The Grace-Filled Life: 2019 Reading List

2019 reading list

I have a confession to make: I have book issues. I know that’s probably already obvious to many of you, but my issues run a little deeper than just buying a lot of books.

I don’t always finish them.

Sometimes, I barely read them at all.

I get really excited about them but, well, the next amazing book comes along and I’m all like, “SQUIRREL!” (If you don’t get that reference, you definitely need to watch the movie UP.) Consequently, as I was compiling the list of books I’d like to read in 2019, I intentionally added several books that I’ve started but have yet to finish.

I’ve kept my 2019 reading list small. Why? Because as I mentioned last week, I don’t need the pressure of an arbitrary checklist. I want to savour the books that I’m reading.

So with that said and without further ado, here is my list for the upcoming year:


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Although I majored in literature in university, I’ve only read excerpts from this classic. I’d like to read the entire story this year.

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

I’ve read this book already, and it’s one of my favourites. I would like to read it aloud to my younger two children before continuing on in the series.

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan

Against the historical backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sandy Tolan weaves the fictional story of an unusual friendship between a young Arab and a young Jew. This book has sat neglected on my shelf for several years, and it’s high time I dusted it off and gave it a thorough read.

Christian Non-Fiction

Love Lives Here by Maria Goff

I’ve started this book and really love it. My goal is to finish it.

Finding Selah: The Simple Practice of Peace when You Need it Most by Kristin Kill

This is another book that I started but never completely finished. I’d like to complete it this year as well.

Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake

I attended a session by Wendy Speake at a homeschool convention a couple of years ago and I was reminded of her book via social media just recently. My mother sweetly ordered me a copy and I can’t wait to read it.

Secular Non-Fiction

The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell

This book was a gift from my husband for my birthday last year. I’ve read bits and pieces, but plan to read the book in its entirety in 2019.

Homeschool Books

Home Education by Charlotte Mason

I’m continuing to work my way through this book for a Charlotte Mason book club/parent support group that I attend. I will continue to blog my way through it as well.

The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids by Sarah MacKenzie

I got this book for Christmas. From myself. No, I didn’t wrap or label it, but I did tuck it under the Christmas tree. I loved Teaching from Rest so much and I’m excited to read Sarah MacKenzie’s newest book, especially since it’s all about reading to your children, which is something near and dear to my heart.

Books of the Bible

“Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and reread them…digest them. Let them go into your very self. Peruse a good book several times and make notes and analyses of it. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed. Little learning and much pride comes from hasty reading. Some men are disabled from thinking by their putting meditation away for the sake of much reading. In reading let your motto be ‘much not many.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students

I used to follow one of those Bible reading plans on my Bible app. The goal was to read the Bible in a year. Honestly? I had a hard time. I would skim chapters so I could check boxes, never really feeling like I was able to pause and dig deep because if I did, I’d fall behind.

I didn’t want to fall behind.

Until one day I did and then, discouraged, I gave up completely. I’ve talked a lot about how my faith has changed from being performance-based to grace-based. One of the things I’d really like to do this year is set aside the checklists, slow down and dig deep.

Savour the time with my Saviour. 

(Side note: If you’re reading this and find the one-year plans helpful, please don’t feel like I’m knocking them. They work really well for some people. They just don’t work well for me.)

In 2019, I’d like to dig into Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel—Old Testament books because I believe that thoroughly understanding the Old Testament is essential to thoroughly understanding the New. Just four books to begin with and then more when I’m done. Again, this isn’t about the pressure of checklists. It’s about deepening my relationship with the Lord.

I’m also planning to write my way through the book of Judges, beginning with Ehud. Writing helps me process my thoughts.

What’s on your reading list for 2019? Feel free to comment below!



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