Books You Should Read

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No matter how many times we move, boxes and boxes of books always move with us.

Books have been some of my best friends over the years. And I still have all my mom’s dog-eared favorites sitting on my own bookshelf now.

Here are some of my favorite reads. They have changed how I parent, how I understand this new frontier we call social media, and how I laugh at myself.

I hope some of them might do the same for you.

{Amazon affiliate links used on this page}

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys [Paperback]

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys [Paperback]

By two dads who are raising sons, this is the only book I really believe when it comes to parenting my boys. Christian therapists, these guys know their stuff. I love how they unpack the physical, emotional, and spiritual parts of a boy age by age. Includes chapters like “The Way of a Boy,” “Sit still! Pay Attention!” and “Rituals, Ceremonies and Rights of Passage” that have changed how we parent our sons.

This book is linked with the post “Sometimes the only way to read our kids is by braille”.

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls

Did you ever think that parenting is as much about teaching you as it is about teaching your children? This is the most beautiful book on the art and sacrifice of parenting I’ve read. I keep re-reading it. Here is the challenge that we are meant to feel bent, exhausted, stripped of ourselves and empty. That it’s not a mistake. It’s an on-purpose gift to parents. Those who learn what sacrifice looks like from Jesus’ perspective – often at 2am while someone is up with a tummy bug.

This book is linked with the post “For when you're tempted to just lose it with your kids”.

Devotions for Sacred Parenting: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Parents

Devotions for Sacred Parenting: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Parents

Here’s the devotional version of Sacred Parenting and it’s what I grab off my nightstand when I need to be reminded parenting is supposed to hard. It’s supposed to be growing me into a better version of myself and not just figuring out ways to keep all 3 kids in bed come 9pm. Parenting is a lifetime of unlearning the habits of self and learning the habits of the Father God. Daily reminders. Highly recommended.

Don’t Make Me Come Up There!: Quiet Moments for Busy Moms

Don’t Make Me Come Up There!: Quiet Moments for Busy Moms

For those days when you lock yourself in the bathroom just so you can have five minutes in peace and quiet to check email on your phone. Seriously, my friend Kristen knows crazy. She pretty much wrote the book on being *that* family. You know the ones. These short devotionals will make you feel like finally there’s another mom who understands. And can laugh with you, encourage you and maybe bring over a cup of sweet tea too.

How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?: And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys

How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?: And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys

Oh how I chuckled my way through this slice of awesomeness about parenting FIVE boys! It echoes all the crazy you’ve heard yourself say – like no, you can’t lock your brother in the fridge. It will sympathize with the fear that some kid, some day will “fly” off the roof and understands the profound love language that a Costo size pack of hot dogs can speak into a boy’s heart.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

I read this the first time when my first born was only nine months old. I’ve come back to it many times since. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk is chock full of practical examples of what it looks like when kids and parents hit a communication speed bump {or a whole parking lot full of them}. Nothing has been as practical as this book for understanding how kids think. And how I sound to my kids. Wonderful, helpful, funny, encouraging advice with loads of examples here.

Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year

Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year

The first baby book in three kids that didn’t make me made me want to throw it out the window. I raved about Spirit-Led Parenting: From Fear to Freedom in Baby’s First Year over here. If you’re a new mom and feel like motherhood is a test you’re failing – seriously, please read this book. On giving up what “they” say and embracing a gentler way.

This book is linked with the post “For when you think you're failing motherhood {quick, break glass and read this book instead!}”.

A Circle of Quiet

A Circle of Quiet

Did you know that Madeleine L’Engle spent nearly a decade getting rejection letters for A Wrinkle in Time? Most of them during what she calls “the tired 30s.” She is my hero because, like me, she worried about her lack of house keeping skills and inability to make a decent pie. She felt guilty for writing and yet couldn’t give it up. If you’re a mom to young ones who tries to juggle motherhood with another passion, this is the book for you. Encouragement, deep thinking on the nature of words all wrapped up in a grand sense of humor. One of my all time favorites.

The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Aged 37 3/4

The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Aged 37 3/4

The funniest Christian satire written from the perspective of woefully inept Adrian – I’ve owned this book for decades. Anytime I need to remember to laugh at myself and love the messy Church for all its foibles and follies I read this. The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Aged 37 3/4 is good medicine for any cynical Christian’s soul.

The Action Bible

The Action Bible

We have two very rowdy, action-packed boys. The Bible is full of action packed stories. These are their favorites. Like by far. So when I discovered this comic-strip style Bible with illustrations that speak to the heart of any boy, I clicked “add to cart” immediately. True to the original narrative; captivating for imaginations young and old, Bible story time is gonna be changing at our house! Seriously, you have to see the incredible illustrations. Just wow!

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

Hands down the best book I’ve read on raising girls. Encouraging, challenging, hard, and sobering. This book about the massive role a father plays in his daughter’s life should be a must read for every dad out there. It’s not gonna try and change who your man is, it’s just gonna encourage him to connect as much if not more with your girl at 13 as he did when she was three. Dads are our daughters last stronghold against the storm, heroes all around. My copy’s already all underlined and earmarked and has changed how I think about my girl and what she needs from both her dad and me. Two thumbs up, must read recommendation.

Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn

Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn

My friend Melanie wrote this book with the same side-splitting humor and tender understanding of the highs and lows of motherhood that she shares on her blog – thebigmamablog.com every day. It’s one of those “burn the dinner, bath water goes cold” page turners. So relateable, so encouraging, so delicious you won’t want it to end. Nothing spells encouragement for tired moms everywhere like this heartfelt and hilarious chronicle of motherhood from everybody’s favorite big sister. It comes out on February 2013. Seriously, pre-order it now. You’ll thank me for it!

Q & A a Day for Kids

Q & A a Day for Kids

We’re doing this now with the kids. Just one question each day for them – like an interview. Discussion starter, great way to get to know them better, find out what animal they would be, a time when they were angry, what they love to eat. It’s a 3 year journal and we’re gonna include all 3 kids in this one book – what a great bit of history it will be one day.

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas

There are many days as a tired mom that it’s easy to think that everything I do is boring and ordinary and unimportant. This book is an advent count down for grown ups, reminding us that Christmas was a daring act of divine love that turns all our ordinary days into extraordinary gifts. Each day’s reading was a lump in my throat page-turner, a kind of love letter reminder that it’s no ordinary God who willingly chooses to come and make Himself The Gift.

Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!

Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids!

Because sometimes you don’t know you have a temper until you have kids. Working my way slowly through this one. Underlining every other paragraph. Holding onto the book with both hands and the hope for a house that will be remembered as a place of welcome, peace and not an unraveled mother.

Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

Because with two boys and all the battered furniture to prove it we want to learn how to welcome their energy and help them direct it. Some of the best science and personal stories about raising boys I’ve read. Changing how we love our guys and the opportunities we try to create for them.