My Best Reads for 2011

I’m really striving to remember. To reflect on how far I’ve come. To be reminded of all that God has shown me this year.

And as the year-end is on the horizon, I’d like to share some of that with you.

One randomly scattered post at a time.

I must admit I lost count somehow, but I can recall reading 44 books/cookbooks (yes, I read cookbooks cover to cover) in 2011. Here are the books for 2011 that had the most impact on me.

1. Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

I may have finished this book by the time this posts. It’s my current read and I’m nearly done.
I must admit I went into this book skeptical. I honestly didn’t think my soul had much mystery.
I was wrong.
I don’t consider myself a girly-girl, but that doesn’t stop me from having all three of every woman’s main desires mentioned in this book. So thankful I read the words with my heart open wide.

2. The Bible

Who would I be if I didn’t list this one. I read the New Testament through this year in The Message Translation (which I had never done before) and was quite surprised with how much I enjoyed it.
I read the Old Testament through in the NRSV version — straight from THIS BIBLE I was gifted with years ago by my (then future) in-laws. Next year, I plan on reading out of the Living translation simply because I haven’t before. And I’m going to read the Psalms and Proverbs from The Message. My friend Lisa inspired me to do so.

3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Don’t think I need to say much about this one except that I lost some sleep while reading this as I had trouble putting it down!

4. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

I enjoy reading this book every few years. It’s one of my all-time favorites. If you have not read it, please put it on your 2012 list. Please.

5. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

It doesn’t matter if you believe the story actually happened. What matters to me is if you believe it could. If you believe in the place Jesus went to prepare for us. And I loved how this book allowed me to reflect on my eternity.

6. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

This is the only parenting book I’ve read more than once. This year was my 3rd time reading it and I learned just as much as the previous two times. I love his perspective on parenting and the Biblical foundation he lays down as he provides a practical approach to the most important role I’ll ever have.

7. I Will Carry You by Angie Smith

I read this book in 2010 right after I delivered my 2nd son stillborn. It was just what I needed. So much so that I read it again in 2011. Even if you haven’t experienced the loss of a child, this book is worth a read. Because we all grieve. And we can all experience the joy on the other side.

8. Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D.

Yet another book I went into skeptical. And I’ll even admit I’m not living out the diet laid out in the book. But it changed the way I eat for a variety of reasons and the knowledge I gained about grains, carbs and even my disease of Hashimoto’s made this book worth my time. I even think it would be worth yours.

9. The Healthy Family Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen

I have a habit of checking out cookbooks from the library. Some I check out multiple times. This was one of them. And this has even made my list of cookbooks worth purchasing (along with a number of America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks — I love them).

10. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

It was the reason I started this blog in the first place. It was the only book I read for the first time in 2011 that will be added to my forever favorites. For it has changed my perspective on joy. If you haven’t read it I implore you to change that.

How about you? What are some of your favorite books? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


(NOTE: This post is filled with links to Please know that I’m not an affiliate. Amazon doesn’t know me from Eve. Feel free to click on any of the images or links to see more about the book I’m referring to, but do not feel obligated to purchase from the site you’re directed to. If you’re like me, you’ll check with your library first!)

Am linking this up with:

11 thoughts on “My Best Reads for 2011

  1. This is a great list! Thanks for sharing it. There’s several here that I’m going to look into–like Shepherding a Child’s Heart and Wheat Belly.

    Thanks for the mention, too! That was very kind of you.

  2. Love Captivating… I reread it this year too after our daughter came home. It gave me such a good perspective on raising a girl. I really want to read Wild At Heart (the boy version) to help with my relationship with my hubby and son! 🙂

    Also loved The Help! I need to rent the movie now.

    I read the Hunger Games books this year and got totally addicted! I read the last book in a day and half…I love a good Young Adult book!

    For 2012 I am looking forward to reading So Long Insecurities by Beth Moore. And I think I am going to add One Thousand Gifts to my list as well!

    Thanks for the great suggestions!

    • So Long Insecurities is on my list for next year, too! And yes–please add 1000 Gifts so we can chat about it 🙂
      I read Wild At Heart years ago, but you’ve reminded me I should give it another pass. Thanks!
      And since you’re probably the 14th person to mention the Hunger Games books to me, I might just have to take a peek at them.
      Thank you for commenting, Fawnda!

  3. that’s a great list! there are a couple that i’m adding to my list for next year! my list of books i’ve read from this past year is terribly anemic…and for that i’m sad. but i’m striving to change that. 🙂 my goal is to read, at bare minimum, one book a month. i read cookbooks non-stop (which definitely helps with my treat-making hobby), but other than those i want to read one a month. some friends and i just formed a book club so as long as i stick with the program, i’ll for sure get that one a month in. yay. here are some i want to read this next year:

    *stumbling into grace – lisa harper
    *radical – francis chan
    *beautiful outlaw – john eldredge
    *pilgrim’s progress – john bunyan
    *not a fan – kyle idleman
    *give them grace – elyse fitzpatrick
    *dangerous wonder – michael yaconelli
    *walking with God – john eldredge

    (the last two i have read multiple times, and am hoping to get them read again this year….i highly recommend them.)


    • Thank you for your comment, Ginger! I see 3 of your books that are on my must read list for next year and 2 I’ve already read. Might as well add the others to my list, too, since you clearly have great taste 😉 Thanks!
      And starting a book club — awesome! I trust you’ll enjoy it, I know I would!

  4. I did a women’s bible study through “Captivating” about two years ago. It was insightful and inspiring and helped me to understand myself so much better. I want to read “the help”, since I saw the movie 4 times! I am reading through Ann’s book now. It’s a book I have to continually stop and reflect. It’s helping to open my eyes to this beautiful world around me. I am going to begin reading “made to crave” soon. I’ve been avoiding it!

    • I need to do a Bible study on Captivating, too. I think I still have more layers to peel back — ones I never knew I had until I read the book….
      And I want to see the movie of “the help”! I haven’t yet and still can’t believe that about myself
      And YES! Made to Crave is on my list for 2012 (I’m on the library’s waiting list)
      I’m reading “Resolution of Women” right now by Priscilla Shirer. And afterwards, I’ll be adding the movie “Courageous” to my must sees!
      Thanks for stopping by and listening to my ramblings, Barbie…

  5. Angie Smith is one amazing writer, isn’t she? That’s the only book I’ve read from your list but couldn’t relate to it as much as you could. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Yes–Angie is a magnificent writer! I have her 2nd book on my list to read next year.
      honestly–I’m so glad you couldn’t relate to her first book. And I’m so thankful it’s there to read for people who can. It helped me tremendously.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Miranda!
      Merry Christmas to you as well!

  6. Pingback: Best Reads for 2013 | simplystriving

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