Books I Read in 2012 (How About You?)

I'm tracking my reading over at Good Reads.You too? I like to see what others are reading, so please link up or "friend" me on Good Reads if you're there.

This year brought an eclectic mix, which is how I like to read. I'll give you a little blurb about each book, but note that what I read might not be what you feel the freedom to read and vice versa. This was a year for reading books that might expand and enhance my writing, so let's give each other wiggle room, please.

The Four Seasons: a Novel of Venice-I found the subject intriguing, the setting quite wonderful, but the story a little flat. It kept my attention all the way through, but it wasn't the very best historical fiction I've ever read.

Godspeed: Making Christ's Mission Your Own- What if our mission field is right where God has us? What if He uniquely equips us for the people we meet and the places we inhabit? Godspeed has taught me to need others who need the gospel.

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World- All of my recent writing and speaking has brought me to a place of needing to understand the ins and outs of the platform God's given me, and how to best use it to His glory. And to dream big!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society- I'm definitely late to the party on this one, but am so glad I picked it up. One of the best pieces of historical fiction I've read in quite some time. WWII era.

A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther- I'm breaking my own rule here about only listing books I read for myself (as opposed to books I read aloud with the kids) because this is a book you'll like to read for yourself. I had a different perspective on the story of Esther once I read A Reluctant Queen, and it was a view for the better.

Abundance: a Novel of Marie Antoinette- More historical fiction, and a good one. I was fuzzy on the details of Marie and the French Revolution, and I found myself drawn into her life and circumstances.

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets- I'm lumping these two together because I read them back-to-back and they're rather related anyway. My older kids who'd read them wanted me to, and despite their hopes that I would really like them, I thought they were okay. Not compelling and fabulous and wow. Just okay. Not evil and awful and horrible, either. Just not my thing.

Jesus + Nothing = Everything - The gospel is life-changing. When we add anything to it, we find ourselves in the same kind of bondage and idolatry as we did when we were pursuing the world.

Chasing Mona Lisa - I started following author Tricia Goyer on Facebook and Twitter, both of which gave me a desire to read Chasing Mona Lisa. WWII, art, mystery, and history. Really fun read.

Love Never Fails: Delivering Jesus' Love to Your Adult Children - All bias aside (my brother is one of the authors), this is a great book for parents who perhaps came to faith later in life and are grieving the spiritual loss of their adult children. The authors wrote it in response to hurting families they've come in contact with in their own ministries.

Bossypants - I'm not exactly sure why I picked up the audio version of Bossypants at the library. I'm not a particular fan of Tina Fey and I was afraid it would be crass and bawdy. She was quite fun to listen to, and despite the occasional cuss word, I found her stories of her career and time at Saturday Night Live very interesting. Cultural insight here, too; as a political conservative, I find it extremely enriching and valuable to gain insight into the worldviews of those who have a different take on society.

Bird by Bird - I am a fan of Anne Lamott on the one hand and frustrated by her liberalism on the other. The latter won't keep me from reading her work, however, and Bird by Bird was easily one of the best books I read this year. If you write and won't be put off by her occasional cussing, grab a copy.

celebraTORI - I grabbed this title off the library display out of sheer curiosity. I was ignorant of Tori Spelling's lifestyle television programs, so I opened the book with a fresh eye and unjaded view. And I loved it. From her simple party ideas to the step-by-step instructions to her stories of her childhood. Delightful.

Crazy Love - Again, late to the party. But so glad I read it and will hand it over to my teens, one by one. My 13-year-old daughter was inspired by the stories of faithfulness toward the end of the book, and our discussion that followed her reading was meaningful.


And now it's your turn. What's the BEST book you read in 2012?