Good Reads {2014 edition}

{Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for Twitterature—book reviews in 140ish words} Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission that helps to support!

I am very sad to say that I will not be meeting my reading goal for 2014. I suppose I was a little bit optimistic when I set my goal at 30 books, but I also had no idea what was in store for the year. My life hasn’t exactly been conducive to copious amounts of reading, but here’s what I did squeeze in:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I received this book for Christmas last year, and packed it for our honeymoon in June- the first book I had read since getting engaged (besides our pre-marital counselling books, of course). It was pretty good, although I have to admit I was mentally comparing it to “One Thousand Gifts” the whole time—or at least what I was expecting One Thousand Gifts to be, since I didn’t actually read that one until later in the year. #WorthAReread #SelfImprovement

The Sacred Search Couple’s Conversation Guide by Gary Thomas

[FREE digital edition today only-12/19- and rated one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month!]

This book did an excellent job of hitting all the hot topics for premarital counselling. Find a couple to be your marriage mentors and use this book as a starting point- but be sure you answer separately before discussing your opinions! #helpfultool #buildabettermarriage

The Pastor’s Wife by Sabina Wurmbrand

My husband’s grandpa gave me a copy of this book the first time I met him. Before fleeing to America as a refugee from Hungary, he remembers seeing the innocent people (just like the author of this book) being transported via trains to concentration camps during the communist reign. Although the writing wasn’t the best, the story was compelling, and hit especially hard since I read the book during a trip to Washington, D. C. that included a visit to the Holocaust Museum.

The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love by Tim LaHaye

This book was recommended to us by our marriage mentors, in addition to The Sacred Search Couple’s Conversation Guide. It was apparently a rather controversial book when it came out—an old pastor talking about sex. I’m all for talking about sex, but I didn’t necessarily agree with some of his rather old-fashioned views on things. I could see it being helpful for those who haven’t taken a course on Human Sexuality. #LetsTalkAboutSex

Why Do I Need Whole Food Supplements? What Everyone Must Know About the Vitamins They Are Taking by Lorrie Medford

Picked this up from my doctor’s office and found it very informative. If you’re wondering why the vitamins and supplements you purchase at the drug store aren’t working for you, check out this read. #WholeFoodIsRealFood

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

This was a great late summer read for me. I’d been hearing about it for years and finally snagged a copy from the library. Jen cuts out excess in 7 areas of her life, spending a month on each category: Food, Spending, Clothes, Media, Possessions, Waste, and Stress. I wish I had it in me to do the 7 challenge. Maybe someday! #Simplicity #DownWithConsumerism

Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage by Allison Vesterfelt

Ally and her friend give up everything to tour the United States, and this book is her reflection throughout the process. Maybe it’s my love for Portland, or travel, or radical adventures that involve “finding yourself”…but I thought this book was excellent. #Memoir #SelfDiscovery

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Could NOT put this one down. This book tells the story of the University of Washington crew team who went to the Berlin Olympics during Hitler’s reign. At first I thought it was because I went to UW and therefore the story was rather personal to me, but then I passed it onto my husband and he also couldn’t put it down. The author has a way of keeping you on the edge of your seat through every crew race, even though you know exactly what happened in this true story. #ReadIt #GoHuskies

Walla Walla: Portrait of a Western Town, 1804-1898 by Robert A. Bennett

My parents had these books when I was young, but it wasn’t until a volunteer at work loaned me a copy that I took the time to read it. A very informative history of my hometown! #HistoryNerd

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

I think I may have gone into this one with too high of expectations. It ended up being completely different than I thought, and it was very hard for me to connect with Ann’s writing style. (I read this right after watching her speak at the IF:Gathering, which helped me make it through since I could imagine her reading it in her unique lilt) #TooMuchHypeForMe

Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck

This book was about four times as long as it needed to be, but overall presented some VERY valuable information that has advanced our study of real food. #operationwildthings

Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart by Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh

I remembered hearing good things about this book, so I picked it up at my friend’s book exchange. I couldn’t remember what it was about, but I was presently surprised to discover the authors were presenting a case against an issue near and dear to my heart– “female porn” (i.e. Fifty Shades of Grey). #ReadIt #Controversial #QuickRead

Walla Walla a Nice Place to Raise a Family by Robert A. Bennett

The third book in the series (skipped the second-whoops!) was even better than the first, because it contained more pictures. #PictureBooks #ILoveHistory

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer

This book follows the story of two Mormon fundamentalists who committed violent murders “in the name of God.” It also lays out the history of the Church of Latter Day Saints, which I found very interesting.

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon

My husband begged me to check this book out from my doctor’s office. It seems to be the holy grail of healthy eating. I cannot believe how many recipes there are- enough to keep me busy for a LONG time! Love the helpful tips, stories, and fun facts included. #OperationWildThings #EatRealFood #DomesticDiva

What have you guys been reading? Any books I should add to my must-read list in 2015? (I’m hoping to get closer to my goal next year!)

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