December 2019 marked the end of my second year of a renewed love of reading. I don’t know quite what had happened, but the handful of years prior to 2018, the habit had grown rusty and stale (maybe it was due to the several babies I was birthing….hmmmm….). But 2019 was an explosion of stories and accounts, teachings and study for me, and I drank it all down with relish.
So here is a list of my favorite books that I read in December, and perhaps it will add a few ideas to your own book list.
Atomic Habits is a wonderfully comprehensive guide to building good habits and breaking bad ones. James Clear introduces the idea that habits should be built in tiny, realistic steps in order to create lasting results. His words, breakdowns, and suggestions are simple and easily applicable. More than once I found myself saying, “Hey! I can totally do that! Why hadn’t thought of doing it that way before?” If you’re looking for a book to help kick start your New Year’s resolutions, this book is a must.
Walking With God in the Season of Motherhood is an 11 week Bible study (I finished it in December). This wasn’t my first time through the study, and it’s one I turned to at least once a year. Melissa Kruger saw a lack in study guides for mothers with small children, and I’m so thankful she rose to the occasion. The Scripture passages and question prompts are perfect for the struggles of this season, and every day I came away both convicted and encouraged for the day. This is a great study on your own or for a small group.
The Long Patrol is the tenth book in Brian Jacques’ Redwall series. I had only read the first three when I was a teenager, and picked the first book up again a little over a year ago. I was hooked. If you love adventure, heroism, and hares who greatly dislike being referred to as rabbits, then these books are for you (whether you’re an adult or child). Jacques is a master storyteller and never disappoints.
Deep Work was a challenge from the start. Not that it is a difficult read, but it challenged how I viewed my own time and work (even though he never once uses a stay at home mom as an example). Cal Newport proposes that our generation (the Millennials), and all the generations that follow us have a new obstacle to productive work…..Distraction. We not only deal with countless distractions throughout our day, but we allow them to dictate how much we actually accomplish. Honestly, I wish I had read this when I was 18 (maybe I should give it to all the 18 year olds I know….hmmm…) Side note: this book pairs with Atomic Habits beautifully.
So Your Husband’s Gone to War! is an amazing testament to the women left behind during WWII. Ethel Gorham was a working mother who decided to write a “handbook” for the women of her generation facing incredible challenges. Here’s an excerpt from the dust jacket: “This witty, wise, and practical handbook is designed to aid the wartime wife in solving the perplexities and problems of her strange, new, and husbandless world. With sharp wit and a dry practicality, Mrs. Gorham advises all classes of war wives – the moneyed and the budget-minded, the career woman and the housewife, the woman with children and the woman without. Combining the common sense of a New England horse trader with the salty humor of a woman about town, Mrs. Gorham covers every problem of this practical and emotional crisis.”
This book showed me that the reason why they were called the Greatest Generation was not just because of the courage of the men, but the strength and gumption of their women! It takes a little searching to find (I snagged mine off of Ebay), but so worth the read. You’ll laugh, you’ll take notes, and you’ll probably spit out coffee once or twice (she’s that good!).
Hope your New Year is bright and full of literary opportunities! And if you have a favorite book, do send the title my way (wink, wink).