Best Books of 2014

I read a lot.  (In 2014 I read over seventy books.)  I've selected one book (well, okay... sometimes two.  *ahem*  ...or three) from each category that I generally read from, and have listed them for you (with affiliate links) below.

A Mother's Heart: A Look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian Mother by Jean Fleming
This was my second time reading this book, and it was encouraging and vision-building and affirming of my calling as a mother.  I am thankful there are mothers out there with grown children that write these kind of books which hearten and encourage me as a mother.

The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason by Laurie Bestvater
I reviewed this book here, but I will say that several months later, I am still inspired by the ideas Bestvater laid out in this book, and this is a book I hope to return to again and again for a refresher on the habit and art of keeping.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman 
Emma by Jane Austen

A Life Intercepted: A Novel by Charles Martin
I chose The Light Between Oceans because when I finished it, I immediately got online to see what else this author had written.  It was that good.  [I reviewed it here.]

I chose Emma because I love Mr. Darcy's discussion of duty and the wittiness Austen gave to so many characters in this book.
I chose A Life Intercepted because the way Martin unfolds a story- any story- even a story about a football player- is magical.

The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein
The Invisible Girls: A Memoir by Sarah Thebarge

The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers is an incredibly well-written story of a family struggling to make ends meet in a mill town in England in the early 1900's.  One side of their street housed Jewish families, the other side, Christian families.  When I finished this one, Ella read it.  Then Mark read it.  They both thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Invisible Girls: A Memoir is about a girl in her late twenties who randomly meets an African mother with her daughters on a bus.  Rather than minding her own business, she minds theirs, and meets some very practical and relational needs of this struggling family. 

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
Jacobs, a professor of literature, is a kindred because he loves books I appreciated his thoughts on reading at whim and on all sorts of other things bookish.

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
Mary Emma & Company by Ralph Moody 
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth  *some editing required for language

I couldn't choose just one!  All of these we loved.  Cheaper by the Dozen is our current read-aloud, and it is laugh-out-loud funny. 

* * *

As I've pondered the hundreds of pages that I've read over this last year, I came up with a radical idea: to read only God's Word for 2015.  That every time I have a hankering to read, I will pick up my Bible and do just that.  Of course, just as soon as I thought it, I wavered.  One year seems so.long.  I read every single day.  I contemplated three months or even six... and yet eventually settled upon a year.  Will I not sacrifice a year of good books for more of THE Good Book; the living, God-breathed Word?  I am hungry for more of Jesus in my life, and I am excited about this venture.  The one exception to this rule is that I will still read books aloud to my kids, and I can consult books I own for homeschooling ideas/plans.


  1. Wow Stacy! That's exciting! Can't wait to hear how God blesses your choice. And thanks as always for the book list. I've already put a couple of them on hold. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing these books, I'd really like to read The Invisible Wall - I hadn't heard of it before, and I have A Mother's Heart on my bookshelf after I found it at a second hand shop before Christmas.
    Wow - that's exciting (and daunting!) to only read the Bible this year, but what a great plan - I'm sure that reading it as a story as well as 'The Bible' if you know what I mean will really result in many stories coming much more alive to you as you have chance to use your imagination as well. Imaginative prayer is something I love as a way to pray, so this is the part that would most appeal to me anyway - perhaps not for you though :-) I really look forward to hearing how this goes, I think it will be very special for you.

    Happy new year!

    1. Happy new year to you! :) I hope you enjoy the books!
      It IS daunting, reading no books. I am still determined, and asking God to draw me in and teach me about Himself.
      Thank you for your kind words, and blessings to you and yours!


  3. Thank you for sharing this list. We read a few of the same books this past year. I did watch the original Cheaper By the Dozen on Netflix one night before Christmas while I was hand sewing. I enjoyed it, but haven't read the book.
    I have been trying to spend more time reading God's Word as well, so I can imagine that you will be very blessed by the time given to reading your Bible. I will feel a bit like the tempter when I post my bi-monthly book lists, so please don't hate me. :) There's always next year, Lord willing! xo

    1. Oh, post your book lists away, Heather! I will just add them to a list and read them next year! :)


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