And now, for my non-fiction reads . . .
Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life – Emily Freeman** This book was good. I didn't completely identify with Freeman, but I am a pull-myself-up-from-my-bootstraps type of girl when I'm in-default mode. So I can identify with being a "good girl" and missing God's grace in my life, or relying on my works instead of God to work through me--even my mistakes.
Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches – Rachel Jackovac*** This was a short little book and could come off a bit preachy at times, but I think it's just the writer's style of "telling it like it is" so that didn't bother me. It was really funny and encouraging. I appreciated that, because I need to laugh more at the mess of mothering than I do.
Reliving the Passion: Meditations on the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus as Recorded in Mark – Walter Wangerin, Jr.** I read this book for Lent. Sometimes it really spoke to me and sometimes it didn't. The writer's style was different and poetic and I went back and forth between liking it and not liking it.
Isobel Kuhn – Lois Hoadley Dick*** This book was on my shelf and I decided to reread it, which was great because I didn't remember the content at all! Amazing to read missionary stories and once again come away amazed! When you're a missionary you have to trust God so much MORE for just your daily life. Reading about the faith of these saints always encourages me towards trust.
The Core: Teaching Your Children the Foundations of Classical Education by Leigh A. Bortins** This year we started Classical Conversations for our kids and we LOVE it. This book was written by the founder of Classical Conversations and outlines the classical approach to all subjects. I had a tough time in the beginning. Lots of statistics and rather dry. Once it moved into the subject areas it was more helpful. I still think The Well-Trained Mind will be my go-to classical education book, but this is good if you're involved in Classical Conversations or if you want a much shorter over-view (because The Well-Trained Mind is super long and goes by each grade and is more of a very detailed handbook and curriculum guide).
Paris in Love: A Memoir – Eloisa James** I wanted to like this book more than I did. Parts of it were really interesting, but the main thing is it read like a bunch of Facebook status strung together to make up each chapter. Seriously. Not a fan of a book being organized like that.
Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative – Russ Ramsey*** My advent readings this year were from this book. It's kind of like an overview of the whole Bible in 25 days. It was a great way to prepare my heart for Christmas over the advent season.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Eric Metaxas (still reading) I am still reading this book! I've been reading it off and on for over a year. I'm determined to plow through! I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to read it. I got through the first third quite quickly. Metaxes is a great biographer and when I read it I'm really enjoying it. But sometimes I don't pick it up for a long time. Part of it is a lot of the culture of that dark time periods has so many parallels with today it's scary! But Bonhoeffer is a fascinating man to study and such an example someone who is absolutely given over to God while interacting in culture and politics in a bold and thoughtful way.
The Luminous Portrait – Elizabeth Messina (still reading) It seems like every photographer was reading this book this year and I'm enjoying it and reading it slowly. Messina's portraits are arresting and definitely have their own "voice." I have found her exposure tips helpful when I was a more light and airy image. Her composition alone is inspiring and worth viewing.