Monday, December 30, 2013

What I *Mostly* Read in 2013


I didn't do a very good job at keeping track of what I read towards the end of this I'm pretty sure this is not an all encompassing list and although it's numbered, the second half is really in no particular order at all.........

I know, I know, you can hardly stand the suspense. Here is the list of *most* of what I read this year:
  1. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by La Leche League International
  2. The Blue Castle, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  3. 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help, by Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D.
  4. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, by Dr. Laura Markham
  5. Lark Rise to Candleford, by Flora Thompson
  6. From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy, by Matthew Dickerson and David O'Hara
  7. Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home, by Susan Hill
  8. The Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald
  9. All New Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew
  10. Month-By-Month Gardening in Florida, by Tom MacCubbin
  11. Organic Methods for Vegetable Gardening in Florida, by Ginny Stibolt and Melissa Contreras
  12. The Flying Inn, by GK Chesterton
  13. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
  14. The Three R's, by Ruth Beechick
  15. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
  16. David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
  17. What's Eating Your Child?: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments, by Kelly Dorfman
  18. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
  19. Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons
  20. Manalive, by G.K. Chesterton
  21. What Are People For?, by Wendell Berry
  22. Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir, by Agatha Christie
  23. The Catholic Guide to Depression, Aaron Kheriaty
  24. The Light of Faith: Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis
  25. The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry, by Wendell Berry
  26. The Seven Storey Mountain, by Thomas Merton
  27. Crooked House, by Agatha Christie
  28. Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life, by Elizabeth Scalia
  29. Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health, by Toni Weschler
  30. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, by Neil Postman
  31. Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck
  32. The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, by Daria Sockey
  33. The Seven Dials Mystery, by Agatha Christie
  34. Postern of Fate, by Agatha Christie
  35. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
  36. Blessed by Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter by Living Lightly, by Susan V. Vogt
  37. The Heart of Parenting: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, by John Gottman, Ph.D.

Also here are our Grown Up Read Alouds (aka what my husband read to me before/while I fell asleep):

  1. The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth, by Ralph C. Wood
  2. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

I would recommend all of these books--I suppose with the exception of Code Name Verity which I read for a book club and didn't care for.  I just couldn't get past the whole WWII female pilot/spy no one batting an eye part and I really disliked the fact that no one questioned the choices made in the end. 

I don't think I could pick one favorite non-fiction book this year, but at the top list would be Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, and Neil Postman and I'm certain I'll be reading more of them all in 2014.    

If I had to pick a favorite work of fiction I think I'd go with David Copperfield although I've developed an Agatha Christie habit that is beginning to get out of control as can be seen by my favorite Christmas present.......

I feel as though I should make a public apology to Dame Christie--I never wanted to read her work because somewhere along the way I likened Agatha Christie mysteries to those of Mary Higgins Clark and completely dismissed them (I guess because they were both women and they both wrote mysteries?).  Then I watched an episode of Poirot....then I watched every episode of Poirot, and when I ran out of those I watched every Miss Marple episode and movie I could find......and then (it's actually really embarrassing how long this whole process took) I thought to myself "if I think these are all amazing surely the books must be even better?"  So finally, I went on a quest for a good mystery and grabbed a book at random at our used book store and brought it home.  It was Come, Tell Me How You Live, which--in case you are as deficient as I in Agatha Christie knowledge--is not a mystery at all but a memoir of a trip to the Middle East.  After I got over my initial confusion I loved it and I guess it should be in my top non-fiction list too :)  Also, I think I should add early twentieth century travel journals to my list of things to read more of in 2014.....does anyone have any suggestions?  I would especially like it if they involved long train rides across Europe and lots of tea drinking in the dining cars.....copious amounts of knitting optional.   

PS This post includes affiliate links :)

PPS In case you've read this far and are severely disappointed in the lack of pictures of adorable children here you go.......

The boys have been playing "book seller" with the baby's new wagon which is............precious :)

Pop over to Carrots for Michaelmas to check out more book lists!


  1. Wow! You read a ton! I think I read 23 books .... most are on this list--

    1. As I've been looking at other moms' lists I was thinking that I'm either a faster reader than most or I spend entirely too much time reading and not enough time tending the children--or both--and probably I should also savor my books a little more rather than plowing through them so that I can one day know all the things :)

    2. Did you enjoy Loving the Little Years? I've been thinking of blowing some birthday money on it!

    3. Yes, it is a short, quick read and relatively simple, but you would like it, I think. She tells lots of stories and I think you would relate to her for sure.

  2. Wow! You are a good reader! I read the Well Trained Mind, too and am reading Seven Storrey Mountain...but am having a hard time getting into it.

    1. It took me a little while to get into Seven Storey Mountain too but it was worth it--keep plugging away :) I've been working on No Man is an Island too, but it's much more of a read a little bit and then stop to digest it type of book. It'll probably take me all year to get through it!

  3. I should have mentioned Well Trained Mind more - it really helped us answer a lot of questions of what we want our kids education to encompass (whether or not we homeschool).

    1. It's not too late! I would love to hear your thoughts on blending those ideas with sending your son to school and what that might look like.

      I think this year is also going to involve a lot more classical homeschooling books for me--I'm still stuck trying to figure out what a "spine" would look like blending Classical and Charlotte Mason ideas together--history or literature or am I over thinking this? I should probably ask Auntie Leila :)

  4. Yes you did read a TON! Can't wait to take some time and see which ones I'll be adding to my ever-growing list...

  5. How did you like Art of the Commonplace? I think it was pretty life changing for me. So many good ones on here!

    1. It was amazing--I picked it up at your suggestion and I can't believe I've never heard of Berry before now! I pretty much read the whole thing out loud to my husband and I don't think there is a page left unmarked. It's made me rethink a lot of things in a very Chestertonian way :)


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