2013 Reading

2013 in Books: Books Completed

January 1, 2014


This year, I finished out the year with seventy books, assuming I remembered to track them all. (I’m not counting smaller children’s books.)

My goal was originally one hundred, but given the life circumstances that filled our last twelve months, I’m still thankful to have accomplished this number. I didn’t have a baby, but actually, that usually gives me a tiny bit more reading time during rough pregnancies and postpartum–I had a baby last year. Which means I have a toddler this year! We can just let that be the rest of the story. 😉 (Along with remodeling, buying and selling houses, traveling and living overseas, job transitions for myself and my husband, and…yes, back to my amazing toddler!)

I like to finish my reading by early December, and if I’d pushed myself to go for one hundred, a lot of “living” would have been lost at the cost of finishing up an extra thirty books. I actually stopped reading the week before Christmas, and have taken a break through the New Year.


I have reviews for several of the books, as indicated by the link to the review following the book title. Most titles are linked to Amazon (my affiliate account).

But without further ado, here are the books I read, grouped by category. (Of course, there is some overlap among categories, and of course, many can cross-pollinate into all of these categories.):

Marriage, Family, and Parenting (Religious and Secular)

The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline (L.R. Knost) (Review here)

Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together (Mark Driscoll, Grace Driscoll)

Duct Tape Parenting: A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids (Vicki Hoefle) (Review here)

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish)

Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood (L.R. Knost) (Review here)

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe (Sarah Mae, Sally Clarkson) (Review here)

The Real Purpose of Parenting: The Book You Wish Your Parents Read (Philip B. Dembo)

Christ in the Chaos: How the Gospel Changes Motherhood (Kimm Crandall)

Hope For The Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess (Stacey Thacker, Brooke McGlothlin) (Review here)

Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages (L.R. Knost) (Review here)

Education and Child Development

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (Richard Louv) (Review here)

Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men (Leonard Sax)

Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities — From the Very Start (Magda Gerber, Allison Johnson) (Review here)

Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert (Erin Odom) (Review here)


Twelve Years a Slave (Solomon Northup, Louis Gossett Jr.) (Review here)

A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis (Devin Brown)

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb) (Review here)

C. S. Lewis: A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (Alister E. McGrath)

Theology/Christian Living

Theology: The Basics (Alister E. McGrath)

The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing: A Spiritual Memoir (Jeff Goins)

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes (Shauna Niequist) (Review here)

Touching the Hem: A Biblical Response to Physical Suffering (Elizabeth A. Johnson) (Review here)


To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others (Daniel H. Pink) (Review here)

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor (Gary Keller)

Marketing in the Age of Google: Your Online Strategy Is Your Business Strategy (Vanessa Fox) (Review here)

Work Shift: How to Create a Better Blend of Work, Life, and Family (Anne Bogel) (Review here)

Rich Dad’s Advisors®: The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss (Ken McElroy)

Remote: Office Not Required (David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried) (Review here)

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Michael Hyatt) (Review here)

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable (Seth Godin) (Review here)

EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches (Dave Ramsey) (Review here)

The Ultimate Real Estate Investing Blueprint: How to Quit Your Job in 19 Weeks or Less (Sean Terry)

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work (Chip Heath, Dan Heath)

The Millionaire Next Door (Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko)

Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job (Jon Acuff)

18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done (Peter Bregman) (Review here)

Zen to Done (Leo Babauta) (Review here)

Miscellaneous Non-Fiction

Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics (Ross Douthat) (Review here)

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives (Richard Swenson, Eugene H. Peterson) (Review here)

The Rough Guide to Travel with Babies and Young Children (Fawzia Rasheed de Francisco) (Review here)

What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off (Laura Vanderkam) (Review here)

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (Joshua Foer) (Review here)

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness (Dave Ramsey) (Review here)

The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One (Margaret Lobenstine) (Review here)

Lying (Sam Harris)

David and Goliath (Malcolm Gladwell)

Letter to a Christian Nation (Sam Harris)

What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s Coming Demographic Disaster (Jonathan V. Last) (Review here)

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives (Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler) (Review here)

What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People (Joe Navarro, Marvin Karlins) (Review here)

Race and Social Issues

Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? (Michael J. Sandel) (Review here)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander)

The Exodus Road (Laura L. Parker) (Review here)


Inti Raymi: The Ancestral Dance of a Sun-Centered Liturgy, Cotacachi – Ecuador (Ulpiano Garcia Cobos) (Review here)

The Last Days of the Incas (Kim MacQuarrie) (Review here)

A Rumor Of War (Philip Caputo)

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (Timothy Egan) (Review here)

Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs (Buddy Levy)


And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini)

The Fellowship of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkien)

The Casual Vacancy (J.K. Rowling) (Review here)

The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) (Review here)

Little House in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

On the Banks of Plum Creek (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Chains (Seeds of America #1) (Laurie Halse Anderson)

Forge (Seeds of America #2) (Laurie Halse Anderson) (Review here)

The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Secret Adversary (Agatha Christie)

Ethan Frome (<<–Free on Kindle) (Edith Wharton)

Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)


When I read books, they move me, change me, and challenge me to think. What I’m reading often shapes how I view life around me, and vice versa. And so, when I look at the books I’ve read over the year as a whole, doing so floods my mind with many good (and occasionally, negative) images and emotions. Sort of like flipping through a photo album of the year. And in this way, as many others have alluded to, books become like friends and like family.


I love reading book lists at the end of one year/ beginning of the next. Did you post a book list?

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  • Amy Canedy January 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Keren,

    I am so impressed by your reading list! Not only by the number of books you were able to read but also by the diversity of the titles. I was wondering how you came up with your list of books for the year?


  • Marissa January 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Wow! This is a totally awesome list!!

    You read a lot of business books, and I noticed a small theme on real estate. Do you work in that field? I’m interested in learning more myself.

    • Keren January 6, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks, Marissa!

      I tend to get stuck in categories when I read books that recommend other good reads in that field. 🙂

      We are in the beginner stage of buy and hold investing. There are many routes to go in real estate investing, but this is where our primary focus is for now. What about you?

  • Johanna Hanson January 3, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Love your list. I have I Am Malala on reserve at the library right now. I’m also hoping to read the C.S. Lewis biography this year as well. Putting some of your others on my list.

    • Keren January 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Thanks, Johanna! Love yours, as well. I’m hoping to add a little more of C.S Lewis’s works to my reading this year. The biography definitely motivated me read more of his books.