Friday, January 13, 2012

Books I'm Reading in 2012 -- A Small Start Anyway!

Dear friends,

Many of my friends and fellow bloggers have posted their 2012 intended reading lists.  Last year I posted a 2011 reading list but didn't read them all.  Maybe someday I should compile a list of the books I actually did read (all or in part) last year, but I've completely lost track of them.

I can't predict all of the books I'll read this year, since many of them come to me unexpected and I just enjoy them as they come. Nevertheless, here is the start of my reading list, though some of these books I am already reading and just need to finish them.

You can click on the book titles to see (or order) them at Christian Book Distributors or Amazon.


Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way 
by Shauna Niequist

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way  -     
        By: Shauna Niequist
My friend (and favorite author) Gary Thomas has recommended Niequists's book Cold Tangerines on FB many times, so I asked my husband to get it for me for Christmas. I loved the book and so did my daughter Joanna.  Right now, my daughter Julia is reading it.   I already mentioned it in this post on one of my other blogs: Friday Favorites: Recalibrating for the New Year. I found the sequel, Bittersweet, at my favorite used bookstore, Brightlight.  Any book with a picture of chocolate on it has to be good. It's got short essays about the Christian life based in stories from her own life.  I seriously don't know how people can write like that.  I am insanely jealous.  She is a bit more liberal than I am, I think, but still quite worth the read.

The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God
by Dallas Willard

The Divine Conspiracy   -     
        By: Dallas Willard
Gary, who specializes in Christian contemplative classics, also told me to read something by Dallas Willard to recover some of my lost joy. The Divine Conspiracy looks like a good one, and I think I can get it from the public library.  It's a thick one, though, so I may have to renew it once or twice!  Hopefully, it will renew me, too.

Orthodoxy (free on Kindle)
by G.K. Chesterton 

Orthodoxy   -     
        By: G.K. Chesterton
Chesterton was a contemporary and friend of C.S. Lewis.  "Witty" and "profound" are the two words that come to mind when I think of the writing style of Orthodoxy.  You have to think about this book, which is a Christian classic.  I particularly appreciate his kind words about those of us who think more poetically than logistically.  Chesterton reminds us to break out of our airtight little circles of rigidly "rational" thinking and stretch our brains and our hearts to a larger life. I like that.

Breath for the Bones - Art, Imagination and Spirit: Reflections on Creativity and Faith  
by Luci Shaw

Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit: A Reflection on Creativity and Faith  -     
        By: Luci Shaw
Another one on my "halfway through but need to finish up" list!  I've already blogged about it in these posts: Is My Head in the Clouds? and Ivory and Gray.  If I get really brave, I might take a breath and dip my bones into the book Studying Poetry by Stephen Matterson and Darryl Jones, both of Trinity College Dublin.  I don't know where I got it, but I think someone passed it along to me recently.

by Timothy Keller

Generous Justice: Finding Grace in God Through Practicing Justice  -     
        By: Timothy Keller
I already blogged about this one here: Just Beauty and Even More Weekend Gratitude.  It shouldn't take me long to finish!

Parenting & Education:

Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School
by David & Kelli Pritchard

Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School  -     
        By: David Pritchard, Kelli Pritchard, Dean Merrill
I've been home schooling my 10 kids for 20 years, but now I have two in public school: a junior who started in her sophomore year and more recently my third grader who started just before Thanksgiving.  Both are doing very well, and I'm confident we made the right decision. This book is a field guide for Christian parents who want their kids to thrive in public schools.  

Life Skills for Kids by Christine Field

Life Skills for Kids                                          -     
        By: Christine M. Field
This is one I need to plow into -- one of my weak areas as a mom and a home manager!  I bought it used at a home school curriculum sale last spring. I. Will. Read. This. Book. (Eventually.)

Grace Based Parenting
by Dr. Tim Kimmel

Grace-Based Parenting  -     
        By: Tim Kimmel
I've actually been writing a series of reflections about this book on, so I won't write more about it here.  Needless to say, I've already finished a good chunk of it!


The Help
by Kathryn Stockett 

My daughter Joanna took me to see the movie at the dollar theater a few weeks ago, and I enjoyed it so much that my daughter Mary gave the book to me. I have a strong interest in social justice, and the Civil Rights era is one that I have always covered in our home schooling.  I've read plenty of kids books on the topic, but this is the first grown-up one.  (Yes, I admit, I've never read To Kill a Mockingbird.  Maybe I should add that to my list, too.)  The book is written from the points of view of three women -two black maids and one white journalist - living in Jackson, Missisippi in 1963, which, by the way, is the year I was born.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Chronicles of Narnia  Commemorative Edition  -     
        By: C.S. Lewis
I'm reading this one with my kids.  It's been a while, and I don't think the younger ones have ever heard it even though they have watched the movie.  There are so many other books I want to read to my kids this year, but I can't even get started on that list right now!  I haven't been doing as many books with them lately since we are in the home school co-op, but for next year I am thinking of doing another "read through our shelves" year with world lit.  It's been tough getting motivated with home schooling this year. Am I up for that?  I'm actually thinking I could get some of my zest back that way.  Hmmm.  I guess that will be a matter for prayer and research!

So I know that's not everything I'll read this year, but I suppose it's a representative sample!

What are you reading?  Share it in the comments!

Virginia Knowles

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