Sunday, January 8, 2012

Books Read in 2011

Here's my book list for last year (minus texbooks - blah):

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by: Syrie James

This was the second book I read by this author and I really enjoyed it. Even though I didn't remember much of Jane Eyre and wasn't familiar with Bronte's other works, it was still a funny, engaging, portrayal of what Bronte's life could have been like and I'm now convinced it was not fiction but rather a really entertaining biography.

The Hunger Games by:Suzanne Collins

I read this book on the recommendation of the angst filled teenagers that I work with. I gotta say, I was not disappointed. It was just the right combination of thrilling plot, endearing characters, evil villans, heroic lovestory and yet it didn't leave me with a bit of cringe in my mouth like some of the other teenage literature out there. (coughtvampirescough)

Catching Fire by: Suzanne Collins

I had to immediately begin the second book after the first cause I just.couldn't.wait. Fortunately, I bought them all in a bundle from Amazon. Whew, that was a close one. I can't pick a favorite book from this trilogy, they were all so good!

The Love Dare by: Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick

This was a great book I hope to re-read at least every 5 years. Every married couple should read this book at least a few times a decade to gain some fresh perspective on loving your spouse and some practical ideas and challenges. Jeff & I didn't read this book together, which I think was actually better - makes things more surprising for the other person. Now I can't wait for Jeff to read it... =0)

Leota's Garden by: Francine Rivers

I heart Francine, and so when this book came up for free on Kindle I decided to download it to my phone and read it. Turns out I love reading books on my phone. Since I sleep with my phone by my bed it is like having a built in book light. Even though it was a little slow at times, I totally cried and fell in love with these characters.

The Heart of the Matter by: Emily Giffin

I love this author and loved this book. I also read this book on my phone and definitely stayed up past my bed time and read it on my lunch break. What I loved and hated about this book was that it all seemed so life like and real. I can appreciate a story without a perfect ending, so that made this book more endearing to me.

Mockingjay by: Suzanne Collins

Things got pretty intense in book 2 of the Hunger Games Trilogy, so after a brief hiatus I was ready to come back and finish it up. I will totally read these books to H when he gets older... and he will LOVE them! I can't wait for the movies to come out!

Happiest Toddler on the Block by: Dr. Harvey Karp

While I liked this book, I can't say that the discipline behaviors in it worked for us. I didn't find it overly helpful in that area, but it did give some really good ideas for providing positive feedback for your children and reinforcing good behaviors. Other than that, I wouldn't recommend this book.

The Help by: Kathryn Stockett

I also read this book on my phone and love, love, loved it! I finished it just in time to see the movie, which I actually really liked. Usually after reading such a good book the movie is a disappointment, but both were done really well! Great read!

Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage by: Madeline L'Engle

L'Engle is one of my favorite authors and it was so fascinating to read her account of her courtship and marriage. This is not only a terrific love story, it is a great account of the sacredness of marriage and the grief of loss. While saddening at times, it was very inspiring and of course beautifully written.

Stress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child by: Dr. Peter Stavinoah

While I can't say potty training has been stress FREE, this book certainly helped give me some practical direction. I bought this as a .99 download for Kindle, and while I wouldn't read this book again, it was certainly worth what I paid for it!

As a Sunday School Class we read a book on Managing Money in your Marriage, but I can't find it on Amazon. I also seem to have misplaced the book. However, it came at a good time in our marriage (after just purchasing our first house) and has helped us make some better choices.

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream by: David Platt

This was the next book we read with our Sunday School Class and I loved it. It was very challenging and even though some of the theology in the book was pretty deep stuff, he managed to make it very understandable without watering it down or making excuses. I enjoyed his somewhat in your face style and appreciated the experience he was bringing to the table, as opposed to just telling you how to live. Christians, read this book. You will probably like it, hate it, and believe it is the Truth.

Searching for Meredith Love by:Julie Christensen

I read this book post finals because it was a free Kindle download and I wanted something to read on my break. Overall, I would give this book 3.5 stars. It took me a while to get into it and sometimes the writing style was a bit distracting from the plot, but I did end up caring about the characters and wanting a happy ending. Not bad for a free book!

The Devotional I started reading this year (in July so I'm not finished yet) is Jesus Calling by: Sarah Young

Although I'm not finished yet, I have so loved this book. I got the journaling one with places to journal each day and it has been really good for me. Honestly, I usually find devotionals to be kind of cookie cutter, slightly cheesy and I quit doing them because I just don't feel like it is encouraging me at all. This one is different. I find it to be challenging but uplifting and I like that it is written from the perspective of Jesus.

So, that's what I read last year. What should I read this year?


  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern!

    Also, along the lines of Hunger Games, try Divergent by Veronica Roth..the next one is coming out sometime this spring

    I haven't read anything by Francine Rivers - what's your favorite of hers?

  2. Thanks Amy, I will totally put those on my list. My all time favorite of Francine Rivers is Redeeming Love (I even got Jeff to read it!), but the Mark of the Lion Series is a very close second.