January 3, 2015
I spent December traveling in Africa.

Ok, not really. But as Mason Cooley put it, "Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are."

For me this year "someplace to go" included P.E. Island, Buenos Aires, Holland, Middle Earth, New York, Seattle, Bath and Calabar.  Not bad.

One of my goals for last year was to read like crazy. The first four and half months were spent devouring school textbooks and the rest of the year devouring whatever I wanted to read. I know I could have been more disciplined in making time to read, but I'm happy for what I did accomplish. 

So here it is . . . a list of most of the books I read and the destinations where my imagination traveled to in 2014.

Author's Note:

1. I do not claim to fully endorse everything in these books.

2. I had a lot of time this fall to multitask—so I listened instead of read some of them (it still counts in my opinion. :)

3. It is my goal to read with a Biblical worldview.

Lies Women Believe 
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
This book points out what happens when a woman listens to a lie, believes the lie, and then acts on the lie. Lies are destructive and “Each lie must be countered with the corresponding Truth. Where we have listened to, dwelt on, believed, and acted on lies, we must begin to listen to, mediate on, believe, and act on the truth. That is how we will move from bondage to freedom, by the power of the Spirit of God. As Jesus declared, it is the Truth that ‘will set you free’ (John 8:32).” --Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Lies Women Believe) I've read this amazing book before, but it was a wonderful refresher on the power and value of the Truth. Five stars!

Created in God’s Image  
by Anthony A. Hoekema
This was one of my textbooks for Systematic Theology class. It was a great resource for anthropology (the doctrine of man). It is a deep, insightful read and made me really think.

Jesus Christ Our Lord  
by John F. Walvoord
This was my textbook for our class study of Christology (the doctrine of Christ). This was also an enlightening read. Walvoord explores the Person and character of Jesus Christ, His names and His works. 

The Cross and Salvation 
 by Bruce Demarest
This book definitely isn’t light bed-time reading. Demarest includes many Scripture references and an educational inclusion of different beliefs/views on the subject of Soteriology (the doctrine of Salvation).

by Abigail Prigge, Ashlyn Busenitz and Jana Busenitz
It just so happens I’ve read this adventure (and all of its editions and versions) multiple times, but it wasn’t until the last time—when I read it straight through in two days (in actual BOOK form) that I realized what a hilarious, colorful adventure it is! Jana, Ashlyn and I had a blast coming up with a melodramatic cast of characters and a setting that will pull you into Argentine life in the 1800s. This book contains pieces of our hearts, friendship and childhood memories all blended up together in one crazy ride. You can read an excerpt and the story behind how we wrote it.

Pride and Prejudice  
by Jane Austen
I have seen the BBC movie multiple times but I was blown away by the book. Jane Austen is truly the mastermind behind all the wit of this undisputed, hands-down best period drama love story. The charm, scandal, modesty, chivalry, agony and purity of this saga is a beautiful Austen romance. Definitely a favorite!

The Hiding Place  
by Corrie Ten Boom
I enjoy this book more every time. This true account of a Dutch family caught in the wake of World War II is fascinating, heartwarming and absolutely inspiring.  The Ten Boom family’s courage in the face of sacrifice, prison and even death encourages me so much. Their dedication to God and His Word causes me to want to soak myself in it—for when the trials come—it is the only solace and source of joy. I personally think The Hiding Place is worth reading at least every other year.

Knowing God 
by J. I. Packer
I received this book for my highschool graduation from dear friends. I finally listened to it while I cleaned this summer. This book is a survey of several of the attributes of God. "How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is simple but demanding. It is that we turn each Truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God." --J. I. Packer (Knowing God) 

Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Women 
by Patricia A. Miller
This resource is written by one of my college teachers. She does a great job of pulling together Scriptures that speak to the variety of issues women face—ranging from materialism to hospitality, guilt to trials, and suicide to prodigal children. God is not silent on any topic that women struggle with. I really enjoyed reading through the many Bible verses, and the practical steps and resources she includes at the end of each chapter.

Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) 
 by Joshua Harris
I recommend this book for any single believer who seeks to honor God in purity of mind, soul and body. It’s an easy-read with impacting truths.

Cheaper by the Dozen 
 by Ernestine Carey and Frank Gilbreth
This book will keep me up at night no matter how many times I read it. It’s a hilarious, true story of a family with a dozen children. Mr. Gilbreth was a motion study expert and sought to apply his methods in the home.

Belles on Their Toes 
by Ernestine Carey and Frank Gilbreth
The sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen, get ready for more of the same. Ernestine and Frank whimsically capture more of their comical adventures and the struggles to keep the family financially afloat after their father’s death.

Dear Mr. Knightley 
 by Katherine Reay
Dear Mr. Knightley is a well-written, captivating story of a young woman in a modern-day Daddy Long Legs love-story. It is Christian fiction genre--but I was disappointed when a real redemption by Jesus Christ never happened.

Lizzy and Jane 
by Katherine Reay
I also enjoyed Katherine Reay's second book, but realized again that the Christian fiction has come to mean mentioning "God" and "prayer" a few times and that's about it. Katherine Reay is a genius at sensory description. Her details of spices, smells and food will leave your mouth watering. The main character, Lizzy, is a chef and I appreciated the setting and flavor of the novel. Both Reay's books have a Jane Austen flair.

Found: God’s Will  
by John MacArthur
This little book is a lightening-quick read and I really appreciated Mr. MacArthur’s simple, yet profound, thoughts on this seemingly mysterious subject.

Anne of Avonlea  
by L. M. Montgomery
After the Anne movie marathon, I decided to visit Prince Edward Island, specifically charming, old Avonlea. Anne sure has a knack for getting in scrapes and reminds me of someone I know well . . . 

 by Jane Austen
I'm such a fan of Austen's wit and depth of characters. I relate better to Lizzy Bennett and Emma Woodhouse, but noble Anne Elliot is still endearing.  
Favorite quotes: “I have a great idea that you do not design to be cruel, when the right moment occurs. Till it comes, you know, we women never mean to have anybody. It is a thing of course among us, that every man is refused until he offers.” –Jane Austen (Persuasion)
"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you." –Jane Austen (Persuasion)
"Anne hoped she had outlived the age of blushing; but the age of emotion she certainly had not." –Jane Austen (Persuasion)
"Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter." –Jane Austen (Persuasion)

 by Gene-Stratton Porter
This tale is told through the eyes of “Little Sister” who adores her amazing big brother, catches every detail of interest in her large family, and sometimes struggles to know when to give her decided opinion and when to keep her mouth shut. It’s a charming story with loveable characters. I especially enjoy listening to it. One of my favorites!

The Hobbit  
by J. R. Tolkien
To be honest, it took me awhile to travel through this one and I didn’t even quite stay ahead of the new Hobbit movie releases (book lovers, it's ok to gasp). I have a great appreciation and respect for Tolkien’s vast talent in creating Middle Earth!
Favorite Quote: “I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure, and it's very difficult to find anyone.” –J. R. Tolkien (The Hobbit) 

David Livingstone
by Geoff and Janet Benge
This is a true story of a Scottish explorer and missionary doctor to inland Africa. He was passionate about spreading the Gospel, ending the slave trade and blazing the trail to find the source of the Nile.

Mary Slessor 
by Geoff and Janet Benge
Inspired by David Livingstone’s life service, Mary’s love for God sent her to Africa at age 28. She was also a trail blazer and longed to go inland where no other white person had gone before. She lived in the jungles and her courage and dauntlessness moved mountains. She helped make peace between tribal chiefs, rescued twins who were killed because of superstitions and radically lived to share the Truth with the natives. Mary’s life encourages me to say “yes” in obedience to God, and then depend on His grace to work through me.

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo 
by Lt. Colonel J. H. Patterson, D.S.O
One of my favorite movies Ghosts in the Darkness is based off this true account, so I decided to read it. This is a thrilling account of a bridge-builder in Africa. Two massive, unexpected visitors show up and wreak terror on the workers' camps. I was amazed to find that most of the bizarre actions of these uncharacteristically aggressive lions really happened (and weren't just made up for the movie!) A quick and suspenseful read!

Kisses from Katie  
by Katie Davis
Continuing my Africa kick, I read this gripping story by a young woman about my age living in Uganda. She has adopted 14 little girls and valiantly shares her resources with all in need. Beautifully-written, and eye-opening, I finished this book with a greater awareness of poverty, wanderlust to travel, a broken heart for the world, and a longing to let God use me for His glory.
Favorite quote: "People often ask if I think my life is dangerous, if I am afraid. I am much more afraid of remaining comfortable. Matthew 10:28 tells us not to fear the things that can destroy the body but things that can destroy the soul... I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid the things that can and do bring physical destruction because I am running from the things that can destroy the soul, complacency, comfort and ignorance. I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy." –Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie) 

Happy Reading in 2015!


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