The 12 Best Books of 2015 According to a Homeschool Mom

This list doesn’t include the dozens of books we read in our homeschool, just the books I loved from the year, personally, in the order I read them.  It was a good year for reading and I can’t wait for the new stack of books by my bed to be absorbed…..Please comment with any of your recommendations!

P.S.  I realize I need to read more fiction 🙂

1- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

by Malcolm Gladwell


I can’t say it better than the book description.  “In DAVID AND GOLIATH, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, suffer from a disability, lose a parent, attend a mediocre school, or endure any number of other apparent setbacks.”

This book teaches you how to see life from a different perspective….. how you can turn disadvantages into advantages. Very eye opening.

2- What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People

by Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins


This book was ‘way cool’.  It made me realize my own body language in certain situations. To be honest, if I ever get accused of murder, I am gonna be so paranoid trying not to look uncomfortable.  🙂 As an advisor for a local Gavel Club for teens, it helped me to hone in on body language tips for students too.  A great way to increase your confidence in how you move and speak with your body.

3-The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

by Marie Kondo


Love this book!  I didn’t necessarily believe every point but I totally believe in the concept of touching everything you own to determine if you feel joy from it.  Easy read and great for New Year’s resolutions to simplify and declutter. 

4- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

by David Allen and James Fallows


David Allen’s book has been a game changer for my things to do list.  I cannot recommend it enough.  It has transformed the way I ‘do’ everything. Period. 

5- Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day

by Andy Puddicombe


This is the book that started my journey in meditation this year.  It definitely made me rethink how I react.  As a former meditation cynic, it has changed my life for the better, with less stress, in just 10 minutes a day. I can honestly say this has helped me to catch myself before flying off the handle. I am calmer when I practice. It is written by a former monk.  Transforming!  Check out Andy Puddicombe’s Ted Talk.

6- Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

by Bob Goff and Donald Miller


Love is the driving force for everything. Goff’ invites you to sharpen your focus on what is truly significant by emphasizing action over words.  His perspective enables me to be more thoughtful when dealing with people and problems. Although, it didn’t receive great reviews, I liked it. He is the sort of guy you would like to have for a friend.

“Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice.”
― Bob Goff

7- Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel

by Alan Loy McGinnis


This is a good book to read regardless of your profession. It offers insight into what motivates people. A classic.

8- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World

by Mark Williams and Danny Penman


This book caused me to make dynamic changes in my life.  It helped me to focus and be more intentional than anything else I did this year. I still can’t get over how hard this is to do.

9- From Farm to Market: Stories of Farmers & Artisans in the Carolina Piedmont

by Lindy Mayberry Sellers


This down to earth book is authored by a dear friend of mine.  It will forever change the way I see farmer’s markets.  The stories, recipes, and love in the book are evident on every page. Well done.

10- Mere Christianity

by Lewis, C. S.


I listened to this on cd with my sophomore.  C.S. Lewis was a master of thought and Christianity.  My biggest takeaway is his powerful but reasonable perspective on basic beliefs. Still pondering.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” –C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

11- 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get , the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman


I loved the bite sized chapters. Good easy read.  Also watched a couple of his Ted talks and tips.

12- Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer

by Priscilla Shirer


This is a transforming book and I highly recommend it.  A powerful way to rethink your prayer life and an excellent follow up to The War Room. It takes the power of prayer to a whole new level. I learned her father is pastor Tony Evans and that she is the lead in the movie. I adore the way she sets up her chapters as strategies.  I also love how the author is able to present these prayers in an authentic way that mirrors my own life. This is a war.  Excellent read and my favorite for the year.

“If I were your enemy, I’d disguise myself and manipulate your perspectives so that you’d focus on the wrong culprit—your husband, your friend, your hurt, your finances, anything or anyone except me. Because when you zero in on the most convenient, obvious places to strike back against your problems, you get the impression you’re fighting for something. Even though all you’re really doing is just . . . fighting. For nothing.”
― Priscilla Shirer, Fervent: A Woman’s Battle to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer

(See War Room if you haven’t yet!)  

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