my 2019 book list

It’s the season of resolutions. This means that many many people are saying: “I’m going to read more in 2019'“. For all of those people, I really do hope they do! I hear so many reports/comments made on how much less people are reading these days and it makes me sad. There’s so much goodness to be found to reading! Heroes/Heroines, bravery, goodness, truth and virtue, imagination, sacrifice, unlikely friendships and changed people, humor, delight, examples, and beauty. I hope that we see a shift in our world to place the written word on a much higher and more treasured shelf than any screen will ever hold. I say let’s change the tide! Let’s do it by raising little readers, by forming book clubs or reading through a book with one companion, by sharing what we’re reading with others and giving books as gifts, by using those 15 minutes to read rather than scroll, and by filling corners of our home with an array of classics and new releases, best sellers and hidden gems, new and used, paperbacks and hardcovers. Let’s be readers.

J and I made a change several months ago where we began turning shows on much less frequently in the evenings and instead, began filling that time with piping beverages and our current reads. It has become a favorite routine of ours. Those hours are now filled with pages and underlines and sharing bits and pieces of what book we are making our way through and we always go to bed so much more filled up. We want reading to be a rhythm in our home, for ourselves and with our littles.

I have been eagerly gathering together my 2019 book list. Recently, I looked at my nightstand and the stack of books at the foot of it, all books I had ordered or been given last year, and I realized that I had barely scratched the surface of these titles. So came my plan. I have compiled my 2019 book list, so far as it stands now, with just the stack of books that already sits on or around my nightstand, on my desk, or gracing my coffee table. I only bought two books last month, both of which have been on my wish-list for quite a while, to complete the grouping. I’m starting here.

Here are my literary companions for the coming months.

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My Life in France by Julia Child || Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson || The Life-giving Home by Sally Clarkson || Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen || It Starts with Food by Dallas Hartwig || Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist || Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr || Made for More by Hannah Anderson || Appetite for Life by Noel Riley Fitch || None Like Him by Jen Wilkin || The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile || Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson || Persuasion by Jane Austen || Glory in the Ordinary by Courtney Reissig || Sing A New Song by Lydia Brownback || GraceLaced by Ruth Chou Simons || The Lifegiving Table bsy Sally Clarkson || The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie || Growing in Gratitude by Mary Mohler || I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel || Remember God by Annie F. Downs || Cozy, Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith || A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot || Homebody by Joanna Gaines

I have several biographies, many for-my-heart books, several titles about the home and the table, and one lonely fiction book — hence my plea for more fiction titles on Instagram the other day. Homebody is going to be a consistent companion book, It Starts with Food will be a more slowly digested read — J and I would like to do a Whole 30 sometime this year, GraceLaced will be enjoyed throughout the year as it is written in seasonal form and also sits on the coffee table, and Sing A New Song will be alongside as I read different Psalms throughout the year as it is written for that very reason.

*Now, I do reserve the right to put a book down if it is just not holding me. I have always been one to feel I should finish any book I start, but in the past year my sentiments have changed and I’m letting go. If a book is not keeping my interest, winning me over, or spurring me on, I am going to set it down, and that is quite alright.

I am eager to finally dig into so many of these titles that I’ve had waiting for quite some time. I will share reviews on some of these, I’m sure, but I’m not going to commit to reviews on all of them. If I do, happy surprise! :) I am on Goodreads, though, and I have a bookshelf specifically for 2019. Over there I plan on sharing snippet reviews with each book I finish. Ohhhhh, I’m getting excited, lovelies! I’m hopeful for curled up afternoons, even for 15-30 minutes, with a cuppa in hand, my candle lit, my phone tucked away elsewhere, and my bookish companion.

I’d love to hear what’s on your book list for this year! And please please share any must-read fiction books with me, as well as any other titles that simply must be shared. For, though I’m not promising to add them to this year’s book list, I will forever be collecting new titles to add to the one-day list.

Happy Reading, friends!

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a "little" bookshelf

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." -- Dr. Seuss

Books, books, and more books. The collection is ever growing in our home, which I love, as the smell of a new book and the feeling of breaking open its binding are the happiest of sensations. Pouring stories into AK's mind and heart has been an important piece of our everyday parenthood since we were putting her crib together. Books are constant companions, tools for our mind and our imagination, friends that are always near. Getting into scrapes with Anne, walking across the English countryside with Lizzy and Jane, wandering into magical Narnia with Lucy, fighting for justice with Atticus Finch; I've done all these things and these characters are beloved in my heart. I want AK to know these people, to have these adventures, to be inspired to always be learning more, to see heroes and heroines, and to come away with a greater love for the written word.

Sitting down and reading with Anna Kate, watching her discover the characters and stories that I know and love already or falling into an entirely new story together, is one of the dearest parts of motherhood for me. And when she stacks book after book on itself and plops down on the couch next to me to read every single one of them, my mama's heart swells. She's coming to love these stories, too, and I always want to be handing her more.

This list is just a few of the favorites that we started our bookshelves for AK with. Some I have loved since childhood, as well, and some we've come to know just in the past year. There are countless more that I would put on a list for you, but let's start here with these few dear ones. 

One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey // It's gentle and full of the sweetest simplicity, and every time we read it AK and I dream about living on the coast one day, chasing seagulls and digging up clams for dinner. 

Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall // One of the best stories ever put to paper. Childhood come full circle in the sweetest possible way.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney // I have loved this book for years; her travels, her work, her little cottage by the sea, and the lovely thing she does to "make the world more beautiful." Miss Rumphius would be the dearest kind of lady to know.

Corduroy by Don Freeman // a classic that I think must sit on every child's shelf.

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman // 7 kids, insanely picky eaters, an exhausted mama, lessons learned, a happy ending, all wrapped up in delightful rhymes.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans // The whimsy of the illustrations in the Madeline books feels, to me, like Paris must feel: dreamy, fanciful, full of art. 

George Washington's Cows by David Small // Hilarious and happy. A lighthearted piece of "history." ;) 

James Herriot's Treasury for Children by James Herriot // Some of the most tender, gorgeous stories from the heart of a faithful British veterinarian and the illustrations are at the top of some of my forever favorites list.

Our Corner Grocery Store by Joanne Schwartz // This was a library find that was read about 136 times in the span of the few weeks that we had it, so it had to become a staple on our bookshelf. It's delightful. 

Paddington by Michael Bond // Truly, what's more charming than a bear who travels to England from darkest Peru with suitcase full of marmalade??

Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson // The "Bear" books were a Chick-Fil-A kids meal discovery that won a spot in AK's heart a few years ago and have sat on our shelf ever since. There's a whole sweet little collection.

It's just a handful of a list, but it is a beautiful place to start. 

Happy Reading, dear ones!

titles for 2017

One of my favorite pieces of gathering together my thoughts and plans for a new year is the compiling of my new year book list. I am sure that pile of new reads has to be one of the most delightful things the world has to offer.

"Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book." ~ Jane Smiley

I haven't set a particular number of books to read this year, though I would like to. I have, however, set one goal: I shall not buy another book until I have made good progress through the stack that has come to collect on my desk and nightstand over the past 6 months. With a list of titles such as these I already have much goodness to savor. So hold me to it, friends. I must be strong.

So here is my list as it stands now (not necessarily in this order):

1. None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

3. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino

4. Steadfast Love by Lauren Chandler

5. Echoes of Eden by Jerram Barrs

6. Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman

7, The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

8. Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch

9. Everyday Talk by John A. Younts

10. Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr

There are other titles that whirl around in my head as possibilities for the days ahead, but I'm sticking with these 10 as my beginning. And I'm quite happy with them.

Right now I am reading.......

The second book of the Wingfeather Saga: North! Or Be Eaten -- it reminds me of Harry Potter in its incredible creativity and imagery, yet told with such real emotion and wisdom. I've never seen my husband read a book series so quickly!

 Praying the Lord's Prayer by J.I. Packer for our January women's bible study at church. Here's a nugget from the first chapter: "Conversations with parents or wise friends whom we love and respect, and who are ready to help us by advice and action, feel neither pointless nor tedious, and we gladly give time to them -- indeed, schedule time for them -- because we value them, and gain from them. This is how we should think of times of communion with God in prayer......" Oh, what wisdom! Plus, he threw in the phrase higgledy-piggledy in the second chapter.....what could be more delightful?

 Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder as we are walking this new road with our sweet one. So grateful for those who study our minds and bodies and who are eager to use their knowledge to help.

And I am going to begin checking off my new list by picking Missional Motherhood back up. I had started it back several months ago, but had to set it down as life demands hit hard. I can't wait to read this gem. I've heard only lovely things about it.

Sometime in the next few weeks I'm going to share with you all what drives my decisions to read the books that I do, but for now I will leave it here. 

What books are you looking forward to reading this year? Do you have any suggestions of must-reads that need to go on my book list for later in the year?

"I cannot live without books." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Happy Reading, lovelies!