What I Read in 2014

Without comments, I’m listing here the books I read in 2014. Feel free to ask me about specific books in the comments! I categorized it somewhat, but many overlap. You understand.


Your Seven Year Old: Life in a Minor Key by Louise Bates Ames

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie

Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope a compilation edited by Tony Reinke

Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss

Raising Musical Kids: Great Ideas to Help Your Child Develop a Love for Music by Patrick Kavanaugh

A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola

The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling: When the One Anothers Come Home by Karen Campbell

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help your Family Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel

The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them by Elaine N. Aron

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman

Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson

A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century by Oliver DeMille

Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-directed Learners by Laura McWilliam Pickert

Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life-Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky

The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else by Daniel Coyle

The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving your Skills by Daniel Coyle

Theology/Christian Living

The Reason for God: Believe in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller

Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman

Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy S. Lane

King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Timothy Keller

The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules by Carolyn Custis James

Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image by Hannah Anderson

His Word in My Heart: Memorizing Scripture for a Closer Walk with God by Janet Pope


(Some new, some re-reads)

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley

Gilead by Marylynne Robinson

Lila by Marylynne Robinson

Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith


Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

How the Heather Looks: A Joyous Journey to the British Sources of Children’s Books by Joan Bodger

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan


Eiffel’s Tower: And the World’s Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artist’s Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes

Everything Else

Sugar Detox Challenge by Donielle Baker

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore your Passion for Life by Crystal Paine

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath

Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understand Hot and Cold Climate Cultures by Sarah A. Lanier

Clutter-free With Kids by Joshua Becker

The Wild Weather Book: Loads of things to do in rain, wind, and snow by Fiona Danks

Uncovering the Logic of English by Denise Eide

The Productive Person by Chandler Bolt

My thoughts on reading this year

I didn’t start off this year in a good reading groove.  I wasn’t honestly sure how much reading I would be able to do seeing as we had baby number four just a couple of weeks before the start of 2014. As the year progressed, I found myself getting into a better rhythm. I mostly read very randomly as I saw a book recommended or as I could find it in our library (it’s not a good library, sadly), and very occasionally as I decided to purchase a copy.

It was a good year. I’d love to have a little bit of a plan for my reading this year, but I still learned a lot and was greatly inspired by my reading this year. And, well, I just plain enjoy reading!

Stay tuned! I will share the books I read aloud to the kids early next week.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Do you have any good books to recommend? I’d love to hear!



  1. Hannah Jenks says:

    What would you say are the 2 most helpful from the Education/Parenting category? I’ve been reading the Outlander series (historical fiction) for a while and I’m learning so much about 18th century Scotland!!

    • The Joy of Relationships Homeschooling is really helpful in thinking through how we want our home to be, how we want to treat our children (not simply educate), etc, within the context of homeschool. Good food for thought.
      Real Learning has a lot of very practical ideas. I’d maybe see if the library has it. She is Catholic so in this one you do have to wade through a bit of that, but her practical ideas are extremely valuable.
      The 5 love languages is a really quick read but if you aren’t familiar with them it can really help with figuring out how to best love/communicate with your individual kids.
      Deconstructing Penguins is really helpful in giving tools for how to talk about books with your kids. especially as they get older and start reading on their own. How to frame questions, what types of things to bring out, etc… I learned a lot from this one.
      Hope that helps!

  2. I’ve been curious about your “explore a topic for a year” approach that I remember your telling me about once. Once you pick a topic, do you set a goal for how many books you want to read on that topic? I’m intrigued to try it, but I worry about my typical “get overwhelmed and abandon ship” mentality. Ha! :-) I’d like to hear more about your approach to self-education through reading about a particular topic. Thanks!

    • Totally understand the “get overwhelmed and abandon ship” feeling and honestly this past year was a little hard for me to stay focused. I have a post in the works (hopefully the end of the week?) about goals, etc in challenging life stages (which with an infant you are definitely in one!). My focus this year was homeschool and that was easy for me because I am also very interested in the topic and therefore find it easy to read about (and I’ll always read about it if not in as great a quantity). I think in challenging stages it’s best to stick with a topic you are already interested in (rather than something completely new) and then just go deeper. I’m still solidifying how I want to do it this year, but I think one book a month (or every other month if that is more manageable in your current stage) on a single topic is helpful. This helps me keep my thoughts on it all year long (instead of binge reading and then forgetting…) but I don’t ever feel completely overwhelmed. I don’t plan all my books, but I do like to be one or two ahead so I’m never without an idea of what I want to read next. I hope that’s what you were looking for?

  3. Which books were your favorites?

    • Really loved Deconstructing Penguins for thinking about how to talk about books, frame questions/discussions etc. Learned a lot.
      Christian: Gospel of Ruth and Made for More
      I didn’t necessarily think of Decisive as a “favorite” but I’ve used a lot of things that I learned from it!
      Loved How the Heather Looks because I love children’s lit and I currently live in UK so it was a really enjoyable read for me (probably not everyone’s cup of tea…)
      And fiction Marylynne Robinson is exquisite, beautiful writing with lots of depth. The Alan Bradley mysteries are very fun, easy reads but excellent writing. I hope to finish the series this year as it’s nice to have some lighter reads thrown in!

      • I’ve been reading the Flavia de Luce mysteries, too, and they are perfect light reads to sprinkle in between heavier ones!

  4. I currently have a six year old who will be seven this year. What did you think about “Your Seven Year Old”?

    • If you can check it out of your library I think it’s helpful to scan through. It’s old, but general characteristics are still very much applicable. She tends to be repetitive, but there are also key traits that she points out that make parenting a little easier. I.e. when my son acts this way I don’t need to panic “what has happened?!” but while still teaching him and training him gently through it I can relax knowing that this is a common characteristic of this age child. I think that is the value in these types of books.

  5. Yay! I love reading these lists! :)

    I am hoping to post my list tomorrow. I’ve read the other “Your __ Year Old” books on and off, so I hope to read “Your Seven Year Old,” too. Is it worth the read in your opinion? :)

    I love seeing the overlap in our reading, as well as new suggestions. And lots on here that I want to read, but haven’t. I don’t think I’m very familiar with “Deconstructing Penguins.” Definitely adding that! :)


  1. […] addition to the 49 books I read this past year, I read these 22 books to the […]

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