I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Top 15 Books that Helped Shape Me in 2014

Top 15 Books that Helped Shape Me in 2014 {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Books change me. I'm never quite the same after reading good words...words that make me think...words that challenge my set-in-stone beliefs...words that help to encourage and equip me to keep doing this thing called temporary. I'm never an identical ME at the end of a good book. I'm always somehow altered...or at least I should be. Because words are like that. They help you stand firm in what you know to be true and remind you to bend with grace when you need to.

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This year, I have done much bending. God has used His Word and the words He inspired in others to teach me many things. Looking back on 2014, I am not the same ME in December that I was in January.

I place the Bible in a league all its own. There are no other words more life-changing, more challenging to my temporary ME than the Truths I have found within its pages this year. Exodus, Romans, and 1st & 2nd Thessalonians have ruined me for anything but the Gospel and God's still small voice in my life.

Beyond that, one quick look at my monthly reading lists shows that my library card has gotten much use. I've read quite a few books this year. Fifteen of them have helped to shape me. I didn't always agree with every line I read. But that's all a part of the shaping process. That's when I get to examine what and why I believe the way I do and stand with resolve on the Truth I know to be true...making me stronger than I was before I turned the page.

And here they are in no particular order...

The Holiness of God
Treasuring God in our Traditions
The Big Book of Homeschooling Ideas
The Talks: A Parent's Guide to Critical Conversations about Sex...
Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval
The Best Yes
Out of a Far Country
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode
Notes from a Blue Bike
Growing Up Duggar
A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion
The Brainy Bunch
The Book Whisperer
Large Family Logistics

And you?
What books helped to shape you in 2014?

For more great book suggestions, be sure to head to iHomeschool Network and check out the Massive Guide to Homeschool Reading Lists!


  1. I just discovered your blog recently, and I am loving it! This looks like a great list of books. I just got my hands on a (hugely overpriced) copy of large family logistics, and I can't wait to dive in. I'll have to search out some of the other titles you recommend too. Thanks for the inspiration, and Merry Christmas!

    1. The writing style of that one was not my favorite, but there were some great BIG FAMILY tips worth implementing. It is written by a homeschool mom and totally gets it!

  2. Great list, Jamie! I loved The Best Yes. That book came to me in the exact moment I needed it and taught me many valuable lessons.

    1. It was perfect timing for me, as well. My friend and I will be teaching a Women's class at church on Wednesday nights using this book and the companion video. I'm looking forward to it.

  3. I am reading 7 because of a facebook posting from you a little while back. I have been wondering what you thought of it. I am very much enjoying it! It's very convicting on a subject that I feel strongly about and I have spend much time in prayer after every few pages. I am almost afraid to keep reading it...change is painful. However, I feel God is leading me to, not just change and conviction, but movement...I pray He helps me DO something about the guilt that this subject conjures up in my heart. Thanks so much for the book suggestions.

    1. So sorry this reply is late coming. I've been on a two-week vacation.
      I absolutely loved the book. It was very thought provoking and has caused me to examine several areas in my life which need some revamping.
      Just remember, God is not a giver of guilt. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. He does prompt us at times through the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, the Spirit is challenging you to make some changes.

    2. I do feel guilt though when it comes to consumerism and excess. And, while God isn't a giver of guilt, and I know He IS prompting me through the Holy Spirit to make some changes for sure...what, then, can I make of my feelings? This book almost paralyzes me, when I think of how we live with too much...I think of how I long to be one who gives away all I possess and follow Jesus...and, then, I don't...I guess that's where the guilt comes from.
      I appreciate Jen Hatmaker's perspective, and wonder myself about a similar fasting, of sorts, to draw closer to Him, and gain a better understanding of my stirrings.

    3. I completely understand and agree. I think it sounds like God is using that book to help you to begin examining some areas in your life that He would like you to yield to Him. I'd love to hear the conclusion of this. Please check back in after you finish reading the whole book and decide what, if anything, you plan to fast.