13 Books for 2013

I seem to be following a “better late than never” theme around here lately. I wrote about
Halloween in November, Christmas in January, and here I am posting my 2013 book list in February!

If only I had enough hours in the day for the countless books on my nightstand, bookcase and Amazon wish list that are begging to be read! With some difficulty I’ve narrowed my focus to this baker’s dozen that I plan to read over the coming months:

1. Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph RichardsiMonk discussed this book recently and piqued my interest. I love studying the Bible and this book is right up my alley. An excerpt: “…there’s no way around the fact that our cultural and historical contexts supply us with habits of mind that lead us to read the Bible differently than Christians in other cultural and historical contexts.”

2. The God Of The Mundane by Matt Redmond. Is Christianity about what we can do for God or about what He has done for us? My life is made up of very un-radical activities such as folding underwear, scrubbing toilets, cooking oatmeal, teaching grammar and balancing the checkbook. Can a mundane life glorify God?

3. Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. This is a book that I started reading over a year ago but never finished. It’s an eye-opening, powerful book that is a necessary, but difficult, read for anyone who endeavors to “seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” (Is. 1:17)

4. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William J. Webb. I quickly read this book on my kindle last year and found Webb’s redemptive movement approach to hermeneutics pretty intriguing. I’m planning to read my paper copy this year, slowly, with pen and notebook in hand.

5. Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James. For the Christian, this book goes hand-in-hand with Half the Sky. From the book description: “The strongest voices speaking into women’s lives in the twenty-first century are Islam and Feminism–systems that reside at opposite ends of the spectrum. Does the church’s message for women stake out the middle ground or lead the way to something much better?”

6. The Trinity & Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God & the Contemporary Gender Debate by Kevin Giles. Is the Son eternally subordinate to the Father? If the Trinity is the model for our Christian relationships then I want to have a better understanding of how the Son, Spirit and Father relate to one another.

7. Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think by Bryan Caplan. A couple years ago, while reading aloud Cheaper by the Dozen to my kids, I was inspired by the father in the story, Mr. Gilbreth, to make my bathroom time more educational. So I began broadening my horizons by listening to NPR while getting myself ready in the mornings (sometimes afternoons, depending on how my day is going!) I have gained insight on opinions that differ from my own, learned information on a wide range of topics and discovered quite a few authors and musicians who are new to me. Bryan Caplan is one of those authors and after listening to his fascinating interview on NPR one morning I immediately ordered this book, which promises to be the antithesis to Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother!

8. Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen. Nothing gets my 6 year old out of a pout faster than being chased around the house by a tickle monster on the loose! Humor is an integral part of our gentle parenting and I’m looking forward to reading this author’s thoughts on the subject.

9. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. For years I tried to fight my introversion instead of embracing it, buying into the mindset of our culture that extroverted personalities are the ideal. In this book Susan Cain not only brings to light the advantages of introversion but also gives advice on parenting an introverted child.

10. Families Where Grace Is in Place: Building a Home Free of Manipulation, Legalism, and Shame by Jeff VanVonderen. From the book description: “Here is a message about how God’s grace can transform relationships within a marriage and family…Healthy relationships between husband and wife, between parents and children, are possible only when the filter of God’s grace is placed over the processes of marriage and parenting.”

11. Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna. What are the origins of our modern church practices and traditions? I’m curious to find out.

 12. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. I’ve visited A Holy Experience a few times and have known about this book for awhile now but honestly wasn’t interested until I learned that Ann Voskamp used to struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. She states that “gratitude is an antidote for anxiety“ and, as someone who struggles with anxious and sometimes panicky thoughts, this is something I’d like to know more about.

13. Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. Since I don’t have small children underfoot anymore I’m not sure I’m within the targeted audience of this book. However, I subscribe to Sally Clarkson’s blog, I Take Joy, and I’m interested because I enjoy her thoughts on mothering. I heard about Sarah Mae a year or more ago but, funnily enough, was turned off by her e-books about how to keep your house clean and how to get dressed every day. Most moms already worry too much about messes and I am not about to give up my yoga pants! So I never stuck around Sarah’s blog to see what she was about. I’m looking forward to learning more about her via this book.

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One Response to 13 Books for 2013

  1. Kateri says:

    The few things I have read by Sarah Mae on parenting have really impressed me. She is pro gentle parenting and from what I gather, does not spank. I don’t have children, so don’t really follow her (or any mommy blogs), but from the bit I know, I suspect you would like her parenting style.

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