Here is the list of books I read in 2016.
I’ve also been reading some of these with other moms, which has been a lot of nerdy fun! We have a (mostly) classics book club going, and another group of us who are studying Homer’s Iliad. I absolutely love getting together and discussing our readings.
A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell)
Persuasion (Jane Austen)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Till We Have Faces (CS Lewis)
The Scent of Water (Elizabeth Goudge)
The Iliad (Homer) – in progress
Surprised By Joy (CS Lewis)
Own Your Life (Sally Clarkson)
The Life-Giving Home (Sally Clarkson)
A Mother’s Rule of Life (Holly Pierlot)
How to Raise a Wild Child (Scott D. Sampson) – in progress
Teaching From Rest (Sarah Mackenzie)
For the Children’s Sake (Susan Schaeffer Macauley)
Excerpts from Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series
Excerpts from The Handbook of Nature Study (Anna Botsford Comstock)
With the children:
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis)
Prince Caspian (CS Lewis)
Charlotte’s Web (EB White)
And countless picture books!
The Iliad by Homer
This is my first foray into classical Greek literature. I began it in the spring with a group of friends, helped along by a video-based course. It’s still in progress, but I just have the final couple of books left and we’ll finish in January. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised, despite the lengthy descriptions of battle gore! Homer is a master storyteller. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface of what he has to offer. Homer really begins the “great conversation” of Western literature, and I know he will affect and inform much of my other reading.
A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot
I’ve read many books on mothering, but this one hit the right spot at the right time for me. Using the idea of a “rule of life” that those in religious orders are bound by, Holly encourages mothers to view their days of raising children as a true vocation from God. What she offers is a way to organize one’s life; the goal is not to create the most efficient schedule (though that may indeed be the result), but to prioritize so that the schedule is a reflection of this vocation. It’s about ordering your own attitudes and affections as much as anything else, and that’s just what I need! I need a big-picture vision before I can focus on details.
Charlotte Mason continues to be the primary influence in our home education journey. I was excited this summer to obtain my very own set of the coveted pink volumes of her Original Homeschooling Series. I’m also part of a monthly group that meets to discuss her ideas and work out implementing her principles in our families.
Reading Goals for 2017
- More Charlotte Mason! I’d like to work through at least 2 volumes of the Original Homeschooling Series. I either need to take notes or even try narration to make sure that what I read sticks! (Remembering what I read seems to be a perennial problem for me.)
- More theology! I didn’t read much, at least on a scholarly level, this past year. I have a shelf of such books waiting to be read, so I’ll have to be more intentional about adding one of these into the rotation.
- More classics! Our book club will be reading The Brothers Karamazov to start the year off, which will be my first exposure to Russian literature. I’m sure we’ll get to some other gems as well over the year.
I find what works best for me is to have no more than 3-4 books going at the same time. The key is to have only one book in any given category. My usual categories are:
Sometimes the spiritual/devotional and non-fiction categories overlap, or education and non-fiction. It just depends what I’m reading and how it strikes me.
Did you read as many books as you wanted to in 2016? What are your reading goals for 2017?