banner BG button

« New $1/1 Quaker Oatmeal, BOGO Sunbelt Granola Bars, and more coupons | Main | Krispy Kreme: Buy a dozen doughnuts, Get 12 free Valentine's doughnuts »

January 19, 2010

Bookin' It in 2010: My Reading Goals and Book List


"You'll be the same person you were last year except for the books you read and the people you meet."

Books have had a profound impact upon me since I first began reading many years ago. They've helped to shape the way I think and the way I live. They stimulate me intellectually; they challenge me to improve as a person; and they teach me new concepts and ideas.

I set a goal at the beginning of 2009 to read 50 books over the course of the year. I didn't quite reach that goal, in fact, I only ended up reading 26 books in total. However, aiming high motivated me to find the time to read more than I likely would have had I not set that goal in the first place.

In 2010, I've committed to attempt to read 4 books per month--a book which encourages me spiritually, a practical book (on homemaking or homeschooling), a business-related book, and another book of my choice.

I'll be joining in with FishMama's Bookin' It Challenge and posting an monthly update with the books I've read and a short review on each of them. This is not only for my own personal accountability, but I hope it also serves to inspire you to consider making time in your life to read. You just might be surprised at how much you learn and change as a result of reading!

Here's my list of books I'm hoping to read this next year:

(Please note: My list is rather audacious and I don't necessarily think I'll actually find the time to read all of these in 2010, but I'm at least going to try! My husband and I are also reading through the Bible in a year using The MacArthur Daily Bible.)


Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers

Flipping the Switch...: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability Using the QBQ!

Still Growing: An Autobiography

Treasuring God in Our Traditions


What He Must Be: ...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter

Hired @ Home

First Things First: The Rules of Being a Warner

A Charlotte Mason Education

Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.


America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money

How I Know God Answers Prayer

The Elements of Style

For the Children's Sake


The Complete Tightwad Gazette

The Heart of Homeschooling

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking


Put More Cash in Your Pocket: Turn What You Know into Dough

Womanly Dominion: More Than A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half

Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment

Beloved Bride: The Letters of Stonewall Jackson to His Wife

For the Family's Sake: The Value of Home in Everyone's Life


Frugillionaire: 500 Fabulous Ways to Live Richly and Save a Fortune

In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms

Revolution In World Missions

Creating an Intimate Marriage: Rekindle Romance Through Affection, Warmth and Encouragement


Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Michael Phelps: The Untold Story of a Champion

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

Professionalizing Motherhood: Encouraging, Educating, and Equipping Mothers At Home


The Financially Confident Woman

Honey for a Child's Heart



Living Rich for Less: Create the Lifestyle You Want by Giving, Saving, and Spending Smart

Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men

Francis Schaeffer: An Authentic Life


The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love to Thee

A Mother's Heart: A Look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian Mother


Living Simply: Choosing Less in a World of More

My biggest problem when it comes to reading books is actually finishing them. I'm really good at starting books--and often have 4 to 6 started at once!--but I'm much less disciplined about finishing them.

I'm going to aim to only start and finish each month's designated books during the specified month. If I finish them all early, I'm giving myself license to read whatever--but not until I've finished that month's books. Yes, I'm really working on following through with things I've set out to do this year. :)

Photo credit: Yves

Bookmark and Share


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

you have chosen some of my favorite books. "A Mother's Heart" is probably the best book i have ever read on being a mom. I try to read it once every 2 years! This is my year to read it again so i will be joining you!

My fiance and I was given The Five Love Languages for Christmas by his newly married brother. We both plan on having read it by our wedding. I'm halfway through and I think it is such a great resource. I plan on 'sharing the wealth' with a few of my friends that are also planning weddings.
This sounds like quite the goal for 2010 to me and I look forward to hearing about your journey.

Stonewall Jacksons Book, Beloved bride, is one of my faves of all time!! Hubby gave it to me as a wedding gift and I still read it often! Enjoy!

What a wonderful list! Several titles I had forgotten about and am now reinspired to look up. Personally, we have enjoyed Created for Work and are beginning to see the fruits of this wonderful book.

Looks like you have some good books on your list! I may have to add some of them to my list!

Have a great day!

I got the Artisan bread book for christmas and the bread really does turn out as great as it looks in the pictures! Hope you love it!

Good luck! I read 4 or 5 books at a time too, and am in a race to finish them before they are due back at the library. :)

I think you'll really like the 5 love languages. It's a good one. I've read the artisan bread book too. It's such a great idea. I had a hard time executing it, but my husband was an excellent bread baker with the recipes in this book.

If you are compiling a list for next year (lol) you may want to think about Real Food by Nina Planck, The Omnivore's Dilemma, Bringing up boys by James Dobson, The Two income trap, speed cleaning 101, Being a great mom, raising great kids by sharon Jaynes, The mother daughter legacy, protecting the gift, and Your money or your Life. :) These were some of my favorites from 2009

You are going to have a great year!
I love...
For the Children's Sake
The Five Love Languages
The Now Habit
5 Minute a Day Bread

I'd skip..
Good to Great

I'd Add...
Parenting With Love and Logic
How to Wow

Happy Reading

Thanks for posting this. I love to read (and try to read a few pages every time I sit down to nurse my baby) and am always looking for recommended books. I'll look forward to your reviews.

Wow, that looks like a great list! I'm going to check to see if my local ibrary has many of those titles. I, too, start several books at a time and don't necessarily finish them.

You'll love Flipping the Switch! If you haven't read the QBQ that one was written first, I believe, and I really enjoyed it as well.

What a lovely opening quote. I would love to share it--who should I credit?

I am so impressed that you have your complete list for the entire year mapped out. Proof that there is so much good out there to read.

A few of those titles jumped out at me. I may have to do a library search for some of those.
I have rediscovered reading again. I wasn't much of a reader as a child, but my children have become quite the readers which has inspired me.
I have read my son's entire Harry Potter collection and am hooked on reading.

Revolution In World Missions is a good one for sure! I also just finished "the hole in our gospel" by the president of World Vision, which is another great one dealing with our responsibility towards the poor with our money. Both books have similar themes.

Hmm, Run on sentences.... Sorry

You have some great books on your list. Thanks for the suggestions. I like that you made a plan. I tend to start so many that I don't finish. I did recently read a Michael Phillips fiction book about Scotland and am working on the 2nd, both of which are good. I love historical ficition. But I can't do it too often as other things get neglected as I get caught up in it. Also "What He Must Be" was awesome! "Beloved Bride" was a beautiful insight into a godly relationship. "Heart of Homeschooling" -- good, but never actually finished. I've tried to keep up with Tim Challies current group read. He picks classics of the faith. Just can't keep up. I'm determined to finish the 2nd Phillips book soon and then finish "A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm," which is very insightful.

I read about 200 books (more if you count cook books and craft pattern books) per year, all non-fiction. I'm currently reading the Complete Tightwad Gazette and Radical Simplicity, along with Simplify Your Christmas. My 3yo DD loves reading, and my husband reads as much as I do though he reads half fiction, half non-fiction.

The gift of reading is one of the best things you can give to and exemplify for your children!

If your problem is finishing books, maybe move-up or better yet, start with The Now Habit!!! lol Just teasing ya! I do the same thing. I think I'll call the library now to see if they can get me The Now Habit. Great list....thanks for sharing!

I love this idea of breaking it down into monthly goals! I also am hosting a book challenge again this year (i've done it for a couple years now) to encourage young ladies to read more substantial things and less fluff, to read to learn and find enjoyment in growth so that reading the lighter stuff is more of a treat than all that happens. If I'd known of this before I started, I might have just directed them all there instead.

Happy reading!

Oh that bootcamp book! I need that one! I tried to flylady, but the emails overwhelmed me. I have eBay inventory everywhere, it just seems to multiply! Packaging supplies, boxes, stuff waiting to be listed, things waiting for payment - you get the idea. It is fun to sell on eBay but it does make a mess.

Our Homeschool Mom's Group took a break from homeschool book discussions and did Treasuring God in Our Traditons. It is lovely.
For the Children's Sake will change you, as a mother, for the better.
The Five Love Languages is written by a wonderful, godly man. Im so thankful we read through that book right before we got married, 15 1/2 years ago!

I am a mom with 9 kids, most of them adults now. We homeschooled, baked bread, had (still have) a business at home and I love to read. PLEASE, PLEASE be careful that you do not set so many goals that you put yourself under undue pressure. God has already given you 4 goals-- husband and children. Having children, especially small children, is very high pressure all by itself, especially if you add homeschooling and self employment. It is easy to become cranky and ill when you overdo it. If you have husband or family members warning about overdoing it, LISTEN TO THEM!! You need to enjoy a leisurely time while your children are small so you can just love on them and on your husband. I love your site and read it almost every day but please don't stress yourself-- you're too important!!!

Sounds like a great list. I have read a few of those myself, but I may have to borrow your list and read the rest. Thanks for posting this!

Curious - Are you going to buy these or get them from the library?

Thanks for the great list. I didn't know Elizabeth Prentiss wrote other books besides Stepping Heavenward. I just ordered a few of hers because of this post. Thanks!

Money Saving Mom here: Believe it or not, I actually have all of these books already on my "to read" shelf! Some of them were given to me as gifts, many of them came from PaperBackSwap, and a few were sent to me as review copies (I receive books from publishing houses on occasion since I'm a blogger.) Most of these you should be able to pick up from the library or PaperBackSwap.

I was wondering if you buy all of these books or do you get them at the library?
I was'nt sure if you knew of any "cheaper" ways to purchase books.

Also, maybe you should write your own book on money saving, as you have helped so many with your blog:)

thank you for this great list! The funny thing is that my goal for last year was 50, and I also read 26! We're 2 peas in a pod. :)

I have read the America's Cheapest Family book and the Tightwad Gazette. Both are excellent! I look forward to reading your reviews. Your list looks interesting.

The Five Love Languages is a really great book!

I too only read non-fiction, but I never feel bad about not finishing a book.

There are way more great books out there than I'll ever have a chance to read. If I read half a book, gleaned some nuggets of truth, then moved onto something else, it's ok.

Some books I finish, some I don't. But I'm still learning, and that's what counts to me.

Thanks for the list! I love the John Miller books and "Good to Great" will give you some food for thought, but it's a hard book to stay motivated and finish.

I am currently reading A Mother's Heart, so good! I felt like with the new year I needed renewed visoin in this area. I want to have a goal to read and finish one book a month. Also on the list is Don't Make Me Count to Three, The Complete Money Makeover, and Each for the Other (Bryan Chapell). Another book by Elizabeth Prentiss is Aunt Jane's Heros (it is awesome!) Thanks for the post. It has encouraged me to get these down on paper so I can keep up with where I am!

One more book suggestion...
Red Letter Christians- A citizens guide to faith and politics by Tony Campolo.

I heard him speak when I was 19-he made me so mad. He said make a lot of money but live on 20,000 a year and give the rest away.

He challenges the "American dream" and how that lines up with the bible. Truly a thought provoking book.

I would like to follow your reading and comments on the books...I find that having all the info in one source keeps things easier for me....can you facebook it like your coupons and sales info??? That would be a great help!!

When I read your title I thought of the Pizza Hut Book-it program. Are you aware that homeschoolers can participate? The kids can meet the goals you set for them and get either a free personal pan pizza or free lunch buffet. Great way to save on lunch out on a hs field trip day.

I would highly recommend moving Getting Things Done into an earlier list. It is fabulous, and is likely to make the rest of your year go by so much more effectively and efficiently.

You had some great suggestions that I added to my book list, thanks!

I just finished my first book in years. It is Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson. I love it!!! Also just purchased Three Cups of Tea by the same author and am going to finish it in a few days I am sure. I just love these two books and would highly recommend them for anyone.

I like it! Reading is such a great thing to do for yourself - and it forces you to take a breather. I'm an avid reader, myself - though I don't have the attention span to read more than once at a time =)

I'm saving this list for when I'm in a need of a new book - Thanks for the info and inspiration (as always)

Oh, I just love reading!

I've read several books on your list and I hope you enjoy them.

I'm starting something new for myself this year. I'm keeping a list of all the books I read, skimmed, or want to read at some point in the future.

After I read or skimmed a book, I'll add a few comments, like "this would be worth buying" or "recommend to this person" or a quick summary of the book.

The running list includes where I can find the book, such as if it's available at my library or on PBS.

Happy reading!

Wow, that's a lot of reading. I love to read but rarely take the time for it now with 4 kids and homeschooling but so many of those books sound fantastic, I should make more time for reading. On a side note, my husband loves to write and has started a new blog,, it's an interactive novel with the readers helping to give suggestions to guide the next chapter. We would love to spread knowledge about the blog, I was wondering if you would offer it as a free reading opportunity to your readers. We are a Christian family and there will never be offensive content in the story, plus the main character will be ultimately on his own spiritual search for God in the book. Thanks so much for your blog, I am a fairly recent reader and was unaware of how much money I could save. We hope to become debt free like you as well.

What a great post! I love to read too and so many of these books I have not heard of but have been wanting to read more Christian books too. Ellen gave good advice - one that I really need to follow.

You will love The 5 Love Languages. Dr. Gary Chapman is the associate pastor at the church I used to attend. I've heard him preach many times and have several of his books. You might also like the 5 love languages for children, as the other one is geared mostly for spouses. I have the one for children and have read it several times. I'll be glad when my two year old begins to show his language to me!

Eats, Shoots & Leaves has been on my mind for a few years now. I remember seeing the cover and laughing (I think it's a panda with a bamboo stalk and a rifle?) Punctuation and grammar are enough to give me OCD.

Also, you are an amazing candidate for a Kindle, Crystal!

I've been inspired to start reading more and TV less. Dr Sears Baby Book is always on my nightstand, with about 6 other books, some of which I have never touched. Time to crack some spines! :)

If the "How I Know God Answers Prayer" book is the one by Mrs. GoForth - it is definitely worth reading - and it is short. :)

Great list!!! I read a variety of books and I review books on my blog so I get alot of books mailed to me....but do a variety of fiction and non-fiction, all Christian, but interesting! I never really thought about writing down some of the cookbooks I read! = )
I usually read an average of a book a day though, and I think that is pretty good to stick to! That is an average of 365 books a year then.....
Last year a couple of books that really changed me were Only Nuns change habits overnight and So long, Status Quo by Susy Flory. Those might be ones you might like!

Hope you achieve your goal!!

I also agree that reading has a huge impact on us. I was wondering if some time you could do a post on maybe the "Top Ten" books that changed your life. I know that DR's Total Money Makeover would be on it, but what else?

Yea! Soo many of the books you have listed are my favories. I recently finished "Parenting in the Pew"....a great one! Enjoy!

What a great book list! I have read Still Growing: An Autobiography and could not put it down. I know you will enjoy that one. I was also excited to meet the author in person and he signed my book :)

I have loved to read since I was a little girl. My favorite books were the Anne Of Green Gables series! But finding time as an adult with 3 kids is hard. Thank you for sharing your list--I enjoy books that help me be a better mom and you just saved me a whole bunch of time compiling that list--Thanks, again! : )

I have a question for you - why no fiction? Do you think it is unprofitable? I love to read as well - as a mother and writer myself I find reading GOOD fiction (classics as well as newer authors) keeps my imagination and creativity going. So I'm curious if this is a personal preference of non-fiction?

Money Saving Mom here: I rarely read fiction. I've tried to read a few classics and most of them were just very boring to me. Every once in awhile, I'll find a fiction book which engages me, but most often they just don't interest me. But if you have some really great recommendations of good fiction I should read, shoot me an email and I'll definitely consider it!

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • is an upbeat and encouraging blog dedicated to helping you find great deals, stretch your hard-earned dollars, and live on less than you make so you can save more and give more. I'm glad to have you here!


I'm Going to Savvy Blogging