffer's wife, Edith
24. Crossing to Safety (This novel about marriage and life came highly recommended--I definitely felt engrossed in the characters.)
25. Raising a Soul Surfer (After seeing the movie, I wanted to read more about this remarkable young woman!)
26. Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Excellent reading material for a grammar junkie like me)
27. Living Prayer (Seeking a prayerful life)
28. A Love that Multiplies (I am fascinated by the Duggars family and how they live!)
29. Heaven is for Real (Flew threw this compelling story in less than 24 hours)
30. The Cheapskate Next Door (Always interested in books on frugality, though not much takeaway with this one)
31. The Family Blessing (A gift from my grandma, about intentional blessing your children each day)
32. Feathers from My Nest (Reflections on motherhood written by Beth Moore)
33. America's Cheapest Family (Books like this motivate me to be a better steward.)
34. One Million Arrows (Teaching our kids to be mission-minded)
35. I Don't Know How She Does It (Saw and mostly enjoyed the movie, but I wouldn't recommend the book.)
36. Plain and Simple (Liberal woman feels compelled to live with an Amish family and learn about their way of life)
37. The Money Saving Mom's Budget
38. Committed (Interesting perspective on marriage from a non-Christian and the author of Eat, Pray, Love)
39. Running Away to Home
40. Not Buying It (A couple commits to buying only necessities for a year--interesting concept, though not a big fan of the author's rants)
41. Jesus Calling (see below)

I am pretty amazed I read 41 books this year, especially since my original goal was 18--1 1/2 per month! I definitely picked up speed in the summer, and really enjoyed making reading more of a priority this year.

I finished Jesus Calling this morning after reading through it all year. Like My Utmost for His Highest, this is a daily devotional that you read through in 365 days. I've been blessed by the insights, prayers, and direction to specific Scripture passages.

I have a copy of Jesus Calling that I would like to give to one of you. Just leave a comment on this post, telling me if you've read any of these books, or which of them looks most interesting to you. A winner will be selected on January 4.


thehomespunheart said...

I already have Jesus Calling, so don't enter me to win - but I enjoyed reading your list. I've only read a few of these and I heavily lean towards fiction. Non-Fiction takes too much brain power that I am low on these days anyway! Ha! Interesting though - I haven't written down the books I've read for a year, but have been planning to do so this coming year so should be a fun experiment! Hope you're having fun!

Sheila said...

I've read the Complete Tightwad Gazette over and over. I've also read the Cheapest Family book. I haven't read any of the others. I kind of quit reading a couple of years ago and would like to start again. I was an avid reader all my life until that point, so it's so strange that I suddenly stopped. One of my goals for this weekend is to read through some book lists - I know Life as Mom has some recommendations, too, and to request some books from my library and force myself to begin reading again. I have been reading my Bible in a year for two years now, so something a bit different would be great to win. I'm impressed that you read so many books!

Kristin said...

Wow, I can't believe how many books you've read! I don't think I've finished more than 2!! Shameful on my part! If I do find the chance to read, I'll enjoy your list as a resource!

Mom said...

I loved this list and have read some of the same books (including Jesus Calling -- which I have so don't enter me in the drawing). I kept a list of books I read this year, too, for the first time ever -- 33 books! I'll be interested to read your thoughts about the Tightwad Gazette -- a classic I re-read periodically when I need renewed motivation. Do you have a list of books you want to read in 2012?
Love you, Mom

erin said...

I would love to read 'Jesus Calling', my bible study leader this fall highly recommended it. I wish I would have kept a list of what I've read this year, but I'm never that organized. One on your list that I totally loved was 'A Million Miles in a Thousand Years' -- I actually read it twice this year. :) I love historical fiction and recently discovered Lynn Austin -- I think you would like her writing style. Along with great stories, I brushed up on my Civil War and WWII history. :)

Sara said...

I loved Mountains beyond Mountains. I like your list - although I'm not a mom so several of those won't go on my list, I did find some others to check out! Thanks. It's always fun to see what other people are reading and to get ideas. I definitely need to pick up my reading pace in 2012!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Carrie. I'm impressed! You put me to shame. I'm proud of myself because I have read about 6 books this last year. I don't know how you have time to read that much, but I'm sure you read much faster than I do.
(By the way, don't enter me to win as I already have the book also.)

Love you, Grandma

Carrie said...

Of course, I love looking through people's lists. (You've already wrapped up your contest - I'm not commenting for that!)

I think it's SO important to read. It changes the way you think, it shapes your worldview, and influences who you are and the people you come into contact with. I love your list as a result!

The Tightwad book bugs me from the title alone, I must confess. My in-lawed family would rather refer to themselves as "tightwads" proudly but it's left a bad taste in my mouth. I think it's very important to steward well but sometimes I think that's vastly overrated and infringes on relationships with other people as a result. When do you spend money "just" to bless another? To fellowship with another freely? To care for others? And I know you do this so these questions aren't necessarily directed at you (although it would be interested to read how about how you balance this out.) I think saving money is important and I typically never pay full price for anything. But whatever it is I'm not spending on us I'm usually spending on stocking up to give away. I guess I've just seen the idea of saving money beat out having a good relationship with another so many times that I'm infinitely suspicious of such books. Although on the flip side of that if you look around America you see a lot of overspending so obviously there is a need for such teaching and reading resources. I'd be interested to know which title has the most balance.

Debra said...

I read 'American Wasteland' and thought it was pretty interesting. I also read 'I don't know how she does it' way before the movie came out & have yet to see the movie. I remember enjoying the book. I have the Happiness Project but haven't read it yet, hope to get to it this year. Some others on your list look interesting -would love to have time to get to them! Thanks for sharing.

Katie said...

This is quite an inspiring list, Carrie ~ wow!!! I own #10 ~ can't wait to read your post on that one. I agree it is a wonderful resource!!

Would love to hear your thoughts on #11, #23, #26, and #31 sometime! :)

Kara K said...

Loved Prodigal God!