I meant to publish this a few weeks before Christmas as gift ideas for all the readers out there, but…we are just now recovering from almost a month long of being sick. So that didn’t happen. 😉 Instead, these can be books to add to your 2017 lists!
By the way, do you guys create specific reading plans? How do you schedule reading, if at all? I am in now way good at scheduling any sort of reading. I have a stack of books I received for Christmas that I’d love to work through this next year, but other than that, I just add books as they interest me.
Anyways, here we go! These are the books I read in the last year and a few short thoughts on each to help you decide if they’d be a fit for you.
P.S. There will only be a few must read books on the list. If you don’t know where to start or what to read this year, start with those.
Minds More Awake by Anne White
This is a Charlotte Mason book. Personally, it’s my least favorite of all the modern CM books I’ve read. I hate to admit that. I just have a soft spot for For the Children’s Sake.
The Pastor’s Wife by Gloria Furman
This book was convicting. As a pastor’s wife it’s so easy to feel sorry for yourself. Like…so…so easy. Gloria helped me see that every single woman getting to church on a Sunday morning has a unique set of challenges they are facing in order to be there. She also talked about how Christians in general would value the gathering of the body more if we had a better ecclesiology. And her personal story as a pastor’s wife? I will just say, after getting to know her a bit more personally this year and reading up on her family’s personal journey in church planting, the joy she has is truly supernatural.
Word Filled Women’s Ministry
Those who plan women’s ministry events, bible studies, etc can so often get caught up in the voices that demand we “meet all the needs.” This book really helped simplify my thoughts on how to actually meet all the needs of the women in our church from various backgrounds and seasons of life: seek to glorify God and you will indeed meet the needs of the ladies in your local church.
The Secret to Spiritual Joy by Bill Farley
Farley helped me connect my lack of joy with pride. If we really understood we actually deserve hell, then we will be truly joyful and content in any situation we happen upon here on earth because we know it’s better than what we deserve.
Hoodwinked by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk
Each chapter of this book addressed specific lies we believe about the roles God calls us to as women. I really loved it!
An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture by Andrew Davis
Honestly, rereading this title as a book I read early this year was extremely convicting.
Why? Because I haven’t kept up with the practices described.
BUT. If you struggle with memorization, like I do, this method was so, so, so helpful. I’ve tried lots of different tips, but his suggestions in here are the only things that have actually helped me memorize lengthy portions of scripture. And his suggestions are laid out in such a way that I only had to dedicate a few minutes a day to it, not feeling guilty the entire day long for not going over my verse enough times. The one solid chunk approach was so helpful. A definite purchase if you want to grow in this area this year.
The Things of Earth by Joe Rigney
This book was an assigned reading of sorts from my husband. And I am so. thankful. he made me read it! This book almost single handedly helped me recover from disordered thoughts about food, grow in actually finding joy and pleasure from God’s creation instead of abstaining from pleasure out of pride, and getting to a place where I am totally ok that God actually created someone with a brain to create corn syrup. Sounds dumb, but those are major issues for people in our culture today.
This book is a must read.
Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick
I loved and hated this book. The first section was super helpful. The second felt really law based.
And then I heard Elyse (the author) talk about how law based it was. And I laughed. She talked about how this was the last book she wrote before realizing she was totally missing the gospel. That being the case, it was a good read, but keep that in mind.
The Organized Heart by Staci Eastin
This book addresses the idea that women can have clean, organized homes, all the while having completely neglected their heart. In the eyes of Christ, an orderly heart is of more importance. It can go into any chaotic situation and bring peace and calm. A great, short read for women who struggle with control, cleanliness, and harshness with messy people in their homes.
The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
This was the first fiction I’ve picked up in a while. It was pretty good. Goudge is a must read among some of the circles I run in, so I had to see what she was all about. She was a believer.
For the Family’s Sake by Macaulay
I really loved this follow up to For the Children’s Sake. This is where my husband and I got our idea for challenging Ari to grow in the discipline of hiking/walking this year. So many great ideas for the family in here. Many will easily take her writing as law, but I am growing to understand as families we simply must have a road maps and ideals in order to get anywhere helpful with our family. They are means of common grace, not necessarily law.
A Path Through Suffering by Elisabeth Elliot
Sigh. Everyone knows how I love EE. And after learning some more intimate details about her personal life this year, my respect for the words this woman was able to pen through this book specifically is amazing. She truly did walk the talk.
I’d still love to figure out how to get a short chapter from this book in my daily readings, but have yet to do so. She bases the chapters on Trotter’s paintings. If you don’t know who Lillias Trotter is, look her up now!
At BBC Corner I Remember Amy Carmichael by Margaret Wilkinson
This is a special book I purchased directly from Amy Carmichael’s orphanage, The Donhauver House. It was special to me because it’s a series of letters from one of the missionaries who worked at the orphanage. It showed the relationship and knowledge Carmichael have of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education.
Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson
This was my first read in a series of paradigm shifts I did in regards to legalistic parenting. I know many in my crowd simply wouldn’t agree with some of what he said, but he helped me widen my tool box of discipline.
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Any Anne of Green Gable’s fans? Well, I found out that Montgomery wrote this book for adults this year. What a sweet read!
Give Them Grace Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
This was the gospel-infused help I needed in my parenting. One of the authors told me to start with chapters 9, then 10, then read from chapter one on, so if you read, I suggest you do that as well. Some will say this is just another law, but again, this advice was super helpful, common grace God used in my life and family this year. This also singlehandedly helped me see how to apply grace into all relationships this year.
This book is a must read.
Found in Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick
This book is a condense, more devotional version of the following book I will list. So, so helpful to grow in your understanding of the implications of the gospel.
As a teacher and Christian in community, this last year my husband and I realized just how many Christians in our circles literally couldn’t articulate the gospel when asked, let alone even figured out how to applies to all of life. This book is a helpful tool to take small steps to growing in that area.
This book is a must read if you can’t dive in to the next book.
Counsel from the Cross by Fitzpatrick and Johnson
I still believe this is the book you should all be reading.
Extravagant Grace by Barbara Duguid
This book helped me see that I needed to extend God’s sovereignty into how I viewed the sanctification of other’s around me. It showed how God can literally still be glorified in Christians who will struggle with lifelong, indwelling sin patterns. This book showed me the church must make room for the weakest among us. This book helped me (I think?) be an all around more patient person.
This book is a must read.
Good News for Weary Women by Fitzpatrick
I love this book because it exposed so many of the works based systems women live by. Dress sexier in order to keep your man. Eat organic to ensure life into your 70’s. Homeschool to get godly kids. Etc. Etc. Etc. And women, aren’t we tired? This book has so much gospel goodness for the soul. All that matters in the eyes of Christ is that you sit at His feet and learn from him.
Galatians by Luther
This took me several months to get through, reading small bits at a time in the morning, but so worth it. It helped me realize the faithfulness to the gospel and desire to hold fast to grace alone is not a new fad. Faithful men and women have been pushing for these same things for hundreds of years. Such a great, reformed classic.
Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins
This is an autobiography written by a homeschooling mom about her and her family. I love it because she had 7 (I think…or 8?) boys and one girl. It was deeply convicting at parts because she revealed some of the idols homeschooling moms deal with, but she addressed them with helpful grace. Such a funny, light, encouraging read.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
I was looking for an adult type living nature book and this was the suggestion given to me. This book showed me how generous God is in creation and convicted me to live that same way in my life. It helped me to notice and pay attention more which in turn helped better my craft of writing.
Home by Elyse Fitzpatrick
This is a great meditation on what heaven may be like. It helped me feel ok to not ever be ok in this world.
The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
One of the descriptions on this book said it gave a “strong vision for motherhood” and I definitely agree. Clarkson at her finest.
Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
This book taught me that you can love the human race as a whole, without loving any single individual human.
Think about that. It’s challenging.
A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
I was so excited to spot this rare book in a thrift store a few months ago! If you like L.M. Montgomery, you’d love this!
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
This was my first introduction to Berry and I’m hooked! This book reminds you to care and tend for the place that you are in. I’ve heard many describe Berry as being able to give honor to the strong call of domesticity in the life of women. Definitely a classic author to add to your list. His essays are great too. I’m pretty sure the guy still doesn’t own a computer. And he’s a real farmer. Yes, those still exist. That’s the point of his writing.
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
If you like linguistics, this historical fiction is right up your alley. So interesting! Did you know a good portion of the Oxford dictionary was written by a man in an asylum? No, no. He was in there before he undertook the job, but can you imagine!?
Warning: One of the main characters has a sexual addiction. Nothing too sketchy is talked about, but it is addressed frankly as part of his condition.