In general, January 1st may be the most refreshing day of the year. Clean closets, organized pantries, fresh starts, dreaming about what the next 364 days will hold- it’s all just so wonderful!

Although I’m a bit behind on my yearly goal-making, I have been working on the details of one of the goals that I am very excited about. This year my aim will be to read a book a week. I’ve been really missing reading consistently, and my bookshelf is about to explode with a bunch of books that I’ve been really wanting to read. While 52 books is no big deal in some ways, for me in this stage of life, it’s going to be a challenge, but one that I think will bring me great delight :).

So, with no further ado, my first edition of my list (in no particular order):

1. The Good Life by McCarthy

2. Miss Brenda and the Loveladies by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell

3. Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Thiessen Nation

4. Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner

5. The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner

6. Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen

7. The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen

8. When LIfe and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James

9. On Writing Well by William Zinsser

10. The New Conspirators by Tom Sine

11. Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture by Friedman

12. The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick

13. Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

14. Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

15. Grace-Based Parenting by Kimmel

16. Free by Scandrette

17. Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic

18. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

19. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Tim Keller

20. Hands-Free Mama by Rachel Stafford

21. Playing God by Andy Crouch

22. The Insanity of God by Nik Ripkin

23. The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith

24. Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

25. Organized Simplicty by Tsh Oxenreider

26. No Contest: The Case Against Competition by Alfie Kohn

27. Genius Born of Anguish: the Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen

28. Sticky Faith by Kara Powell

29. The Sibling Effect by Jeffrey Kluger

30. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

31. Fight: A Christian Case for NonViolence by Preston Sprinkle

While I will obviously leave room for spontaneous reads, I could use a little help —

what are some of your book recommendations for 2014 and why?

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