I’m holding all these plans loosely this year, as I’ve learned that one sure way to ensure that I won’t read something is to pronounce very positively that I will. Plus, with the added wild card of a newborn in a few short months, well. . . we’ll see. Still, I like to have some sort of idea of where I’m heading, and I like to document it here because I have a short memory.
One of the big things I hope to accomplish in life in general this year is to be much more intentional and consistent with my devotional life, and that intersects in important ways with my reading life. 2012 wasn’t the best year for me spiritually. Busy-ness and pregnancy funk sort of sucked most of my spiritual vitality away, or at least that’s how it feels. Anyway, in 2013 I’ve decided that I want to focus on God’s grace as a theme. I emailed Lisa a few weeks ago with a request for some suggestions on books to read about God’s grace (she’s the best-read Christian I “know” in terms of nonfiction books about Christianity and the spiritual life), and she was kind enough to suggest a few. I’m limiting myself to five books because I want to have some wiggle room. These are the titles I’m using as a starting point, but if I find another title I’d rather read, I’m going to give myself the liberty of changing my mind. The first two are from Lisa’s list. If you have a suggestion, please, do share in the comments!
1. 52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday by Steve McVey (Lisa’s review)
2. By Grace Alone by Sinclair Ferguson (Lisa’s review)
3. The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges (Lisa actually recommended Holiness Day by Day by Jerry Bridges–she mentions it in this post and lots of others–but since this is a daily (?) devotional book and I’m already reading Jesus Calling, I decided to substitute another title by Bridges.)
4. Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman (review by Barbara at Stray Thoughts)
In addition to these, I have a few more I plan to read:
6. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. This little book has gotten me back into the habit (more or less) of spending some concentrated time with God each morning. It’s good.
7. Jesus Today by Sarah Young. This one and #6 were Christmas presents to myself. I’m looking forward to it because it’s about one of my favorite subjects: hope.
8. Some books on prayer–maybe A Praying Life by Paul Miller which Candace writes a bit about here. Maybe Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson which Candace mentions in this post, or maybe another book by Batterson (Circle Maker?) that we already own.
I’ll stop there with the spiritual discipline books. If I get those read and keep up my Bible reading, that will be something.
I also want to read a few books on parenting/motherhood. I feel like we’ve entered new territory with soon-to-be four children in different stages and phases of life.
9. Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson (will be released January 8)
12. Time permitting, I might tackle something else –maybe something else by Sally Clarkson, or maybe I’ll re-read Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas, my own personal favorite. Maybe Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick (you know, to go along with the theme, plus because I err on the side of law with my kids too much). Kendra of Preschoolers and Peace highly recommends it, though Carrie gives it a mixed review. I don’t know. We’ll see.
I’m also feeling more than a little overwhelmed by all the changes coming into our lives in the next few months. (And when I say all the changes, I mostly mean those involving a brand new, bouncing baby boy. ) Although I know four children really does not a large family make, it’s the largest family I’ve ever had, so I think I need to change my mindset about a few things. I’m looking for help on the practical, organizational front.
13. A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostyn–I read her blog and never failed to be encouraged, so I expect to read the book and close it feeling like I can do this.
14. Getting Things Done by David Allen–This isn’t my normal sort of book to read, but Mystie at Simply Convivial has written a whole series for homemakers based on the book, and I’m intrigued. Believe me, I need all the help I can get.
15. Happy at Home by Gretchen Rubin. I liked her Happiness Project, so why not?
This doesn’t touch any homeschooling-specific titles I might read, but again, I’m holding these plans loosely. Reading sixteen nonfiction titles this year will be quite a departure for me, but I’m looking forward to at least attempting it.
Edited to add: I left off a few titles that I’ve been meaning to read for at least a year. Maybe this is the year I’ll get to these, too!
17. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (reviewed by Alice and a host of others)
18. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy by Eric Metaxis (Sherry picked it as a top read in 2011)
20. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
There. An even twenty. That’s better.