Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Books From 2012

This is usually one of my favorite posts of the year. And one of my favorite activities throughout the year. There is something so satisfying about typing the title and author of a book once you've finished it. It's a gold star on my invisible report card as a grown up. I started the first half of the year great. I even went the extra mile to give a brief synopsis and rate whether or not I would recommend it or read it again. I went strong through the end of June . . . then something happened in my brain (has this ever happened to you?) where I got side-tracked and dropped the ball on some things that I loved to do. I still read books (although not as voraciously) but didn't take that extra 30 seconds to give myself a gold star for finishing. I was on the fast track to 100 books this year which is always my goal but I learned (or am learning) that sometimes a season in life takes up space you wish was taken up by something else. I am so proud (and may have to relinquish my victory this year) to Sarah and Jessica. (Meaghan R. - where is your blog and your book list? I know you were keeping track on your invisible report card!!) Here is my list . . . on most of the books I read in 2012. Instead of being disappointed in the fact that I didn't finish filling in the year, I am looking forward to more books and already have the word document started for Books Read in 2013 because, I think, everyone needs more gold stars.


  1. Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck - Christian romance about a cooking show host who can't cook (maybe)
  2. A Love that Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar – inside look at family adjustments with Josie and tips for raising a godly family (yes)
  3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran – strange story of boy searching for clues to find himself after his dad’s death in 9/11 (won’t see movie after reading – bizarre)
  4. Remembering Raquel by Vivian Velde – differing reactions and viewpoints after a high school teenager is killed in a car accident (no)
  5. Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan – four Chinese mothers tell their story parallel their four American born daughters (maybe)
  6. The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis (with Hannah) – first book of the Narnia series. Tale of Digory and Polly and the creation of Narnia (yes)
  7. Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi – battle with anorexia and bulimia due to high pressures in Hollywood and serious health side effects to follow (maybe)
  8. The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore – true story of two men, same neighborhood, same name but completely different outcomes to their lives (yes)
  9. So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell – small community in 1920’s investigates a murder and circumstances surrounding (no)
  10. The Generosity Factor by Ken Blanchard – modern day parable of giving from the heart through a change of heart (maybe)
  11. Unplanned by Abby Johnson – previous planned parenthood clinic director resigns after finally discovering the damage done when asked to assist an ultrasound guided abortion (YES)
  12. A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve – husband and wife living in Africa take a climb on Mount Kenya that changes their lives (maybe)  
  13. Normal People Don’t Live Like This by Dylan Landis – coming of age in two different home situations and example of what looks on outside doesn’t usually show what’s inside (no)
  14. Remainder by Tom McCarthy – man receives settlement for accident he doesn’t remember then spends his money re-enacting situations and memories he has (no)
  15. The Danger Box by Blue Balliett – a strange package is found that contains a journal from the 1800’s people are after the treasure without knowing what it means while two kids do research and solve the mystery (maybe)
  16. Ashes by Kathryn Lasky – beginning rise in power of Hitler and the slow destruction of open minded thinking through the perspective of a little girl in love with books (yes)
  17. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – story of growing up in Japan and being trained and working as a geisha (maybe)
  18.  The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman – girl gets lost in garden maze and finds herself back in time and mistaken for a slave girl (maybe)
  19. Standoff by Sandra Brown Рhostage situation in gas station by two teens running away from family as the girl is pregnant and they were not accepted . . . girl goes into labor and the situation takes a turn (yes Рuntil the last three pages in a totally unnecessary and overly risqu̩ physical encounter by two of the characters . . . disappointing!)
  20. Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein – a humorous yet poignant look at the marketing aimed at our little girls today and the effect that is having on them (YES) 
  21. Lessons I learned in the Dark by Jennifer Rothschild – true story of woman learns she will go blind within a year and discovers all she can ‘see’ when she relies on God (yes)
  22. The Latte Rebellion by Jamila Stevenson – a group of teenagers of mixed race start a club to draw attention to their differences. It grows into something they never expected as many people discover and appreciate (or not) the philosophy (maybe)
  23. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline – a mother who adopted a son years before discovers that the boy she adopted was actually abducted. She is faced with the difficult decision of finding the truth and believing what she hopes to be true (yes – captivating writing style a lot like Jodi Picoult – I’ll be looking for more of her books in the future)
  24.  Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris – widow raising her children in French village during German invasion. Mother struggles with extreme migraines that the children begin to take advantage of in order to discover the world for themselves. Later in life through an old cookbook, the past is relocked (maybe)
  25. Remember As You Pass Me By by L. King Perez – two young friends, one black, one white, caught in the middle of de-segregation of schools in 1954  (yes)
  26. The Year of Fog by Michelle Redmond – young girl disappears when soon to be step-mom turns her back at the beach. Process of searching for her and effect on relationships involved (yes)
  27. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen – memoir of a woman returning home after a long and difficult divorce. Her humorous look at life growing up in such a religious tight knit community and her deep appreciation for her roots (yes)
  28. Son of the Underground by Isaac Liu – almost unbelievable true story of son of Chinese underground Christian minister (yes)
  29. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb – story of twin brothers one of which has schizophrenia. The other brother grapples with being his advocate and finding his own life. (897 pages – yipes!)
  30. Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo – true story of four year old boy who starts describing in detail a visit to heaven while having emergency surgery (maybe)
  31. The Overton Window by Glen Beck – Noah, son of powerful man in politics, begins to unravel truth behind deceptions. Filled with documented facts, it’s hard to separate the fictional story with the non-fiction details (yes)
  32. The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King – set in 1904 a butterfly collector travels to jungle in search of undiscovered specimen and ends up discovering the underbelly rubber factories (no)
  33. Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis – correspondence between a teacher and a student devil in tactics and advice on how to turn a person to sin and unbelief. Simultaneously funny and thought provoking. (yes)
  34. Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden – silly mystery about death in school and investigation by two moms from the PTA. A nice fluffy read to start the summer. (yes)
  35. Big Reasons to Home School by David and Kim d’Escoto – no I’m not homeschooling now . . . just never stop learning as a mom and continue to research options and opinions. (maybe)
  36. Legacy Road by Graham Garrison – a graduate student on the hunt for civil war letters and locations finds himself hunting for the truth of his path and plan for his future (yes)
  37. The Texas Polygamist Raid: Religious Freedom versus Child Welfare by Katie Marsico – after watching a news program on the event I was curious to read the details for myself and get the opinion of all parties involved (no – it was very dry)
  38.  Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton – a team of con-artists work together with a forger to steal and sell copies of the Mona Lisa (yes)
  39. Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope by Ed and Lois Smart – fascinating story of the search for their daughter who was abducted and gone for nine months (yes)
  40. The Dry Grass of August by Anna-Jean Mayhew – young girl discovers the difference between black and white, fair and unjust as she grows up with an abusive dad, a loving maid and siblings of different ages and personalities (yes)
  41. Starting from Scratch by Susan Rebecca White – Olivia comes home from graduate school when her mom suddenly dies and goes on journey through her mom’s recipes and her role in the family now (yes)
  42. The Hope by Shareel Byars Moranville – a modern version of the frog prince set in environmental crisis (thought of Hannah originally but decided it tipped to the other side away from whimsical fairytale and more towards magic/fortune telling/spells etc.)
  43. Sway by Amber McRee Turner – a dad and daughter embark on journey in their RV trying to connect and find something special in their family and their relationship (yes)
  44. For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice – an insightful look at statistics and answers to difficult questions by teenagers allowing parents to look into the mind of our kiddos (yes)
  45. I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron – funny life story with witty insight of life growing older (yes)
  46.  Triumph by Carolyn Jessop – amazing story of woman who escaped a mormon cult becoming the first woman ever to escape and win full custody of her children. She became an expert for cps agencies during the raid in Texas. Terrifying look at life inside – realities we have no idea exist in our country. (yes)
  47.  Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood – whimsical story of family with magic cookbook who solve town problems with pastry solutions (yes)
  48.  Seriously . . . I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres – funny story written by a funny lady. Mentioned lifestyle and choices I don’t agree with more than I thought it would mixed in with lots of humor about daily situations we all deal with. (maybe)
  49. Dewey by Vicki Myron – story of small town that changed when a little kitten was dropped in the drop box one cold night (yes)


  1. Impressive list! I'm making notes. I especially love the yes/no/maybe. Super helpful. Love you!

  2. Thank you for all the great input! I will refer to this again----now, off to look for your previous year book lists! :-)


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