Family Matters: Reading Recommendations
A couple of my New Year’s resolutions are reading goals I’ve set (and met) for several years running now. Every year, I try to read through the Bible cover-to-cover. I also try to finish a book a week of other reading.
Cover-to-cover may not be an accurate description. I do most of my Bible reading on the computer and use a reading plan that skips around a lot. It groups the books by subject and rotates according to the days of the week. For example, letters on Sunday, law on Monday, history Tuesday, Psalms Wednesday, (more) poetry on Thursday, prophecy on Friday, and gospels on Saturday. Still, it gets the job done. By December 31, there’s nothing left for me to do but start over.
As for my other book reading, I read a good bit of fiction aloud to my children as part of our homeschooling. The vast majority of books I read to myself are non-fiction titles. Here are ten of my favorites from last year, listed in the order that I read them:
Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt:
Hyatt outlines a simple, proven 5-step method for defining and achieving your most important goals. Although you’ll find this book in the business section, the principles are applicable to all of life. The grit, focused attention, and wholehearted commitment required for success in the workplace can also lead to stronger marriages and happier families when we exercise those same habits at home.
Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosalie Butterfield:
Butterfield traces a liberal atheist academic’s journey to faith. It is truly an inspiring story. A reminder that God is able to change the hearts of even those who, from a human standpoint, seem completely unreachable.
Plugged-In Parenting by Bob Waliszewski:
Waliszewski discusses practical ways parents can help their kids navigate the world of entertainment and evaluate the television, movies, and music they encounter from a Christian worldview.
Everybody, Always by Bob Goff
Goff had me laughing out loud one minute and weeping the next – then reading and re-reading the passage aloud to family members who wanted to know what was so funny and/or touching to have elicited my guffaws or tears in the first place. Goff gives readers a glimpse of what living a life completely sold out to Jesus looks like, and where a willingness to follow God’s lead without reservation may sometimes end up.
Prayers for the Battlefield by Heidi St. John
This is a slim, Scripture-drenched volume of encouragement and prayers for moms in the trenches of raising children through every age and stage of life. I love Heidi’s heart and deeply appreciate her unflinching dedication to teaching Biblical truth and to speaking that truth in love. This book is a wonderful resource for new mamas, grandmamas, and everything in between.
Taming Your To-Do List by Glynnis Whitwer
Whitwer offers a fast and easy read by a kindred spirit. Like hers, my to-do list is always longer than my arm and contains so many pressing matters that it’s sometimes difficult to know just where to begin. Her tips help readers kick procrastination and perfectionism to the curb, boil their endless lists down to a few essentials, and tackle those responsibilities with purpose and passion before moving on to the next thing.
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
A must read for anybody concerned about the toll our cultural obsession with being constantly connected is taking on us as individuals and as a society. Happily, Reinke doesn’t stop with the bad news, but also offers constructive advice for combatting smartphone addiction without completely forgoing the benefits of this new technology.
Unstuffed by Ruth Soukup
Soukup lays out a detailed plan for decluttering your life. And Ruth doesn’t stop at clearing out closets, cabinets, and garages. She’ll also help you deal with the “clutter” on your calendar and in your soul. She writes from a Christian perspective, which provides a solid foundation for everything else she says.
Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung
This book transported me back to my college days of Christian doctrine and hermeneutics classes. He takes a fascinating look at what the Bible says about itself and why we can study what it says with full confidence in its truth and authority as the Word of God. DeYoung offers a thorough yet easily understandable treatment of this important topic.
Wit’s End by James Geary
Geary examines a much broader definition of wit than quick quips and clever comebacks; it also explores such related topics as wisdom, resourcefulness, improvisation, inventiveness, serendipity, street smarts, banter, and the ability to look at things from a variety of perspectives. Every chapter is written in a style that perfectly complements the aspect of wit under consideration: the section on verbal repartee takes the form of a dramatic dialogue, the findings of neurological studies on wit are presented as a scientific paper, one chapter reads like the monologue of a standup comic, the next like a rap song, the next like a fable.
Jennifer Flanders seldom ever read for pleasure in elementary, secondary, university, and grad school, but she turned into a bona fide bookworm once she left campus for good. You can read more of her book recommendations at https://lovinglifeathome.com.
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