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My Twelve Books to Read in 2014

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Books to Read in 2014

Last year I did something that I’ve never done before, unless you count all those college years of textbooks {and even then – highly unlikely}. I cracked the spine on numerous non-fiction books.

Maybe you’re an avid reader, but for me – that was a big deal. While I love to read, typically fiction is what carries me away, and non-fiction … well, that just lulls me to sleep. {Feel free to snicker – I won’t stop you}.

But in 2013, I set a goal to read at least one book a month that would input a little more into my tired brain than just a mental escape. My full list is here, and I managed to finish the list by the skin of my teeth {i.e. an 8 hour car ride round trip}. One of them, Good and Angry, is one that I am going to read again, and slowly with my hubby, because it had some great suggestions and helps for parenting.

Overall, there wasn’t one book that was necessarily a favorite, because each one targeted something that I specifically needed to hear at the point and time that I was reading it. Grace in parenting. Paring down on the excess in life {physical and otherwise}. Relishing each moment and realizing the importance of our words and actions. All twelve were fabulous books and ones that will remain on my bookshelf to read again.

My Twelve Books to Read in 2014

Based on recommendations from friends and some of you, as well as picking a few books from authors I read last year, here’s the list of 12 non-fiction books that are in my 2014 reading basket.

  1. Victim of Grace by Robin Jones Gunn {finished 12/10}
  2. Start by Jon Acuff {finished 11/10}
  3. Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk {finished 5/10}
  4. The Core {Classical Education} by Leigh Bortins {finished 12/26}
  5. 10 Gifts of Wisdom by Sally Clarkson {finished 1/10}
  6. Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware
  7. Six Ways to Keep the Good in Your Boy by Dannah Gresh {finished 11/15}
  8. Building the Christian Family You Never Had by Mary E. DeMuth {finished 10/21}
  9. Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin (finished 3/23)
  10. Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt {finished 10/10}
  11. Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker {finished 6/15}
  12. 24/6 by Matthew Sleeth {finished 3/28}
  13. Bonus book – One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp {finished 2/8}



This year I also want to keep track of all the books that I’m reading, including read-alouds and the fiction ones that I manage to cram in at bedtime each night, so I started a Pinterest Reading Board to look back on at the end of the year. Looking back and having a visual can make such a difference.

What books are you planning to read this year, either as a family or on your own? Have you read an absolutely wonderful book this year that you would recommend to others? Leave a comment and let us know!

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  1. Great job finishing your 12 books! I have the same goal this year as well. 12 non-fiction might kill me but I am going to try!! I will post my list soon!

  2. Great list! I’ve read a few of the ones on your list and they are fantastic!

  3. So excited to see Loving Our Kids on Purpose on your list! My husband and I read that together last summer and did a 6 week group study with other parents and it was fabulous! It has completely transformed the way we parent and relate to our children. I recommend it as a top parenting book to anyone who asks. Good and Angry is also an excellent one and I’m currently reading it for the 2nd time and leading a book study with it. Love how GOd uses parenting to work his grace in us and transform us into his image!!

  4. I only read the Gladys Hunt book from your list. Sounds like a good book list :-)

  5. ps I been reading non fiction for so many year that I had to push myself to read fiction late last year, now I am hook lol :-)

  6. I have had 1000 Gifts on my bookshelf since it was published, and I have not read it yet. You are not alone. :)

  7. I have to agree, that Loving Our Kids on Purpose is an excellent and challenging book. My husband and I have listened to the CDs multiple times – you just can’t get it all on the first time through. I just got 10 Gifts of Wisdom, am into the second chapter, and already think this will be a very helpful book as well.

  8. I intend to try reading more nonfiction this year, but I don’t have a list. My favorite nonfiction books from 2013 were The 5 Love Languages of Children (Chapman, Campbell), Women Living Well (Courtney Joseph), and Soul Print (Mark Batterson). I keep a running log of books the kids and I read on my blogs (I’m getting ready to start a log for my newest little reader), but I like the Pinterest idea. Oh, and I’ve never read One Thousand Gifts…

  9. I’m putting together my list this week. I love reading anything…even if car magazines or things on the sides of food boxes are the only thing left in my house to read. :p I do lean more toward non-fiction these days.

    Loved The Core and One Thousand Gifts. I don’t have 10 Gifts of Wisdom on my list, but I will be reading some others from Sally Clarkson. Happy Reading! :)

  10. colleen_evelyn says

    I love seeing your list… a few I have read, and a lot of new ones to check out for myself! I love Victim of Grace and hope you will too. It reads like Robin Jones Gunn fiction. :) Are you considering Classical Conversations, or just reading Leigh Bortins?

    • Just reading it since we are a hodge lodge of classical with another method (or two) but go along with the cycle of Classical :). – but I’m sur the book will push me more too!!

  11. Heidi Paulsen says

    I am have some books on my shlef that need reading, I just haven’t found time. I think I’m going to make an actual list to help me toward that goal. And I’m just finishing up One Thousands Gifts…amazing! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

  12. Yes, Victim of Grace! MY FAVE. And 24/6 was good, too! :)

  13. I LOVE to read. I have been keeping track of the books that I read for years. Then I can share the titles with friends. I enjoyed “7” by Jen Hatmaker, “The Girl’s still got it” by Liz Curtis Higgs and “Anything” by Jennie Allen. I will look forward to looking for your list of book suggestions at the library. Thanks.

  14. Krista Guerrero says

    Thanks for the post, Jolanthe. I am the opposite. I read only non-fiction with the exception of what I read to my kids. My goal this year is to read 12 classics to myself. I am hoping to make it. I have selected 6 so far, but they are pretty thick.

    I jotted down a few titles from your list here to check out myself. I just finished The Core and I loved it. I underlined so much and plan to go back and take notes. It is very motivating and exciting to me. I loved Honey For A Child’s Heart and Start was pretty good. One Thousand Gifts has an interesting message, but the writer’s style of writing was a bit difficult for me to take. She writes a lot of broken sentences and fragments. It took me 80 pages to figure out what was disturbing me about her book. It does have a good message. Have you read The Read Aloud Handbook yet? I just finished the new 7th edition. That book is a treasure and really gets me fired up to read even more to my kids.

    I keep a list of the books I read each year to my kids and myself. I have some lists on my blog of our booklists. You can see them here. http://teachingbabytoread.com/categories/263/book-lists.aspx It is definitely motivating to look back over our reading journey and see increase or lack and what to do about it. My goal this year is to read to my kids everyday a book that is not school. We have been enjoying the Christian Heroes Then and Now series quite a bit. I have a calendar on the wall specifically for that and aim to keep a running total of how many days we read together without stopping.

  15. Go girl!! You have a ton of book lists – thanks for sharing!

  16. Came across this list via Pinterest while working on my summer reading list for 2014. So glad I did! I had forgotten about the Robin Jones Gunn book…I think I’ll be adding it to my list! And I hadn’t heard of the Dannah Gresh book, but it sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Oh, and I forgot to add that I did Big Truths for Young Hearts with my kids last year for our Bible during school…one of the BEST books ever. Really, really excellent!

  18. Lindsey Whitney says

    I just started One Thousand Gifts and was really surprised (in a good way) at the style. Thanks for sharing!

    • I have to say I made the mistake of reading the first paragraph of that out loud to my hubby (having not read it myself). It was rather hilarious. :)

  19. Carrie Rubino says

    I have to start you list.

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