My Top 10 Books From 2017

2017 was just one of those years where I didn't read half as much as I wanted to. I think I had over 40 books on my original list, so many of those I'm rolling over into 2018. I did finish quite a few books though, and I'm excited for a few titles I have picked out for this coming year. 
Last year Trevor bought me a kindle paper white for Christmas, to help cut down on my eye strain and migraines, which was such a blessing! I loved being able to take my library with me wherever I went, and reading a book one-handed while breastfeeding is SO much easier with a kindle! I'm definitely going to be making myself a "nursing basket" at home and my kindle is going to be in it! 

1. Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World - Kristen Welch
This was a book that my MOPS bible study group read and discussed over the summer, and we all loved it! A deeply insightful read for parents (and just adults in general!) about how to cultivate a heart of gratefulness, in ourselves and our children. I was challenged as I read this book to really focus on the hard work of helping my kids to become grateful people by setting that example to them myself. This one is going on my "to read again" list for sure! 

2. The ENTIRE Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
So, I had never actually read the Harry Potter series, or watched the movies, ever. And I am so glad that I did! This is now one of my favorite fictional sagas. I love the characters, the setting, the content, the overcoming of evil, everything. And I'll be honest, I cried my eyes out the last three chapters of book 7. SO GOOD. I regret not reading this sooner. 

3. The Magic of Motherhood - Coffee + Crumbs
If you are looking for an easy read and a bit of "mom-sugar" this book does the trick. I laughed, I cried, and I found a heart connection with other moms and writers who have been there. A beautiful and present reminder that you, Mama, are not alone. It truly is a "love letter to mothers everywhere." 

4. At His Feet - Madge Beckon
This one is a pick that my husband and I chose to read aloud together. A short series of essays by a missionary to Japan, Madge's wisdom and wit will challenge and uplift you in your walk with Jesus. I also loved this book because it gave me a peek into my mother-in-law's life a bit (she and Madge were once good friends). This specific book from Madge can be hard to find because it is out of print, but if you get your hands on a copy, then know that you are holding a treasure trove. 

5. At Home in the World - Tsh Oxenrider
This one had to make my top 10 list for SO many reasons. Tsh shares about her around-the-world-with-kids travel story, and it is so enjoyable. Full of encouragement for those of us with kids; to get them out to taste and see and experience the world (wether it's your own home town or a big city on the other side of the globe) and to know that you belong somewhere in the world wherever you go. Also, she makes travel with kids sound simple, doable, and totally chaotic at the same time, so you know this book is full of pure honesty. 

6. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness - Andrew Peterson
Part of the Wingfeather Saga, and another read-aloud pick, I have actually read this book before and I love it! Trevor had never heard of it and he has really enjoyed it. I can't wait to read this one to our kids when they get bigger! 

7. A Wife's Secret To Happiness - Jen Weaver
If you need a bit of encouragement and challenge for your marriage, then this is the book for you. Sightly cheesy, but ever honest, Jen sheds the truth of God's word into your walk with Christ and your walk with your husband. She also has tons of bonus content on her website that you can access after getting the book, she basically could write another book just with the extra content! I read through this book twice this year and got so much out of it. 

8. Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee
I'll admit, as the long awaited sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, this one I was really excited to read. And it was a slow read for me. I didn't really get into it until about halfway through (maybe it was due to the postpartum lack of sleep?), but it was completely worth it. I'm making my kids read this when they get to high school in 16 years. 

9. For the Children's Sake - Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
I am actually not quite finished with this one. It started out as one of our read-aloud books, and we were going through it so slowly that I had to pick it up myself. The reason we were going slow? This one has spurred a lot of discussion about educating our children, and the philosophy behind that education. Susan writes about the Charlotte Mason approach to education, and the powerful impact that your approach to education will have on your children. It's easy, and full of practical advice, and will show you how to extend learning outside of the classroom and into everyday life to instill a love of learning in your children. 

10. The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up + BONUS The Cyber Effect
Okay, I couldn't decide on the 10th book, so I'm giving you TWO really good ones! The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up really challenged me to have a simpler approach to life in general. Now I didn't quite purge everything (let's face it, we love books and photos too much around here!) but I was able to come up with some better practices for keeping our home tidy. 
The Cyber Effect by Mary Aiken is an in-depth and fascinating look at the way technology effects our lives. Specifically, I found the chapters on babies/children and technology to be really eye-opening and insightful. We have followed some of Mary's guidelines to structure and control the use of tech in our home, and I'm planning on doing even more in 2018. (For example, putting phones away during the day to be more present with one another.) 

I hope this book list was fun for you to peek through and I'm looking forward to tackling even more reading in 2018!