Tuesday, January 6, 2015

8 Books that I Enjoyed in 2014

There is something about Christmas break and the start of a New Year that makes me want to snuggle up and dive into a good book.  Apparently I’m not alone, because this week alone I’ve had four different friends ask for book suggestions, and I’ve seen several others on social media fishing for what might be good to read.

If you know me, you know that I love to read, and I love to hear from friends about the books capturing their hearts.  So, here are 12 books that I enjoyed in 2014 with a quick comment about each!

Fiction Finds
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay - I actually finished this last night, and although I saw the end coming, I still enjoyed this easy read.  This will especially be enjoyed by my fellow Austen aficionados - lots of quotes to original Jane Austen novels.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - I saw April Roark  & Jennifer Watson (two friends with good taste in books make this recommendation to someone else on social media and so I quickly purchased it for myself).  This story inspired me, made me cry, and made me want to be more brave.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty - I've read a couple of other Liane Moriarty books but this is my favorite so far.  Alice is in her 30's when she bumps her head and loses her memory...and it makes her see her busy, chaotic life in a new light.  Great read for a busy momma.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - So, I actually got this book simply because it was free or $1.99 on Kindle and it had some great reviews.  And as I began the book I thought it was strange - wasn't sure why I was reading it...and yet I couldn't put it down.  By the end, I was a huge fan and I felt like I had learned so much about autism (the main character is autistic).

Couldn’t Put Down Non-Fiction

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith - As some of you know, we bought a new house this year and embarked on a bit of remodeling (fun and overwhelming)!  I love the Nester's blog (the author of this book) and with my house adventure, I decided that I should learn all I could from her.  I expected decorating tips, but this book had warmth and wisdom, and it focused on the heart of the home which is what the Lord knew I needed!  Her book put me at ease to make this home "ours" and to be as quirky as I want in my decorating style (I love to be quirky in decor)...in fact, I just put together this little portion of my bathroom after finishing her book.  I think she would be proud!

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - I'm late to the party on this book.  My friend Wendy told me to read this at least 5 years ago and I've heard it mentioned by numerous friends over the years, so I decided to pick it up before our family vacation and I. WAS. RIVETED.  I still cannot fully wrap my mind around the life of Walls - it is both beautiful and hear-breaking.  I started looking at everyone I encountered differently wondering what their life was really like.

Anything by Jennie Allen  - Sometimes God brings you a book at an intersection in your life that you desperately need, and this was the case for this book.  Allen talks about praying a simple prayer, "God I'll do anything" and it messed with me in the best way.

Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider - Tsh intrigues me.  I read her blog and I love her spirit of adventure yet ability to still be disciplined and focused.  She, her husband, and 3 children are actually traveling the world for an entire year right now believing that her kids will get more education actually seeing the Great Wall rather than just reading about it.  But this book's message is basically that there is not necessarily a perfect road map to parent or live...but that you do need to find God's rhythm for your family.  It's okay to be different - to do what you love and raise your children with wonder.

On My Night Stand
So far in 2015, I'm reading (or plan to read)
Restless by Jennie Allen
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Anything else that I should add to the stack?  What did you enjoy reading in 2014?


Unknown said...

You may have already read it, but 'Visions from Heaven' by Wendy Alec seriously changed my life and showed me how to slow down and process things. It was much needed in a painful season (we miscarried our baby) and it taught me to process pain in a different and productive (for lack of a better word) way.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recommendations!

Jennifer said...

Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson (now Anne Marie Miller) was the first book of 2014 I read...and it stayed at the top of my list all year. (and maybe of all time) I LOVED her raw honesty, I loved the secrets from others that were shared, (and being late to this game, am sad that the website connected to it is down) and I think this is something every member of the church should read...and act on. It was one of those that I wanted to read out loud to everyone that passed by me. It wasn't really new concepts...it was just such truth that was spoken so beautifully, and I adored it.
I'm starting Lean on Me by her as soon as I finish my current book.

I also loved Love Does by Bob Goff, Speak by Nish Wieseth, Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey, and Bonhoeffer- Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxes.

I also discovered a definite love for the audible books *if* read by the author. I liked the multitasking that not only could I be snuggled up and actually focusing on one book (I tried to be one of those people who read more than one book at a time, and just can't. Too much guilt of picking one up when another's not finished. But audible ones don't make me feel guilty. ha!)...but I could listen to another while cleaning, driving, cooking, or doing other activities.

Ficton- my fav was Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. And since it had been several years since I'd read Glass Castle, (so glad you joined that club!) it made me want to go back and re-read that one. AND...I saw that the audible of GC was read by Jeanette and heck ya I wanted to hear her read it.

To read asap in 2015:
Lean on Me by Anne Jackson
Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris (I'm only a nominal fan of NPH, but this is the most brilliant concept so of course I'm in)
And 2 books on Constantine. :-)

And then I'm doing a short season of rereads from books that impacted me in the past. Humility by Andrew Murray, Operation Exodus by Steve Lightle, Shaking the Heavens by Ana Mendez, and Israel my Beloved, by Kay Arthur, and some other books I have on prayer. I feel a need for reminders from past inspiration... :-)

Jennifer said...

Oops- Meant Anne Marie Miller when I said Lean on Me by Anne Jackson. #samebutdifferent

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