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My Must Read Books for 2017

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I am an introvert by nature, which is why being curled up with a good book and a hot cup of coffee is one of my favorite ways to spend my time.  I’m also trying to cultivate that same love of books in my children so spending time reading both alone and as a family is really important to me.

As one of my goals for the year, I am aiming to spend time reading each day.  Luckily, I have a long list of books I can’t wait to dive into.  But before I share my must reads for this year, I wanted to share two of my favorite books from 2016.  I love when I find new authors or books based on a recommendation so in case in you’re looking for inspiration, here are two:

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Graced-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel

This book not only tops my list for 2016 but is one of the most profoundly life changing books I’ve ever read.  From the moment I started reading this book, I was connected with it.  It speaks of parenting from a place of grace – giving our kids the same grace in life that the Lord gives us.  This does not mean children are raised without discipline and consequences but reminds parents of what is truly important.  There are rules that everyone must follow and if they are broken, children should face the consequences.  There are also moral standards that we are to impart on our children, to help them live their lives fully as God as intended.  But for the most part, the rest of it is superficial.  What color hair your children wants to have does not matter to God, what’s in their heart does.

I’m sure this is a book I will read again multiple times as we raise our children.  I want to keep the idea of grace at the forefront of my parenting and this book is such a wonderful exploration of how and why to do that.

Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie Martin

This is not your typical book but is nonetheless a fantastic resource I would recommend for anyone with kids.  Jamie Martin has so beautifully packaged a book of books that lets you expose your children to cultures and countries from across the globe.  This book includes over 600 children book recommendations organized by region, country, and age range (ages 4-12).  Each title includes a description of the book as well as any content that parents should be aware of ahead of time.

I love this book for country or region specific unit studies as well as one-off ideas for new books to incorporate into our reading time.  Some times it can be hard to find good books for us to enjoy as a family and this book gives parents a great place to start.

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For this year ahead, here’s a peak at what’s waiting for me on my bookshelf…

Full: Food, Jesus and the Battle for Satisfaction by Asheritah Ciuciu

As I mentioned last week, this book is serving as my inspiration for accomplishing some of my personal goals for the year.  I have been inspired by Asheritah ever since I stumbled upon her blog six months or so ago and was excited to read her newly released book.

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar

This is a retelling of the story of Ruth from the bible.  It came to me as a recommendation from a blogger I respect and since I’m trying to incorporate more fiction books this year, it is high on the list.

No God but One: Allah or God? by Nabeel Qureshi

This book won’t appeal to everyone but I really enjoy books that encourage me to think differently.  I don’t ever want to be in a bubble where I am surrounded only by people and ideas with which I agree.  It’s not a realistic way of life nor does it allow for growth.  Written by a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, it explores the actual differences between the two religions in detail.

Teaching Your Children Values by Richard and Linda Eyre

This is an older parenting book but the fact that it is still popular speaks to its message.  I was able to hear Richard and Linda speak recently on their parenting strategy and their strong belief in the need to teach our children to have strong values.  This book provides parents with a tangible way to do that with specific games, exercises and family activities that will help build a strong foundation for our children.

The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Savoring Slow by Shawn Fink

In this world of chaos, I strive for a simpler life at times that is focused only on what’s important.  I’m hoping this book will help me slow down and focus my time and energy on what is most important.  It includes “inspiration, ideas, meditations and life assignments to inspire you to live a more meaningful (and less busy) life.”

Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist

This book is on my list for the same reason as the last one.  I’m hoping it will serve as inspiration and encouragement as I try to slow down and simplify our lives.

Modern Pioneering: More Than 150 Recipes, Projects, and Skills for a Self-Sufficient Life by Georgia Pellegrini

Secretly, I dream about us having our very own homestead one day.  Realistically, it probably won’t happen for a million different reasons but that doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate some homesteading ideas into our life.  This book is more project based than sit down and read so I hope to use it throughout the year for inspiration to make our lives more self-sufficient.

For more reading ideas, check out my book lists from the past few years – here and here.

I’m really hoping to include more fiction works this year – maybe alternating every other book between fiction and nonfiction.  What are your favorite fiction authors?  I’d love some suggestions for who to try!

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