reading life

Worth Reading: my latest book recommendations

I go in spurts with reading. When I have a bunch of other things going on, I neglect my stack o’ books, but then read one right after another. Sometimes I have more than one book going at a time: maybe a nice little fiction novel, something Bible studyish, perhaps something related to homeschooling, and usually at least one gardening magazine in the stack.

Anyway, I’m making a point of sharing my favorite book recommendations every so often, and I always welcome your suggestions, too!

Recommended reads from a bookaholic mama:

{Note: this post contains affiliate links.}

recommended reads

1 – Gate of Heaven – Gilbert Morris

I love good Biblical fiction. This account of the life of Jacob is part of a series about the great patriarchs of the Old Testament.  Though much creative license is used, these “coulda happened” scenarios get me thinking of Biblical folks as real people with emotions and lives beyond what God chose to include in His Word, and get me looking up passages to clarify what is actually in the Bible and what has been added. Good stuff.

2 – No Other gods – Kelly Minter

Loved it. I like something deep with some humor thrown in. {Along those lines: If you’ve never read Dave Crowder’s Praise Habit, I encourage you to do so; he switches from the hilarious to the profound fast enough to give you whiplash. I literally laughed out loud the whole way through!} Kelly’s book had me giggling, but the main reason I loved it is that it’s really got me thinking about whether or not I’ve truly surrendered every part of my life to Christ.

I love this line in the last chapter:

“And that is the ultimate purpose of tracing our actions and emotions to our idols, discovering them, and turning from them–not so we can merely be idol-free, but so our lives may be spacious places for God to dwell and move. It is all about making room for him.”

3 – One Thousand Gifts – Ann Voskamp

Okay, okay. I should’ve read this long ago. I might get stoned for this confession, but I don’t love Ann’s blog. Amazing content and photographs but her writing style just so flowery it makes my head hurt, like strong perfume. So I stalled on reading this. Once I did, however, I loved it. Her writing style works beautifully in the context of this book, which has been a key contributor to lifting me out of last year’s funk.

4 – One Good Dog – Susan Wilson

I’m a sucker for a dog book. I did not like the main character in the beginning, and simply couldn’t relate to him, but his gradual transformation into a much more likable person was believable – and largely influenced by the dog’s character. As a rescued dog owner, I loved that aspect of this novel. And as a mother of kids adopted out of foster care, I related to the main character’s struggle with his past.

5 – Leadership Education – Oliver and Rachel DeMille

If you read my homeschool posts, you already know this book has been influential in our homeschool. The Leadership model of education is explained thoroughly in this book, particularly focusing on the “phases of learning” which are dictated by the stages of mental and emotional maturity a child progresses through — all while prioritizing love of learning throughout each phase and on into our adult lives.

6 – Nurture by Nature – Paul Tieger

I’m not exaggerating when I say this book changed my family. The authors explain the various aspects of personality so that parents can identify their child’s type, and their own. I already knew my own personality type {INFJ}, but understanding my children’s types has dramatically changed my parenting for the better. Highly recommended.

7 – The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

The fictional story isn’t pretty: racism, hate crimes, abuse, abandonment, suicide, mixed-up religion… but I saw the primary story as one about friendships that span beyond culturally accepted norms. As a bonus, I even learned a little about beekeeping.

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Pauline Martin

your description really ‘nailed’ the Holy Experience blog for me…….I find myself increasingly lackadaisical about reading it & don’t currently have a copy of One Thousand Gifts. Having read a recent negative review on the unsound biblical content has made me want to read it again. Your reading stack is very similar to mine w/ less fiction. I really want to read Nurtured by Nature even though my children are now all in their teens. I enjoy ‘stalking’ & being inspired by your blog in my daily walk as a fellow pilgrim, mother of 5, ‘mum mum’ of 2 and… Read more »


I’ve actually got the book Quiet. Almost finished the first chapter- wow, such interesting history that literally brought change to the social aspect of Corporate America right down into the homes of family. ….Heard about the book here at your blog, and next I’m interested in the ‘personality’ book.


I see lots of books I need to add to my list. Thanks for the great post! (Stopping by from List it Tuesday)



Hi Jamie,
I thought of you and the book “Nurture By Nature” while listening to Focus on The Family today. Look in the audio archives and they did an interview with Kathy Koch. “Nurturing Your Child’s Intelligence” . I’m very interested in her book which falls in line with the book you recommended.

As always, thank you for your insights on all things!