5 Books to Read this Winter {& Link-Up}

January 19, 2015

Happy Monday! Thanks for being with us as we co-host for Make A Difference Monday, a place to get intentional about starting our week focused on the positive and dream up ways we can make a difference in the world. Today Kristin's talking about some great books to read during winter months when it's nice to stay home and get cozy. We'd love to know what's on your list of books to read, too!   

You might have seen the list of 26 Books to Read in 2015 – I filled mine out last week – but wanted to also share some of the books I’ve been loving lately, in case you’re looking for something but don’t want to get overwhelmed by 26 books. Here's a list of five books to read this winter, whether you're a new mom, a seasoned parent, looking for a laugh, or just having a hard day.

A Book for a New Mom On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo. My sister-in-law recommended this when we were pregnant with our oldest, and I’ve re-read it each pregnancy. There are a lot of things in the book that I ignored, honestly, but easily the most valuable advice is establishing a rhythm with a newborn. Rather than allowing a child to fall asleep nursing/eating, the book recommends feeding them, keeping them awake for a little bit, then laying them down in their crib or bassinet for their nap. Fair warning: People either love or hate this book. For us, though, it worked wonders: Even though Elise was a preemie, she still slept through the night by 12 weeks; Noelle was sleeping through the night by 8 weeks. Again, for just as many people that love this book, there are those who hate it – and I get the pros and cons, really, but for me all I could think was SLEEP! Sweet Lord, please let my child sleep so I function!

A Parenting Book I Actually Want to Read -- The Love Dare for Parents by Stephen Kendrick. I'll be honest by admitting that I'm often intimidated by parenting books. I don't want to feel like I'm doing everything wrong, so I sometimes stick my head in the proverbial sand by avoiding them altogether. However, Tim and I did The Love Dare several years ago and really enjoyed the daily challenges, so I'm looking forward to reading the parenting version of the book. Forty days to helping me "daily demonstrate love...and keep (our) relationships respectful and close long-term"? Awesome. I know my girls are still young, but when we did our Advent calendar this year, they looked forward to it every. single. day. How much more will they like me going out of my way to express my love for them daily?

A Book for When Life Just Feels Hard -- Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live by Leeana Tankersley. I just started reading this book and I love it so far. Leeana spoke at Allume last fall, and I found myself fighting tears as I heard her story about children and miscarriages and living in the Middle East with her Navy Seal husband, all of the in-betweens and ups-and-downs. Her language is so lovely -- like how she talks about how she felt following the birth of her twins: 
"We all became wet ink. Our colors running into each other. I had no idea where I stopped and they started. Where they stopped and I started again. I felt as though we were artwork on a page that had been dunked in ice water--shockingly and abruptly cold--and our distinctions bled. Which is to say, I felt I had lost myself. How disillusioning to be struggling when things were so perfect."
I love her message, especially for women who have been moms or wives and felt like they were just surviving, desperately in need of some breathing room, a bit of grace -- and I'm excited to finish it.  

A Book for a Day When You're in Need of a Good Laugh: Marriage Illustrated with Crappy Pictures or Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Anna Dusick. Let me give the caveat that Anna Dusick is hilarious but also (often) wildly inappropriate -- so if you read something on her blog, beware. However, she illustrates anecdotes from her life with self-proclaimed "crappy pictures" -- which, on cold winter days when leaving the house isn't an option, might give you a bit of a break.  
A Devotional I Keep Returning To: The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary by Susie Larson. I've read plenty of devotionals over the years, but I've returned to this time and again. In part, I love to reread all the prayer requests I've scribbled in the margins, battles and worries long past, victories remembered. But I also need the reminder that even my ordinary life can be extraordinary.

What's on your reading list right now? I'm always on the lookout for a new book, so I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments!

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Make A Difference Mondays is a weekly linkup designed to encourage and inspire us to live each day on purpose—making a meaningful difference in someone’s life in even the smallest of ways. Five women regularly co-host this link-up. Read on to learn more about the vision, mission, and how to link up!

Mission: Our mission is to provide a consistent gathering place for like-minded women to build online connections, share inspiration, and provide mutual encouragement and accountability as we seek to live intentionally and make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Vision: Every Monday we invite bloggers to link up any blog posts that encourage women to live life on purpose, including testimonies or goals from your own life, small acts of kindness or service, creative tips or ideas for showing consideration to others — the possibilities are endless. Our objective is to use our God-given time and resources to his glory! 

Also, just a heads-up: the Make A Difference Mondays team has created a Facebook community group to stay in touch beyond the blog posts AND we also have a new #MADMlinkup group Pinterest board: Make A Difference Mondays Pinterest Board.


1 comment

  1. Cheering you for the awesome books you presented. Thank you so much for sharing this with me!