Saturday, January 10, 2015

Favorite Books of 2014

I thought I would look through my notes and pull out my favorite books from the last year. I was aiming for ten but when the list only included eight and there were no fiction in that list I went through again and that resulted in this current list. 
Families Where Grace Is in Place: Building a Home Free of Manipulation, Legalism, and Shame by Jeff VanVonderen was so extremely applicable to me, my past, and thus my current life that I already see from my notes that I need to read this again - actually I need to own this.

Scribbling in the Sand: Christ and Creativity by Michael Card. I read a lot of books on art, creativity, and the Christian worldview. Card does such a beautiful job of showing artists how important art is and what a gift it is to be able to celebrate creativity, beginning with the creativity of Christ.

Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now by Walter Brueggemann writes in a brief but profound way about making the Sabbath (the Christian Sabbath being Sunday) a way of resisting modern culture's focus on competition, one-upping, getting ahead, etc.

True Woman 101: Divine Design: An Eight-Week Study on Biblical Womanhood (True Woman) by Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss was a very well written study on what the Bible says about womanhood and how does that play out in our culture today. There are accompanying free videos that go with it online and I appreciate that she had women participate from all walks of life and all personality types. This was a very well-grounded study.

Grace Filled Marriage: The Missing Piece, the Place to Start by Dr. Tim Kimmel was a marriage book that emphasized giving your partner grace -- learning to appropriately overlook, forgive, choose to think the best about your spouse.

Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything by Steve DeWitt is probably the best book on art, beauty, and the Christian worldview that I have ever read.

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie may just be the most life-changing book I read this past year. I had a tricky childhood and that has resulted in some very predictable behaviors which this book explains in such easy-to-understand ways. Not only that but the author so clearly shows how these behaviors can be changed and overcome.

Letters of a Woman Homesteader (Dover Books on Americana) by Elinore Pruitt Stewart was such a fun, easy, delightful, non-fiction read written by a true woman homesteader who lived in Montana 100 years ago. Her adventures are amazing and she is so gifted with how she describes her life. This is a page-turner.

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas is definitely the best book I've read on raising boys. In fact, I read it early in the year and have just now ordered it from the library to peruse again. The book is broken down into age-groups so you can look up what stage your boy is in and see just how they might be behaving and what their greatest needs at that age are.

A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily Freeman. Another excellent book on art and creativity and the Christian.

Longbourn by Jo Baker is probably my favorite historical fiction from this year. It imagines the life at Jane Austen's "Bennet Household" from the perspective of a servant. Very well done.

Time for Tea: Tea and Conversation with Thirteen English Women by Michele Rivers was such a fun book even if it is a decade or two old now. I loved reading about the lives and tea rituals of these women, each unique and beautiful in their own way. I would love to write a book like this!

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel by Rachel Joyce was definitely a favorite paperback from the year. It chronicles the long-distance walk of Harold Fry from the south to the north of England and how his life changes along the way.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear was my best fiction discovery of the year. I do love this series, set during and after World War 1 in England and always involving a mystery.

And that's it for now! Of course I am still surrounded by stacks and stacks of books I'm reading or planning to read... I am so thankful for this delightful hobby and the library system that makes so much of it possible!

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Granny Marigold said...

Thank you for this list of books. I've just requested several of them from the library. I really was surprised how much I enjoyed The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I really wondered if I'd enjoy it but I did. Also read the sequel written by the woman he's walking to see ( Sorry but I cannot remember her name. Henny? )

elizabeth said...

I read the M Beattie book in my undergrad years. it's very good; I had a pretty good childhood but I still needed that book.

I still need to read the one on marriage...

may God bless you deeply and richly my friend!!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness!!! THANK YOU! :D I need more non-fiction in my life. :) I think I'll just open my goodreads and put these on the TBR pile. ;)

Jennifer said...

I found your blog last year and really enjoy your posts! Thank you for the work and time that you put into it! I really loved this post and have put your recommendations into my Goodreads account. These look like really great books! Thanks! :)