My 2012 Reading List

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In our recent decluttering and purging, I realized that I have a huge stack of books that I already own, but haven’t yet read.

Being a book lover, it’s easy for me to be constantly buying new books or adding to my wish list, but with so many interesting choices already on my shelves, I chose instead to make a list of books I already have to read in the New Year.

I also find that I can consume books, but not really put into practice what I’ve read. That makes even reading the most amazing books an exercise in futility, so I added to my reading list with some oldies but goodies that I’d like to take another read through.

Books I Would Like to Read in 2012

(in no particular order)

What Jesus Demands From the World by John Piper. This book is thick and a bit daunting, but the concept intrigues me (what does Jesus really expect of his followers?) and I greatly respect John Piper.

Grace for the Good Girl- Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman. Emily is one of my dear friends from my trip to the Philippines– I’ve just begun this book and am already loving it.

What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms by Angie Smith. Because we all have our own fears, and I would love to learn more about how to address mine and give them up to the Lord.

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving From Affluence to Generosity by Ronald J. Side. I stumbled upon this in a clearance section at a Christian bookstore on vacation this summer. It’s an older book, first published in 1978 and recently updated. I’m curious to read his perspective and to be challenged in this area.

The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. I read this a couple years ago and want to re-read it, as he has many excellent ideas (and also some that I don’t agree with) about running businesses, streamlining processes, automation and elimination of tasks, and more that I find extremely interesting and helpful as my husband and I are both entrepreneurs, balancing several businesses. I don’t actually like how this book is marketed, because I think it’s viewed as being about how you can escape from work to go have a permanent vacation, but I find it much more about learning to minimize “working for work’s sake” (wasting time unnecessarily), and instead putting time and energy towards the things in life that are most important to you.

The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick. This is the book that was written to go along with the movie Fireproof. My husband bought a copy for each of us this past year and I really want to work through it entirely.

Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. After meeting Sally twice in the past year or so, and also reading her books Mission of Motherhood and Seasons of a Mother’s Heart (both excellent!), I am eager to dig into this book, which focuses more on how we actively disciple our children.

Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel. I’m not sure what to expect of this one, but I got it for free at a conference and it looks like a worthwhile read.

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life and Save Thousands a Year by Crystal Paine. I’m excited to be reviewing this book in January, which was written by my dear friend Crystal (and I’ll be giving several books away as well). Although we don’t have debt and we do have a good grasp on how we manage our finances, there is always more to learn and I’m sure that this will be an excellent book to recommend to those struggling financially.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. A book that I read many years ago, and have re-read in part since. I feel like I need to read it again every couple of years, to help me keep a proper focus and perspective on how we discipline, train and raise our children. I highly recommend this book!

Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman. If Shepherding a Child’s Heart offers the meaty theory and concepts, then this book gives the utensils that help you to actually cut it up and digest it, making it applicable to your daily life and parenting decisions. So practical and as a bonus, hilarious. Another re-read for me that I’m looking forward to.

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I first bought this book almost five years ago. When I go to look for a recipe, I almost inevitably spend 20 minutes reading interesting excerpts from the sides of each page. This year I want to go back and re-read through all of the nutrition chapters in the beginning as a good refresher. For those wanting to understand more about real food and traditional nutrition, this book is the best I know of.

A Few Excellent Books I Read in 2011

I’m sure there are others that I just can’t remember. And where are all the usual nutrition/healthy living books I like to read? Strange, I know. Both lists are practically devoid of them. I guess I needed a little break!

What have you been reading in 2011 and what’s on your list for 2012?

Disclosure: The links to these books are my Amazon affiliate links, which means that I do earn a small commission if you purchase something through my link. Thank you for your support of this site! 

Image by Florin Gorgan

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  1. These all look wonderful! Thanks for sharing your list for 2012. I love to read but find that instead I will pick up my computer or do other tasks around the house. Need to change that for the New Year! 🙂

  2. My advent activity this year for myself is reading 1,000 Gifts, which I see you have on your 2011 list. So far the concept is EXACTLY what I need right now, just not sure on all the references to the cosmos? My husband and I have also read through 5 Love Languages (a must for every marriage!), and The Purpose Driven Life (again). I have a tendency to switch from reading my Bible to reading books about Christianity, so I haven’t been reading recreationally as much.

    For 2012, I’m hoping to get my own business started selling handmade paper products, so I added Entreleadership to my list when that came out. I also want to really get a garden going this year, so I’m thinking I will fill a lot of this year with studying the Vintage Remedies Family Herbalist program. My hope is to have a nice “medicine garden” in the future 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing this list of books! I’ve jotted many of them down to keep in mind in the coming months. I’m a first-time mom and find it hard to stay focused on Christian based rearing now that she’s in her “challenging twos” : )

    I’m reading a book right now with my moms group entitled, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver. It’s focus is on “finding intimacy with God in teh busyness of life.” I am enjoying this book very much and it is helping me to place proper focus on my daily routine and let go of some unnecessary activities that just keep me “busy” without bearing any real fruit. Higly recommend this book to anyone looking to spiritually refocus their life.

  4. Great book list! I have read or want to read almost every book on your list. With an exception of Ted Tripp’s book. While it has good stuff, there should be a disclaimer about his cruel application of ‘spanking.’ I’ve been wanting to read 1000 Gifts. It keeps getting great recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Grace Based Parenting is an awesome book, you’re going to love it. In fact, I think I might just look for my copy and re-read it.

  6. Thanks for the list. I too need to look at the books we already have and make myself a list. Ministry of Motherhood is really great. I used it for a personal Bible study this past year. I think I’m going to get into The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, reread 1000 Gifts (because I’m too hard headed to get it the first time) and devote some time to studying herbs and home remedies from library sources.

  7. Hi Stephanie,
    Great list here. Wanted to give you (and your readers) a little heads up on the book by Ronald Side, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. My teen boys and I recently studied R.C Sproul Jr’s Biblical Economics course (EXCELLENT, by the way), which includes the book, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators: A Biblical Response to Ronald J. Sider by David Chilton. Chilton (died young…very sad) is phenomenal, and this book is a MUST READ. If you are intrigued by this topic…that is where I’d start. You can actually read it free online at this link:
    This is an important subject today as our country is sliding toward socialism. Sider’s viewpoint, though sounding really humane and “Christian” on the outset…is really propaganda for socialism all dressed up in warm, fuzzy, white sheep’s wool. : )

    1. Interesting, thanks for sharing, Natalie. I know nothing about Sider, so I really don’t know what to expect as I go to read the book, only that I’m curious to read his perspective. My husband and I are pretty opposed to most socialist ideals (despite living in Canada, which has many socialist leanings), so if he really does present as you say he does, I’ll probably strongly disagree. Not that I mind reading things I disagree with- sometimes they challenge me as much or more as the ones I do agree with. I’ll definitely check out the Chilton link (never heard of him, either), so thanks for that!

      1. More trivia for you…Chilton helped start World Magazine with Joel Belz. His theology was Reformed. Sider is considered a “leftest” Christian by some…and others wonder if he is truly saved at all. But his book was extremely influential in Christian circles. He brings some important issues to light and makes some excellent points that are actually much needed today, but his ultimate solutions are not rooted in Biblical thinking, unfortunately. I will be very interested to find out what you think of it if you ever get to reading it. (I like to read when I’m nursing…do you?)

  8. I love to read but find that instead I will pick up my computer or do other tasks around the house. Thanks a lot for sharing this to us..

  9. I LOVE reading other people’s reading lists! There’s a few of your favorites from 2011 that are already on my to-read list for 2012. And i’m grabbing a few more from your 2012 list to add to my own. LOVE IT! I recently discovered Shelfari to organize my reading list and goals so if you’re on there too, add me. My link is on my blog in a really recent post.

  10. We LOVE Shepherding a Child’s Heart. I read it at least once a year. 🙂 I need to get “Don’t Make Me Count to Three.”

  11. I haven’t actually been reading as much as I want to. I find I just don’t have the energy to process it. I normally read a lot. I still read to my kids, but not just for myself as much.

    Lately the only thing I’ve been reading is about either baby names or books on advice on remodelling a bathroom (we had a major leak and have to start over unfortunately, work will begin in January on that). So not very interesting! LOL

    1. I’ve struggled to read as much as I want to this past year, also. In previous years, my lists probably would have been twice as long. This year, getting through a book a month is about my maximum. Part of how I get through them is (possibly way too much information) but I keep them in the bathroom. When I need 2 minutes of quiet, I can lock the door and read a couple of pages, LOL! Otherwise, I sometimes read for 5-15 minutes before falling asleep, or on really hectic days, I’ll allow myself a 10 minute reading break while the kids are occupied with something. It’s really in fits and spurts, and sometimes I get through a book in a couple of weeks, while other times it takes me a month or two for a short book. I think that’s just part of being a mom! 🙂

      And baby names… I better get on that, right? Just over 8 weeks to go, and very few ideas. Oh dear!

      1. I also tend to keep books in the bathroom at times 🙂

        Why are baby names so hard???!! Well not girl’s names for us, which is surprising, considering we’ve already named two girls. But we have two girls names we would like to use with this baby. Boy’s names are much harder for us, we can’t seem to agree, and I find many of the boy’s names don’t go with our last name since its only one syllable. I will be very interested to see what you have and what you name him/her, especially because Abigail was on our list for both girls, and Caden was on the list when I had my miscarriage, and we almost named my second daughter Joanna…which I know is different than Johanna but its close enough that it makes me laugh we must have similar taste! We ended up with “unique” names for our girls so now I feel pressure to continue that trend, too…

  12. I highly recommend Grace-based Parenting. Although, if you are a fan of Ted Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart and the methods he uses, you will probably not like it. They really are direct opposite ways of looking at parenting. I firmly believe that we need to model our parenting after the way God parents us, and that is rooted in grace because of Christ.

    1. Another two I’d recommend are Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson (Sally’s husband) and Families Where Grace Is in Place by Jeff VanVonderon. Definitely along the same) lines as the exceptional Grace-Based Parenting. I’d give both of those a read before returning to Tripp and Plowman.

      1. Yes, yes, yes to Heartfelt Discipline & Families Where Grace is in Place!! They are some of the best parenting books I’ve ever read. Grace-Based Parenting is also really good. Heartfelt Discipline really delves into the verses that some use to say “you must spank your kids to be a good Christian parent” to give freedom to parents and to show that’s not really what’s intended by those verses. It really opened my eyes and changed our whole perspective on parenting. I’m so glad I read it when our first child was just a few months old! Families Where Grace is in Place speaks to creating an atmosphere so that children can be who they are and express what they feel so that what’s going on on the inside is what shows up on the outside. This helps reach the heart of your child instead of just being concerned about behavior. Hope this helps!

  13. Wow, we have similar interests! I read 5 of the same books in 2011 and have a similar reading list for 2012! Looking forward to your reviews.

  14. You have several books on your 2012 list that I have on mine! Also, several that I want to read that you read this year-thanks for the summaries! Happy reading to you in 2012! 🙂 And thanks for your encouragement on your purge-looking forward to doing the same!
    One book that has encouraged me and that I am looking forward to implementing in the new year is Managers of Their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell!

  15. This was great encouragement to me. I love to read and have set general goals for reading, but never a goal for specific books for the year. One thing I have tried to do beyond the non-fictional types of books you listed is read fictional books that my children want to read but I am not sure about. I do this so I know what’s going into them and so I can discuss with them the worldview presented – whether Christian or non-Christian. Thanks again for a great post.

  16. This is a great book list! I have much of the same on my list. I love Shepherding a Child’s Heart and Don’t Make Me Count to Three. I read those this year. And I love productivity books so I will have to look into the 4 Hour Work Week. But then again, I have so many books on my bookshelf, I will be reading well into my retirement at the rate I’m going…guess that was the point. 😛

  17. One fantastic book I just finished that would probably be of interest to you as well is Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth. I will be reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years in the new year and am glad to see it was on your list of excellent books.

    1. “Serve God, Save the Planet” is a very good read. I’ll second the recommendation. It really challenges you to think of why we do some of the “green” things we do – give us reason from the bible. 🙂

  18. Thanks for this post; it is very inspiring. It is also encouraging to know other busy moms actually do have time to read. I have so many books I want to read to further educate my new parenting attempts but I don’t know where to start. Hearing how you squeeze little bits of time during your day in for reading helps. I’m curious where books can fit into a tight budget? That is another set back for me

    1. Jessica,

      I can often find the books I want to read through our library system. Our library is connected throughout our state, so if they don’t have the book at their location, I can request it from another location. For books that I purchase, I often shop around until I find the lowest price, then I look up onine coupon codes for that store, often taking another 10-15% off the sale price. I put a $10 limit on most all of my purchases of every day items – new or used and it always comes out of my misc spending budget for the month. Hope that helps!

    2. We also don’t have extra money for books like most moms I would assume. We manage books we want by doing a few things, first like the other commenter said is through interlibrary loan. Yes, even Christian books can sometimes be brought in this way. Sometimes its not possible to get the book, especially if its brand new, but if you wait, you can, and sometimes its not possible because other libraries don’t have the book either. Its free to use interlibrary loan here, and I’ve heard of it being spoken of in books and other locations. I can try to get in up to 3 books at a time and do that as often as I want for free.

      If I want the book and I can’t get it that way or would rather own it, I save up money for it (I have a small budget each month- a few dollars- of my “own” money to do with what I want, and I save it up over many months or even a year or more). I also sometimes get books as gifts, and we also make sure we look for it second hand, places online that sell used books I like Abe books I can get the book in good condition for cheap from places like that.

  19. We read Gospel-Powered Parenting by Bill Farley. I’m new to the realm of parenting books, but I thought it was incredible. Probably Ted Tripp’s book is next on the list.

    I also loved Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God by Lisa Tatlock and Pat Ennis. That could become a yearly read for me. Full of good tools and encouragement.

    I don’t know if someone has suggested this yet, but my church has an incredible library, and many others do as well. If you’re unable to afford buying new books for yourself, maybe your church is open to suggested additions to its library, or would be willing to give you a small budget to start a library. You can collected used books from congregation members, and then buy some to round out the beginning of a collection. Especially for things like parenting and spiritual issues, its a great source when you can’t find something you trust at your local library (like me!)

  20. You sound so much like me–I love books. Absolute LOVE them! I collect them and then don’t get around to reading many of them! (Especially since becoming a mommy–not to mention blogger–haha…I guess I’m a “blogworm” now!) Several of your books are on my list as well–Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Don’t Let me Count to 3 (I’m in desperate need of re-reads for both of these!)…I’m currently reading 1,000 Gifts, and I would like to read one of Sally Clarkson’s books. I had never heard of her until recently! Thanks for sharing!

  21. You sound so much like me–I love books. Absolute LOVE them! I collect them and then don’t get around to reading many of them! (Especially since becoming a mommy–not to mention blogger–haha…I guess I’m a “blogworm” now!) Several of your books are on my list as well–Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Don’t Let me Count to 3 (I’m in desperate need of re-reads for both of these!)…I’m currently reading 1,000 Gifts, and I would like to read one of Sally Clarkson’s books. I read Grace-Based Parenting last year. It is good, but I tend to err on the side of grace anyway (I need to work on more discipline–if that makes sense…I can be too soft). I had never heard of her until recently! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Sounds like a great list! I just finished “Loving the Little Years” by Rachel Jakovic, AWESOME book. It’s small and easy to read and FUNNY, took me 1.5 hrs from front to back. Great resource for mamas of little ones. I’d be leery of the grace based parenting book, especially for little ones. Proverbs says (and I know you know this!) we are to spank for disobedience, not to give them a hug and give them grace :).

  23. Great list Stephanie! I NEVER make time for reading! You have inspired me to make some time! I’d love to read, Don’t Make me Count to 3! (I NEED that, seems as if my kids are testing me right now all of the time). I’d also like to read the Four Hour Work Week as my husband and I are opening up a chiropractic practice in a few weeks! And maybe something on your list about motherhood! Thanks for sharing!

  24. “Too Small to Ignore” by Wess Stafford was on my list for 2012. I’ve read it now and would really recommend it. “Little Princes” by Connor Grennan is good too (about trafficked children in Nepal). I think the next book I’m buying is “Unplanned” by Abby Johnson; I’ve already read the free sample and want to finish it. About a lady who once directed a clinic that offered abortions, it looks a worthwhile read if you’re someone who likes helping others through tough times.

  25. It’s recommendations like this one that prompted me to buy that piece of trash called “1000 Gifts”.
    I completely agree with the idea of gratitutde and thanking God for our many blessings.

    I DO NOT agree with the vivid imagery depicting SEX WITH GOD.


    With God.

    Complete with descriptions of orgasm and everything!

    I spent my money on that book! I am deeply offended and indignant that “Christians” would recommend this depraved, disgusting book. It would be very difficult to make me hate a book more. When I found out about this infamous last chapter, I tore it up and threw it in the garbage.

    Oh! And I’ll be unsubscribing from this blog. Be assured of that.

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