So, last year, I decided I would read more in 2010. Read more than what, I’m not sure. I guess more than my usual. I enjoy reading, but sometimes as the mother of 3, you can get stuck and not take the time to do the things you enjoy. So, I did read more. I read more than usual and I read more than The Pastor (although many of us could probably say that).
Books I read in 2010:
1. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
I like this book. I’ve actually read it more than once. If you are looking to homeschool, read this book. It is a classical approach, but you’d be surprised how simple it really is.
2. The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library) by Dr. William Sears
This is a great childbirth book. Very informative, but doesn’t push you toward interventions. It also comes across as very positive, which is something most pregnancy books fail to do.
3. Ender’s Game (Ender, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card
I really liked this book. Unlike many other “series” type books, this one is self contained. Yes, you can read more in the series, but you come away from this book feeling like you got a complete story. It is a work of fiction and is appropriate for readers of all ages. (Probably around a 6th grade reading level and up.) It is a futuristic dystopia book that will have you on the edge of your seat.
4, 5, and 6. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
This was an amazing trilogy, I couldn’t wait to read the next book. Another work of fiction appropriate for about a 6th grade reading level and up. This is a great story, though I wasn’t too happy with the ending. But not all stories end as they should.
7 and 8. The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
These are the first two books in a trilogy, the third is not yet released. I very much enjoyed these books. They are works of fiction and would be appropriate for about a 6th grade reading level and up. I am eagerly anticipating the third book of the trilogy, so I can know the full story.
9. How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?: And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys (Spire Books) – by Rachel Balducci
This is a hilarious book full of little personal stories of the author’s adventures in raising her boys. It is laugh out loud funny. It is encouraging for those of us currently raising boys. It is full of love and admiration for those dirty little scoundrels in our homes.
10. Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie C. Martin
I absolutely loved this book. The author shares her own stories and techniques for slowing down and doing things a bit more intentionally. I think we often get caught up in the busyness of life, that we forget each day counts, especially with young children. This is a great read for any stay-at-home mom or homeschool mom looking to become more intentional and organized.
11. Ask Supernanny: What Every Parent Wants to Know by Jo Frost
This book is full of useful and practical parenting tips. Jo Frost has little tips and tricks for how to handle the situations we, as parents, often find ourselves scratching our heads about. The “back to bed” technique found in this book quickly solved Aidan’s problem with staying in his bed at night. This book is worth having around for those times you think, “I know this isn’t working, but I don’t know what to do.”
12. Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson
This is a great book full of practical advice. If you’re like me, there are many housework items that you know you should do, but have no idea what the best way to do them is. Or, you are trying to think of what is the most necessary thing to do, since you’ve only got a limited amount of time to clean. This book has practical house keeping tips along with prioritizing your housework. It also has a lot about the history of certain chores, which is pretty interesting to read and makes you think more highly of your easy to care for sheets, and less for your box of cake mix. This is a great read for laborers in their homes everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you have a family or not, working or not, this book is a great read and a great resource.
13. The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise and Sara Buffington
This is the book we’ve been using to teach the kids to read. Honestly, I loved it more when we began. It is a very simple book of reading instructions. The lessons (which will take your child from learning letter sounds, to reading complex words) are each short and very straightforward. It has everything scripted out, so you just read the script and walk your child through the lessons. This is a word on the page program with no pictures and no workbooks. The workbook issue is a problem for us. Imogene loves her workbooks and just doesn’t get into these lessons very easily. She sits and stares. Aidan, on the other hand, likes these lessons a lot and really enjoys them. I still recommend this book and it is a wonderful starting point for any child.
14. The City of Ember (Books of Ember) by Jeanne DuPrau
This is a good fiction read, for a 5th grade reading level and up. It is a futuristic dystopia book (which I love) that is very interesting. The story is actually pretty self contained in the book, though there are more books in the series. It is a relatively quick read at only 288 pages long.
15. Manalive by G.K. Chesterton
This is a work of fiction. Although it is only 164 pages, it is not an easy read. It is more of a 9th grade reading level and up kind of book. I love the story, which had lots of little twists and intrigues. The moral of the story was one we could all take a lesson from. It is definitely worth reading.
16. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
I actually didn’t care for this book much, though it was about zombies. I liked some of the book, but it was very much war related. There was a lot of talk about history and war tactics, which I am not particularly fond of. I’m sure boys with their battle type of brains would enjoy this book much more than I did. It was also kind of graphic in the descriptions of the zombies and of the battles, which can be a little stomach churning. (Not sexually graphic, just grossly graphic.)
17. The Long Walk by Stephen King and Richard Bachman
It is a little deceptive to say this book is by Stephen Kind AND Richard Bachman, since they are both the same person, but that is the way Amazon lists it. I liked this story. I did have a problem with the copy I purchased for my Nook, though. So, I never actually got to read the last chapter of the book. I would hve perhaps liked it more, had the last chapter been there, but the Nook copy stopped short, for some odd reason. (No worries. Barnes and Noble gave me a refund for the book.) I read it because it was likened to The Hunger Games by some online reviewer. However, I didn’t feel it was much like that at all. Yes, they were kids in a contest to the death that was put on by the government, but the game was different. The motives of the kids was different. The motives of the government was different. So, there were too many differences for me to say they were comparable stories.
18. The Read-Aloud Handbook: Sixth Edition by Jim Trelease
So, the first half of this book is common sense. We all know it is good to read to kids. Anyone picking up this book is not going to be under the impression that reading is unimportant to a child’s development. The second part of this book is lists of recommended reading. It is a good starting place, but isn’t entirely necessary. To be honest, I began the year attempting to find and read Jim Trelease’s recommendations to the kids. However, I came to realize that many books we own or just come across in the library are really as good as those recommended. I still think this is a good starting place for finding quality read-alouds for children, however, the list given isn’t all inclusive or even all necessary. Some of the books recommended, my kids found to be boring. Other books not recommended, had far better content, in my opinion, than many in the book. Just read and read and read to your kids.
19. So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
Another work of fiction. Scott Westerfeld is the author that wrote The Uglies Series. This book was not supernatural in any way, but focused on a teen trendsetter. It was an interesting read, much better than many things I read this year, but not the best by Mr. Westerfeld. It should be noted that boys are much more likely to like Scott Westerfeld’s writings that most young adult fiction. He seems to have a knack for leaving too much mushy stuff out, and of putting boys as the leading character.
20, 21, and 22. The Midnighters Series by Scott Westerfeld
I liked this series. Yes, it is young adult, but in case you didn’t notice, I read a lot of that. It is supernatural, which I like. It did get a little weird toward the end, but I can’t really see this story going many places other than weird. It is a good read and would be appropriate for about an 8th grade reading level and up.
23. Phantoms by Dean Koontz
I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this book. It was worth reading, the story was absolutely captivating. But do I like it? I’m still not sure. I enjoyed reading it, but I’m not sure that I like the story, if that makes sense.
24. Journey to The Center of The Earth by Jules Verne
I actually read this aloud to the kids this year. They really liked it. It was a fascinating story that is very well written. I was actually a bit surprised that a 4 year old and 3 year old would sit and listen to a classic like this, but they thought it was wonderful.
25. The Family Nutrition Book: Everything You Need to Know About Feeding Your Children – From Birth through Adolescence by William Sears
This book has been very helpful this year, as Imogene has been curious about proper nutrition. I have used what I read in this book to teach her the basics of eating well. We’ve discussed well balanced diets and moderation. We’ve also discussed eating a variety of colors and what each color and each food can do to help your body. This is a great resource for families, not just on how to feed your kids, but on teaching your kids life-long lessons about good nutrition.
26. The New Six-Point Plan for Raising Happy, Healthy Children by John Rosemond
This book was just okay for me. It was a good parenting book, but I didn’t like it entirely. Maybe I need to reread it at another point in my life to appreciate it more. I like some of what John Rosemond has to say. So, like all parenting books, you take what you like and implement that and leave what you don’t to the pages of the book.
27. Making the “Terrible” Twos Terrific by John Rosemond
I actually liked this Rosemond book better than the Six-Point Plan book. This book helped me better understand toddler behavior, which helps you better deal with it. Of course, there were parts of the book I didn’t like, but I just ignored those and moved on.
28. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
This is a good book about sleep. It helps you understand sleep better and gives you some tools to help your child sleep better. To be honest, after reading this book, I decided to let Emery’s sleep issues continue because they were not interrupting his sleep, they just weren’t what you would typically think of. He was 9 months old, not sleeping in his crib much, and napping a lot. All of those were fine for him, so I let him keep getting the sleep he needed in a way best for him.
29. Extras (Uglies) by Scott Westerfeld
I finished up reading the last in the Uglies Series this year. Extras was different from the first three books, as an add on to the Trilogy. It had different main characters (though some were recurring) and a different feel. It was a good read, and definitely a must read if you’re going to read the other three. They really need to make this series into movies. The Uglies Series is good reading for anyone above a 6th grade reading level. Some of the themes in the books actually make for ideal starting points in conversations between parents and teens. Questioning the society’s view of what is beautiful and what isn’t is one of the conversations this series would bring up.
30. The Host: A Novel by Stephenie Meyer
I liked reading this book. It is about alien invasion, but in a different than usually thought of way. Aspects of the book and the writing style were not always enjoyable, but the story itself is pretty good.
31. Evermore: The Immortals by Alyson Noel
I actually read the book all the way through, which is saying something. However, the story just seemed lacking and played out. I felt like I’d read it a hundred times before. I was never compelled to read anymore in the series.
32. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
So, this is an unfinished book in the Twilight series. It is a retelling of the first book, but from Edward’s perspective. I honestly think it is a good thing this book got spoiled in the early stages and didn’t get published with the rest of the series. It wad redundant. We’ve heard the story before. Hearing it from another side didn’t add to it at all. It actually made you like the story a little less.
33. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
I am a Westerfeld fan, I don’t deny it. But this story wasn’t for me, at all. It was very stem punk, but seemed to play to a much younger audience than his books usually play to. I’m thinking a junior high boy would love this book (and the others in the series), but for me, it just wasn’t there. I’m not into wars or machines or weapons. I didn’t enjoy the book at all. However, there is a market for it, and it is a market I can be glad someone is filling. Preteen and young teen boys have very little out there to read, so this fills that void quite nicely.
34. Under the Dome: A Novel by Stephen King
So, let me be honest, the whole premise of this book reminds me of The Simpson’s Movie. I mean, really, it took me a while to get over that impression. I actually liked the book, until the end. It was a good story until it got weird. I find that happens a lot with Stephen King. Good story- you’re loving it- then BAM! He hits you with the weird. So weird you can’t even the story seriously anymore. I won’t ruin it for you, but when you hit the weird, you’ll be thinking, “Why did he just ruin this perfectly good story? Why?!”
35. The Line by Teri Hall
Here is what annoys me about many of the newer young adult books. They write just to keep writing. The story doesn’t end. It isn’t contained, in any small way, within the pages of the book. No, you put your time and effort into a reading a book only to realize at the end that there is no end. You’ve just read part one of a who knows how long story. This may turn out to be a decent series, it has started off alright, but wait until the rest come out so you don’t feel you’ve wasted so much on this book only to have it go absolutely nowhere.
36. A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) by Libba Bray
I really didn’t like this young adult book at all. It was a mix of victorian and supernatural, which sounds cool, but the story itself falls. It doesn’t get anywhere. Most of the writing is fluff to fill pages in an attempt to turn a single book into a trilogy. Yet another example of writing to keep writing. I didn’t like it enough to read more of the series.
37. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
When you think end of the world, do you think… BORING! No, I’m sure you don’t. Well, this apocolyptic beginning to a series (*eye roll*) is just that. You’ll read bits and pieces that have no climax and fall to the background of the story. You’ll read pages and pages about sitting around wondering when the food will run out. Even the end of the book is boring. The climax is just boring. I’m not rushing to read the rest of the series anytime soon. I’m not sure I could take it.
38. Raising a Nonviolent Child by John Rosemond
Take some hype and turn it into a parenting book. That is what you have here. Recounts of various news stories with John Rosemond’s commentary on it. Nothing useful. Most of it outdated. Seems like this should have just been an article and ended up in book form. Don’t waste you time with this one. You’ll learn little to nothing.
39. To Spank or Not To Spank by John Rosemond
This book comes across as an argument, only you’re only hearing one side. It isn’t helpful in the least and comes across very bossy. The tone of the book is enough to put me off. The content isn’t much better. Just arguing against an unknown provoker.
40. The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
This is the sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Neither book was very good. This book was slightly better than the first, but not by much. The main character (the daughter of the main character in the first book) is slightly more likable. But there is a lot of running from zombies and a lot of self-centered “who am I” thinking. Not my cup of tea.
41, 42, and 43. The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
There are more than 3 books in the series, but I only read the first three. This is the epitome of writing just to write. I have no idea if Karen is even sure of where she is going with this story. It changes beyond recognition every few chapters. It is overly sexual, which doesn’t add to the story at all. It never reaches any type of resolution, just climax on top of climax- never going anywhere. This is definitely a series to pass on.
44. Nightlight: A Parody by Harvard Lampoon
A Parody of Twilight. I thought I’d like it. It was just dumb. Not thoughtfully put together at all. Just two seemingly mentally impaired individuals in an awkward relationship. It was not even funny to read. It was just sad and dumb.
45. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
An interesting young adult read. It is set in the south and is supernatural. I think the book could have been better, but it was a decent read.
46 and 47. Fallen and Torment by Lauren Kate
I liked both of these books. It is a young adult fiction book about fallen angels and such. It was a change from the usual vampire and zombie line-up and was entertaining. They weren’t my favorite, but they did make for decent reading.
48. Matched by Ally Condie
I liked this book. It is a futuristic eutopia turned dystopia. I was a little confused with the main character’s decisions, but it did make for an entertaining read. Although, this is clearly the first in a series to come, so no obvious conclusion.
49. After Midnight by Richard Laymon
One of the worst books I read all year. Probably the worst. A dumb girl gets caught up with serial killers while murdering a few people on the way herself. Dumb story. Don’t bother reading it.
50. Wake (Wake Series, Book 1) by Lisa McMann
I read this book, though I can barely remember all the details now. Just not memorable, I guess. I gave it 3 stars, but haven’t been pressed to read more in the series.
51. The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom by Mary Griffith
I actually liked this book more than I thought I would. It solidified my decision to homeschool and started me along the path of thinking outside the box with schooling. Even if you aren’t an unschooler, there will be many things in this book you’ll find useful.
52. The Compound by S. A. Bodeen
This book was interestingly odd. You think one thing, and it turns out it is something else entirely. Although the elements to the story are revealed a bit awkwardly, I really like the story.
53. Stitch Graffiti: Unexpected Cross-Stitch by Heather Holland-Dally
A cross-stitch craft book. I like the pictures. I think I just might not be a cross-stitch person.
54. Dare to Be Square Quilting: A Block-by-Block Guide to Making Patchwork and Quilts by Boo Davis
I cannot wait to make these quilts! They are so cooky and fresh. I love these patterns.
55. Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause by Jade Sims
This is one of my favorite craft books of the year. Why? Well, mostly just the premise. Here are things you can make to help people in need. I have more skills than cash, so finding things that I can DO that help people is a much better way for me to get involved with various charities.
56. Muffins Galore byCatherine Atkinson
This is a great cookbook. Yes, it is filled with nothing but muffins. Once you have this book, you’ll never buy a pack (or box) of muffin mix again! The muffins are easy to make and taste so yummy! We’re working our way through the book. So far, our favorite is the vanilla soaked oat muffins with chocolate speckles. Yum!
57. Sweet Chic: Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any Occasion by Rachel Thebault and Isaac Mizrahi
This book has my new favorite dessert recipes in it. This book is for comfortable cooks. You won’t find “easy” recipes with box mixes and pre-prepared ingredients. You’ll find made from scratch goodies that are so yummy! My favorite recipe so far is the Blueberry “Cheesecake.” (Vanilla cake with fresh blueberries and cream cheese icing. Makes awesome cupcakes.)
58. The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby by Laura Wattenberg
This is a great baby name book. I would like for it to include meanings of the names, but this is a good starting place.
59. Cool Names by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz
This baby name book could have been better. It was pretty short and didn’t have many names to choose from. There are a few gems in there, but not many. It is much heavier on girl names than boy names. It also has a lot of names that no one would name their child, perhaps a fish, but not a child.
60. From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds by Alexander Tsiaras
This book is full of pictures as well as informative tidbits on the fetal development. Though this is not a kid book, by any means, I bought this book for the kids as they look forward to welcoming baby Charlie. They love it. I like reading it to them.
61. The BabyCenter Essential Guide to Pregnancy and Birth: Expert Advice and Real-World Wisdom from the Top Pregnancy and Parenting Resource by Linda J. Murray, Leah Hennen, Jim Scott, and BabyCenter Editorial Team
This is a fairly good pregnancy book for first time moms. It does contain some of the usual medical non-sense, but only minimally. It focuses mainly on the changes in the mother’s body and her emotional well-being. This book, rather than contain pictures of fetal development, contains pictures of maternal development. This is much better than the horrid What to Expect, but there are better books out there if you are more naturally minded.
62. The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine
As I previously posted, this is the worst pregnancy book out there. Follow the advice found here, and you are sure to a complication filled pregnancy and more than likely, a c-section delivery.
63. The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, and Other Holistic Choices by Aviva Jill Romm M.D. and Ina May Gaskin
This is a great pregnancy book. You will find it full of useful information during pregnancy. It doesn’t have much by way of fetal development or a week by week guide, but contains so much great information!
64. Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 6th Edition (Your Pregnancy Series)by Glade B. Curtis and Judith Schuler
This is a good option for a pregnancy book. I like the week by week updates on fetal development. I also like the weekly exercise that is included. Yes, this book has some highly medical stuff in it that would be best to be ignored, but is a much better option than What to Expect. Combine this book with the Natural Pregnancy Book listed above and you’ve got a great pregnancy book combo.
65. The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America’s Baby Experts by William Sears, Martha Sears, and Linda Hughey Holt
I usually love the Sears Library books, but I wasn’t a fan of this one. The information is good, but it is all a bit dated. A revised edition is what this book really needs.
66. The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library) by William Sears and Martha Sears
I like this book. It contains lots of good information so you can make informed decisions for the birth of your child. Too many women never get this kind of information and are therefore making very uninformed decisions.
67. Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection by Aimee Ray
It is no secret, I much prefer Doodle Stitching to cross stitch. However, I am not a great artist myself. This book is a collection of designs you can copy and stitch. I’m especially fond of the octopus. He’s adorable.
68. Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love by Hillary Lang
This is a great craft book for making your own dolls and stuffed things. There are plenty of toys in this book for both girls and boys. My children want every item in this book.
69. I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward
I thought I would like this book more than I did. The book looks nice. It’d make a good gift book. It does have various outdoor activities for kids. Some of them are useful, some of them are common sense, some of them are ridiculous.
70. Homespun Memories for the Heart: More Than 200 Ideas to Make Unforgettable Moments by Karen Ehman
This book has little ideas for making every occasion in your family special. This book helps you take those everyday moments and turn them into lasting memories. With ideas for every major and minor holiday through the year as well as milestones, you are sure to find plenty of new ideas to use in your house.
71. Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home and Life by Laura Leist
This book was more like a TV show in book form. It wasn’t as helpful as I anticipated, though it does include little tips and tricks you’ll find useful. You’d find the same tips if you watched HGTV for a couple hours.
72. Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon
I’ve already expressed my love for this book here on my blog. I’ll say it again: this book is wonderful! If you have kids and slightly advanced sewing skills, get this book!
73. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years) by Gregory Maguire
I really didn’t like this book. The story and concept were interesting, but the details were not so much. It was much longer than it needed to be and a little too vulgar for my taste.
74. Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics by Francesca DenHartog
I really like this book. I have not made any of the skirts yet, but soon will. I haven’t sewn anything for myself in a long time, but seeing as how none of my clothes are fitting, I’ll be sewing some of these skirts very soon!
75. Fertility Foods: Optimize Ovulation and Conception Through Food Choices by Jeremy Groll
This book is not what I expected it to be. It is more of a specific diet plan to promote fertility that is especially helpful for women with PCOS. If you have PCOS and are wanting a baby, or if you just want a baby and don’t eat well, this book would be a good place to start.
76. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun S. Weed
I’ve mentioned this book before. It is very new-agey. Ask a plant before you pick it. It also has herbal remedies to cause a miscarriage, which I don’t agree with. However, it is a great resource for knowing what herbs do what for the female body.
77. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
This work of fiction is interesting. I enjoyed the story. It was worth the read.
78 and 79. Peeps and The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld
These are vampire books worth reading. This is vampirism as an STD. Awesome, right? Although, it is really spread through body fluids of any kind.
80. Tithe by Holly Black
Did not enjoy.
81. Absolutely A-Line by Wendi Gratz
This book contains one pattern, an A-line dress, and many ways to adjust it. I don’t like the pattern so much. The fit isn’t very good. It is too wide and short. Adjust the pattern to use a smaller size, adding length, and it comes out alright.
82, 83, and 84. The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
I didn’t realize when I listed the Extras earlier, that I did, in fact, read the entire Uglies series this year. Great series. Read it. My Amazon reminded me I bought it in 2010, so I must have read it in 2010. Wow, the years are long.
85. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I listed the sequel earlier, not realizing I read this one this year, too. Thanks for the reminder Amazon. I didn’t like it. In fact, after reading it, I decided not to read the sequel. After being told by multiple people that the sequel is better, I read it. It was a little better. Zombie book. Self-centered main character. Lots of running around and getting no where.
86. The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears Parenting Library) by Robert Sears MD
Didn’t realize I read this in 2010, but I did. I love this book. If you have a child, you need to read this book. You really should be informed before making decisions for your child. This book does not tell you what to do, rather it gives the facts, and leaves the decision with you.
87. The Homeschooling Handbook: From Preschool to High School, A Parent’s Guide by Mary Griffith
I like this book for what it is. It does give you year by year objectives, many I throw out, but gives you a starting place at least.
I think that is all the books I’ve read this year. I’ve also partially read a few books that I’ll finish in 2011, so they’ll be in next year’s tally. I also read several books to the kids (The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, etc.) that I didn’t include in my overall total.
I’m pretty happy with reading 87 books. Most of them I liked. A few I loathed. But that is part of the fun of reading.