The Year in Books


Every July my book group meets to plan what we’ll read in the coming year. I always have fun sharing our list here knowing that some of you will  enjoy these books too. If you’ve read any of them, share your thoughts. If there is something here that grabs your attention, share that too.

Comments are what make blogging fun- I love hearing from you.

I’m ordering my list and taking them along to Whidbey Island at the end of the week!

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August: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

September: A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table (Re:Lit)

A Meal with Jesus is my pick  for this year and I am loving it. When I was in Seattle I talked so much about the book that Kathleen handed me another saying that I might like it too. I’ve fallen in love with the second book as well and plan to share it with my book group. The two books are beautiful together.

Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

October: Cry, the Beloved Country

November: The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City

December: We don’t choose a new book for December, but often gather just for fun. If time allows, I use December to catch up on the reading I haven’t done earlier in the year.

January: Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem

February: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

March: Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

April: Peace Like a River

May: The title hasn’t been chosen yet, but it will be a book on understanding Islam.

June: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

[Edit: We decided not to read The Devil in the White City, and read Evidence Not Seen instead.]

That’s our list for this year. It’s as varied as we are, which is what I love about my book group. I learn so much from the books my friends choose.

What are you reading this summer? What’s on your list  for  this year?


This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Sarah
    July 22, 2014

    I'm currently trying to read through the entire Hebrew Bible–what you would most likely call the Old Testament. I finished up the book of Genesis yesterday, so I consider myself well on my way!

  2. Alex
    July 22, 2014

    Love this list!!! My husband just read Boys in the Boat and he was addicted! Everyday I hear another life application from the book. Finally, I told him I hoped to read the book and asked him to please stop telling me the entire story:) Gifted Hands…prepare to weep. What an amazing story! I have so much respect for Dr. Ben Carson! So, now I'm going to have to copy this list because it seems we have similar taste in books:)

  3. Laura
    July 22, 2014

    My that is a varied list this year. My book group read Boys in the Boat this past March and Madeleine read it for a sports psychology class at SU last fall. I enjoyed it a lot. I am going to have to look up a few of the other titles that I haven't heard of since I always am looking for a good book to read!

  4. Joelle
    July 22, 2014

    An interesting light read on Muslim culture, and women's lives in particular, is "In the Land of the Blue Burqua". It's the account of a woman who worked in Afghanistan with an NGO and the relationships she developed with neighbors, co-workers, and others she meets during her five years there. She writes from a Christian perspective and her attempts at explaining her faith in a way that made sense in a muslim context.

  5. mimi
    July 22, 2014

    love your list!!!!

  6. blessed
    July 22, 2014

    I've never heard of those–let us know what you think when you have read them. : )

    I'm reading up a storm this summer, as I have just been asked to teach local LitWits workshops for high schoolers! If you don't know about LitWits, it was started by my dear sister-friend Becky and her own sister. They host local workshops, but also have lots of resources available online, so much of it free! Here's the link for anyone interested:

    So now I'm working on developing workshops (and guides online, exciting but scary!) and since my daughter is going to be a freshman, I decided to plan out the next 4 years of her required literature, so I didn't forget to plan a workshop for some book I really want her to read. : ) I know you must feel very "been there, done that" about these books, but it's been so long since I read them, and some I've never read–I'm having so much fun! Some of the books on my list so far:
    The Hound of the Baskervilles, Emma, My Antonia, O' Pioneers!, Black Like Me, The Invisible Man, The Killer Angels, The Ox-Bow Incident, 12 Years a Slave, Ender's Game, Wuthering Heights, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, To Kill and Mockingbird.

    The most eye-opening experience so far was reading first Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place, and then following it with Elie Wiesel's Night. Wow. Just, wow. I am going to teach those two books in a comparative literature workshop, and encourage the students to compare the writers' views of hope, faith, death, meaning. Really illuminating, and God spoke through the two so much to me.

    And on a completely different note: if you have not read Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, I highly recommend it. It's possibly my favorite novel of all times. : )

    Much love to you this morning!

  7. blessed
    July 22, 2014

    Oh, wait–I didn't see the whole list before. Oh, Cry the Beloved Country is so good! And after you read the Ben Carson book, I recommend the movie version they made, which is available through Netflix. Really good. : )

  8. helenhsm
    July 22, 2014

    I'm in a classics book club and we are reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Excellent book. I'll have to check out some of yours. I've only read Cry the Beloved on your list.

  9. Lisa V
    July 22, 2014

    Peace Like a River is one of my all-time favorites – a well-crafted, touching story. Listen to the audio book if you can.
    You can listen for free with a 30-day trial to Audible on

  10. Cici
    July 22, 2014

    David and Goliath is a great read, as are all Malcolm Gladwell's books, it has good information particularly relevant to trauma children.


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