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Each year I challenge myself to read 52 books in one year. I like listing them here plus a sentence or two about them.
1. Looking For The Lovely: Collecting Moments That Matter
This book was more about not quitting than anything else.
2. Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
This book convicted me. It is high time our family started inviting people over for a meal on a regular basis.
This book made me laugh, cry and think. A winning combination for a work of fiction in my books.
4. Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel
It took me a while to get into Dear Mr. Knightley. I am not used to the letter format. But in the end, I LOVED this book and went on to buy a 3rd title by Katherine Raey (she also wrote Lizzy and Jane)
5.Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough
Being over 40 I am pretty content with who I am and who I am not so I didn’t get a lot out of Wild and Free. However, I think it is a great read for those who are struggling to be 100% who they were made to be.
6. Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight: The Six-Week Total-Life Slim Down
Got clutter? Got extra body weight? The two might be more related than you might think. Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight opened my eyes up to how growing clutter piles and an expanding waistline can be related. The author does provide a solution to this problem though, but it isn’t an easy one – it takes dedication, diligence and time.
7. Only Love Today: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love
This book was meant to be read a day here, and a day there -but I read it all in about a week. Only Love Today is full of encouraging words and great reminders that it is always the best decision to choose love.
8. $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
Poverty in America isn’t a topic I generally read about, but God has been tugging at my heartstrings lately to understand better who America’s poor are and how my family can best help them. $2.00 was eye-opening! It left me with an entirely new perspective for those living without employment.
9.The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful
This book has rekindled the decorating spark within me. Thanks to The Nesting Place I am seeing yard sale finds in a whole new way, and my home is looking more and more beautiful each day.
10. At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe
Having followed Tsh and her family’s journey around the globe through Instagram, I was looking forward to reading this book. It did not disappoint. At Home in the World is perfect for those with wanderlust in their hearts. Explore the world with kids through Tsh’s eyes.
11. Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy
Are you living an act or are you living your life? There is a difference the first will mean a life of loneliness the second a life with a soulmate. That is the main point I came away with when I read Scary Close.
12. Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
OH MY! Love Does is a book that will show you just what extraordinary things can happen in life when one chooses to say yes whenever it truly is the more loving answer.
13. Make Room for What You Love: Your Essential Guide to Organizing and Simplifying
I will let a quote speak for this book “We need to visualize having less stuff as making room for what we love. Isn’t that what we really want? A life surrounded by what we love and what inspires us?” Does that last sentence describe every time in your home and every activity? It doesn’t mine! The book Make Room for What You Love inspired me to edit my home and life even further and I am already feeling benefits.
This was a light read. It had an encouraging story line and great characters. Balancing Act is one of those books you read in one sitting and love every minute of it.
15. The Brontë Plot
As you might be noticing, I have developed a new author crush. I am in love with Katherine Reay’s writing. The Bronte Plot was just as good as the last two books I read by the same author this year and makes me want to read more of her books.
16. The Friendships of Women: The Beauty and Power of God’s Plan for Us
This is a book I will probably go back to again and again -and I don’t do that with many books. The Friendships of Women helps women see friendship from all the differing views of womanhood. If you are a women struggling with taking friendships deep this book is for you.
17. A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live
There are a few books this year and last that I have read and felt like God was nudging my creative side to come out of its shell and live. A Million Little Ways is one of those books. You don’t need an enormous talent to speak God to others; small skills used well add up to a significant impact.
18. Twenties Girl
Sophie Kinsella’s novels are my exception to my what I will read and what I won’t read rules. You see I usually don’t read books with swearing and Kinsella’s books do contain swearing but it is in only sprinkled here and there and the stories are so funny I can’t help but overlook this annoying feature. Twenties Girl was more touching than funny. It warmed my heart and made me miss my elderly family members who have now passed away.
19. More Than Just Making It: Hope For The Heart Of The Financially Frustrated
This book reads like a novel and yet it is nonfiction. More Than Just Making It is the story of blogger Erin Odom’s financial struggle during the recent economic downturn in America. It contains tips for those still struggling and for those who wish to help the struggling. ( I was given a copy of this book as part of the launch team but the opinions are all mine)
20. Almost Heaven
I discovered the author Chris Fabry last summer and have become a mega fan. Read several of his books now and all are emotion tuggers including Almost Heaven.
21. Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me
I bought this book because it came highly recommended by someone I know, however Loving My Actual Life just wasn’t a good fit for me. It had some cute motherhood stories but not much that I could relate to. I think I just don’t struggle with the same things the author of this book does.
22. You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are
I kept waiting for the author to switch from talking about herself and her struggles to inspiring her readers to do the same- but that part was just a paragraph or two long in each chapter. Needless to say You Are Free wasn’t as inspiring as I was hoping. It is a great story of one women learning about authentic grace but it wasn’t the book I thought it was.
23. Small Blog, Big Income: One Niche Blogger’s 7 Step Success Formula
There are lots of great ways to grow your highly niched blog in numbers and income within the pages of Small Blog, Big Income. This book is a great fit for niched blogs but not so ideal for lifestyle bloggers who write on multiple subjects. You still will gain a few tips but if your highly niched you will gain way more.
24. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
No matter what the size of your business you need to listen to Start with Why. It will challenge your thinking and leave you with a much clearer business message.
25. People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful
This book renewed my vision of the type of blog I want to create. A blog where readers and blogger are friends. I want this blog to feel like a coffee shop date. You and me sitting together getting to know each other. I want a People Over Profit type blog.
A story of one man’s amazing gift of love and sacrifice. WOW. Dogwood is a must read for lovers of Christian fiction.
27. Heart Echoes
This was the first time a read a book by Sally John, and I liked it so much I dug into my bookshelf to see if I had another of her titles -I did! So I started reading that one. Heart Echoes is for those who grew up in a crazy messed up family-and didn’t we all to some extent. A story of forgiveness and love.
28. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely
This is one of those books you need to read twice to let the full message sink in. My favorite quote from Uninvited -“God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God.”
29. Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World: How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest Yes
If you are in the midst of parenthood read Raising Grateful Kids.
This is a sequel to Wild Flowers from Winter which I LOVED. Wishing On Willows was also good but didn’t draw me in as much as the first book.
31. Choosing Real: An Invitation To Celebrate When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned
Every moment of your life matters! Show up and live it!
32. The Turquoise Table: Finding Community And Connection In Your Own Front Yard
There is a difference between entertaining and offering hospitality. Entertaining is about putting on a show, offering hospitality is about inviting people in and opening your life to them. It is time for our world to stop entertaining and start offering hospitality once again.
33. The Gratitude Jar: A Simple Guide To Creating Miracles
I liked the idea behind the gratitude jar the author started to use in her life, but what she believes and what I believe spiritually don’t align. Still, the book provides a simple way to give thanks daily.
34. Taking Back Your Holidays: A Whimsical Guide to a Lighter, Brighter Christmas
This was a shorter book but still a good one. I loved the history behind some of the most common Christmas traditions that the authors share in it.
35. Nomadland: Surviving America In The Twenty-First Century
This book is very eyeopening for those who might think that a traditional home is a necessary expense. The author of Nomadland interviews people who live in vans and travel trailers full-time. She explains where they work, how they live and why they live the way they live. This is serious think outside the box debt-free life thinking, that also shines a not so bright light on what many of us are in for if we don’t start saving for retirement.
36. The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into An Abundant Life
Ann Voscamp has done it again with a book the in parts reads like poetry and every page makes you think deeper.
I rarely spend more than a $1 or $2 on a book – most I read for free. Here is a list of 17 different ways I keep my book budget small and my reading list long.
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