On My Nightstand: final tally of 2012 reading

Well, it’s a new year so it is time I share my final reading list. I think this is completely updated.

Books are a funny thing. Sometimes you read something and it immediately rings true and helpful particularly because of a life situation you are in. Other times you enjoy a book while you are reading, but it isn’t really until weeks or months later that you realize how much you benefited from it.

All the reading I did was beneficial, enjoyable, and helpful in some way. But some were especially so. It was a good year reading. I’m excited to plunge into another year and am trying to decide exactly how I want to approach my reading.

A few things stuck out to me in looking over this list. I hardly read any fiction. I really want to read more fiction this next year. That will be included in my reading goals. I also read a whole lot in the parenting and education topics. That simply speaks to the stage of life I am in. Not everyone needs or will find it interesting enough to read about dozens of educational philosophies.

Anyway, here it is:

Theology/Christian Living

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul

Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History from the Puritans to “The Passion of the Christ by Stephen J. Nichols*

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller*

What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert

Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper

Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Woman by Carolyn Custis James*

A Meal With Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, & Mission Around the Table by Tim Chester*

Practical Theology For Woman: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives by Wendy Horger Alsup

A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love by Milton Vincent*

Parenting and Family

The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller*

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman*

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross*

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman*

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families by Michelle Anthony*

Mindset for Moms: From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 Days by Jamie C. Martin


Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell*

When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy for Today by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

How Children Learn by John Holt

Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin

Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning by Oliver DeMille*

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay*

Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom: A Manifesto of Freedom and Joy in Home Learning by Jamie C. Martin

Miscellaneous Non-Fiction

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain*

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

Work Shift: How to Create a Better Blend of Work, Life, and Family by Anne Bogel


Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith*

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand*

Home / Simple Living / Organization

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin*

Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity From a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes.

Almost Amish: One Woman’s Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life by Nancy Sleeth.

Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms by Renee Tougas

The Organized Heart A Woman’s Guide to Conquering Chaos by Staci Eastin

The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Soule Blake

Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable, and Seasonal Kitchen by Amy Pennington

Money / Time Management

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings — and Life by Laura Vanderkam

All The Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending by Laura Vanderkam*

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam*

Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy*

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine

Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free by Amy Lynn Andrews


The Gift of An Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir by Katrina Kenison*

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme

Writing / Blogging

Simple Blogging: Less Computer Time, Better Blogging by Rachel Meeks

Building a Life out of Words by Shawn Smucker


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

I ended up reading 47 books. I also read 8 chapter book read alouds with the kids. I do count those because well written kid lit is a beautiful thing to read–even for an adult. All together I read 55 books.

I’ve learned a lot and been inspired. That’s the beautiful benefit of reading.

What did you read this year? Do you have any must-reads that I should put on my list for this new year? Please share!

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  1. This is awesome! I read a few of the books on your list. Right now I just finished a fiction book by Barbara Kingsolver called Flight Behavior. I’ve bookmarked a few of the books on your list too that sounded interesting!

  2. Jessica Watson says:

    Good for you, Johanna! 55 books is quite an accomplishment. Have you ever read anything by Marilynne Robinson? Gilead and Home are two of her novels. They are beautiful, and I think you would enjoy them.

    • Thanks, Jessica! I am actually just a couple of chapters away from finishing Housekeeping by Robinson. I am loving her writing, though I do think this book is a little dark (at least if you are reading it in the winter months 😉 ). However, she has made me want to read more of hers and I had heard Gilead was especially good. Thanks for the recommendation. I will definitely push them up and read them soon!

  3. That’s a great list! I would definitely recommend Unseduced and Unshaken by Rosalie deRosett. I’ve been meaning to review this on my blog for months now. Hopefully soon; it’s a wonderful book.

    • Thanks! I remember you mentioning this, but I forgot to write down the title. Putting it on my list now. Looking forward to your review!

  4. RaShell S says:

    Fantastic job! I just wanted to thank you for your post last year about reading multiple books at a time. I am amazed at what a huge difference that has make in my ability to work through lots of different books! :) I was able to meet my goal thanks to your encouragement through that post. I am pretty excited about my Kindle- it is amazing how easy it is to keep reading with that thing in constant reach.

    We are reading Meaning of Marriage in our ladies Bible study right now along with our husbands who are reading it for Men’s meeting. Good book! What did you think about Give Them Grace? I read that one this year too.

    • That is so awesome! Way to go!

      I didn’t love Give them Grace. I liked the overall message that she was intending to communicate, but I felt it got a bit bogged down, and some of her illustrations were a little “fabricated” if you know what I mean. Overall, I preferred “Spiritual Parenting” and really benefited a lot from that one. I’d love to hear your thoughts, though. Books sometimes strike people completely differently, so I always benefit from hearing other perspectives.

      I think you will really like The Meaning of Marriage!

      • RaShell S says:

        I am really enjoying Meaning of Marriage. We are almost finished with it. It is good. I am with you on Give Them Grace. Too much stretching (examples and Scriptures as well) for my taste but I thought it was just me. :) I had only heard rave reviews of it and I am glad it has really helped some people.

        I am going to have to check out Spiritual Parenting. Thanks for the recommendation.

        I so appreciate hearing others opinions. It helps narrow down the list for reading. :)

  5. This is great! You are inspiring me to keep a list of what I read this year. Two questions: what do the little asterisks mean by certain books? Did you write a post about how you manage your time so you can read? I am really struggling with time management right now and am looking for methods to make life work better. I love to read but my “to read” pile seems to be growing larger! Thanks for all the great posts. I just discovered your blog this year and it’s my favorite to read now!

    • My main tip for reading more is reading several books at once so that I don’t get bogged down. I wrote about that here : http://myhometableau.com/the-one-thing-ive-learned-to-help-me-read-more/
      I also wrote a guest post on this topic here: http://fimby.tougas.net/time-for-reading

      Basically just fit it in (even 15 minutes a day) , and it eventually starts to add up.

      As far as time management, I think that’s a constant struggle. :) I’m hoping to write more about that this month, as this is a focus of mine as I work to get back into a routine after a fairly eventful November and December. The most helpful thing for me is to have my home routines (cleaning, etc) well established so that I don’t feel like that is “all” I am doing. Otherwise with that and kids (homeschooling) I feel like I’m going crazy! All that to say, I’m totally with you!

    • Oh, and the stars were books I especially loved or found really helpful. I think I accidentally deleted that explanation. Oops :)

  6. Amy @ Hope Is the Word says:

    Congrats on reading so many titles! I’m particularly inspired by all your nonfiction. My one recommendation for the year is a novel–City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell. http://www.hopeisthewordblog.com/2012/05/09/city-of-tranquil-light-by-bo-caldwell/

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Amy! Your review has me wanting to read it. (And my husband’s mother is Chinese-Malaysian so we have a special spot in our hearts for East Asia).

  7. I really benefited from Spiritual Parenting as well. A couple other parenting books that were really helpful were Sacred Parenting and How Children Raise Parents. You may have already learned of those through another of your readers, Keren, though. She introduced me to them. :)

    Much of my reading is in the parenting/productivity genres. Somtimes I’m just desperate for encouragement/motivation. Though like you, I hope to read more fiction this year. It really is a good break (yet an exercise) for my mind.

    • It’s so good to know that you loved those books at well. They are both on my to-read list. Alas, my library doesn’t have them. :(
      I agree, the parenting and productivity genres keep me inspired to keep on keeping on, so I tend to read a lot of those!

  8. I read Urban Pantry and loved it! If you like it, you should totally try Homemade Pantry :) It is super good and has great stories. I wrote my whole list of books that I plan to read in 2013 and I started January a little crazy because I already have 11 books read for the month!! I added a few more to the list since I was a 1/4 done with it already :)

    Check out the list:

    • Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll look it up at the library! Looks like you have a great reading list. I read a lot in January too-more than my usual! (I’ll be posting my reading update next week).


  1. […] Johanna from My Home Tableau has a helpful post on setting realistic goals. Love her advice. She also has a fun post that lists all of the books she read in 2012. […]

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