The Books of 2014

I’ve talked before about how I’ve had a hard time finding time to read and maintain my photography business at the same time.  In view of that, this has probably been the best year since the birth of Pink Shutterbug for my reading!

(Unfortunately, the same can not be said about my blogging.  Ahem.)

SO, I thought I would recap the books that I have read this year with  a little, teensy-winsy review for each one.  Because I know there’s a slight chance you might want to know if one of these books is worth reading.  I will also try to categorize them to save you even MORE time!

Category:  Parenting

Six Ways to Keep the “Little” in Your Girl by Danna Gresh

I have been a Dannah Gresh fan ever since I shot one of her events over a year ago.

(That sounds very fancy.  Our Christian radio station hosted the event and they needed a photographer that was crazy enough to shoot it for free.)


This book did not disappoint.  Dannah has seriously done her research in the area of girls and sexual purity, and this book is packed with practical advice.  Its target audience is moms of 8 – 12 year olds, but in today’s culture it wouldn’t hurt to read it a few years before your daughter gets to her “tweens!”

Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel

I’ll be honest, I was frustrated at first by this book.  I was really hoping for Tim to say “You need to be a grace based parent, and THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT.”  Once I got over the fact that this is NOT, in fact, a step-by-step manual, I got a lot of good information from the book.

If anyone finds the step-by-step manual, though, let me know!

Category:  Personal/Spiritual Growth

Nehemiah: A Heart That Can Break by Kelly Minter

OK, so I did this as a part of a small group Bible study, but I’m including it because I really LOVED the daily “homework” that came with it!  It has been a long time since I have done this type of intensive Bible study, and it was just what I needed!  I highly recommend this one!  (The DVD that we watched when we met every week, though?  Eh, I could take it or leave it.  The meat was in the homework!)

Mended by Angie Smith

I asked for this for Christmas last year because I love Angie (and am TOTALLY on first name basis with her!), but I had no idea it was a devotional!  These devotions have helped me through the months right before and after having a baby – always a hard time for me spiritually because I am a creature of routine and babies like to mess with my routine!  Seriously, there are some real blessings in this book!

Category:  Children’s Literature that Was too Good Not to Share!

The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

I read this to the kids upon recommendation at our homeschool practicum.  Of course I was familiar with the Disney-fide Winnie the Pooh, but I had never read the real thing.

Oh my goodness.  It is just the sweetest, most endearing collection.  You need to BUY IT NOW for your children or grandchildren or nephews or kids that live in the apartment above you and read it with them.  You will not regret it!

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I also read this with the kids.  So much fun!

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elisabeth George Speare

I read this to make sure it would be appropriate for Ava.  (She reads a piece of American literature to correspond with our study of American history and writes a book report every month.)  It was great; it had a lot of the same themes as The Scarlett Letter and The Crucible, but without any “adult” issues that Ava’s not ready for.  Oh, and the ending is happier, which is nice.

Category: Memoirs

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson

I love Boomama’s blog, and I love the endearing stories she shares about her Southern family.  It’s a win/win!

The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle

It’s no secret that I have an internet crush on Bigmama.  So, of course, Josh was smart enough to get me her second book as soon as it came out!  If it’s possible, I loved this one more than Sparkly Green Earrings  because the stories were new to me since most of them took place before her blog.

And if you don’t laugh out loud when the creature in her kitchen throws toast at her, there’s something wrong with you.

Something Other Than God by Jen Fulwiler

OK, so now I also have a Catholic internet crush (yes, this is a thing.)  I love Jen’s blog, Conversion Diary, and I made sure Josh got the message that I would be wanting her first book ASAP when it came out.  Although I’m not Catholic, I found her story of conversion from Atheism to Catholicism truly thought provoking.  And the writing is wonderful.

Oh, and I’ll never forget this book.

My water broke while I was reading it.

Category: Fun!

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Somehow I missed being assigned this book in high school, so Josh and I thought it would be fun to read it and then watch the “new” movie.

When I read it, I felt like I was missing something.  I mean, I really liked the writing style, but the whole thing left me feeling kind of…meh.  I felt like it was trying to make a point, but I wasn’t QUITE seeing what that point was.  Fortunately, I got to talk to a literature professor at a party (which makes me sound much classier than I really am,) and she confirmed that I was very justified in feeling…MEH.

So I can’t say I recommend it.  Or don’t recommend it.


Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection by Arthur Doyle

I’m still reading this, but I’m going to include it because I can!  I’ve been reading this on the Kindle App on my phone.  Although I certainly prefer a paper book, it is nice to have access to reading when I am nursing/in the car/waiting on a client.  These stories are really working for me right now because I don’t have a lot of time for reading, and they are short, easy reads.

After thoroughly enjoying the modernized BBC series recently, I thought I best read the books so that I could really appreciate the series.  I am thoroughly enjoying these, and yes, I totally picture Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman while I am reading.

So there you have it!  It has been, well, not a great, but a better, year of reading for me.  I would reveal some reading goals for 2015, but I don’t want to get too carried away!


One thought on “The Books of 2014

  1. Pingback: The Books of 2016 | karathecucumber

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