Well, I’ve decided for the last several years that I was going to read a book each week, for a total of 52 books in the year. I haven’t made it that far yet. Here’s what I was able to get read for 2013, and what’s up first for my reading list for 2014. Look for a full plan soon; maybe a full year’s plan, complete with book lists and scheduled for each week, will help me actually get the reading done. We shall see!
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1. How to Be Frugal by Brian Carr. I wasn’t impressed with this one. It was a Kindle freebie, and I was glad I hadn’t paid for it. I’ve just lived the super-frugal life for long enough that it didn’t have any tips I could use. If you aren’t used to it though, it would be a great starter. The book itself is fine, easy to read, easy to set down and come back to later. Just not up my alley, not what I’d hoped.
2. Angels at My Door by Cindy Adkins. Another Kindle freebie I was glad I hadn’t purchased. It wasn’t nearly as Christ-centered as you’d expect it to be, but more “positive energy” new age nonsense and less about actual spiritual beings called angels. Blah.
3. Your Daily Bible Verse by Rachel Ayala. My full review is HERE. I received this book for the purpose of review through Tomoson, and enjoyed it. It’s simply a list of verses whose addresses (or some other way) correspond to the date. So you can look up your birthday verse, etc. It’s enjoyable, and right now the Kindle version is only 99 cents at Amazon!
4. The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. My full review is HERE. Another I received for the purpose of review. Enjoyed this, even if my understanding of some of her points is different. She makes many valid points and helps you consider being more intentional about being a mother and what your purpose is in that life role.
5. The Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Handbook by Rashelle Johnson. I enjoyed this one. I expect to read quite a bit more about aromatherapy this upcoming year, to further my career as a massage therapist. I also am a distributor for an essential oils company, and didn’t find this in conflict with anything I’ve learned there. Definitely would recommend this for anyone reading up on the benefits and how-tos of essential oils.
6. Eldest by Christopher Paolini. Book 2 of The Inheritance Cycle, of which Eragon is the first. It’s fun fantasy, for sure, but this book left me disappointed to realize that the author really was going to go down a new age path of magic instead of leaving it in the fantasy world. I may or may not finish out the series; I’m in no rush, and there are many other books to be read. I probably won’t let my kids read it until at least high school, or whenever they are well enough established in their faith for this to not be a distraction. I don’t recommend it, even if it’s decent reading.
7. Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey. I’m just now realizing that I never posted a full review for this! I gave it three stars on Goodreads. It was a decent book and I enjoyed the story, but the kids weren’t impressed. It moved very slowly as far as plot goes. A good one for the older kids, middle school age (especially those who really love reading, or horses) or older kids. As a read-aloud, it was draining.
8. Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage by Mark Beck. Really, this needs to count as more than one book. I really and truly read the whole thing, cover to cover, for massage school. I almost didn’t count it because it’s a textbook, but, I totally deserve the credit. I don’t recommend it, but of course if you’re in massage school and you HAVE to read it, what does that matter? Be aware that it teaches quite a bit of eastern new age philosophy, albeit unnecessary for the MBLEX test. Learn the history and be able to name each weird modality, recognizing the traits of each from a list, but that’s really all you need. Ignore the chapter on yin and yang and all the earth elements if you possibly can. Absolutely not a single question on the MBLEX about that. Seriously. Ugh.
9. Business Mastery by Cherie Sohnen-Moe. Another textbook I totally get credit for reading. A decent business book, with a pretty good business plan outline in the back. Great marketing suggestions. Some unnecessary stuff, but hey, what textbook doesn’t have unnecessary stuff? You might could use this as a high school homeschool business credit as it’s got some great work activities all throughout the book. Actually, now that I think about it, that’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll use it myself for my own high schooler!
10. Augustine Came to Kent by Barbara Willard. My full review is posted HERE. A good book for middle ages (medieval) studies. We enjoyed this one, and I enjoyed the underlying almost-romance story. Some death and violence, necessary to the story so you can’t skip it, and might be upsetting to some kids. A good read aloud though for the older set, if you can get through it faster than we did.
11. Bringing up Boys of Character by Joshua Kissee. I actually purchased this one for kindle myself, because it didn’t cost much and the subtitle is “12 core virtues decoded for ages 4-9” and we were searching for what to do with our boys as we planned to pull them out of Boy Scouts of America. (If you aren’t aware, the BSA made policy changes in May that include allowing “open and avowed” homosexual youth to join. Because of the history of Girl Scouts, and because this shows how the morality of BSA has declined and cheapens the oath itself, we know where this is headed and are done with BSA. We are joining Trail Life USA – give it a look! The video is very worth the time.) I found this book helpful and it would serve as a great one-on-one handbook for a dad and boy who weren’t interested in BSA and didn’t have any other options nearby. It breaks every virtue down into activities, after discussing how to use the book and why it was written. I highly recommend it!
12. Building Your Book for Kindle on Amazon. Would’ve been more helpful if I owned and used Microsoft Office, but wasn’t super detailed. It’s a freebie and worth looking at if you need it.
13. Formatting eBooks with Open Office Writer by Kerry R. Bunn. This was super helpful, giving step by step instructions on creating bookmarks and the table of contents, even adding graphics, and more. If you use OpenOffice instead of Word, you need this book!
14. Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time by Corine Hyman. Read my full review HERE. I received this one for the purpose of review. Cute book geared towards young kids and teaching them the Biblical idea of giving to others.
15. Can’t Wait Willow by Christy Ziglar. Read my full review HERE. Another I received for the purpose of review. Very cute, and the glittery cover got my little impatient tot’s attention right away. Seeking the star (suggested in the forward) was perfect, and she continues to ask for this one. Great teaching opportunity, and the first in a series!
16. Putting on the Spirit devotional by Katie Hornor. Read my full review HERE. Another I received for the purpose of review. Great devotional for busy moms, focusing on the fruits of the spirit, with plenty of opportunity to dig deeper if you get the chance.
So, there you have it! I finished 16 books this year. In 2012 I finished 20 books (and that included 8 kid books), so I definitely read less this year I guess but at least it was decent reading. I also read several mini-books from the Homemaker’s Mentor, but I don’t think they are listed separately and none would count as a full book, although if you add them together you might can count one or two more for me.
What’s up for 2014? Well, for sure a couple of review books I didn’t get read just yet including a new book about marriage by Hal and Melanie Young, a couple of books by a local author, some blogging books, and at least one teaching book that I’d started previously but not finished. Son of Charlemagne is what we’re reading for history, and The Wish Giver is on the middle boys’ list. Fun things coming! What are you reading this year?