2012 Book List (and random thoughts on reading)

BooksThose who know me can testify that I am kind of a book nut. Reading is my thing. I’m the type of  girl who gets starry-eyed when driving by a flesh and bone bookstore. I am a Story-holic and not afraid to admit it. When I get down to the last pages of a book, I get a little antsy if there isn’t something waiting in the queue.

Many years ago I began writing down in a journal every book I read. Someone somewhere had suggested this habit and it stuck with me.  A collection of sorts.  It’s often that I go digging to remind myself of a title or author or to recommend one to a friend.  As so many are setting reading goals and writing about titles they want to read this year, I thought it would be fun to list the ones I read last year. Included are audiobooks too. Apparently, reading or listening to a book is all the same to the brain. Yippee for redeeming drive time!

It was a good year of books. Really good. My 2012 Book List (in order):

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman

The Little Bride by Anna Solomon

The Flinch by Julien Smith

The Shack by William P. Young (2nd read via audio)

Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis (audio)

Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (audio)

Six Ways to Keep the “Little” in Your Girl by Dannah Gresh

Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark & Grace Driscoll

The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis (audio)

Intimate Conversations: Devotions to Nurture A Woman’s Soul by Alicia Britt Chole

You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me by Ian Morgan Cron

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears by Mark Batterson

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff

Steve Jobs: Biography by Walter Isaacson

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison

The Freedom of Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Eighteen Acres by Nicolle Wallace

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (audio)

Twelve Clean Pages by Nika Maples

What Did you Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp

You Are a Writer: So Start Acting Like One by Jeff Goins

Mere Christianity by C.S.Lewis (re-read)

The Creative Call: An Artist’s Response to the Way of the Spirit by Janice Elsheimer

Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky but Authentic Spiritual Memoir by Susan B. Isaacs

The Hobbit by C.S. Lewis (re-read via audio)

The Agony and The Ecstasy by Irving Stone

Storyline: Finding Your Subplot in God’s Story by Donald Miller

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent by Richard Rohr

Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas by John Blase

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (hope to tell more about this one soon!)

Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown

Genre Favorites?

Fiction – The Agony and the Ecstasy  and you can find out why here.

Nonfiction – Daring Greatly…..This book was absolutely transformational!

Memoir – Love Does was a masterpiece. Bob Goff  is the essence of storyteller. Straightforward and honest. “Love God. Love People. Do Stuff. It’s that simple.” Go buy it right now.

How do I decide which to crack open? Everyone has a different method or decision making process for choosing books to read. Here is a glimpse of what I do. I stretch my arms open wide to the gods of publishing and ask for a gift of grace. Just kidding. I really don’t have a method. I read reviews, but don’t swear by them. I most certainly judge a book by its cover. Seriously. It’s hard for me to read an ugly book. I pay attention to what other readers are reading. I listen to the Spirit’s prompting of what I NEED to be reading. Moods also dictate my choices somewhat.

When do I read? Early, early in the morning (always THE book and no fiction…I need to be taught first thing). If I’m home alone, at lunch. In the car, in waiting rooms, when I need a break, instead of TV time, and always, always, always, before the light goes out I read fiction. As a way for my brain to “get the train off the tracks”. I have to keep explaining to my husband this necessity.

I also keep a list going on my phone of potential and recommended reads. Not sure which ones I will tackle this year. I usually have  a couple of nonfiction and one fiction going at a time.  Trying to be more discerning and challenging with my fiction choices. Something I’ve learned over the past few years is not to be afraid of the nonfictions. They are packed with story too. And if they are not? I have no qualms about shutting them respectfully long before the last page. Actually, I used to read every book started, even if I had to gut it out like a kid eating liver.  So glad I gave that practice up. Time is too short to read bad books.

Favorite genre recently? Memoir.  Love them. Because at the end of the day, a true story can always be stranger than fiction.

So what is on the lineup for 2013? Not entirely sure. I have a couple of books on preorder that I am excited about. Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg and Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.  Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson will be here tomorrow. I’m currently reading Cross Roads the newest by William P. Young. Hopefully a good classic, an intriguing mystery and many more memoirs will be on the list this time next year. I know Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton is up for a reading. It was heavily quoted by many last year. When I read this quote it quickly rose to the top of 2013’s list for obvious reasons…

“I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story there is a storyteller.”

Here’s to another year of good books!

12 thoughts on “2012 Book List (and random thoughts on reading)

  1. Love ths list of books–and you’ve given me some new titles to consider and read. I don’t know where I’m going with my reading list this year, but I’m going to recommend (of all things!) a textbook. It is my favorite teaching textbook of all time: Shadow and Light: Literature and the LIfe of Faith. ACU Press published it (I think it’s in 2nd edition now)–editors are Darryl Tippens, Stephen Weathers, and Jeanne Murray Walker. This anthology is a collection of short non-fiction essays, short stories, poems, and a few plays–something for everyone. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEEEEE this textbook.

    May you have many happily wonderful reading days in 2013.

    1. Way to go Jana! Knew I could count on you for a good recommendation. Not sure I can afford another textbook after just purchasing Caitlin’s spring semester worth of books..HA!

  2. kelli, i am looking forward to putting your recommendations on my llst! and i love your new blog! miss you!

  3. I know that’s the truth–textbooks are OUTRAGEOUS. I hope you are using Amazon (or even other cheaper textbook sites) and not relying strictly on the bookstore, the way all of us had to do back in the day. Your Caitlin sounds like a joy–I’m glad she is having a great experience at ACU. Love you guys.

  4. Agree with memoirs! I love them! I love reading real, true things about REAL people! It’s so fascinating!

    How was Look Me In the Eye? I’ve wanted to read that….

  5. Hosting The Presence by Bill Johnson was a must-read for me in 2012. It is phenomenal! It is in my top three favorites of the year. If you read it, be sure and take it slow. I had to take frequent breaks because every thing he wrote demanded meditation. It’s theme is learning how to host the presence of the Holy Spirit — so that He is invited to dwell in not only IN but UPON you in continual, unbroken deep fellowship. There are very very few pages in my copy that are not copiously underlined.

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