Monday, January 9, 2012

My 2012 Book List ~ Part 1

Reading is a passion of mine. I have always loved to read. I still remember my first book - Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess. I remember proudly reading it to my Uncle Dan when he was back visiting from Maryland. And I'm guessing that I was probably somewhere between Lily and Ian's age when I read that book.

I usually write down the books that I read each year. The last couple of years I've been recording the books I've read in the sidebar of the blog. Last year I didn't keep up on that though.

This year, I've decided to post my reading list here on my blog and then mark the books "done" as I complete each one. Since I'm a little behind on getting this post up, I've already completed two books this year. Most of these books are ones that I had previously purchased over the last couple of years. Some I plan on purchasing with an gift card I got at Christmas.

So, without further ado, here is my 2012 Book List (in two parts because I listed too many books to fit into one blog post. Yikes!)...

Life Skills for Kids: Equipping Your Children for the Real World ~ Christine M. Field ~ Just finished it. This was a great book discussing the importance of teaching our children the life skills that are necessary for successful living. Topics such as housework, money management, people skills, cooking skills, etc., etc., etc., are included in this book. This book is written from a definite Christian perspective, which I highly appreciated.

Here is an excerpt from the book - "One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the knowledge that the universe does not revolve around them.....We tend to indulge our children out of love for them, but love is not indulgence. Love is training your children and sometimes being tough with them, asking them to learn unselfishness, being strong enough to tolerate their not liking you when you try to do the right thing....this ability to look beyond oneself is a critical people skill." I found this book very motivating, insightful, and full of helpful tips. I read this book with pencil in hand, and found myself underlining a lot of information I wanted to be able to find again easily when referring back to the book in the future.

The Daniel Fast ~ Susan Gregory ~ See my review on this book here. I really enjoyed this book. Just finished it last night.

Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson - I picked this book up at a homeschooling conference in the spring, and I was so excited because I had heard such great things about it from other homeschooling blogs. With a bend toward the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling, the Clarkson's cover a large array of topics concerning educating your children at home. Here is a little snippet from's description of the book:

* Make your home and family the heart of your children's education
* Train your children to become creative, self-directed learners
* Enrich your family's life and education with living books
* Identify and work with each child's learning style
* Help your children love to learn as naturally as they love to play
* Gain confidence to teach using practical, common-sense methods

Seasons of a Mother's Heart
~ Sally Clarkson ~ I started this book again last night after having read the first two chapters in the last part of 2011. This book has been awesome and very inspiring to me as a homschooling mama. Mrs. Clarkson speaks much on shaping our children's heart to love and know God and to love others.

From's description: Your life as a mom is a whirlwind of changing seasons that can just as easily exhaust as exhilarate you. Sit down, take a few moments, and allow yourself to be refreshed and encouraged by a few stories, insights, and lessons from a friend. Sally Clarkson opens her heart within the pages of this timeless classic, sharing what she has learned as a homeschooling wife and mother -- about herself, her children, and her Lord. Revised and expanded for today's moms, Seasons of a Mother's Heart includes four all-new essays by Sally, one for each season of a family's life, from the renewal of spring and the response of summer to the resolve of fall and the reflection of winter. So step in out of the whirlwind, pour a cup of tea, and take a deep breath of the Spirit with Sally.

The Ministry of Motherhood ~ Sally Clarkson ~ I know, this is the third Clarkson book I've included on my 2012 list (and I've already read others of hers), but this wonderful, godly woman is such an inspiration to me as a homeschooling mama who desires to serve God wholeheartedly and raise my children to do the same.

From's description :

• Make Life’s Mundane and Nitty-Gritty Moments Work for You and Not Against You.

• Discover Ways to Make Character-Building a Natural Part of Live.

• Teach Your Child in the Same Way Jesus Taught the Disciples.

• Pass on Crucial Gifts that Will Serve Your Family for a Lifetime.

A Charlotte Mason Companion ~ Karen Andreola ~ This is probably the style of homeschooling that I most closely practice, but I never have read a book on Charlotte Mason education. So, I'm looking forward to reading this book and getting some encouragement and tips.

From Amazon ~ A thorough chapter-by-chapter overview of the inspiring teaching principles of Christian educator Charlotte Mason, this book reveals the practical day by day method of how to teach "the Charlotte Mason way". The author offers friendly advice, and humor, along with the joys and struggles of real homeschool life. The book covers education, parenting, homeschooling and lots of encouraging advice for mothers.

Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl ~ Dannah Gresh ~ I've never been disappointed with a Dannah Gresh book. I'm super excited to read this book, because I often feel overwhelmed with raising my daughter up in this over-sexualized, grow-your-kids-up-too-fast world we live in today.

From Amazon:

Bestselling author, speaker, and founder of the Secret Keeper Girl conferences, Dannah Gresh shares with moms the secret to helping today’s girls grow up confident, grace-filled, and strong in their faith.

Studies show that the foundation for an emotionally healthy teen girl is built between the ages of 8-12 and that a good relationship with mom is one of the most important factors. So when the world wants girls to grow up too fast, how does a mother help her young daughter navigate the stormy waters of boy-craziness, modesty and body image, media, Internet safety, and more? With a warm, transparent style, Dannah Gresh shares six ways a mom can help protect and guide her daughter, including:

  • help her celebrate her body in a healthy way
  • unbrand her when the world tries to buy and sell her
  • unplug her from a plugged-in world
  • dream with her about her prince, and more

What Women Fear ~ Angie Smith ~ I love Angie Smith. Having read her blog for several years, I was very excited to be able to hear her speak at the Women of Faith conference this past fall here in Pittsburgh. And I got to speak with her in person and found her to be just as down-to-earth and kind-hearted as I imagined her to be.

From Amazon ~ A woman's faith in God is challenged by the first question Satan asks Eve in the Bible: "Did God really say you can’t eat from any tree in the garden?" That seed of doubt and the story it begins to unfold breed a concept of fear still haunting each of us on some level every day-the idea that our actions could ruin something beautiful, and God might not have control of things.

In What Women Fear, acclaimed writer and speaker Angie Smith admits, "fear is a major part of my testimony" and talks openly about her treatment for anxiety as a child. Giving a voice to the problem, she says, "I truly believe every single one of us struggles with some type of fear, whether it's fear of flying or fear of being 'found out.' Maybe you don’t worry about dying, but you get sick thinking about the fact that you might fail."

Rather than suggesting that those who truly love the Lord would never fear, Angie blends her own experiences with those of men and women from throughout Scripture to help us start dealing more effectively with these true, human emotions. Whether it’s a constant "What if?," a nagging fear of abandonment or betrayal, fear of your own or someone else’s death, fear of trusting God's plan, or even the fear that God's existence is a lie, Angie will walk you through stories of others who have simultaneously loved God and struggled with fear. Join Angie and discover how to let Jesus redeem this struggle as only He can, that He will be glorified, and you will be transformed!

Rumors of Water ~ L.L. Barkat - A book written from a writer's heart discussing the topics of creativity and life. What I appreciate about this book is that it is written from a Christian mother's perspective. I think I will find it very applicable to my life.

Storycatcher ~ Christina Baldwin - Another book for writers. Although this book is not written from a Christian perspective, it is a book that delves into the importance of recording our stories and the impact these stories have on others. I do believe the author does practice some kind of New Age religion just by reading up on some of her other books. By reading this particular book, I am in no way endorsing the author's religious opinions.

Family Driven Faith ~ Voddie Bauchman, Jr.

From -

More teens are turning away from the faith than ever before: it is estimated that 75 to 88% of Christian teens walk away from Christianity by the end of their freshman year of college. Something must be done.

Family Driven Faith equips Christian parents with the tools they need to raise children biblically in a post-Christian, anti-family society. Voddie Baucham, who with his wife has overcome a multi-generational legacy of broken and dysfunctional homes, shows that God has not left us alone in raising godly children. He has given us timeless precepts and principles for multi-generational faithfulness, especially in Deuteronomy 6. God’s simple command to Moses to teach the Word diligently to the children of Israel serves as the foundation of Family Driven Faith.

* Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens ~ Paul David Tripp ~ Another great author. And a must-read for me, who was recently thrown into the throes of raising a teenage boy. :)

Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter ~ Vicki Courtney


From the cradle to college, tell your daughters the truth about life before they believe the culture’s lies.

For mothers with girls newborn to eighteen, Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter is simply a must-have book. Youth culture commentator Vicki Courtney helps moms pinpoint and prepare the discussions that should be ongoing in their daughters' formative years.

To fully address the dynamic social and spiritual issues and influencers at hand, several chapters are written for each of the conversations, which are:

1. You are more than the sum of your parts

2. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up

3. Sex is great and worth the wait

4. It’s OK to dream about marriage and motherhood

5. Girls gone wild are a dime a dozen—dare to be virtuous

* Five-Star Families: Moving Yours from Good to Great ~ Carol Kuykendall


What kinds of families do most moms want? Loving? Fun? Loyal? Growing? Faith-filled? How about all of the above? Five-Star Families takes a look at the five important qualities that matter most in a family and gives readers different ways to express and experience each. MOPS author Carol Kuykendall helps moms determine what kind of family they want by looking back at the family they had growing up, looking around at the family they have now, and looking forward to the family they want to have in the future. With real-life examples, helpful advice, and lots of fun tips, Carol shows readers how to build a healthy family that wants to be together, grow together, and stay together-a family that will shine from one generation to the next.

The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children ~ Lou Priolo ~ This book sounds interesting to me because a have one child, in particular, who seems to struggle with some anger issues.

From Does your children ever speak to you in angry, disrespectful tones? Christian families, especially those in which children are home for most of the day, especially episodes of frustration and anger. This new book deals with anger's root causes, offering corrective advice from a biblical perspective. Pastor and radio teacher, John MacArthur, Jr. has said, "This book goes beyond the external manifestations of anger and deals with the internal source - the thoughts and intents of the heart. I know of no other book that addresses this problem with such practical and applicable biblical wisdom."

Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World - Vicki Courtney

The Family - J.R. Miller ~ Geez. I've had this book for probably four years and have as of yet to read it. This is a result of my book addiction. Which is exactly why I've made it a goal to read all (or at least most) of the unread books on my bookshelves.


Formerly published under the title Home-Making, The Family is an uncompromising vision statement for the domestic bliss and cultural dominion of the Christian family. The message of The Family is powerful: ''Sisters, Brothers, Husbands, Wives -- home life is meant to be beautiful, ennobling, and victorious!'' God intends for each person -- from parent to child -- to play a role in family life, the ultimate goal of which is the transformation of the individual, the home, and the society for the glory of God.

Miller writes truth that we need to hear, but are usually afraid to say. He carefully addresses each member of the family, managing to find the perfect balance between inspiration and exhortation.

Open Heart Open Home ~ Karen Burton Mains

From Can a simple dinner party for the neighbors change the world? Karen Mains says, "Yes!" And in Open Heart, Open Home she shows how. In this classic on Christian hospitality, Karen Mains steps far beyond how-to-entertain hints to explore a biblical and spiritual approach to using your home to care for others.

This approach to hospitality can literally transform the fabric of your community and your world. If you labor under the illusion that hospitality requires Martha Stewart-like abilities, then Mains will free you from a load of guilt! Instead, she offers fresh and inspiring ideas for using your own resources to serve rather than to impress with new "opening the door" activities in each chapter.

You will discover how the Holy Spirit can work in and through you to make others feel welcome and wanted. Whether you are a business executive or a homemaker, a professional minister or a layperson, a seasoned entertainer or an entertaining klutz, you will find here the encouragement and skills you need to reach out with the gospel through daily acts of acceptance, belonging and love.

The Hidden Art of Homemaking - Edith Schaeffer - This is a re-read because I enjoy it so much. A very inspiring book.

From The author reveals the many opportunities for artistic expression that can be found in ordinary, everyday life.

Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life ~ Margaret Kim Peterson ~ Because, frankly, who doesn't need a little encouragement in the area of housekeeping?!

From Keeping House is a wide-ranging and witty exploration of the spiritual gifts that are gained when we take the time to care for hearth and home. With a fresh perspective, mother, wife, and teacher Margaret Kim Peterson examines the activities and attitudes of keeping house and making a home.

Debunking the commonly held notion that keeping house is a waste of time or at best a hobby, Peterson uncovers the broader cultural and theological factors that make housekeeping an interesting and worthwhile discipline. She reveals how the seemingly ordinary tasks of folding laundry, buying groceries, cooking, making beds, and offering hospitality can be seen as spiritual practices that embody and express concrete and positive ways of living out Christian faith in relationship to others at home, in the church and in the world.

Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love ~ O.S.B. Daniel Homan ~ A book that is a great reminder and call back to true Biblical hospitality.

From Today's culture is increasingly hostile and suspicious toward anyone who appears to be different--especially when tragedy strikes. Our instinct is to bolt our doors and protect the ones we love. But deep within the heart of Benedictine spirituality lies a remedy to hatred, fear, and suspicion: hospitality. At once deeply comforting and sharply challenging, true Benedictine hospitality requires that we welcome the stranger, not only into our homes, but into our hearts. With warmth and humor, drawing from the monastic tradition and sharing personal anecdotes from their own lives, Pratt and Homan encourage us to embrace not only the literal stranger, but the stranger within and the stranger in those we love.

Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small Space Edible Garden ~ Andrea Balleny ~ A "read-me-soon" book so I can get geared up for the spring! Must think ahead, you know!! BTW, this book is so stinkin' cute.

From Imagine savoring fresh-picked strawberries on a weekend morning, plucking plump figs from your mini-orchard to quarter and serve at a farm-to-table meal with friends, or harvesting and sautéing the edible stalks of garlic bulbs. If the size of your space is bringing you back to reality, here’s the best part: you don’t need a big backyard to grow your own food. In fact, you don’t need a yard at all.

Andrea Bellamy, founder of the acclaimed blog Heavy Petal (, gives you the dirt on growing gorgeous organic food with very little square footage. Simple, straightforward, design and growing advice can help you transform just a snippet of space into a stylish and edible oasis. Bellamy goes beyond the surface and shows you how to create and maintain healthy soil, decide what and when to plant, sow seeds and harvest, and most importantly, enjoy the process. So go ahead, picture that tiny nook, corner, strip, porch, alley, balcony, or postage-stamp-sized yard overflowing with fingerling potatoes, fragrant herbs, sugar snap peas, French breakfast radishes, and scarlet runner beans.

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther ~ Roland Herbert Bainton ~ I love biographies, and I find Martin Luther's life and works fascinating. Can't wait to dig into this one...

From "I cannot.. I will not... recant! Here I stand." This authoritative and inspiring story paints a vivid portrait of the crusader who spearheaded the Reformation. Considered one of the most readable biographies of Martin Luther, this volume is an illustrated look at the German religious reformer and his influence on Western civilization.


Anonymous said...

You have been awarded the Liebster Award. Thank you for all the great posts! I can't wait to curl up with my computer and notebook to glean some great reading materials! Please come visit me at to claim your award! Blessing to you today!

Laura said...

hey amber...yes, we HAVE to meet! in fact, i might just want to make a trip home mainly to meet you in person! i am reading raising real men right now....looks like you have a great list. i am hoping to read lots this year as well.

your blogging buddy, laura

Lynn said...

I love your list! I, too, am a devoted (fanatical?) reader. The Hidden Art of Homemaking is such a great book, as is Keeping House. Happy reading! :)