My book list is serving me well this year. I haven’t been disappointed yet and hope that the rest of the list follows suit. Here are the books I read in March & April (along with a couple not on my list) and a few thoughts about them:
The Hiding Place: This book is nothing short of inspiring. Unfortunately, I didn’t read this as a young adult, it somehow slipped under my radar all these years and I’m grateful I finally happened upon it (or happened upon online recommendations to read it). Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker living with her father and sister who became a leader (or The leader) of Holland’s Underground Resistance. It is a story of faith and forgiveness, it is a story of a woman with incredible strength and grace in unimaginable circumstances. I read this in the few days before Easter and it provided me with fresh eyes with which to reflect on the power of human kindness, God’s love, and counting blessings even in our darkest hours. I will read this again and again.
A Life That Says Welcome: I’d love to say I live a life that says welcome. But sometimes I live a life that says Go Away, Closed, The House is a Wreck Please Come Back Later. So life passes by as I clear clutter, make excuses, and don’t open my door to others as often as I should and can. Karen Ehman’s book is just what I needed in this season of my life. There’s so much I’d love to share about this book and what I gleaned from it. I plan to share more in another post, but one of my favorite things about this book is the helpful scripture connections to paint the picture of why we should open our homes and hearts to others. Ehman provides useful home management and organizational tips, recipes, and most importantly, encouragement in God’s call to hospitality. I found this book easy to read, practical, and warm. I’ll refer to it often.
The Money Class: The older I get, the more overwhelmed I am with thoughts about college funds, retirement, anything and everything related to financial stability. Information overload! I like Suze Orman’s directness and honesty. This book focuses on “taking care of your family, your home, your career, and planning for retirement—no matter where you are in your life or where the economy is heading.” This book is for anyone and as she educated me on some things I was CLUELESS on, I felt a bit of relief after reading the book. I have had people say things to me like, ”stop worrying, you’re financially stable, your husband makes a good living, why are you so worried about saving money, cutting back, tightening the budget?” Orman gets it: she knows my fears and she gets that my worst fears are reality to many. She knows it can be gone in the blink of an eye and that we better take control of our money and our lifestyles before they take control of us. A very practical guide with concrete steps to aid you in navigating your financial present and future.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society: I’ve planned to read this for ages and am so glad I finally did. Clever and poignant without being drippy and cliché. This is the story of inhabitants of the island of Guernsey (who form a book club during the German occupation) and their post-war correspondence with a writer in London. I zipped through this book and am pleased with the author’s ability to write a touching and often humorous book centered around WWII–not an easy feat. Shaffer’s own story about her years of research and work on this novel is intriguing as well. Well done, in my opinion!
Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story: Okay, so this isn’t on my book list, but I checked it out from the library at a friend’s encouragement and devoured it in less than 2 days. I’m a fan of Pioneer Woman and cook many of her recipes so I thought I’d read the rest of her love story (chapters of the book were originally posts on her blog and I’d read a few of those chapters) with her personal Marboro Man. Swoon. Fun read.
The Hunger Games: This isn’t on my booklist either. But I had to know what the fuss was about. And now I’m all in. I’m rooting for Katniss, invested in the love triangle, and eager to see the movie. Now on to the 2nd book in the trilogy. This book also feeds my odd continual need to prepare for shortages (have you seen my pantry?) and an uncertain-future upside-down-world. My husband is just thrilled. ha!
My Book List: Progress
Faith, Family, & Parenting
Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson (I’m hoping her books are as amazing as I’ve heard they are!)
Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow (Highly recommended by so many. Can’t wait to begin this one)
The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted by Kathi Lipp (I hear so many wonderful things about Kathi’s books. Had to put a couple on my list)
Don’t Make Me Come Up There! by Kristen Welch
Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families by Sarah Clarkson
Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson
Homemanagement & Homemaking
One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh Oxenreider (e-book)
Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie Langford (e-book)
Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider (e-book)
Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson
A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman
The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s Most Trusted Cooking Magazine (I read the magazine in bed so why not the book?)
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony by Jeff Ashton ( I need closure. Sadly, this trial consumed me and I.need.closure) The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (yay!)
Persuasion by Jane Austen(re-read)
Best of Stillmeadow by Gladys Taber (So tough to find her books!)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson (started, but never finished)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl by Debra Ollivier (A little light-hearted fun)
Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I’ve resisted this one for a long time, but since a copy sits on my shelf I’m giving it a shot)
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout
Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty by Robert K. Massie (A trip to Russia piqued my interest)
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Finances & Budgeting
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey (I’ve listened to and watched Dave as well as followed some of his writing, but I want to dive into his books this year.)
The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey
Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey
The Money Class by Suze Orman (I’ve always liked her straightforward style and money smarts.) The Money Saving Mom’s Budget by Crystal Paine
Read a book lately that you loved? Please do share!