Books I Read in 2011 :: UPDATED with a LINKY!

You can learn a lot about a person by what books are on their bookshelf.  You can learn even more by what books they actually read.  I thought I’d share what books I remember reading over the past year, the good, the bad, the embarrassing.

Books I read cover to cover in the past 12 months::

{so this doesn’t include my decorating books and cookbooks or any other book that I’ve yet to read every word}

 The Help

Water For Elephants {the book has a few pages of rated R parts, I liked the movie much better}

Born to Run

Same Kind of Different as Me

Mount Vernon Love Story

One Thousand Gifts

Grace for the Good Girl {my sister’s book!}

Ignore Everybody

Poke the Box

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Hunger Games Trilogy

From Head to Foot

Jesus Calling

Your Money or Your Life



Currently Reading::

A Whole New Mind :: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future

Gifts of Imperfection

Happiness Project

The Perfectly Imperfect :: How to Decorate and Live Well

The Muir House

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Books I check in on yearly::

Sink Reflections

Organized Simplicity

The Reluctant Entertainer


Financial Peace

Bringing Up Boys

Families Where Grace is in Place

Running On Empty


Books I want to read in 2012

Still Alice

The Power of Less

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget {due to release on January 10th}

What Women Fear

…and whatever else you all recommend, because most of what I read is from recommendations

…and if you are wondering my favorite books I read this year are One Thousand GiftsIgnore Everybody, The Hunger Games and of course…Grace for the Good Girl

I’d love to hear what your favorite books were that you read this year

And PS, I just saw that (in)courage/bloom has their winter reading list up, it’s a good one!


Hey, do you keep track of all the books you read too?  I’d love for you to link up {don’t you love my unplanned linkies?} I’ll keep this open for a week or so, feel free to wait a few days if you want to join in and tell us what YOU read.xo

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  1. The Same Kind of Different As Me is one of my ALL time favorite books!! Love your list. Thanks for the recommendations.

  2. A book I got for Christmas and can’t wait to read is Heaven is for REAL – it’s supposedly the retelling of a little boy’s trip to heaven and back after an emergency surgery.

    A book I absolutely love reading (but it’s not lighthearted material) is called Those Who Save Us. It’s a mother/daughter story, love story, and World War II.

  3. I got a preview copy of the Money Saving Mom’s budget and Crystal did a GREAT job. I’m still implementing ideas from that book in various areas of my life – well worth reading. My favorite book of 2011 was probably a tie between “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” (a Flavia de Luce novel) and a cookbook discovery that has changed my kitchen life, “300 Sensational Soups”. A.MAZ.ING. I’ve been giving it away like crazy and several people got a copy for Christmas this year! :-)

  4. Jenn Anderson says

    I recommend Future Men by Doug Wilson as a mom of four boys. Also I recommend N.D. Wilsons 100 Cupboards trilogy – it is really written for the boys, but I loved reading it.

  5. Same Kind Of Different As Me is one of my favorites! My DIL just read the Hungry Ganes trilogy and LOVED it, but I’m not sure I would. Loved Grace For The Good Girl (because I can relate). Gave a copy to my daughter! No recommendations….I get those from YOU.

  6. Thanks for the Money Saving Mom book tip. I was reading her 4 years ago but her posts started to blow up my reader so I unsubscribed. A book of all her best tips is just what I need. Thanks again!

  7. Glad to see I’m not the only girl who lists all the books she’s read each year! I’ve kept a file with mine every year since 1990 and I love going back through them and seeing what I was reading during different times in my life. (That’s the English major in me, I guess!)

    I just finished reading the book about Steve Jobs, which was really fascinating. I couldn’t put it down. Dinners burned while I read “one more page.” Also loved “The Help” and “The Happiness Project,” which I see on your list. Bill Bryson’s “At Home” is another good one. I got a stack of new books from Santa for Christmas and can’t wait to sit down and read them all in 2012. :)

  8. I love that Financial Peace is one of your staples! I work for Dave Ramsey! You should check out his brand-new book on leadership called EntreLeadership. Just like his other books, it is applicable to anyone, from businessman to “soccer moms.”

  9. What great timing, my post on my favorite reads just went up today! :) LOVE finding new books to add to my list…

  10. I’m hoping to read more in general in 2012. My first read is going to be The China Study, and then Worldwar Z. From there I have no idea. Maybe one of your list!

    Happy New Year!~

    Amanda/Bullfrogs and Bulldogs

  11. We read a lot of the same books! I too loved One Thousand Gifts and The Hunger Games Trilogy. And I think I’m going to copy you and do a similar post! I love hearing what other people are reading. :)

  12. I read Lazarus Awakening, Grace for the Good Girl, One Thousand Gifts. They were all excellent. Right now I’m re-reading The Power of a Praying Wife. Thinking about getting The Flinch. What did you think of Poke the Box? I might get that one too.

  13. margaret latey says

    I bought me a Kindle a few months ago and absolutely love it. A book you need to read is Unbroken. It’s
    one of the best books I have ever read.

  14. Our lists are so similar! I have my list of 2011 reads on Pinterest here: I’m currently reading the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and One Day. Both are good but more difficult reads than I had bargained for. I’m looking forward to plowing through them and moving on to the second and third Hunger Games books.

  15. Same kind of different as me is one of my all time favorites! It touched me so deeply! I haven’t finished One Thousand Gifts yet, but I plan to start over from the beginning and savor every poetic morsel. I plan to read Made to Crave in January. I’m hoping it may finally help me understand some of my personal food struggles. I appreciate all of the other suggestions. I love reading and plan to get back to it this year.

  16. I haven’t gotten around to writing up my book post for the year yet, I’ll have to do that today! I have read some of those books on your list, there’s a couple I’m adding to my to-read list now! Still Alice is a really great book, I think I cried after every chapter.

    Are you on goodreads? It’s an awesome place to keep track of books! here’s me if you are on there or join:

  17. I loved SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME too….and The Help! I plan to read Ann Voskamps book this year. Though it is a secular book, WHAT ALICE FORGOT is absolutely one of my favorite books ever…and I am an avid reader! I use SHELFARI (an thing) to keep track of my books as well as a WISH list on amazon. I also loved WEIRD, RADICAL and MADE TO CRAVE. :0) Happy New Year!

  18. That’s an excellent idea, I read a lot but haven’t documented it like that, but now that I am all inspired I’ll try to complie a list too. And BTW, ‘Stile Alice’ is a wonderful book, it would probably be my most favorite book of 2011, it made me think beyond the norm…

  19. I didn’t really keep a list, but I think I can easily go back and figure out which ones I read. Still Alice is wonderful, but I will say her other book “Left Neglected” is FANTASTIC!!! Add it to the list! :)

  20. I LOVED two books by Marisa de los Santos called Love walked in and its sequel Belong to Me. They were Amazing…A-mazing, I tell you (even though they have kind of cheesy titles). I could not put them down. Ah, so great. I have bought both of them for several people, I highly recommend them. I’m so excited to read her next book Falling Together. Yay, can’t wait.

  21. Sadly,nI have read mostly junky romance and young adult Twilightesque novels and then graduate level research on new teachers, charter schools, and data analysis. Shameful as a literature major that I read no real literature this year!

  22. I just got a kindle fire and hope to be reading alot more in the up coming year. This past year I have read the following:
    Spiritual Growth Reading
    Approval Addition by Joyce Meyer- This was a really good book helped me.
    Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere- This book I also enjoyed and learned alot about me.
    The Bible- I read several books of the bible this year doing studies on those books.

    My for fun reading:
    This year I have been reading the classics:
    Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
    Emma- Jane Austen
    Journey to the Well
    Sense and sinsibility- Jane Austen
    Jane Eyre- currently reading.

    I just got The Hunger Game and Water for Elephants and I am looking forwarding to starting those books. I usually sit down before first of the year and make a wish list of the books I want to read the upcoming year. Its fun to look back and see if I managed to read all the ones I wanted to read.

  23. I haven’t heard of A Whole New Mind until I read this post. I’m curious as to why it appealed to you and what you think. Since much of my work is with people who have Attention Deficit Disorder, I would be interested in reading it. Love some of your other choices!

  24. If you are wanting to read a great Christian Fiction read….Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is the BEST of the BEST!

  25. I am really trying to get back into reading this year:

    I tend to like historical biographies of women. I read these this year:
    The Titled Americans: Three American Sisters and the British Aristocratic World into Which They Married, Murder of a Medici Princess, Five Sisters: The Langhornes of Virginia

    For the non non-fiction I liked:
    Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon

    Next on my list is finishing:
    An Uncommon Woman – The Empress Frederick: Daughter of Queen Victoria, Wife of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Mother of Kaiser Wilhelm and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.

    I keep track of my books at

  26. Loved reading your lists of the books! The books I loved this year were Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and The Art of Racing in the Rain.

    You should definitely check out Goodreads. I love being able to track what I’m reading and what I want to read. I’m here if you want to be friends:

  27. Ella, A Life Unaborted is a beautiful book written about Gods grace and love. It is a true story and one that you won’t be able to put down!

  28. Ooopps…..I added a suggestion for a Christian Fiction but my suggestion for Christian Non-Fiction I would suggest a book called Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. It is a very honest, in your face, make you want to walk closer to the Lord, straighten up and fly right kind of book! Wonderful read! Be prepared to be changed!

  29. Hi! Thanks for the book ideas! I am currently reading The Help, and next on my list is The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which both my daughters say is fantastic. I have a book log that I want to start using for this very purpose.
    I like Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s Dune sequels and prequels (sci-fi), so I read Paul of Dune and The Winds of Dune this year. I started Outliers, but found it too rated-R for me. Did you find it so?
    I re-read Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth (an excellent book!), and read Little Women, Christy, and others I can’t recall right now – hence the need for a book log!
    One of my favorite books of all time is The Egg and I, a hilarious memoir by Betty MacDonald. Another favorite memoir is not funny at all: Wild Swans is a beautiful and inspiring tale of the author’s grandmother, mother and herself growing up in China under different regimes. The things that happen to them are terrible, yet they draw strength from each other and the author’s father. I’m sorry I can’t remember the author’s name; I’ll ps it as soon as I remember.
    Anyway, those are some of my favorites!

    • I think I read a different Outliers {malcom gladwell} author of blink? It’s nerd non-fiction facts and interesting concepts. I can’t imagine it being R rated and me missing that part. Laughing already at the thought…am I wrong? anyone….?

  30. The author of Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China is Jung Chang. (I remembered her first name, but not her last.)

  31. I just finished reading Sarah’s Key and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet back-to-back. There’s a 1942 theme running through both, as well as a flip flopping from past to current(ish) day. So well written and fascinating reads. One addresses atrocities by France against French children during WWII; the other atrocities by Americans against Japanese-Americans during WWII.

    I highly recommend both …

    Thanks for sharing your list. I’ve already jotted down a few that I’ll pick up in 2012. I think I’ll try to pull my own list together for my Saturday post and come back and link up.

  32. Thanks for inspiring a booklist post. I’d been wanting to dish about books for a while now. I keep a booklist on my blog {that’s how I’ve kept track the last few years.} I enjoyed seeing that we read several of the same books last year. Great minds read alike? : )

  33. Definatly find time to read Still Alice this year…it’s a wonderful book especially if you have had a loved one with Alzheimers. I will be back to post a link to my book of 2011…great idea for a post.

  34. As a great addition to your devotional times, I’d recommend anything by Andrew Murray. Reading his books is just like being discipled to go deeper in your walk with the Lord. I am reading Absolute Surrender right now, but some of my other favorites by A. Murray are Abiding in Christ and Humility. His parenting book is on my 2012 to-read list.

  35. One of my husband’s favorite/most inspirational books is Born To Run. ;-) He is into “almost barefoot” running, and lost over 60 pounds in 2 years, just by running!

    My favorite contemporary author is Christian fiction author Jamie Langston Turner. Have you read anything by her?
    I also enjoy a few other Christian authors, classics, and home decorating books. ;-)

  36. is THAT our copy of ignore everybody? i am forever lending and forever losing that book! but i figure it’s for the best, if it inspires people to IGNORE EVERYBODY! – completely awesome.

  37. Great post and you read some fabulous books this year. I strive to read 52 books every year. My favorites this year included: Little Women, The Hunger Games, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Room, My (Not So) Storybook Life, My Life in France, What the Dog Saw, Half the Sky, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, A Walk in the Woods, Infidel and City of Thieves.

  38. What a fun linky! Thanks for hosting it. It’s so hard to decide what my favorites were this year, but I am going to have to second the previous comments about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and The Help. My family goes on a girl-trip each year, and has a book club night. We read Agatha Christie for our Mystery trip, ‘Hotel’ for our Seattle trip, and ‘The Help’ for our California trip. Not sure what that had to do with California, but totally worth it regardless :)

  39. I also read The Help, Water for Elephants, and Jesus Calling this year! Oh, and Captivating is one of my all time faves:)

  40. I LOVE to read and you have some of my favorites on your list…A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Help are great. I really liked Still Alice too. Divergent was a good book, same genre as The Hunger Games. Goodreads is a fabulous place to keep track of the books you’ve read as well as the books your friends read. There are tons of book reviews and recommendations as well. Kind of like a Facebook for avid readers. If you join, let us know. Our reading tastes are similar and I could “friend” you on goodreads.

  41. Why have I never kept track of the books I read? Mercy. I love this idea. Going to start this 2012 year. Reflecting back now on my own reading list.

  42. I keep my top most recommended books on pinterest here:
    I love Sarah Addison books and I just finished Animal Miracle Vegetable by Barbara Kingsolver. Amazing. I have to say my favorite book of all time is Mists of Avalon. Followed by Madame Bovary, a classic.

  43. be still my nerdy heart. this link up makes me so happy. can’t wait to dive into everyone’s recommendations!

  44. LOVED The Hunger Games (total Peeta fan here). ;) I also really liked Water for Elephants (minus the icky R rated parts). I loved the movie, but I wish they had included a little more of the older Jacob’s life…ie. the other old guy in the home who brags about carrying water for elephants. I didn’t think of Robert Pattinson as Edward even once while watching the movie. :)

  45. I love to see what other ladies are reading! I’m on chapter 4 now of What Women Fear & amazing does not even begin to describe it!!

  46. And for the ultra nerdy among us – you have to check out It’s a great place to keep track of books you own, books you’ve borrowed/loaned/read/given away. Love that place – it’s like your own personal virtual library for the bibliophile. You can check out my library on there by searching for “pianomama”.

  47. THE HUNGER GAMES….. oh I loved those and can not wait for the movie! My 6th grader was assigned to read book 1 for his book club and I was a bit worried about the premise so I read the first chapter and was totally hooked. wow. and I rarely read fiction.
    1000 GIFTS – wanted to love it – read the first 1/2, didn’t work for me
    THE HELP – fell in love with the characters. Another blogger recommended it. A few parts could have been left out. Haven’t seen the movie.
    SOUL SURFER – a quick read and so much more than the movie!!
    THE 100 THING CHALLENGE – true story of a guy who gets rid off all his stuff (except 100 things!)
    DR. JEYKELL & MR. HYDE – yeah, really, read it this summer because my 10th grader is reading it for school.
    ….and what I want to read for 2012 – Mary Beth Chapman’s book – Choosing to See.

  48. You’d probably love “Future Men” by Douglas Wilson on raising boys. Just thought I’d throw that out there. :)

  49. I Loved The Girl who Chased the Moon ! But I have loved all of her books. My favorite is Garden Spells. If you haven’t read it yet , I highly recommend it ! I’m going to have to work on my list !

  50. I always am filled with gratitude when another year is complete. Thank you for the inspiration and creativity you have added to my 2011 year! There is ugliness and beauty all around and it is a joy to see beauty in your habitat. Thank you, S. A.

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