My Top Books of 2015 {& how busy moms can read more!}

Top Books of 2015 (win one!!) - and how busy moms can read more! ~ Our Cozy Den

2015 has been my most bookwormingest year ever — 180 books read so far {and 2-3 more I’ll probably finish before the year is up}! I wanted to share with you my favorite picks of the year, and my tips on how a busy mom can fit in more book time!

Here are my stats for the year! (I use Goodreads to track my books, click here to follow me or see my full 2015 book list!)

Top books of 2015 {and how busy moms can find more time to read!} ~ Our Cozy Den

A few notes — I am a part of several book clubs & Bible studies. That helps me read books outside of my normal comfort zone. I also read through the Bible in 2015, and I *did* count the individual books — which total 66.

So without any further ado, my top picks of 2015! Scroll to the bottom of this post and find out how you can win your favorite one!!! 

Sensible Shoes

1. Best Christian fiction: Sensible Shoes

Four women are going through unique struggles. They find each other — and God — in the midst of their chaos. I laughed, I cried, I felt their pain. It was well-written and well-developed.

The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family

2. Best nonfiction: The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family

This book is parenting gold! I took pages and pages of notes! It goes over all the ways to raise your kids to make sure they have true faith, and they stay strong in the faith as adults!

The Circle Maker
3. Most inspiring: The Circle Maker

This book changed my prayer life in ways I can’t even describe! Life. Changing. I am closer to God {and my friends in my new prayer circle!}

We Were Liars
4. Best Guilty Pleasure: We Were Liars

I’ll admit, I like to read teen fiction. It has all the fun drama and excitement and romance of adult fiction, but it cuts out a lot of the language and intimacy that I just don’t want to read. This book was my favorite one of the year — compelling and gripping, with a twist that will leave you reeling!

Ranger's Apprentice
5. Best Kids’ Book: The Ranger’s Apprentice

I like to read tween fiction series with my 9-year-old son. Both because it bonds us to talk about the stories and characters we both love, and also because I can keep tabs on what exactly he’s reading. The best book we read this year was The Ranger’s Apprentice. It can be hard to find books that are challenging for an advanced reader, but that don’t contain inappropriate content. This story was entertaining, challenging, and great for even younger tweens!

Lorien Legacies

6. Best Series: Lorien Legacies

The 6th and penultimate (second-to-last) book in this series came out this year, and it is one that I eagerly anticipate each year! These books are sci-fi/fantasy fiction, full of excitement! My husband and I read this series together when new books come out.

{Note, the titles of the books can be a bit confusing, because they are named after characters. This is the order that they go in: I am Number Four, The Power of Six, The Rise of Nine, The Fall of Five, The Revenge of Seven, The Fate of Ten, and (not yet released) United As One}

Bible Reader's Guided Journal
7. Best Book of the Bible: John

Since reading the Bible was such a huge undertaking this year, I thought I should select a book from that as well. My favorite book of the Bible for years has been James. But this year I used this awesome Bible journal to aid me in my reading through the Bible in a year. I took lots of notes about verses that were speaking to me, my thoughts and musings, and things I wanted to remember. I went back through my journal to count which book spoke to me the most, and (not counting Psalms and Proverbs, because they were compilations) John was the clear-cut winner this year. Jesus apparently had a lot to say to me!

Some of my notes.
Some of my notes.

 

How to Read More

I get questions all the time from friends — how do you read so much?! You seem so busy! 

It’s true, I am busy, but I manage to find time to read through many ways. Here are a few.

MULTI-TASKING

I read ebooks on my ipad while I work out at the YMCA and while my kids are in one of their fitness classes. Three birds with one stone!

I read while I eat breakfast and snacks.

I read while I cook — there are often times when something has to bake or water has to boil, and I have 5-15 minutes to knock out a chapter.

I read on my phone. The Kindle app on my phone allows me to have books in my pocket, so I can read while I wait in line at the post office or the grocery store.

When I had newborns, I read every time I was nursing, so I went through books like water!

Basically, anytime you would normally pick up your phone and check facebook, read instead!

SCHEDULING

For my many book club and Bible study books that have a deadline, I make a schedule. I have a simple chart that shows 7 days of the week, and I write on each day which book I am reading. So, for example, I know every Tuesday I am reading Gods At War and every Thursday I read The Purpose Driven Life and on Saturdays Blue Asylum. I have one for each day of the week, and I read 1-4 chapters (however many I need to read to meet my deadline). When I finish a book, something else takes its place. I have a queue on my dresser of waiting books.

READ WITH OTHER PEOPLE

Other people keep you accountable. That’s a reason why I love book clubs and Bible studies. I also love reading books to and with my children and my husband. We often read books aloud to each other instead of watching TV or movies.

LEAVE WHITE SPACE IN YOUR SCHEDULE FOR RELAXING

Relaxing, for me, equals reading. I try to be careful to guard my weekend time, since my weekdays are so crazy. During the week we have homeschooling, extracurriculars, field trips, blogging, and housework galore. On Saturdays and Sundays, I reserve a few hours in the afternoon to rest and read — usually something light and fun.

 

!~GIVEAWAY~! {giveway ended, congrats to our winner, Brooke!}

Because I just LOVE books and I want you all to read-read-read, I’ve decided to give away a book of your choice from this list! Simply go here and fill out the short form to enter! Comment below with which book you’d like to win — and tell me your favorite books to 2015! Maybe I’ll add it to my 2016 list!

Top Books of 2015 (win one!!) - and how busy moms can read more! ~ Our Cozy Den

2 thoughts on “My Top Books of 2015 {& how busy moms can read more!}

  1. Andrea says:

    I think you have some great ideas. It really is true- most of us who are “too busy” could make time, if you check Facebook, or watch tv, or hat on the phone, you could take time to read! It is a great encouragement to me because I have a list of books I had intended to read this past year, but in 2016 I am going to be more intentional! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this!!!

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