– Parnassus on Wheels – Christopher Morley
– The Lincoln Lawyer – Michael Connelly
– From Wales to Westminster – Christopher Catherwood
– All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
– Holiness By Grace – Bryan Chapell
– The Haunted Bookshop – Christopher Morley
– Animal Farm – George Orwell (I read this in high school but read it again because we’re going to read it in homeschool.)
– Hiroshima – Laurence Yep
– When People Are Big and God Is Small – Edward T. Welch
– Number the Stars – Lois Lowry
– The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom (I read this a couple of times in high school but just read it again to refresh my memory before PalmBoy reads it.)
– Tamar – Deborah Challinor (historical fiction set in New Zealand)
– White Feathers – Deborah Challinor
– Real Love for Real Life – Andi Ashworth
– Right Turns – Michael Medved
– Honeymoon – James Patterson
– The President’s Daughter – Mariah Stewart
– Brown-Eyed Girl – Mariah Stewart
– The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
– The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
– It Takes a Parent – Betsy Hart
– The Enemy Within – Kris Lundgaard
– Gilgamesh – David Ferry
– The Marketing of Evil – David Kupelian
– The Story of the World Volume 4: The Modern Age – Susan Wise Bauer
– Night – Elie Wiesel
– The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
– Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her – Melanie Rehak
– Dandelion Wine – Ray Bradbury
– Codes of Hammurabi and Moses – W.W. Davies
– Raising Maidens of Virtue – Stacy McDonald
– Future Men – Douglas Wilson
– My Life for Yours: A Walk Through the Christian Home – Douglas Wilson
– Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Modern Education – Douglas Wilson, editor
– Praise Her in the Gates – Nancy Wilson
– The Fruit of Her Hands – Nancy Wilson
– How Readest Thou? – J.C. Ryle
– The Odyssey of Homer – translated by Richmond Lattimore (I read this in high school but read it again in preparation for our study of it in Omnibus I.)
– Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature – Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
– The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis (another re-read for Omnibus I)
– Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress – Dai Sijie
– Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict – Tara Klena Barthel & Judy Dabler
– A Good Man Is Hard to Find & Other Stories – Flannery O’Connor
– Seeing With New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture – David Powlison
– A Tangled Web – L.M. Montgomery
– The Histories – Herodotus
– Hannibal Rising – Thomas Harris
My top five favorite books of the year (the ones I’ve thought about the most and have caused me to think and learn and look to Christ) are (in no particular order):
1. When People Are Big and God Is Small by Ed Welch. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. My copy is marked up, bookmarked, and I’ll go back to it again and again. If you don’t think you need to read it, read some of these questions from the first chapter and think again:
Are you over-committed? Do you find that it is hard to say no when wisdom indicates that you should? Your are a “people-pleaser”, another euphemism for the fear of man.
Do you “need” something from your spouse? Do you “need” your spouse to listen to you? Respect you?…
Are you always second-guessing decisions because of what other people might think? Are you afraid of making mistakes that will make you look bad in other people’s eyes?
Do other people often make you angry or depressed? Are they making you crazy? If so, they are probably the controlling center of your life.
And so on.
2. Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chapell. It’s another one of those books that I’ll refer to over and over. He gives an illustration (using an ear of corn!) of who we are in Christ that has really helped me understand how my identity is in Christ and He is the only real life in me, while my sin nature still has an influence. The chapter on repentance is a really good one, too.
3. Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. A very helpful book that really made me think and want to read even more. I’ll be using the booklist in the back of the book to make reading choices this next year. If you are a Christian who loves books, this one should be on your book list!
4. Seeing With New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture by David Powlison. Another one that I’ll refer to again and again. Both challenging and encouraging, this book has given me some tools to help me minister to others and preach to myself. The quote that keeps ringing in my head: “Sin is its own final reason… Sin is the deepest explanation, not just one more problem begging for “deeper” reasons.”
5. Peacemaking Women by Tara Klena Barthel and Judy Dabler. I’m leading a women’s study and we’re working through this book. If you’re a woman and a Christian and looking to use your time wisely, read this book! Covering our relationships with God, our families, our husbands, our church, and more, it challenges and encourages and points to Christ. The chapter on idolatry alone is worth the price of the book. In the chapter on romantic love, the authors’ explanation of “the expectation-experience gap” is something every woman should read.
I also read some books just for fun and relaxation. My favorites were:
I’m most proud that my children and I managed to read all 603 pages of The Histories by Herodotus! It was assigned in our Omnibus I study, and we did it! Although it was slow-going and tough to read in many parts, we persevered and learned. And as we’ve often done as we’ve read the ancients this year, we thanked God for sending Christ into this world in human form. It was indeed a very dark world before He came!