Book List for 2013

I just love starting a new year with a fresh list of wonderful reads for me to devour! Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, and I have to be diligent to weave in small reading moments here and there, while juggling my various responsibilities, but it is so worth it. My reading moments might be found in a thirty minute window while the kiddos take a quiet rest/nap time, or a brief chunk of time before bed, but the rich nuggets that I take away while reading the inspiring lives of fellow man, biographies, classic novels, inspirational materials, and more, are the fuel that keep me strengthened day by day to live my life to the fullest, and to understand the culture and historical times around me that I might be a more effective ambassador for Christ now. Reading is a little taste of heaven for me. Each year for the past 5 years I have posted my reading list on this blog and checked off the books as I have read them, and it has been a wonderful source of accountability…so here we go again.

How do I pick which books to read? Well, I try to balance my reading with classical literature for the purpose of continuing to train and teach myself so that I might be an effective teacher to my own children. I love learning and want to inspire my own children in this way. I participate in a classics book club for accountability and deeper discussion in this area. Classics are balanced with biographies so that I might be challenged to grow from the lives of courageous people (especially fellow believers) that have gone before me. Along with these, I pick a few inspirational reads from times gone by as well as contempory authors. And lastly, I pick a few titles that simply apply to my current roles as wife and mother so I might be continually encouraging my soul in my mission. So you’ll see I pick 2-3 or more from each of the above categories.

A Little History of the World - E. H. Gombrich – a solid overview of history written actually for children but a great educational tool for this mommy too!

Problem of Pain – C.S. Lewis – I love reading from the old great theologians, so Lewis’ work on understanding the purpose of pain and suffering will surely get me thinking.

Amazing Grace – bio on William Wilberforce – Eric Metaxas – it’s truly valuable to read at least one good biography each year to help inspire us onward through the lives of men and women of faith.

The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky- I read Crime and Punishment this last year and really loved the redemption protrayed in Dostoevsky’s works, so I knew I must attempt the big one.

Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by being Different – Tullian Tchividjian – I read Tullian’s Jesus + Everything = Everything this past year and have deeply challenged by his call to keep the gospel the main thing. I wanted to read this book to continue reminding me of my purpose to live intentionally for the Kingdom.

Instructing a Childs Heart – Tedd Tripp – Tripp’s book Shepherding a Child’s Heart has always been one of my favorite books on child training, so this companion/sequel volume is a great resource for really getting to the heart of the matter.

Rich Mullins: A Devotional Biography - James Smith – this biography has been on my list for far too long. I’m going to actually read it this year!

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of your Child – Anthony Esolen – a discussion of ten points on the cultural trends of education, technology and overscheduling of activities hinder the imagination development of our children and what we can do about it.

Keep a Quiet Heart - Elisabeth Elliot – it’s time for a re-read of these short inspirational writings from a dear women of faith.

Discipline: the Glad Surrender – Elisabeth Elliot – lacking self-discipline? I sure am. This timeless volume of truth will surely be a wonderful tool.

Reflections on Joan of Arc - Mark Twain – we studied the life of Joan of Arc recently with the kids during our study of the Middle Ages, and I was really curious to learn more about her life. When I discovered that Mark Twain had written a book on her, I knew I had to check it out.

At Home: a short history of private life by Bill Bryson – This looks like a fun read detailing the history of every room in the house, and the domestic story behind each artifact.

Joni & Ken : an untold love story - Joni Eareckson Tada – the beautiful love story to be released this April on the life of quadriplegic Joni Tada and her husband Ken of thirty years.

Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching & Appreciating Boys – this book comes to me highly recommended as a wonderful resource in raising boys who will be men of faith and courage.

The Gospel for Real Life: Turn to the Liberating Power of the Gospel…Every Day - Jerry Bridges – We so easily forget the beauty of the gospel and how to live it out in our daily life. Jerry Bridges is a wonderful author and a long time favorite of mine.

Fit to Burst: Abundance Mayhem & The Joys of Motherhood - Rachel Jankovic – Rachel has written some truly powerful articles on motherhood over at the Desiring God blog, alongwith her first book, Loving the Little Years. I anticipate another good read from her soon to be released book.

Desperate: Hope for the Mom who needs to Breath by Sally Clarkson & Sarah Mae – I highly recommend any of Sally’s books as the best materials out their to inspire you in your motherhood, and her newest book, Desperate, is sure not to disappoint.

In My Fathers House -Corrie ten Boom – Corrie ten Boom was placed in a concentration camp during World War two after her family risked their lives to hide Jews. This incredible story is told in the Hiding Place. This book tells the story of Corrie’s childhood.

Tramp for The Lord – Corrie ten Boom – a sequel to the Hiding Place. Tells the story of Corrie’s travels around the world and her incredible testimony following her imprisonment.

The Scarlett Pimpernel – Baroness Emmuska Orczy – This book follows the adventures of Sir Percy Blakeney as he seeks to help French aristocrats escape the guillotine during the French Revolution. We have loved the movie adaption of this book many times over the years, so I am excited to read this classic.

One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp – I have been an enthusiastic of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and the practice of numbering all of God’s blessings day by day. Her newest companion devotional has been a fabulous read for short inspiration to accompany your Bible study.

What are you looking forward to reading this year?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

38 Responses to Book List for 2013

  1. Barbara January 25, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    I love your blog, watching your family grow, and using many of your delicious recipes! I always look forward to your book list, because it gives me ideas for books to read that I might not have thought of or haven’t heard of.

    I requested “A Little History of the World” and have to tell you that I am TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED! This author is an EVOLUTIONIST!!! He says the world began ‘thousands of millions of years’ ago!

    Here’s a quote: “Once the earth was perhaps no more than a swirling cloud of gas and dust, like those other, far bigger ones we can see today through our telescopes. For billions and trillions of years, without rocks, without water and without life, that swirling cloud of gas and dust made rings around the sun. And before that? Before that, not even the sun, our good old sun, was there. Only weird and amazing giant stars and heavenly bodies whirling among the gas clouds in an infinite, infinite universe.”

    For those of you who didn’t care for Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts,” (neither did I) try “Choosing Gratitude,” by Nancy Lee DeMoss. It’s fabulous and heart-reaching.

    • Wanderdust January 25, 2013 at 7:31 am #

      Dear Barbara, I agree I was also disappointed with ‘A Little History of the World’ but if you read further the author seems to consider himself “Christian” but also believes other religions are just as interesting or valuable, yes, and the evolution is apparent as he believes that there were pseudo-humans and such (rather than God creating us “each according to his kind” and for us to take care of the animals, made in the image of God), and he seems to encourage kids to wait until they are older to read the Bible. So I am not reading much of it to my children, just parts, but I do still find it interesting myself to get a broad overall view of history and take it all with a grain of salt.

      I DID really like Anne V’s “One Thousand Gifts”, all but the last chapter which seemed not right to refer to intercourse, us, and God together in a chapter. I did not care for that at all, as the Bible refers to us as God’s bride but never in such specific explicit and erotic terms. Sex and lust are too combined here on this fallen earth that I do not think it fitting with God, though He is the lover of our SOULS. We will have perfected bodies and not just be disembodied souls, but we will neither marry nor be given in marriage. The song of Solomon is a little like that, I guess, but, I think pure love will be free from lust in heaven like the angels. We will all dance before Him and all will be bliss, but to talk about sex and God like that seems unholy. I think she just took it too far. So I did not like how she did that in the last chapter, but the rest of it was all thought-provoking and meaningful to me.

  2. Tara D January 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I just asked on FB if any of my friends had any recommendations for books for 2013 and then found your list, so a big thank you. It’s a long list, but a really good one and I think well balanced. I know there is some skepticism with Anne Vosekamp, but I’ve read her book and follow her blog and adore her writing. I’m very careful about good theology and while I might not agree with her 100%, I’ve never seen anything contrary to scripture. She might be a bit of a dreamer, but she also seems very grounded to me. I think the devo is 100% worth your time.

  3. JLR January 7, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    I haven’t read through all the comments, so if I repeat, forgive me.

    I would just say that if you’re going to read The Problem of Pain, you should pair it with A Grief Observed. PP is Lewis’ theological concept of pain before he ever had any personal experience with it. GO is his thoughts on it after he lost his wife to cancer. We had to read both in our Sickness and Suffering class in seminary (along with watching Shadowlands), and it’s really an interesting before-and-after contrast.

    Also, a great book on Joan of Arc (Twain’s is fictional, though researched):

  4. Katherine January 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    Awwww. Thank you for sharing your list. I took a look at Sally Clarkson’s book “Desperate” over at Amazon. and promptly ordered a copy. It’s just where I am and just what I need.

  5. Kristen January 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    For anyone interested in “default Christianity” by Nathanael Egger… here is the link:

  6. Toni January 6, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    One more suggestion from the website I previously mentioned is “Christian Patriotism” This is a must read for all citizens of Heaven (Phil 3:20).

  7. Toni January 6, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I think that you will enjoy Rich Mullins biography. His life was very inspiring to me. Another good book by James Smith is “Room of Marvels” which can be helpful for those who have lost loved ones.

    I also like the allegorical book “Hinds Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. This takes you on a journey with “Much Afraid” to the high places with the Shepherd/King. I like to reread it when I need encouragement.

    Another read which is also inspiring is “The Demands of the World vs Christ” by Leo Tolstoy and can be found online at You can also buy the pamphlet and others like it at this website for a reasonable price.

    Thank you for your blog. It is also very inspiring!

  8. Nicole January 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    This is an awesome list! And really inspiring. I need to find a good book club(online, naturally) to keep me honest and accountable.

  9. Shannon January 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I love the variety of books on your list! I am also looking forward to the new book by Joni Eareckson Tada. Her writings have been very powerful influences in my life since I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder two years ago.

    You’ll get a kick out of The Scarlett Pimpernel!

  10. Rachel January 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Thank you for these excellent book recs! I have the Little History of the World and Ten Ways to Destroy a Child’s Imagination in my Amazon cart already. Can’t wait! I wanted to let you know that the link to the Raising Real Men book isn’t working, just fyi.

    Your site has been a huge inspiration to my own blog. Thank you so much for your godly perspective on health, parenting, and gospel-centered faith.

  11. Carrie January 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    It is interesting about the bad review about Ann Voskamp. I could not really get into her first book but I appreciated what she was tryng to share, it was just not a style of writing that I could get into. So perhaps some people were in my boat and instead of chalking it up to just not their style decided to be picky! Just a thought. I did read it though as I thought the ideas were worth trying to get through but i had to skip some parts and skim through others, I have a bit of ADD I think and gaining my fill attention sometimes is hard.

    In any case, I love your book suggestions. I have started sharing them with my husband and he is very interested in the Amazing Grace book. I am going to take your list to the library and see which ones they have so I can start one. I am very interested in the 10 ways to destroy your childs imagination. I am curious, I think we have a good balance between technology and play but maybe not! The girls sure do love to create with my big box of containers and with any random household item!

  12. Sara January 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    What a wonderful list! I have always wanted to read The Brothers Karamazov, but wanted to read it with someone to discuss it. I have Twain’s Joan of Arc on my list too!

    Love C.S. Lewis!

    I’m reading Philip Yancey’s older book, “Where is God When It Hurts.” I think it’s a question that comes up so much in faith conversations, especially in view of the great tragedies of 2012, and is a real deal breaker for some in coming to Christ, but find myself stumbling when someone asks these types of questions.

    I highly, highly recommend Eric Metaxas’ “Bonhoeffer.” Stunning parallels to situations we see today. Also planning to read “The Forgotten Man,” by Amity Schlaes. My husband is reading this now. We have older kids, one who will soon be studying American 20th C history and economics. This book is one that is not afraid to take on FDR’s economic record.

    Love your blog, and read it fairly regularly. Thank you!

  13. Ashley January 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I’m currently reading Lewis’ “The Problem of Pain!” So far, it’s one of his easier books to read. If you haven’t read “The Screwtape Letters” I highly recommend it.

    • Ashley January 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      Oops, one more recommendation! You might also like reading about Gianna Molla, she was a wife and mother with an inspiring story.

  14. Jessica January 4, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    Thanks for this list!
    I just purchase “Raising Boys” by Steve Biddulph and looking forward to reading that. (recommended to me by a friend).

    Also looking forward to reading “Make Love, Make War. Now is the time to Worship” by brian doerksen [A christmas gift to my husband and he's not yet starting on it :) ]

  15. Sara B. January 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    What a great list! Those all sound really good; I will have to draw from it too this year. I highly recommend “Discipline: a glad surrender”. Elisabeth Elliot’s wisdom and straightforwardness is such a blessing. It’s a pretty quick read. I think I’ll have to pick it up again this year. :)

  16. kellie January 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    Looks like a great list! Thanks for sharing it!

  17. Rachel January 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    What a wonderful list! I cannot wait to see what you think of The Brothers Karamazov. Reading and reflecting on the “Grand Inquisitor” scene was instrumental in my process of coming to Christ. Also, as you may know, Dostoyevsky’s books helped many come to Christ even when the Bible itself was banned in Russia. What a gift his writings still are.

    The book I started on the new year was The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. So far I am really enjoying reading it as a devotional, especially because there are lots of footnotes on his many Scriptural references.

  18. Wanderdust January 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    I am looking forward to reading to my kids books I like. I discovered they (age 3 and 5) like non-picture books read aloud to them, too, so I am reading them “Lord of the RIngs” right now, hope to do Chronicles of Narnia later, Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, etc. It’s fun to do the voices and read books that interest me at the same time as helping my kids’ imagination! It’s so fun to see them run off and play similar things after our little snippets of reading times throughout the day.

    • Lindsay January 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      I’m with you! We have recently read A Christmas Carol and Peter Pan unabridged with our three and five year old and had a fabulous time. They love Chronicles of Narnia and Little House too! I want to read Anne of Green Gables soon as well. Reading aloud to the kids at night is a great family building experience.

  19. Amy January 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I love Jerry Bridges’ Trusting God. His writing is deep and yet easy to track with. He is also a personal friend of our family! He has three newly published books I’d like to check out: The Transforming Power of the Gospel, True Community, and Who Am I?: Our Identity in Christ.

  20. Leesa January 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    I saw the devotional for ONe Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I thought about her book but I read Amazon reviews where people included several quotes from her book in which she quoted other universalism thoughts and statements which do not line up with scripture. I’m curious if you had read her original book and what your thoughts were. Also read numerous reviews about her writing in the original book being cloudy with awkward word phrases and metaphors, and then she wrote the last chapter about making love to God which I haven’t read but it’s probably one of the reasons I won’t. Not sure if it okay for someone to use that kinda sensual language when referring to God, and again I’m basing this info off some of the Amazon reviews but where people did quote her. I do subscribe to her blog and we used her Jesse Tree Advent calendar stuff but I’m hesitant to read her stuff. Not sure that she’s rooted and grounded in good biblical theology (but I still do enjoy her blog and she’s a great person)

    Thanks for sharing the book list- I got a couple of titles I want to look at and I’ve read the Instructing… book from Tedd Trip. He’s a great author.

    • RG January 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      Thank you for your thoughts. I have the same reservations.

    • Lindsay January 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

      I’m surprised to hear there was such negative feedback on Ann’s book. One Thousand Gifts was very instrumental in my life in helping cultivate a radically thankful heart. She does use interesting descriptive language at times throughout the book that I believe we’re likely just misinterpreted. There is so much wealth and encouragement to throw it out altogether. I have heard her speak on several occasions and also been a blog reader for quite some time, and have never come across anything that was out of order doctrinally in my experience. I personally love and recommend her widely. The core of her materials in cultivating thankfulness is such a lost art and one I believe to be foundational in making us women after Gods own heart.

      • Leesa January 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

        I can check out the audio file version of it from our library so I’ll check it out.

  21. Amanda January 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Does anyone know a book like “Raising Real Men”, for girls? Sounds like a great book and I love that it covers homeschooling! Definitely going to read it but I would also love to learn about raising real women.

    • Lindsay January 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      There are a lot of great resources out there on Mother and Daughter devotionals that my mom used with me used over the years. Girl Talk by the Mahaneys is a wonderful resource, along with Beautiful Girlhood, books by Vicki Courtney and Dannah Gresh have also been recommended to me. Hope that helps!

      • Amanda January 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

        Thanks Lindsay!

  22. Sheri January 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Good list! You’ve named a few of my favorites. Tramp for the Lord is one of the most uplifting books I’ve ever read, and perfect for the individual who has only short chunks of time in which to read. Discipline: the Glad Surrender is very challenging, and the Scarlet Pimpernel is such a lovely, fun book. Amazing Grace was a book that I had to read carefully…I love Metaxas’s work but it’s scholarly enough that I had to digest it slowly.
    I’m not sure I’ve ever made a list of books to read, although in high school I attempted to read through a general list of classics but only stuck with the ones that interested me ;-)
    Thanks for inspiring me to be more intentional and make a list.
    Happy reading!

  23. Kristen January 3, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    I really love your list and YOUR seemingly singleminded focus on the gospel and Christ as well, Lindsay! I’m challenged and encouraged to challenge my heart and mind to do the same and lead my children to do so as well!

    I’m excited to be just starting a newly published and wonderful book that looks at what a God-first perspective should/can look like in the life of the Christian. It is called: Default Christianity, written by Nathanael Egger.

    I hope one day you can enjoy and be challenged by this book as well!

    I hope I can pick up several of your list as well (namely by ten Boom). I am excited to finish the Bon Hoeffer biography by Metaxas, as I have been reading this slowly for a couple months.

    Any tips on making reading a priority as a mom of 3 littles?? I find it very difficult!

    Thanks again!

  24. Amy Clark January 3, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    We have several of the same books on our lists! Instructing a Child’s Heart is phenomenal. You will really enjoy it! I have another baby due in June – it will either destroy my list, or I will read everything in a month. :) Just depends on how I feel, and my new little one’s needs!

    I’m surprised at one thing: you have books listed by authors like Bridges, Elliot, Tripp and Tchividjian, but you also read Voskamp? I have some serious doctrinal concerns with her work. Based on what I have seen in your book lists over the last few years, Voskamp is like a “which does not belong?” To each his own….. Happy reading!

  25. Elaine January 3, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Love your list! I made a list too, although yours is much better than mine. I love using Goodreads. Do you? My user name there is elainegl. Stop by and say hello! We both have Keep a Quiet Heart on our lists.

    • Lindsay January 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      Yes! I also use Goodreads and have found it really helpful!

  26. Melissa Rank January 3, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Hi Lindsay,

    Just wanted to let you know that the link for Amazing Grace didn’t work for me.

    • Lindsay January 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      It’s fixed!

  27. Amanda January 3, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    I am starting a new small group bible study based on One Thousand Gifts next week! I am so looking forward to great fellowship with other women. I started to read the book right after my son was born in June, but after the first few pages, I was sobbing so bad I put it down and haven’t picked it up again. Hopefully I won’t be so hormonal this time around and I will make it through those first difficult pages!

    • Sara B. January 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      I now consider One Thousand Gifts my all time favorite book on Christian living. The first chapter is the hardest to get through, and I had to reread it a couple of times before I could continue. Ann Voskamp’s writing is gentle, truthful, and sometimes hard to swallow, but God’s amazing grace is the entire theme and it is breathtaking. Enjoy your group study.