This year (for the first time), I set goals for myself. One of them was to make a conscious effort to read more non-fiction books. Since it was my first year setting this goal, I wanted to make it reasonable. I decided to set the goal of reading 12 non-fiction books in the year. I’m well on my way to reaching this goal and thought I’d share my reading list for the first half of the year. The picture doesn’t include Kindle books or library books so keep reading for the whole list.
By the way, if you are interested in reading a little bit about my first year’s goal-setting, you can find it here.
Before January 1, I made a stack of 12 books on my shelf that I wanted to read, but I decided (from the beginning) that I could swap out books if I wanted. This way, I wouldn’t feel guilty about not getting to a certain book or could find new books that interested me.
So, here is what I have finished so far this year (in no particular order):
- Eat That Frog! was the first I read this year and is about not procrastinating. We still use the expression “eat that frog” in our house, but you can read more of my thoughts here if you are interested.
- Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is probably the book that made the most impact on the this year. I called the song “Thrive” my theme song partially because of the impact of this book. This book is all about intentional living: not just surviving, but thriving.
- Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight is a book on planning your day, organizing, and also just remembering what season God has placed you in. It’s another book about using your moments wisely. I absolutely loved getting to hear Heidi St. John in person at CHAP this year, and she writes just like she speaks. She’s very real, straight-forward, and encouraging.
- The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages is a great marriage book with lots of little tips in it. The book often talks about research from having surveyed people who said they had highly happy marriages. Even if you don’t like statistics or reading about the research, there are lots of great ideas about little things that make a big difference. I bought this book as a bridal shower present and think I’ll do that again. I really enjoyed being reminded of things Seth and I do in our marriage and hearing other people’s ideas of what makes a happy marriage. The idea of being intentional really comes up in lots of books, this one included.
- The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance is a book to remind me that my marriage is more important than my homeschool. Loving Seth and focusing on my marriage should be a priority. I shared some thoughts earlier this year on planning my day with my husband in mind.
- The Love Dare was a free kindle book one day, and I’m glad I read it. I didn’t find it earth-shattering, but enjoyed working through the book. I worked through some of The Love Dare for Parents, but it was so similar to The Love Dare that I didn’t make it all the way through. I think I’ll come back to it again when The Love Dare isn’t so fresh in my mind. I enjoyed the movie Fireproof where this book came from so I wanted to read it.
- The Antelope in the Living Room is a laugh-out-loud-with-tears-rolling-down-my-face book about the real life of a married couple. I couldn’t relate to everything this couple faced, but it sure made me laugh (and even laugh over some of the silly things Seth and I had conflicts over when we first got married). A dear friend of mine (and my maid of honor) mailed this book to me out of the blue, and I’m so glad she did. I have read parts of this out loud to Seth, re-read parts, and will read it again. It’s good to put time and perspective on what it takes for “two people to share one life”.
- The Core is a book about classical education (particularly in the young years) by the founder of Classical Conversations. We love CC for our family, and this book is always an encouragement to read about implementing all of the learning at home. This is my second time reading it. Two concepts stood out this time through. The first is her assumption that we will “read good books, have good discussions, and visit interesting places.” Aside from anything else we do, this sentence struck me as exactly the lifestyle of learning that Seth and I try to have with our children. The second big concept for me was her idea of reading at or below grade level when a child is reading to learn. This actually is something I have done with the kids and know it helps them to learn, but I couldn’t have quantified what I was doing before noticing it mentioned in The Core.
- Up from Slavery is an autobiography by Booker T. Washington. I really did not know anything about him or his work in Tuskegee until I read this. At first, I struggled through this because I felt like he was portraying a rosy view of the South during this time period, but I came to realize that there was a purpose to this. Other “original sources” I have read (or read quotes of) are people’s private thoughts like letters and diaries. Washington wrote this book in part to tell his story and in part to effect change. I really appreciated a number of his thoughts on work ethic and basically blooming where you are planted. His school (his life work) was about improving education. I loved that the students at his school had to learn skills like brick making and construction as well as “higher’ concepts like Greek or Latin. I think college kids should have to build their own buildings like his students did. Maybe then, they’d be learning a good work ethic. This book is a high school text for CC. I wish I had read books like this when I was in high school.
What have you been reading lately?