December 31, 2012

My 15 Favorite Books from 2012

I am an avid reader. I am almost always reading something. So when I read this post, I was inspired to make my own list.

This isn't an exhaustive list, just some of my favorites from this year. Hence (in no particular order):

My 15 Favorite Books from 2012

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches - Rachel Jankovich
  • I loved this book and the Gospel-centeredness of it. It didn't feel like another how-to mothering book. It really encouraged mothers to go to the Cross, receive grace and mercy in time of need, and get back into the moment with your kids, however difficult it may be.

  • Along the same lines, this book also got to the heart of parenting and loving your kids. I met and heard her speak this year and could not have been more impressed, which made the book (which I had already read) all the more likable. I also loved that it included very practical, but not overwhelming, tips for creating a homey home. Like filling your home with welcoming scents so that your kids look forward to coming home (e.g. chocolate chip cookies, yummy candles, etc.). 

from dust and ashes - Tricia Goyer
  • This is a fiction book placed in Austria during WWII. I also heard this author speak this year but had never read her before. After hearing her speak, I eagerly picked up a few of her books and she has not disappointed. I started and finished this book in one night. Very, very good.

One Thousand Gifts - Ann Voskamp
  • I loved the overall idea of this book - thankfulness being a root of a heart centered in Christ. I have to admit though that at times I had to put it down. Her style of writing is very poetic and it was a little too much for me sometimes. But I'd still highly recommend it.

What Women Fear - Angie Smith
  • To be honest, since I'm not a fearful person by nature I didn't know if this book would completely apply but wow, I got a ton out of it. She talks about fear in a different way than just your traditional fears like being alone, the dark, etc. Each chapter is split up into a different fear (e.g. Ch. 6: Fear of My Past Catching Up With Me). I would recommend this to any woman.

  • This is a memoir of a woman who started off as a Labor and Delivery nurse, became a Certified Nurse Midwife practicing in a hospital that offered alternate birthing care, eventually opening her own practice specializing in homebirths, and then ending up back in a hospital due to a....I won't ruin the story! I loved this book. Loved it. Be aware, there's some language and one inappropriate part, but there was a perfect balance of birth stories and insightful information related to labor and birth. I think I finished this in two days.

  • This book should actually be at the top of my list and every list from here until the afterlife. Seriously, this is a must-read for every parent. And normally I try not to be That Person. (The one who's always shoving parenting books down your throat.) But this book is so Biblically foundational to the heart of why we do what we do and why and how we discipline, that it's hard not to insist. If you've ever thought that threatening or shaming or rewarding your child into obedience is very effective, this book will give you some very palatable food for thought.

Understanding Exposure - Bryan Peterson
  • Don't give up on me now. This book was just very personally helpful and would be for anyone who wants a good solid base of information related to photography. 

  • Besides being very entertaining, I loved his retelling of the book of Jonah. Well, retelling isn't an apt description. More like his use of Jonah to correlate to modern life. I liked his emphasis on the glory of God.

Drowning Ruth - Christina Schwarz
  • I read this for a book club I was in this spring and I'm so glad it was our assigned book because otherwise it wouldn't have been one I'd picked off the Kindle shelf. It's a fiction book but there's this underlying theme that you pick up on throughout the book that is as true in real life as anything else, and that is that selfish and bad choices rarely stay isolated and rarely to never are others unaffected; they can permeate generations. Very good read.

  • I got to meet this author this year and observe her over several days and was impressed with her quiet gentleness. She also has two boys so you know this book comes from a very personal place in her heart. I loved the Biblically-based prayers and ideas that we can pray for our boys. Very practical and encouraging.

  • I mentioned this book a couple of times on here and it bears repeating - read this book. I actually got the most out of this book as it related to friendships with other women. I think if we as Christian women could get these truths down into our spiritual bone marrow, we would have very, very, very little in-fighting and hurts and pettiness and broken relationships and silent treatments and I'll-show-hers. I would definitely reread this.

The Tehran Initiative - Joel Rosenberg
  • I have literally read every single book by this author. (Except for his most recent one, which is a non-fiction and is at least in my possession but Matt's reading it now.) I love his writing to the moon and back. To say I'm devastated when I reach the end and have to wait for his next one is understating it. This is Biblical fiction, which means his story lines center around Scripture and Biblical prophecy. You literally cannot put his books down when you start. This book is as thick as the last Harry Potter and I think I finished it in two days, maybe three. Read it. Quick.

  • This book ripped my heart out, as does every book centering on WWII, of which I read a ton. This is a biography of an Auschwitz survivor, as told directly to the authors. I cried my heart out at parts in this book, at both the depravity of man and the tenacity of bonding love and kindness. That even in the most depraved and inhuman of conditions, you can find goodwill and kindness. Oh, I could cry again. 

False Witness - Randy Singer
  • I think I've read almost every single one of his books. I always pick up one of his books when I want an escaping fiction read full of mystery, intrigue, suspense, the law, international affairs. This book was particularly riveting, dealing with algorithms and modern-day mafias and government fraud. Again, I started and finished this in a night. (Which I regretted the next day.) He's also very funny.

Well, that does it. Not exhaustive and I'm sure I'm forgetting some of my favorites and I'll wake up in the middle of the night and it'll haunt me, but these are definitely ones that topped the list. 

I'm always, always, always looking for good, new reads so what are some you've read lately?

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