the 2013 book list

Everything I read this year, in chronological order. An asterisk means it was a re-read. Stats and favorites at the end.

January 3: Jan Karon, At Home In Mitford
*January 7: Jeffrey Yamaguchi, 52 Projects
January 9: Louise Erdrich, The Round House
*January 31: N.T. Wright, Simply Christian
February 15: Kathleen Norris, Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and A Writer’s Life
February 25: Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
February 27: Tim Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf, Every Good Endeavor
*February 28: Walter Wangerin, Jr., Jesus
March 9: Jan Karon, A Light In the Window
*March 15: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
March 16: Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess
*March 21: Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
April 5: C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer
April 25: C.S. Lewis, On Stories
May 1: Jan Karon, These High Green Hills
May 8: Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith
May 12: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
May 13: C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night
May 23: Steig Larsson, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
May 27: C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image
*June 7: Molly Wizenberg, A Homemade Life
June 15: D.A. Carson et al., Worship By the Book
*June 17: Lauren Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath
*June 24: Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb
*July 15: Leif Enger, Peace Like a River
July 17: Neil Gaiman, The Ocean At the End of the Lane
July 24: N.T. Wright, Simply Jesus
July 27: George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
*July 30: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
*August 12: Daniel Coyle, The Little Book of Talent
August 18: Jen Hatmaker, 7
August 19: Leif Enger, So Brave, Young, and Handsome
*August 31: Lauren Winner, Girl Meets God
September 4: Steven Guthrie, Creator Spirit
*September 10: C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
*September 27: C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
September 28: Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys
*October 16: Lauren Winner, Still
*October 18: C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian
November 16: Tim Keller, Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering
November 19: Mike Cosper, Rhythms of Grace
December 4: Jan Karon, A Common Life
December 9: Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines
*December 13: C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
December 16: Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
December 20: Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine
December 25: Russ Ramsey, Behold the Lamb of God
December 28: Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet

books read: 48 (not quite 50 like I wanted, but things became a little busier this year)
non-fiction: 27
fiction: 21 (still a little surprised that I don’t read as much fiction as I used to)
re-reads: 17
most-read author: C.S. Lewis, by a long shot, with 8.
top 10: In no particular order: Acedia & Me, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, Gone Girl, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, Bread & Wine, The Discarded Image, Rhythms of Grace, Anansi Boys, Creator Spirit, and 7.

My true love gave.

So this December has not been great–I was out sick for a good deal of it, it kind of snuck up on me, and so I spent most of it either feeling terrible or being stressed out about holiday prep. Throw in not meeting with my community group or my prayer group and missing church one Sunday, and it has not been a good season for me. I’ve been dry spiritually; I’ve been irritable and self-pitying and unfocused. The Christmas spirit was, shall we say, lacking.

This is the nice thing about the liturgical tradition: It’s still Christmas until the 6th. We have 12 days to celebrate that God is with us in the person of Christ, by His Spirit–that He is with us despite our not being ready for Him, despite our broken state, that He is with us precisely because He loves us and He knows that’s when He needs to be with us most.

This year, against all the pulls of the culture I live in, I’m trying to steep in Christmas a little longer. Twelve days still doesn’t feel like long enough to remember that my true love gave, and He gives and keeps giving in spite of me.

hey, look, it’s a blog post

1. I’ve been down for the count for the past week with two ear infections, a sinus infection, bronchitis, and the flu, which has been just delightful, as you can probably tell. If I don’t leave my house soon, I’m going to give up and become a cat lady. At the moment I feel mostly fine, except for the cough, so hopefully I get to go to work again in the next couple of days…

2. I like this author named John Green. John and his brother have a YouTube channel together that’s the result of an experiment that they did six years ago (they only communicated in person or in YouTube videos for a year), and that YouTube channel has collected a substantial community of folks around the world. That community does a thing every year called Project For Awesome where people make videos about charities and then everyone votes for their favorites, and the top 10 charities get money donated to them. Not a bad plan, and it’s going until tomorrow. Check out the website.

3. Weirdly comforting thought: Jesus probably got colds.

4. Some other ladies and I from church have been meeting on Tuesday mornings to keep each other accountable and encourage one another and pray with and for each other, which has been really, really cool. One of the nice side effects of this has been getting texts from them almost every day with what’s been going on; they were women I’d been wanting to get to know better, and this has been a really good way to do so.

5. Downside to lots of married friends: Lots of baby gifts to obtain. Upside: Lots of babies.

6. Not Catholic by a long shot, but I do like Pope Francis a great deal. I kind of just want to sit him down and have coffee and pick his brain.

7. Advent is maybe my favorite season of the church year, mostly because I’ve always ached for Jesus to come back.

8. One of these days I should make an Advent wreath for the house…

9. I’ve had this stuck in my head for a week or so:

10. Oh! I haven’t listened to Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God album all the way through yet this year. No wonder it hasn’t felt properly Christmasy yet this year. Time to remedy that…

11. This is weird: It doesn’t matter what else is happening, but if someone even mentions a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I will want one immediately. I don’t know what weird Pavolvian reaction that is, but there it is.

12. I literally have no idea what else to write. So I guess that means this is the end…