Motherhood + Life

2022 Book List

August 2, 2022

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A stack of Emily's favorite books

When I quit social media for weeks and months at a time last year, I found myself reading more books than ever. I ended up averaging a book a week while having my third baby, running a business, and being a stay-at-home mom. 

I shared the 52 books I read over in this blog

This year I’m going to keep a running list of my 2022 as I read them, broken into a few sections and with a bit of my commentary about my thoughts- though I rarely end up reading through a book I didn’t like. I give up on books after a few chapters if they don’t draw me in. 

I’d love to hear what books are top of your list this year – shoot me a message over on Instagram or comment below!

If you purchase from the affiliate links below, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a pregnancy center supporting women and children in Grand Rapids, Michigan at no additional cost to you.

 

FICTION 

Check back soon! I’m on a nonfiction kick at the moment but I expect this to fill out once I get a little more free time to binge some good novels.

 

NONFICTION / RELIGION / PHILOSOPHY 

1. Habits of the Household, Justin Whitmel Earley

A great read with practical advice and relatable stories. I’m going to get a physical copy to add to my collection to refer back to. I especially loved the parts about discipline as discipleship. 

2. Magnify90: Pursuing Virtue as a Feminine Genius, Kaylene Brown

Magnify90 is a 90-day spiritual program that I started in January. If you’ve heard of Exodus90, this is similar but was made specifically for women (think 75 Hard Challenge but for your spirit). If you’re looking for a “spiritual desert” experience heading into Lent, check this one out and listen to my recent interview with Kaylene on The AMPLIFY Show very soon!

3. You Are Not Your Own: Belonging to God in an Inhuman World, Alan Noble 

I first discovered the Heidelberg Catechism at the weekly worship at my kids’ school that parents are invited to. Each week they would memorize a bit more. I had not read other Catechisms before and was enchanted with the simplicity and beauty of it: “What is my only comfort in life & in death? That I am not my own, but belong body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” This book is based on that response and looks at all the ways the modern world emphasizes self belonging and responsibility in a growing detachment from faith.

4. The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life, Kevin O’Brien SJ

As the title suggests, this is a guidebook for following the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius – I’m ordering the English translation of the original book and plan to use them alongside each other throughout the year. 

5. Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids, Kim John Payne

This is one of my favorite parenting books. Now that I have another little one, I’m re-reading it. Tune in to my interview with author Kim John Payne (and the first interview I ever did with him) on the AMPLIFY Show. 

6. Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday, Carrie Gress & Noelle Mering

This is great in the hardcover version with beautiful photography and makes a great coffee table book to pick up whenever you’re feeling like you want to find a little peace or inspiration (and also doesn’t read as well on devices).

7. Theology of Home II: The Spiritual Art of Homemaking, Carrie Gress & Noelle Mering

8. Messy Minimalism: Realistic Strategies for the Rest of Us, Rachelle Crawford

The title of this book is right up my alley! It’s hard to relate to minimalists who have no children and live out of a suitcase. This book is for the rest of us who are okay with intentional mess and just want our house to be easily manageable and cleaned up in 20 minutes. I also discovered Rachelle on Instagram and realized she is a fellow Petosky stone hunter and lives in northern Michigan- I’m hoping to connect with her on The AMPLIFY Show very soon!

9. Be the Boss of Your Stuff: The Kids’ Guide to Decluttering & Creating Your Own Space, Allie Casazza

This is a fun book that is aimed at older children to help them understand the importance of clear spaces and honoring your stuff! Listen to my podcast interview with Allie (one of the most popular) over on The AMPLIFY Show.

10. Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages, Taylor Marshall

Just like it sounds, this is a quick layman’s guide to Aquinas. A few people may scoff at this “cliff notes” consumption of the works and life of Thomas Aquinas but I think anyone who can condense deep, impactful material into fewer, everyday words is brilliant- so thanks for that, Dr. Marshall! I find it helpful to read before diving into the original works later this year.

11. The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ, Brant Pitre – Working my way through all the apologetics books I can make time for!

12. Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World, Jennie Allen

My friend recommended we read this one for our “book club” (it’s just the two of us- the chillest book club ever!) I’m only halfway through but really enjoying it- if you’ve struggled to “find your people” during changing or challenging times, then you’ll love this book.

13. Resisting Happiness, Matthew Kelly

I really enjoy Matthew Kelly’s books- This is the third I’ve read and I have a few more I hope to get to this year. This one is a “true story about why we sabotage ourselves, feel overwhelmed, set aside our dreams, and lack the courage to simply be ourselves… and how to start choosing happiness again!”

14. Habits for Holiness: Small Steps for Making Big Spiritual Progress, Fr. Mark-Mary Ames  

Tune in to my recent interview with Fr. Mark-Mary over on The AMPLIFY Show.  

15. The Light of Christ, Thomas White

This and the following six texts were read for the summer courses I took in my quest for a certificate in Theology. A couple of them fooled me with the phrase “Introduction to…” in the titles. I found a couple of them to be more dense/advanced than I expected. I plan to keep them on my bookshelf to refer to in years to come as my Biblical and theological knowledge grows!

16. Words of Delight: A Literary Introduction to the Bible, Leland Ryken

17. What Really Happens After We Die, James Papandrea 

18. Three Philosophies of Life: Ecclesiastes–Life as Vanity, Job–Life as Suffering, Song of Songs–Life as Love, Peter Kreeft

19. The Four Cardinal Virtues, Josef Pieper

20. Learning the Virtues that Lead you to God, Romano Guardini

21. Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues, William C. Mattison III

22. The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Feminity, Carrie Gress

Just as it sounds, this gives a strong historical perspective of the feminist movements, and Gress presents solid arguments and evidence of where it went wrong. Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with the author on The AMPLIFY Show podcast!

23. Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World, Mike Cosper

This is a relatable, timely book. When we’re young, it’s easy to believe in the mysterious, in the magic of everyday life, and the enchanted. But somewhere along the way as we grow up, we are taught to be more logical and rational. Our wonder and enchantment with the world is replaced by skepticism and visible proof. Author Mike Cosper says, “Even as Christians who believe in the resurrection, we live as if miracles and magic have been drained from the world.” This is a great read to help “recapture the wonder!”

24. Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments, Emily Jensen & Laura Wifler

25. Unraveling Gender: The Battle Over Sexual Difference Hardcover, John Grabowski  Staytuned for an upcoming interview with Dr. Grabowski on The AMPLIFY Show!

26. Confessions of a Crappy Christian: Real-Life Talk about All the Things Christians Aren’t Sure We’re Supposed to Say– and Why They Matter to God, Blake Guichet

I loved this conversation with Blake on the AMPLIFY Show podcast.  Head over to listen to episode 77 where we talk about church hurt, being a Crappy christian, raising children in a Godless society, relationship over religion and so much more!

Being a Crappy Christian, Cancel Culture & Relationship Over Religion with Blake Guichet

 

KIDS’ READ ALOUDS

26. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

We were working our way through The Chronicles of Narnia at the end of last year, but our friends gave us the first Harry Potter book and the girls loved it (they are ages 5 & 7). They especially loved that there was a movie to watch, and they’re already on to the fact there are far more Potter movies than Narnia, so it looks like we’re going to blast through this series. This version of the book is fun for younger kids with interactive pages and art! Update: We stopped at the third book – the series (especially the movies!) starts to get dark and too scary for my kids. The first few were fun- maybe we’ll revisit in the tween years.

26. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling

27. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling

28. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling

29. Charlotte’s Web, E.B White

This is such a trip down memory lane! I remember my teacher reading me this book around first grade and I fell in love with the story of friendship. It’s so fun to read this again to my own children and to experience it in new ways as an adult and now through my children’s eyes too.

30. Stuart Little, E.B. White 

31. The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls, M. J. Thomas

This is a great adventure Bible series of about 7 books. We finish each one over a few nights.

32. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

33. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

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