Monday, January 5, 2015

My 2015 Reading List…and how I'm reading most of it for FREE!

Happy new year everyone!

It's been a while since I've blogged-- three to half months, actually-- but life has been pretty busy around these parts lately.  Last time I posted, Leah was only a day old-- and now she is a smiling, cooing, drooling, and rolling bundle of cute.  


 Between homeschooling, baby feeding, diaper changing, laundry, getting meals on and off the table, and keeping the house almost-semi-reasonably clean, there's not a whole lot of extra time happening. Some days it's hard to find time to go to the bathroom, much less write a blog post. I'm actually voice dictating this blog post as I make this chili for supper. True story. I learned this trick from one of my favourite bloggers-- a homeschooling mama to 11, who is clearly busier than I am and yet still finds time to blog. This will need so much editing when I'm done but I'm not sure it's actually saving any time, but give me the illusion of ultra-productivity, so for now, this is how we roll.

If you are a blog reader, you've been seeing a lot of booklists lately. It's sort of like New Year's resolutions for book nerds, and as a formerly prolific reader and card carrying book nerd, I can't get enough of them.  (I don't actually have a card, but I love to smell new books, which I think fits the criteria).  As a homeschooler, I have an ongoing list of books I want to read to my kids.  However, I've never actually made a book list for me.  Until now. 

(Unrelated to this post, but related to my present task: I present to you, Chef Michael Smith's Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili.  Delicious and healthy, which means if my kids eat it without coercion, it will be a miracle.)

As much as I would love to order every one of the books on my list from Amazon, underline  and margin-note them to death, and share them with my friends, that is just not in the budget.  Instead, I will buy a few, borrow a few from friends, and take advantage of our public library's best kept secret: request that the library purchase them for me!  Yes, folks, it's true!  Our public library (and probably yours too) has an online form where you can request the purchase of books.  To date, I have requested five, and all five have been purchased!  Since we're at the library pretty frequently, borrowing these books from them is almost as good as buying them myself.  I like to think of it as free storage for my books.  (After all, I've already paid for them with property tax!)

So, without further blah-blah-blah, my 2015 reading list!

{Sorry in advance for the messy formatting.  It looks great in the "edit" stage, but for some reason goes wonky when I publish it.}

1. Honey for a Child's Heart-  Gladys Hunt.
The first book on my list of books to read, is a list of books to read.  Really.  But it isn't just a book of lists of books; Hunt also writes about the value of books, how to encourage your children to read, and how to choose the right books for each child.  The library purchased this one at my request!

2. The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling- Debra Bell

I've read a few articles by Bell in Thriving Family, and she makes me laugh.  I'm borrowing this one from a friend.

3. Hold On To Your Kids- Gordon Neufeld

This one has been on a mental must-read list for a few years now.  Neufeld's research and ideas were very compelling in our journey towards choosing to homeschool.  My library actually had this one already!

4. Own Your Life-  Sally Clarkson
Sally Clarkson is one of my favourite authors, and her books were another major influence in our decision to homeschool, as well as an incredible encouragement to me. This, her latest book, releases tomorrow!  (If you are interested in signing up for her free webcast which airs tomorrow evening, click on the link and sign up!)  I'll probably buy this one to add to my mini-Sally-Clarkson-library.

5. 50 Women Every Christian Should Know- Michelle DeRusha 
I got Caleb the "Men" version of this book for Christmas last year and intended to read it, but I don't think I got through a single biography, as they were rather… err… thorough.  This one is written by a different author, and, after hearing her on Simple Mom podcast, I am convinced it is worth my time to give it a chance! I've just requested that my library purchase this one.

6. Not By Sight- Jon Bloom 
This one is heartily recommended by John Piper, and can be downloaded for free from the Desiring God website (click the link above).  An "imaginative retelling of 35 Bible stories," it's an easy but thought-compelling read.  (We've read a few already, but I'm hoping to knock this book off this year).  I downloaded this one for free!

7. The History of the Ancient World- Susan Wise Bauer
Bauer is a prof at William and Mary's, a homeschooling mama, a historian, and a leading proponent of the Classical method of education.  I've been meaning to get my hands on this book for a while, but it slipped my mind almost didn't make the list until I saw it on a friend's blog. Hoping my library will buy this one too!

8. Praying God's Word- Beth Moore
There was one day last year when the Kindle versions of all of Beth Moore's books were FREE!  I downloaded a whole pile, but I've only read two so far.  Two more are making the list for this year! Downloaded it for free!

9. To Live is Christ- Beth Moore

The second of the two Beth Moore books I intend to tackle this year.  This one is a biography of the apostle Paul.  Downloaded it for free!

10. Unglued- Lysa Terkeurst

The subtitle is: "Making Wise Choices In the Midst of Raw Emotions."
That says it all.  Might buy this one.  I have a few friends who I could lend it to.  Just joking…sort of.

11. What Alice Forgot- Liane Moriarty

The one piece of fiction that made my list.  I know almost nothing about this book, but I've seen it on so many book lists lately that I figured I should check it out.  (If it's a total dud or completely inappropriate, let it be known that this is not a recommendation!) My library has this one too!

And that, my friends, is my reading list for the year.

I'd love to hear what you're planning to read!  If you're posting a reading list for the year, please post a link in the comments.

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