The Elusive Magic Number

For the most part, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. They feel too much like rules to me and the world has quite enough of those, thank you very much. However, there is one thing I have challenged myself to do every year for some time now. Every year I fail, yet I look forward to trying again each January as I turn to a fresh page in my notebook.

It was several years ago that a friend and fellow blogger wrote about her goal of reading 52 books in a year. Prior to children I was a voracious reader, easily meeting that mark and then some. But as the duties of motherhood and homeschooling took precedence, finding the time to read had somehow taken backseat status. This challenge has proven to be just the thing to foster a deliberate mindset,  to purposefully make time to enjoy stories, word artistry, and to simply learn new and interesting things.

This past year brought some amazing reads my way and, while I enjoyed each one, I whittled down my favorites to the top 10 which are marked in red. So without further rambling, here’s my list for 2017!

1.) When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey

2.) The Medicine Cabinet of Curiosities by Nickolas Bakalar

3.) Twilight by Stephenie Meyers

4.) Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes by Jeff Cook

5.) The Forgotten Way by Ted Dekker (Read it twice this year.)

6.) The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

7.) The Walls Are Talking by Abby Johnson with Kristin Detrow (An amazing group of stories from former abortion clinic workers. Difficult to read at times, but it is well presented and quite thought provoking.)

8.) How To Toilet Train Your Cat: And 61 Other Ill-Conceived Projects by The Bathroom Readers Institute

9.) Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare

10.) A Contrarian’s Guide To Knowing God by Larry Osborne

11.) Forgiven by Terri Roberts with Jeanette Windle (This is the story of the Amish school shooting several years ago, written by the mother of the shooter. Very powerful story!)

12.) Voice in the Night by Pastor Surprise with David Wimbish

13.) 8 Minutes in the Morning by Jorge Cruise

14.) Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist who was sent to the Nazi concentration camps. This is his story of how man finds meaning in even the most horrific of circumstances. This should be mandatory reading for all high school students!)

15.) As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

16.) The Fibro Manual by Ginerva Liptan, M.D. (If you or someone you know suffers from fibromyalgia, go out and buy this book now! This is filled with tons of current information on this perplexing disorder, written by a Doctor who suffers from it herself.)

17.) What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

18.) Her Mother’s Hope: Marta’s Legacy by Francine Rivers

19.) The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels, M.D. And Virginia Price Ph.D.

20.) Are You Dreaming: Exploring Lucid Dreams, A Comprehensive Guide by Daniel Love

21.) Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

22.) Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

23.) Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

24.) House of Stairs by William Sleator (A childhood fave of mine. One of my first psychological thrillers. It’s reminiscent of Lord of the Flies.)

25.) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Another old fave that was super fun to revisit.)

26.) Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe by Todd Wilson (Every homeschool mom needs to read this. In fact, every homeschool mom needs to read this every couple of years! This book has helped more mamas than I can count in their homeschool journey.)

27.) Psych 101: A Crash Course in the Science of the Mind by Paul Kleinman

28.) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

29.) Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton

30.) Let the Elephants Run: Unlock Your Creativity and Change Everything by David Usher

31.) The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

32.) Mythology by Edith Hamilton

33.) The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel

34.) A Generation Chosen by Ben Courson

35.) Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge

36.) From Heaven by A.W. Tozer

I didn’t post my list from 2016. Between planning a wedding and the Great Meltdown of ’16, my reading was almost non-existent. But here’s my top 5 faves from that year:

1.) The One Who Sees Me by Kandi J Wyatt  (A fresh take on an old biblical favorite, this is written by a local writer and friend of mine.  I don’t want to give anything away, but this really helped me see that story in a new, more intimate way.)

2.) Centralia by Mike Dellosso

3.) Morgue: A Life in Death by Dr. Vincent Di Maio and Ron Franscell

4.) Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller (If you love the show Hoarders, this is a must-read.  Written by the daughter of hoarders, this is a fascinating perspective on this disorder.)

5.) My True Type: Clarifying Your Personality Type, Preferences and Functions by Dr. A.J. Drenth

So, while I have ‘failed’ the challenge once again, I nonetheless find myself excited to press on.  Will I make it this year?  I have no idea, but I already have a few amazing reads written on my list and a stack of books patiently waiting their turn.  Some of them I’ll blaze through, but some will surely demand a slower pace, time to read and reread juicy passages, to highlight the bits of gold I don’t want to forget.  I’m excited.  And whether I make it to that elusive magic number or not, I’m quite certain I’ll enjoy trying!

Grace and peace,



If you’re looking for more book recommendations, check out my 2014 and 2015 lists as well. I hope you find some interesting reads!


Photo by karn684 at Bigstockphoto.

2 thoughts on “The Elusive Magic Number

    • Well, let me clarify that I don’t agree with some of the non-essential points of doctrine even in my favorites. (Truth be told, I don’t agree 100% with anyone on all points of scripture!). However, I find them to be authors who, I believe, genuinely love our Father and I can learn much from them. I hope you find something worth reading and pondering, my friend! 😁


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