2012 reading list update & a new list for the new year

One of my resolutions last year was to read more books. It may very well be the only resolution I managed to stick to, and I’m okay with that. My goal was to read 12 books, not a very lofty goal, but one I thought would be attainable. Some books I read over weeks and weeks and some I read in a single setting on a weekend trip to the beach. Last year, I complained of not having enough time to read. I tried to manage my time better and that meant cutting out some mindless reality television and a few other shows. I kept some of my favorite Housewives around, Gray’s, and Heart of Dixie. My late night television watching habit turned into a late night reading habit.

Let’s take a look at the 2012 list:


Not pictured: 50 Shades trilogy. 

1-4. The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts. These books were quick and easy reads. The story of four best friends who run a well-known wedding venue, each of them with a different area of expertise. Each book focuses on one of the women and tells a tale of love. No sad, Nicolas Sparks-esque writing here. As the series progressed, the books became a little predictable, but the fact that each one focused on a different member of the quartet kept me interested.  (P.S.- Erin, I’m sending these back, I promise!)

5. The Tenth Circle by Jodi Piccoult. This was the first book I’ve ever read that was written by Jodi Picoult. I’m still not sure how I feel about this book. It took me a while to read it and some parts I’m still not clear about. The story of Trixie and Jason was much more interesting than the chapters about their parents. I’ll certainly try another Picoult book in the future, though.

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I couldn’t put this book down. I stayed up way too late reading this several nights in a row and the story line stayed on mind during the day. It was full of twists and turns and just when I thought I had it figured out, I would be wrong. For a while, I was torn on whether or not the ending was good enough for the book. However, I’m not sure how it could have ended any other way given the nature of the story line. Perhaps a sequel is in order?

7. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. When it comes to EG, I’ve learned that I have to stop comparing her other works to Something Borrowed and Something Blue. I haven’t read another book written by her that stacks up to those two. On a positive, the story was sweet, ending was happy and I was engaged in the book from the beginning. Much different than the others, in a good way.

8. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Hands down, the best book I’ve read all year. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t know how another book will ever measure up to Redeeming Love. The story is inspired by Hosea from the Bible and it paints a clear picture of God’s redeeming love for us. I read this book in about a day and a half while on vacation at the beach. I even woke up extra early and sat on the balcony reading this book one morning. I genuinely felt connected to the characters and the book was perfectly written.

9. Be Quiet And Say Something an eBook by Jessi Connolly from the blog Naptime Diaries. This book had a profound impact on the way I’ll share my story on this blog from now on. Truly inspiring, her words spoke directly to my heart and I’ve been trying to make my voice a little softer so that I can hear what God has to say. So that other people can see God and not me through my blog.

10-12. Fifty Shades Trilogy. I started reading the trilogy as the bandwagon came rolling past sometime this past year. I felt like I needed to give my two cents to the conversations, as well. Later, some controversy about convictions and whether or not this books were okay to read came out. I literally devoured these books and I didn’t have a problem with myself or anyone else reading them. Certainly listen to your own convictions and go from there.


13. The Patriarchs bible study by Beth Moore. Our Sunday School class used this study last year. It was my first Beth Moore bible study and I fell in love. Her writing speaks straight to my heart and she has an unbelievable way of making these ancient figures come to life. I could see their personalities and relate to them, I could understand their flaws and I was in awe of the trust in God each one displayed.  I’m starting Daniel next and I can’t wait to see what God will reveal to me in the pages of that study.

14. My morning devotional, Jesus Calling. by Sarah Young. I started this mid-February and it has been such a blessing. My morning are sweeter and my heart is fuller as I read this each morning. I started over this year, it’s just that good.

15. Daily Gifts of Grace, is another devotional I try to read on a daily basis. Real stories written by Godly women, each one set to inspire and pour out a little grace. I keep this one in my desk at school and I usually pull it out when my students go to P.E., it’s a perfect way to stay focused during the day.


15. The Leader in Me by Stephen CoveyOur school is a Leader In Me school and I have been so inspired by this book and the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I continue to incorporate the 7 Habits into my life and try to polish them as often as possible.

What’s next? Here’s a peek at my upcoming reads (many thanks to each of you who recommended books on the Facebook page): 

  1. Quitter (I’ll be re-reading this book, I flew through it the first time)  by Jon Acuff
  2. Prep (started and didn’t finish last year) by Curtis Sittenfield
  3. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield
  4. An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski
  5. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
  6. Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman
  7. Bloom by Kelle Hampton
  8. Love The One You’re With by Emily Giffin
  9. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
  10. Radical by David Platt
  11. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
  12. The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
  13. Same Kind of Different As Me 
  14. Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
  15. Night Road by Kristin Hannah
  16. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  17. Bridesmaid Lotto (McMaster the Disaster Trilogy) by Rachel Astor
  18. Gamble on Engagement(McMaster the Disaster Trilogy) by Rachel Astor
  19. Wedding Wager (McMaster the Disaster Trilogy) by Rachel Astor
  20. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

What was your favorite book from 2012? Any must-read;s for the new year?

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  1. says

    I think I need to read Redeeming Love next. I saw everyone talking about it via twitter. (I’m new on twitter and really don’t understand it yet though 😉 I looked it up on Amazon. I’ve never seen a book with so many 5 star reviews proportionally. It seems like everyone agrees on that one. I think that is the next one I’m downloading.
    Thank you for all the reviews.
    Shelly recently posted..7 Months OldMy Profile

  2. says

    I really enjoyed Love Walked In and Where We Belong. I just saw that the author, Marissa de los Santos, has a new book out that will go on my list!

  3. says

    You must move Not a Fan to to top of your list!! I’m reading it now, and, it will really mess you up (in the best way possible!) Kisses From Katie is also very good…

    Same Kind of Different Than Me is next on my list to read…and, I may have to take a look at Redeeming Love!
    Tiffany recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

  4. says

    I love love anything Kristin Hannah, I read any book of hers I could get in Kindle version from the library this year, she’s great! Enjoy, I love reading and devour at least a book a week, I’ve started to enjoy it more than watching “my shows”

  5. says

    I’ve read several of these as well. I liked the first 2 Nora Roberts books but by the last two they were too predictable and unrealistic for me. I loved Gone Girl but didn’t like the ending, I agree there should be a sequel. I enjoyed Where We Belong, but you’re right Something Borrowed and Something were her best books to date. I read 2 of the 3 Fifty Shades books and couldn’t stand them, the characters annoyed me. I’m hoping to read some more books this year but have trouble finding the time.
    Shannon recently posted..SWWMy Profile

  6. Kay says

    Thanks for all of the book reviews, I’m always looking for new recommendations :)

    Kisses From Katie is an absolutely amazing book! I was so inspired by Katie’s story and have recommended her book and blog to many people! Not a Fan and Crazy Love are both great as well.

  7. says

    I was Covey trained about 4 years ago and have incorporated the 7 habits into my lifestyle since high school, when I took my first class. I love that your school is a Leader in Me school! I’ve been to one here in Columbus and would love for my school to be one as well. Unfortunately, Covey did not stick with much of the faculty or my principal (my first principal, the year I was certified, was very much into it). The Leader in Me is SUCH a great book! Since your school is a LIM school, then I assume you have the children’s picture book version of the 7 habits(?). Enjoy!!
    Brittany recently posted..Weekends in the {Not So} Newlyweds houseMy Profile

  8. says

    My favorite Jodi Picoult book is My Sister’s Keeper. I LOVE that book. It is SO good. So I would suggest reading that one.

    I’ve been dying to read Gone Girl. Need to motivate to do that soon!

  9. says

    We read so many of the same books! I actually just finished Safe Haven last week, because I have to read the book before the movie comes out. Firefly Lane is one of my all time favorites, you’ll love it!

  10. says

    I am such a reader, but I haven’t read Gone Girl yet. I’ll have to add that to my list. I loved the Bride Quartet and Redeeming Love also. You’ll enjoy Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I think it is one of those books that is a must-read for new believers, but even for mature Christians, there are a lot of basics that we need to be reminded of. Same for Radical and Not A Fan.

    Are you a “real” book reader or do you use a Nook/Kindle/Ipad? I can ‘lend” books on my Nook (or with the Nook app on your iPad) if you’d like to borrow. I’ve got hundreds of books.
    Kelley recently posted..Over the River, and Through the WoodsMy Profile

  11. says

    I totally agree about the ending to Gone Girl. My husband hated the ending but I thought it fit. My favorite book of all-time is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It’s very long but I couldn’t put it down. I own it and keep making all my friends read it – it is that good. I read Bloom also and it really moved me. I was both laughing and crying as I read it. I have heard some people hating on it, but I liked her honest take on the birth of her daughter and the emotions that came with it.

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