2014: The Book List.


Jared and I set a goal to read at least 24 books this year. I have no idea if this is a lot, a little, too many, too few, but two books a months sounded both reasonable and just challenging enough. I also figured it would “trick” me into reading like a crazy little fiend, because I’m nothing if not a classic over-achiever.Turns out, I was right, because I’ve already plowed through two books this month. I doubt this pace will continue, but I hope and plan to maintain a strong focus on reading books as a way of learning, resting and growing this year.

2014 Book List


  1. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh – Finished!
    I really liked this book, possibly even loved it. Told from the perspective of a young woman who has just aged out of foster care, this story was rich with robust, believable characters, the harsh realities of life in a broken world and the beauty and grace found in human relationships. Highly recommend.
  2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – Finished!
    Such an engaging book! This book is written in a quirky, unique way and reminded me of the magic of a story skillfully woven together over hundreds of pages. It was fast-paced (or maybe I just was? Couldn’t put it down!), charming, real and funny.
  3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  4. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
  5. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  6. The Circle Series by Ted Dekker
  7. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  8. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  9. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (to be published 10/2014)


  1. When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman
  2. The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
    by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
  3. The Reason Why I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism 
    by Naoki Higashida
  4. 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas
  5. Redeeming Sociology by Vern S. Poythress


  1. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller
  2. Jesus the King by Tim Keller
  3. In My Place Condemned He Stood by J. I. Packer
  4. Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker
  5. Just Do Something Kevin DeYoung

Parenting/Adoption/Orphan Care

  1. Adopting the Hurt Child by Gregory Keck
  2. Anatomy of the Soul by Curt Thompson
  3. The Whole Brain Child by Dan Seigel and Tina Bryson
  4. Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson
  5. Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman

No Pressure Non-Guilt Trip Only If There’s Somehow Time Extras

These books were largely chosen based on a discussion in the forums of The Influence Network and posts by Hayley MorganKristen HowertonRussell Moore & Chelsea Williams.

What do you plan to read in 2014?

on my nightstand [#1]

in an effort both to blog more consistently and to stay realistic about the amount of original content i can actually produce, i’m going to try my hand at a blog series or two. the first is this – on my nightstand – in which i’ll share a few of the books i’m reading these days. once i finish them, i’ll post a little review and share the next set of books i’m starting.

here are the books that are on my nightstand:


Boundaries: Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
“Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not.”
At least three people have encouraged me to read this book. I’m pretty sure that says something about me, so I’m going to finally crack the cover and find out what that “something” might be.


Last Child in the Woods: Richard Louv
“Nature-deficit disorder is not a medical condition; it is a description of the human costs of alienation from nature. This alienation damages children and shapes adults, families, and communities. There are solutions, though, and they’re right in our own backyards. Last child in the Woods is the first book to bring together cutting-edge research showing that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development—physical, emotional, and spiritual. ”
I was encouraged to pick this book up after reading Al Mohler’s post about it.

the secret keepr

The Secret Keeper: Kate Morton
“From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.”
Morton’s The House at Riverton is one of my favorite novels, so I’m very much looking forward to getting lost inside the pages of this one as well.

This series was inspired by similar posts from Jen HatmakerKristen Howerton and Al Mohler.