2014 Reading

2014 in Books

January 12, 2015


Without further delay, here are the books I read in 2014, grouped by category. (Of course, there is some overlap among categories.) I have written reviews for several of the books, as indicated by the link next to the title. All titles are linked to Amazon.

Marriage, Family, and Parenting (Religious and Secular)

Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom (review here(Lisa-Jo Baker)

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood  (review here) (Jennifer Senior)

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers (Gordon Neufeld, Gabor Maté)

Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money  (review here) (Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze)

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between) (review here) (Mei-Ling Hopgood)

Education and Child Development

Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child’s Education (review here) (Raymond S. Moore, Dennis R. Moore, Dorothy N. Moore)

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character (review here(Paul Tough)

The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling: when the one anothers come home (review here(Karen Campbell)

Theology/Christian Living

Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image (review here) (Hannah Anderson)

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds (review here(Jen Wilkin)

Against Calvinism (Roger E. Olson)

For Calvinism (Michael S. Horton)

The Pilgrim’s Regress (C.S. Lewis)

Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus  (review here(Kyle Idleman)

Jesus + Nothing = Everything (review here) (Tullian Tchividjian)


Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
(Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford)

The Millionaire Mind (Thomas J. Stanley)

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (Robert T. Kiyosaki) (review here

Seven Years to Seven Figures: The Fast-Track Plan to Becoming a Millionaire (Michael Masterson)


The Book Thief (review here) (Markus Zusak)

The Goldfinch (review here) (Donna Tartt)

The Namesake (review here) (Jhumpa Lahiri)

Children of the Jacaranda Tree  (Sahar Delijani)

Angle of Repose (review here) (Wallace Stegner)

Begin (The Growly Books, Volume 1) (Philip Ulrich, Erin Ulrich)

The Growly Books: Widewater (Volume 2) (Erin Ulrich, Philip Ulrich)

Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)

Miscellaneous Non-Fiction

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life (review here) (Crystal Paine)

Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World (review here) (Tsh Oxenreider)

Dad Is Fat (Jim Gaffigan)

Orange Is the New Black (review here(Piper Kerman)

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (review here(Anne Lamott)

I Fired God: My Life Inside—and Escape from—the Secret World of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult (Jocelyn Zichterman)

Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search (Martin Sixsmith)

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (review here) (Neil Postman)

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (review here) (Brian Wansink)

Race/Social Justice

Black Like Me (John Howard Griffin)

The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence (review here(Gary A. Haugen, Victor Boutros)

Long Walk to Freedom (Nelson Mandela)

Looking Back

In total, 2014 in reading was the lowest number of books I’ve read over the past four years (2011: 55, 2012: 101, 2013: 70) that I’ve been tracking my reading online.

It was a year of many unanticipated changes and struggles, most of them time and energy consuming. I lowered my reading goal several times over the course of the year, and in the end I finished with reading 40 books (not counting Bible reading or shorter children’s books). But really? I’m not overly disappointed.

For one, I wouldn’t have read 40 books if I hadn’t had a goal, even if I fell short or my original goal. And for another, I’m being realistic in realizing that 9 months of this year were spent growing a baby, a period of life that is exceptionally challenging for me. And 2+ additional months were spent caring for said newborn. In between there, we traveled a bit, expanded our real estate business, and we moved into a new house.

But most of all, I realized that I wouldn’t have read even 40 books if I hadn’t set a reading goal; and additionally, eight or nine years ago, I wasn’t reading this many books per year, even when I had no children and when I thought life was busy then.

If you’re reading this and thinking that forty seems like a lot of books to read in my life stage, know that I probably would have thought that a while back, too, if I hadn’t gotten to this point. But I got here over time, and got here gradually. And also? There are many, many others in this stage of life who read astronomically more than me! 🙂 Forty really isn’t that many anymore, now that I’m in the habit of reading something all the time. And for others? Twelve or six books is a lot when you’re starting from the ground up. (So start from where you are! :))

I read some really good books this year, but it wasn’t nearly as wide or in depth as I’ve felt I’ve been able to do in past years.

Previous Years:

Looking Forward

I’m looking forward to 2015, though. I feel like our start to 2014 was suddenly disrupted in February. And in 2015, I feel like I’m not getting started until February, due to several events in January. So, maybe between the 2 years combined, it will be a phenomenal 12 months! 🙂

I’m only on my second book for 2015, and would love recommendations. I have a lot on my “to read” list on Goodreads, but I’m still looking for suggestions. (I read books I think I’ll love and I also read books I think I’ll frequently disagree with; the categories above are a good indication of the categories I like to read in, though.)

Next up, I hope to share my list of 10 favorite reads from 2014. 

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