Readers who follow me on Instagram will be aware that every two weeks, I compile a list of books I’ll be reading and reviewing for the blog. I typically choose a book to fit each of the following categories or genres:

  • Memoir
  • Theology
  • Friend Recommended
  • Make Me Think
  • Current Events

But it’s a new year – time for a new book list! Since I’ve started my 2016 Reading Challenge, I’m choosing books based on the criteria listed there. I will be reading 52 books in 2016 – one for each week!

I rate my books on Goodreads (and you’re welcome to “friend” me there if you’re an avid reader like myself) but will give a short summary here on the blog so readers can pick and choose what books to add to their own lists. For those who may not be aware, I do not read fiction – however, this reading challenge requires a few fiction works, so I’ll be reading a few this year!

This week I’m reading:

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Anyone who follows my blog or podcast knows I’m a Gretchen Rubin fanatic. I’ve read all her books. I am still working on this one – Josh bought it for me on iBooks (as a reward for making it through an unmedicated birth – I guess it’s a “push present”?) and because it’s electronic, I keep forgetting about it! I’m about 2/3 of the way through it.

This book is excellent if you struggle to make habits or keep resolutions. Gretchen goes through the common “loopholes” we use to get out of habits and gives practical ideas for countering the things that defeat our success. Her other books – The Happiness Project and Happier at Home – are equally great as well as her podcast, Happier, which I wait to release every Wednesday. But I’m not a stalker or anything.

Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte

I grabbed this book off the library shelf on impulse and am so glad I did. This book is great for anyone with a busy schedule. So, pretty much everybody. I wish I had read this prior to entering my career but it is just as applicable to the SAHM life. Bolstered with extensive scientific and social research, Schulte breaks down the reality of the “overwhelmed” American life, sharing some surprising facts. For instance, we actually DO have time to do the things we want to – we just have to know where to look.

Moms who struggle with finding time for themselves would benefit greatly from reading this book alongside Gretchen’s Better Than Before and The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner. I’m a firm believer that taking a little time for yourself makes you a better wife, mom, and friend. I don’t struggle with guilt over this like some women do, but if that sounds like yourself, I highly encourage checking out all three of those books.

WomanCode by Alisa Vitti

Alright, soapbox time. I heard about this book on The Lively Show podcast. Jess Lively was discussing the most influential interviews of 2015, and this was #1. So I went back and listened to her interview with Alisa, and wow – I was amazed. I immediately went on Amazon and bought this book.

A little background and TMI: I’ve always struggled with difficult periods and horrific cramping (I’m pretty sure it prepared me for labor). My gynecologist wanted to put me on the Pill for it, but something in me just KNEW that was the wrong decision (read here for why I’ve never taken hormonal birth control). Alisa’s book confirms my gut feeling. The Pill can’t “fix” hormonal issues: it only covers them up. WomanCode outlines a plan for correcting hormonally-driven issues like PCOS, infertility, painful or infrequent periods, depression, and weight gain with lifestyle and diet changes.

This fits perfectly with the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan Josh and I have been on for the last two months, explaining why so many women on THM lose weight, gain energy, reverse infertility and balance their blood sugar. I’m a superfan.

Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman

I’ve listened to a few podcast interviews with Emily Freeman, but the one that sticks in my mind was on The God-Centered Mom podcast as I was driving to a birthing class during my pregnancy. I knew I wanted to read the book, but with moving and limited space I try my best not to BUY books (we only have one bookshelf, and until we buy a house, I’m trying to keep it that way!).

Well TODAY Simply Tuesday is on sale in e-book form for only $0.99!!!  Totally worth the dollar, I promise. Buy it on iBooks, Amazon, or anywhere ebooks are sold.

This book focuses on appreciating the mundane, average days of our lives for what they have to offer, making the most of them for God’s glory.

Strong and Kind by Korie Robertson

Confession: I love Duck Dynasty. I just think it’s an absolute hoot. I love the family dynamic and I’ll be honest: I love Si.

Since John Luke and his wife now attend my alma mater and former employer, Liberty University, I have a further connection with the family. So when Korie Robertson, John Luke and Sadie’s mom, wrote this book on raising children with integrity, I bought it (two books I’ve bought this year already! This is dangerous.). I’m looking forward to this is a pleasure read.

Do you have any reading goals for 2016? As usual, follow me on Goodreads to read along or check out the above linked Reading Challenge!


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