Best Loved Books of 2013

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It’s no secret that I love to read. I went through about 47 books last year, but I’m always searching for another good book recommendation! To make it easy on you other bibliophile moms out there, I thought I’d break down my favorite reads from 2013 (not necessarily written in that year).

507a5d747898b.preview-620Best Fiction: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

This is a pretty heart wrenching fictional book about a couple in isolation working in a lighthouse off the coast of Australia. The woman longs to be a mother and after several miscarriages begins to believe her dream will never come true…until a baby washes up on their shore.  With no other people in sight, she chooses to raise the baby as their own despite her husband’s wishes to alert the people ashore. It is a beautifully written novel about a husband’s love, a mother’s love, and as you can probably guess it’s a tough read but I absolutely loved it and will not give the ending away. So read it for yourself…and have some tissues nearby!

freerangecover13Best Non Fiction: Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy

You will most likely love or hate this book and possibly the author behind it after you read about her choices for her own kids. We moms (despite trying our hardest!) just can’t get away with judging other mothers. The author of this book was raked over the coals in the national media after letting her young son ride the subway by himself in NYC. She went on to write a book about how safe our kids really are in this country, can we hover too much as parents, and knowing your kids well enough to give them responsibilities at certain ages so they will become confident adults. Like most books, I didn’t agree with all that she said but the information provided is well researched and thought provoking and if nothing else will give you some good discussion with other moms at your next playgroup!

images (1)Best Classic: Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Of course I had to repay a visit to this classic before I saw the blockbuster this summer. I remember liking it in high school when it was required reading, but oh how I loved it even more as a thirty year old. The mystery, the intrigue, the tragedy, the roaring twenties, the unrequited love gets me every time. And it’s a pretty short book so if you’re needing something to knock out quickly that doesn’t get you too involved, this is a great one!

 

Let's Pretend coverFunniest Book: Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

This was one of those books I was laughing out loud at and had to stop and read passages to my husband so he could share in the hilarity. (Specifically the passage where she is fending off vultures from trying to dig up her recently buried dog.) I love her blog and her sense of humor so I had a feeling I would easily enjoy her memoir and I did! Some people might not find her style of humor funny so check out her blog first and then decide for yourself. But if you find taxidermy, dark humor, and absurdity funny then I think you will love it.

 

imagesMost Unique: Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

A great fiction read about a quirky and paranoid mother who goes missing and the daughter’s quest to find her. The book is mostly written through the various clues the daughter finds through letters and emails surrounding the mother’s disappearance. While the subject matter seems serious, it’s actually a quite humorous book that pokes fun at our idiosyncrasies as adults and at certain Seattle cultures that some from the NW will appreciate I’m sure.

9780143123255_p0_v1_s260x420Favorite Series: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

This is a trilogy memoir set about midwives living in the poorer districts of London after WWII. They are true stories from the author’s life and are a fascinating look into a past that seems far removed from us, but in reality was just my grandparents’ generation. The bravery and knowledge of these women is amazing. The understanding and kind ways they had in dealing with the poor will touch your heart. You can truly feel the passion the author had for her job from reading the pages.  There is also a popular miniseries based on these books on the BBC, PBS, and streaming on Netflix.

downloadFavorite Devotional Book: David–Seeking a Heart Like His by Beth Moore

I have loved all of the Beth Moore Bible studies I have done and David was no different. Our ladies class at church studied this for a quarter. I enjoy the personal study I do at home with the questions and workbook and I especially love the discussion that comes from our weekly class. David is someone I think many people can relate to, far from perfect but still called “A Man After God’s Heart.” If you want to be challenged in your faith or are seeking for an in depth study of someone in the Bible I highly recommend this one!

41lutuWcGMLBest Parenting Book: Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

It might be a bit nerdy and full of stats but they are interesting stats and not at all what you’d assume. How should you praise your child? How should you talk to them about race? How much sleep is important? Are schools failing our children? Am I actually encouraging my child to lie? You might think you know the answer but after you read this you might just change your mind…or at least have something to debate with your hubby over the dinner table. Great read!

 

download (1)Best Self Improvement Book: Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown

Have you ever read a book so wonderful you wish the whole world would read it? This is one of those books for me. A book about how vulnerability, though often considered a weakness, is truly our greatest asset in becoming better leaders, parents, teachers, friends, and members of society. It’s all about connection and if you want a taste of this book just Google Brene’ Brown’s Ted talk. You’ll wanna be brave and have deep discussions and share things and make the world a better place, so read it and then pass it on!

1358946498Best Memoir: Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

This is a memoir of a journalist and her struggle to find the right doctors to help her through a harrowing diagnosis that on the outside seemed to be psychosis, but in actuality was a rare autoimmune disease. Her family’s steadfastness and her ability to write about the ordeal while she was suffering is pretty amazing.

I could probably list a few more categories, but I think I hit the high notes for 2013. Please leave a comment of the best books you read last year and the ones you plan to read in 2014! Happy reading!

 

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Katie left her home state of Tennessee to come pursue an interior design degree in Oklahoma fourteen years ago. She met a handsome young fella from Oregon while in school, and they decided to marry and settle down in OKC. A dog and two daughters soon followed. She has been a textile designer, showroom merchandiser, custom furniture draftsman and children’s minister, but her most challenging and favorite role has definitely been that of a mother. You can read about the adventures she shares with her family at Strawberry Ruckus. Katie enjoys reading, being creative, exploring old houses, eating peanut butter, zumba and watching complete television series all at once on Netflix.

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