Thursday, December 09, 2010

Books of the Year



As most of you know, I adore reading. I love love love books! That is, if I can wrestle a spare moment to read them. It is probably one of my highest priorities, though. As a mom of 3 littles, priorities are a must. And you can usually only pick one or two and you have to scrap the rest until your kids are older. So, reading is one thing I do keep close to my heart. Since I haven't had time to review any books lately (yeah, that's one that had to go), I wanted to give my list of books I read in 2010 and let you know the ones I enjoyed most. Here they are in the order read this year and with stars (out of 5).

5 Stars - Go out and order it today!
4 Stars - Worthwhile read at some point
3 Stars - If you have a lot of spare time, go for it
2 Stars - Not the best resource
1 Star - Steer clear

2010 Reading


Gospel Primer, by Milton Vincent - *****
Amazing little booklet I have used in my daily reading to grow my affections toward Christ and reflect on the Gospel. Highly recommended!

This Momentary Marriage, by John Piper - ***
A great book with so much wonderful truth. A little dry if I am being honest. Allen and I pushed through and finished but I'm not sure everyone would.

When Sinners Say I Do, by Dave Harvey - *****
I think it's the most honest book on marriage I have read. I blew through it because it was so amazing. In fact, Allen and I are going to start going through this with the engaged couples in our church.


A Praying Life, Paul Miller - ****
An excellent read! I grew and changed so much while reading this. The only reason I didn't give it 5 was because it was very long. It changed my prayer life dramatically.

You Can Change, Tim Chester - *****
Probably my #1 book of the year. Ah-mazing! I went through this book with a few girls and we all loved it. And by love, I mean, love that the Lord used it to change us, but hated the yuck that it brought out. Yep, it's one of those books. Beware that if you read this you may become aware of a lot more hidden sin than you thought was there.

Helping Children Understand the Gospel, Children Desiring God - *****
A must-read for parents! It's small, but it packs a huge punch, reminding parents of our job as sowers of the Gospel in our children and how to cultivate the soil of their hearts. Love the practicality of it too!

Just Do Something, Kevin DeYoung - ****
Wonderful little read! It's the first book on this subject that I have read. It broadened my perspective of God's will. It holds great truths for everyone, but specifically college students and grads.

Adopted for Life, by Russell Moore - ****
This book opened my eyes to what adoption is really like and I cried many times. Thankful for the enlightenment that it held for me. It is written for every believer, whether considering adoption or not. Wonderful!

Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart, by John Ensor - *
Recommended on the Girl Talk blog, but I'm not sure why. I would only recommend this as a gift for a non-believer whose life is immoral. There were so many references to sexual immorality that most of the book didn't even apply to the sweet girl I was mentoring.

Prayers of An Excellent Wife, by Andrew Case - ***
A wonderful book of prayers for a wife or wife-to-be to pray over her husband. All the prayers are straight scripture, which made it even sweeter.


Trust, a Godly Woman's Adornment, by Lydia Brownback - ***
A daily devotional put out by Crossway this year. I enjoy the tidbits of truth that she explores and I think if you like devotionals, this would be a great one to have.

Worldliness, by CJ Mahaney - ****
Excellent read! I have been wanting to read this for awhile now and finally did it. It is well worth the time you spend reading it. Questions at the end would make it a great discussion starter.

A Handbook for Minister's Wives, by Dorothy Patterson - *
A friend gave me this to read through. I did. And I just wasn't satisfied. She addresses what it's like for a pastor's wife to have quiet times and what they should include, but never addresses the tough issues (just like every other pastor's wife book I've ever seen). I am hoping someone will come out with one before I am 40 and have to write one myself.

What is the Gospel?, by Greg Gilbert - ****
Wonderful little read about what the Gospel is and what it isn't. I would have thought that reading this book I would have just been nodding along, like "Yeah, I got this." But he explores actions that negate the true Gospel on every level that were enlightening to me.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the book reviews! I am definitely going to put some of those on my reading list. Reading is something I love, but have little time for. It really helps to have trustworthy recommendations, so that I don't waste my time on something not worth reading!

    Sorry to hear that the book for Pastor's wives wasn't what you had hoped for. I definitely think you should write one! Your article for Church Planter's wives was well written and encouraging. What you had to say applies to the wife of anyone in ministry. I would love to see you expound on those points someday!

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  2. Thanks for posting this! I'm always looking for challenging books.

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  3. I would love to hear a detailed description of when and where you do all this reading. i haven't been able to make that work since starting first grade homeschool. do you use naptime? after bedtime? get up early? sitter? how do you divide up "kid-free" time between Bible study and prayer, "constructive" reading, "fun" reading, blogs & facebook, other rest time, conversation with hubby, taking a bath...etc.? not to mention housework with no one underfoot? i would love to hear how you prioritize and use that limited time.

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  4. Brandi -

    I am not the most organized person, but this year Allen made me get a schedule together to make sure that homeschooling, hobbies, physical care, housework, cooking, etc. all made it in. We are only doing kindergarten this year (3 days a week) so it's probably not as time-consuming as yours, but our days generally look like this:

    6:30 - rise (run or read, every other day)
    7:30 - shower/get ready (let kids watch a show)
    8 - breakfast
    8:30 - brush teeth/get dressed (kids)
    9 - let kids play while I prep for school, do a few dishes, check email
    9:30 - Easton takes a nap, school with the kids
    11 - let the kids play while catch up on housework (I have a particular thing I do each day - one day is bathrooms, another is balancing accounts, another is vacuuming/dusting, mopping and then there's the every day laundry)
    12 - lunch
    1-2 play with kids, read to them
    2 - naps (this is where I have the freedom to do things I want to do like read Bible, books, blogging, crafts, have girls over or take a nap)
    4:30- prep for dinner (let kids help)
    5:30- dinner and the rest is history
    (bath, family worship, etc.)
    The kids go down at 8 sharp most nights, so we have plenty of time to do things after they are in bed.

    Allen and I try to connect several times a week between having people over and just reading together at night. I honestly don't spend too much time on blogs or facebook...probably an hour combined during the day do I spend on email/facebook/blogs...but most is probably email.

    I'm not claiming to have it all together, but for this season of life, it's working for me. As Easton drops his morning nap, I will have to revisit some of this. He is not underfoot while I am doing housework right now because I do it during his nap, but I'm not sure what I will do later on. The kids play very well together, but I try not to take advantage of that and join them to play when they aren't expecting me to. I have a list of fun things to do with the kids and try to pick at least one thing each day to do with them.

    I hope this is helpful! If you have any tricks/tips, let me know! I am up for it!

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  5. Fantastic! Thank you so much for taking the time to write that out for me. That's pretty similar to what my schedule looked like last year when Jonas was in K. The transition to first has been harder than I expected. I went from doing school 2 hours 4 days a week (on a good week, and with a sleepy newborn) to 4 hours 5 days a week with a bigger baby who is into everything. 5 months in I still haven't figured out where the extra hours should come from!

    But you've inspired me. Seeing your reading list is just the carrot that I needed someone to dangle in front of me. I can get there! The next time I get a chance to get out by myself, I'm spending a couple of hours at Starbucks and figuring out a new schedule. I have lots of help with the kids from my mother-in-law, so this should be possible. I'm going to take dominion and reign in the chaos! Bring on the worship of the mind. Thanks hon.

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