Welcome to my Reader’s Journal for 2019. I am posting this before Christmas – a record for me! It’s been another wonderful year of reading with many rereads. My list does not include my Bible reading, The Cloud of Witness, Charlotte Mason’s 6 Volumes, or school books. Let me know if you have any opinions about these titles! If you post your list, feel free to link in the comments. I would love to see what you enjoyed this year.
1. Images of Faith: Devotional Edition, Reflections Inspired by Lilias Trotter Vol. 1 & 2 by Miriam Huffman Rockness
I adored this devotional. When I finished this book, I immediately thought that I wanted to read it again, to soak in all the beautiful wisdom from Lilias AND Miriam. Lilias was a protege of John Ruskin who left her art career to share God’s love with the people of Algeria. Her observations of God in nature and the every day life of people are profound and lovely. Miriam Rockness shares a daily reading from Lilias, Scripture, and then her own commentary, relating seamlessly what Lilias shared 100 years ago to her own life today. Illustrated with inspiring artwork by Lilias.
2. Atomic Habits by James Clear
I enjoy reading about habits and this book is the next step after Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit. It goes beyond and gives you such practical steps to incorporate good habits in your life. His Three Levels of Behavior Change diagram is excellent and mirrors what Charlotte Mason has been telling us all along – that it has to start within (ideas/identity) for lasting change. I wonder if he’ll write one for teens? Oh, and his succinct email newsletter is one piece of email that I look forward to reading.
3. Chariot in the Sky – A Story of the Jubilee Singers by Arna Bontemps
Is there a period in history where you feel like you haven’t done a good job teaching your children? A gap, if you will? For me, that era was Reconstruction – that period after the Civil War (1865-1877). Sure, they read short blurbs about it in their main history book and most of my children have read Forty Acres and a Mule, but I didn’t have a relationship with the era and seeing the state of things in our country today just didn’t add up to what I thought had happened. Plus, we seemed to end the school years with the Civil War and start the next one with WW1.
Then I watched the PBS series, Reconstruction. And the ideas started rumbling through my brain. It was so interesting, so thought-provoking that I had my teenagers (not for littles!) watch it with me as I went through it a second time. We had such great conversations about race and the state of affairs today.
I tend to look for the heroes in history. There are many heroes (and villians) that I had never heard of. The Jubiliee Singers were introduced to me in this series and I faintly remembered a book somewhere in my library that I picked up decades ago. It was this beauty, Chariot in the Sky by Arna Bontemps. It brought their story alive to me. Then a bit later I found “The Jubiliee Singers” on an American Experience episode and was delighted to see how Mr. Bontemps had brilliantly covered all the issues mentioned in this documentary with such accurate storytelling.
I have seen this happen over and over again in our homeschool. That is, when I begin to feel inadequate or unsure about something, the Holy Spirit through living ideas begins to show me a way. It’s a matter of paying attention.
4. Persuasion by Jane Austen
Some authors just need to be read more than once; Jane Austen is one of them. It’s been a while since I first read Persuasion and this time I found myself completely empathetic to Anne’s plight. The fact that we had such a lovely discussion about it at the 2019 LER gives it a special place in my heart. I saw Anne’s patience and humility as so exemplary and was drawn into the story with abandon.
5. Bright Line Eating by Susan Peirce Thompson
I have made a huge lifestyle change and this book is partly responsible. If you told me last year that a book on an eating program would be on my list, I probably wouldn’t believe you! Alas, it’s been a year of no sugar and no flour and I feel amazing. I’ve also consumed more vegetables this past year than I have in all the previous years combined. The science in this book as it applies to eating and addiction is fascinating and it’s built solidly around habits. And because of my decades of considering Charlotte Mason and her emphasis on habits (education is a discipline), I found this way of eating quite doable. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. (I dropped 30 lbs. and have maintained for 7 months.)
And here’s the rest of my reading list for 2019. An “*” means I recommend it.
6. Unveiled by Francine Rivers
7. A Passion for the Impossible by Miriam Huffman Rockness (reread) *
8. 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik
9. Virgil Wander by Leif Enger *
10. Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer
11. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst
12. Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart*
13. Lincoln’s Bishop by Gustav Niebuhr
14. Lost Without The River by Barbara Scoblic*
15. Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively
16. Ted Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson*
17. Grit by Angela Duckworth*
18. The Road Back to You by Ian Cron
19. “Bequest of Wings” A Family’s Pleasures With Books*
20. The Quiet Eye by Sylvia Shaw Judson*
21. The “Bird Girl” : The Story of a Sculpture by Sylvia Shaw Judson by Sandra L. Underwood*
22. Jesus in Me by Anne Graham Lotz*
23. Scale How Meditations by Charlotte Mason (reread)*
24. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (reread)*
25. Only the Past is Ours – The Life Story of Gertrude Slaughter by Gertrude Slaughter
26. Shepherdess of Elk River Valley by Margaret Duncan Brown*
Past lists of reading goodness:
KELLY FAMILY CHRISTMAS BOOK LIST
Subscribe to my bimontly newsletter, Nancy's Notes, and receive a free, 11-page pdf of our favorite titles!
Welcome! Check your email to confirm and receive your pdf of the Kelly Family Christmas Book List.