Books to Read

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

I’ve always been a reader. My parents taught me before I started kindergarten. Yes, we were one of those families. I think my dad gets the blame or the credit, depending on how you look at it. I guess we better ask my mom. Mom?

Anyway, reading has been one of the biggest gifts and loves of my life. I can’t imagine life without the written word. It’s helped me to understand the world around me, to dream big dreams, to connect with other people, to share an experience. Life without great books isn’t really that great.

That’s probably why I was so thrilled that hubs canceled cable this fall. More time to read! I’d much rather read a good book than watch some show, no matter how much I like watching movies.

Thanks to you, Dear Readers, I have stumbled across some fabulous books over the last five years. So, I’m excited to be Booking It again with you this next year.

Anne and Carrie have graciously agreed to partner with me again this year. Since we have different tastes and personalities, we hope to bring you some great reads as well as open some lively discussion about such reads in 2014. We might even read a common book along the way. That was pretty fun last year when we did that here and here.

For this month’s Booking It, we are each presenting four books that we’re planning to read in the new year. We haven’t read them, so we can’t vouch for them, but they have sparked curiosity in at least one of us.

Please share what you hope to read in the comments. We can all use a few more great reads.

This post does include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees. Your price does not change, but your purchase indirectly helps support this site. So thanks!

Anne’s books:

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, David Epstein. I completely geeked out on deliberate practice last year, reading a half dozen books on the subject. I’m looking forward to diving into this recent release along the same lines.

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Wendy Welch. Numerous readers told me I had to read this book after I divulged my crazy fantasy of opening a bookstore.

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, Gabrielle Hamilton. I love a good food memoir, and many fans have called this one the best of the bunch.

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, Trenton Lee Stewart. I thought the first book in the series was tons of fun, and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment.

Carrie’s Books:

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, Sam Kean. I’m not a science geek by any stretch of the imagination, so I’m not sure why this made my list or why it looked interesting to me; however, it’s been on my list (and on my bookshelf) for a year now. I’m hoping 2014 will be the year it finally gets read!

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers. Not only was it my favorite movie as a child, but I’m quite excited about the Tom Hank’s film coming out this Christmas, Saving Mr. Banks. For someone who grew up with Mary Poppins, I think it’s about time I finally read the book.

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, #14), Alexander McCall Smith. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of this series (which means, I buy the books), and 2014 should be the year that I can finally get the book used (because, it’s also no secret that I’m cheap).

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. I’m not sure if it stems from our time in Africa, or if the story is simply that intriguing to my more technical side, but this book is absolutely on my 2014 “want to read” list.

Jessica’s Books

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

Notes from a Blue Bike, Tsh Oxenreider – I’ve long admired Tsh from The Art of Simple (formerly Simple Mom) and her approach to life and parenting. It’s been an honor to come to know her more personally over the years and to call her my friend. I’m thrilled to read her new book about slowing down and enjoying life more.

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

French Women Don’t Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude, Mireille Guiliano – I’ve read all the other books by The French Lady. I’m looking forward to reading this one, especially as the white hair, wrinkles, spare tire, and peri-menopause become a reality for me.

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Michael Moss – I’m feeling the need to take a few more steps to cleaning up mine and my family’s diet. This book keeps coming up when I ask folks for healthier food reads. I’m a little afraid of what I’ll find out, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. We’ve already made lots of good changes in the last five years, so I will be brave.

Books to Read | Life as MOM - a round up of interesting books to read in the new year.

Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey (Frames), Bob Goff – This is the same man who wrote Love Does, one of my favorite books. I’m hoping that this book will hold the same joy, laughter, and wisdom that was in that book. And that it isn’t too old fogey-ish. Bob’s only about ten years older than me, so I’m hoping not. Ha!

What do YOU want to read?

– Anne loves strong coffee, long books, and big ideas. She puts a timely spin on timeless women’s issues at her blog Modern Mrs Darcy.

Be sure to download Anne’s Kid Lit Guide, Paper Gains. It’s a great collection to help you navigate the book store and come through with some great, meaningful reads for the children in your life.

Carrie's Headshot– Carrie adores culture, coffee, books, British mystery shows, and her husband of 13 years. She’s spent time in Africa, southeast Asia, and Alaska, and now works from home as a social media book launch project manager. 

In her spare time, you can find her blogging at Carrie’s Busy Nothings and What’s On My Nightstand

Jessica Fisher Color by Sharon Leppellere - sm– Jessica is a married mom of six kids, aged 5 to 16. Most can read independently which means the homeschool experiment is working – at least on the literacy front.

She has been a lover of books for 40 years and counting. We won’t count the first year of life. She runs this here show called Life as MOM and also posts all the food things over at Good Cheap Eats.

Tell us what YOU want to read.

Leave a comment or a link to your post about next year’s reads below. Please be sure to link back here so your readers know where to find the party.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem by Jay W. Richards.
    The Gods of Gotham (A Timothy Wilde Novel) by Lyndsay Faye.
    The Unabridged Little Women (a read aloud with my daughters)

  2. I would like to finish some books I’ve started. I’m slowly reading The Core by Leigh Bortins. It’s about classical education and homeschooling in that tradition. I’ve also begun and left Brothers Karamazov about three or four times. I know it’s a great book, but I get sidetracked by life. I’m an English teacher, so I should be good about reading books, but since having a kid, I don’t manage it well if it’s not required. I’d love to change that. I’ve read tons of books since I have an M.A. in literature, and I love to read, but I need to make time for it nowadays.

  3. The Little Bookstore… looks like a very interesting book! I’m adding that to my list to hunt down and hoping my library has a copy. I’m also looking forward to Tsh’s new book for this next year. I just went back through my list of what I read this past year and realized that I definitely went with quantity of books over quality of books. My brain must have been tired this year. : ) I’m looking towards 2014 as one that I want to dive into some C.S. Lewis for sure, but past that, all is fair game.

    My 2013 list is here if you are interested: : )

  4. Jessica, I want to read 3 of the 4 books you suggested!

    This month, I finally plan to read the Hunger Games.

    Here’s a list of the many books I plan to choose from in 2014:

    I’d like to read 52 books this year, which is quite a challenge for me.

  5. My husband and I just started the Divergent series by Veronica Roth on the recommendation of a librarian at the high school where I work. Beyond that, I haven’t decided. I’d like to get into a book my mom gave me called Give Them Grace by Fitzpatrick and Thompson, but I need to see if I can get hubs to go into it with me. It’s weird reading parenting books without him because I can’t quite harness them to relate to him. Then if I can’t communicate them to him and start tweaking what I do with the kids, it just makes bigger gaps in our parenting styles. There, now you know why I’m undecided on that book.

  6. That copy of Sense and Sensibility on your shelf is gorgeous!

  7. My hubby and I are just about to finish reading “Mary Poppins” to our 6 and 3 year old, who seem to have really enjoyed it, although It is quite different from the Disney movie (hope that isn’t too much of a spoiler). There are more books that follow it, and I think we may pick those up for read-alouds, too,

  8. Lovely post on books and reading. In previous years my goal has been 52 books per year; last year I upped it to 100, and it’s rarely achieved, but I don’t beat myself up about it. Some good things do come with aging.

    In 2013 I finished 65. Probably 5 – 10 are still in progress. Pilgrim’s Progress is something that I can’t rush through, as well as a compilation of C.S. Lewis’ writings called The Joyful Christian. Those are incorporated into my devotional time.

    My tastes are along the lines of gentle reads; something else that comes with age is the realization that reading painful fiction does not benefit me, and I feel absolutely no obligation to engage in it. Painful non-fiction I still read occasionally.

    One of your selections – The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap – is also on my wish list, and I think I’ll read Mary Poppins, too.

    My goals are more C.S. Lewis, Agatha Christie’s biography (again), perhaps a Dickens, a little Jane Austen and who knows what else?

    (I used to be a frequent visitor to your blog and lately I’ve not been using the computer much, and haven’t been here in awhile. While looking over my stats, I saw that one of my visitors had clicked on an old link to yours, so I came to check it out. So glad I did. You have a wonderful, friendly blog.)

  9. One last thing: we gave up television in October, 2008 and are not sorry at all. This was after a lifetime of being a walking-talking-TV-guide.

    We watch a movie (dvd, vhs or online) nearly every evening and sometimes a program on hulu or one of the broadcaster’s websites. And youtube.

    I can be a slave to television and I don’t wish to be conformed to that culture. Our home is much quieter, we play games, my husband plays the piano and we read. It’s wonderful.

    Honestly, the only time I miss it is when there’s a national disaster (like the Ft. Hood shooting). Thankfully, those times are rare.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts