In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

In Celebration of Books: A Giveaway

Filed under: 100 Books,General,Great Reads,Reading — Rachel at 3:27 pm on Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Last year was a breathtaking voyage of words for me. I read 72 books just for the pleasure of reading them, and I enjoyed myself immensely. I have read 29 novels, 14 memoirs, 13 theology books, 3 biographies, and the remaining 13 were various topical, non-fiction books.

My favorite novels? “The Help”, “Little Bee”, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”, “Lolita”, “Stern Men”, and “The Gravedigger’s Daughter”

My favorite memoirs? “Eat, Pray, Love” “Higher Ground” and “Committed”

My favorite theology? “Adopted for Life”, “The Canon of Scripture” and “A Feminist Introduction to Paul”

I thought about trying again in 2012 to read 100 books, but I decided against it. I want to focus on writing words instead of reading massive amounts of them. Oh, I’ll still read lots. I always have and I always will. Just not at such a breakneck rate. If it weren’t for taking five classes during the spring semester, I think I might have actually read 100 books. I guess I’ll never know.

To celebrate 72 books read and an infinite selection of wonderful books ahead of me, I’m having a giveaway. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me the title of your favorite book, and I’ll put your name in the hat. Additionally, if you read any of the books I reviewed after I reviewed it, tell me the title (titles if you read more than one) and I will put your name in again.

What’s the prize? A book, of course! What else? If you win, you can choose between any of the books that I reviewed that I actually own a hard copy of. Obviously, I can’t give away Kindle books or library books. Here is a picture of some of the books that are up for grabs. If you want to read one that isn’t here (these were just the books I had handy), let me know and it’s yours if I have it. Also, if you are the winner and you read a book that I reviewed, I will send you two books of your choice.

Ok? Ok.

Even if you aren’t particularly thrilled with this giveaway, please leave a comment. I’d really love to know who’s reading. It’s extra motivation for a year of more frequent blogging.

That is the end of the part of the post about the giveaway. Feel free to stop reading now. For those who are interested, though, I’m posting a numerical list of the titles of all the books I read this year.


1. Radical by David Platt

2. The Darkest Child: A Novel by Delores Phillips

3. Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

4. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

5. Little Bee by Chris Cleave

6. Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Russell D. Moore

7. Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

8. The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives by Ravi Zacharias

9. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

10. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

11. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

12. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

13. Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families by Michelle Anthony.

14. Gray Matter by David Levy and Joel Kilpatrick

15. A Taste of Heaven by R.C. Sproul

16. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

17. Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus by D.A. Carson

18. Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall & Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent

19. Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness and Mythconceptions Throughout The Ages by Leland Gregory

20. I Quit: Stop Thinking Everything is Fine and Change Your Life by Geri Scazzero

21. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbary

22. Naomi and Her Daughters by Walter Wangerin Jr.

23. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

26. The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates

27. What Is The Gospel? By Greg Gilbert

28. Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola & George Barna

29. The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation by Thom S. Rainer & Jess Rainer

30. A Feminist Introduction to Paul by Sandra Hack Polaski

31. The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce

32. Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper

33. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

34. Affirming the Apostles Creed by J. I. Packer

35. Churched: One Kid’s Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess by Matthew Paul Turner

36. The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson

37. Souvenirs of Solitude: Finding Rest in Abba’s Embrace by Brendan Manning

38. Ya-Ya’s in Bloom by Rebecca Wells

39. Another Place at the Table by Kathy Harrison

40. One Small Boat: The Story of a Little Girl, Lost Then Found by Kathy Harrison

41. Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ by Russell Moore

42. Lucky: A Memoir by Alice Sebold

43. Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

44. The Little Known by Janice Daugharty

45. Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed by Gary Chapman

47. Unplanned by Abby Johnson

49. Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates

51. Higher Ground: A Memoir of Salvation Found Then Lost by Carolyn S. Briggs

52. Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert

53. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search For Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

54. St. Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton

55. Living Close to God: When You’re Not Good At It by Gene Edwards

56. In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Sinclair Ferguson

57. A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates

58. The Land of Elyon #1: The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman

59. Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates

60. A Mended and Broken Heart: The Life and Love of St. Francis of Assisi by Wendy Murray

61. Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates

62. The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi by Brother Ugolino

63. The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions by Jeff Manion

64. The Land of Elyon Book #2: Beyond the Valley of Thorns by Patrick Carman

65. Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert

66. The Pearl by John Steinbeck

67. Zombie: A Novel by Joyce Carol Oates

68. My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather

69. First Love by Joyce Carol Oates

70. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

71. The View From a Monastery by Brother Benet Tvedten

72. The Help by Kathryn Stockett


Comment by Conda

January 3, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

I have read Same Different as Me. It was a very moving and enlighting book. The next one I want to read is The Help. I have heard many rave reviews for it.

Comment by Joy B

January 3, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

I still read your blog from time to time. We just got the internet at home so I can read more now. 😀 I can’t say for sure what my favorite book is. I think my favorite theological one is The Pursuit of God. And my favorite novels are by Beverly Lewis. I don’t read tons… the more kids, the less it happens, but I just got a Kindlefire and have already added tons of free books onto it. 🙂

Comment by Cindy Ross

January 3, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

Rachel. So proud of your accomplishment. I will probably never read that many books in one year. You have inspired me to read more though. I am just aiming for 10! I hope to write some this year too. I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Lori

January 3, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

I read your blog all the time. I’ve got ya in my Google Reader and keep up with you so I don’t miss anything 🙂 I’ve marveled at how you read so many books…and so fast too! If there’s one book on that list I would love to read, it’d be The Help. I’ve heard so much about it!

As for your writing, I think it’s great. I know you’ve always enjoyed writing. And I’d love to see you get published!!

Looking forward to reading more “personal” and frequent entries on the blog. Hoping to see you soon!!

Comment by Jennie

January 4, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

Hmmm… I have a hard time choosing favorites because it just depends on the mood I am in, but my most recent favorite would be the Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna. It was a .99 cent kindle deal but turned out to be a great book. I read the Help after you reviewed it. It was just plain awesome and is now one of my favorites too!

Comment by Jennie

January 4, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

And the book on your list that I would like to read is Eat, Pray, Love. I was glancing through the rest of your list and I read Huckleberry Finn when I was a kid and loved it. I pretty much love anything my Mark Twain. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’ Court is another great book by him.

Comment by Lynne

January 4, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

Hi Rachel! Nice list! Hmm…I don’t know what my favorite favorite book is! I have some on my facebook list though. One of the books I read recently is not on this list of your, but somewhere when I was chatting with you recently on fb and came to your blog, somewhere I saw you posted “My Antonia.” So that one I read again just bc you had posted something about it..maybe you said it was one of your favorites–if I recall correctly. I had not read that thoroughly before, and since it was a free download on Project Gutenberg, I read that last week. This past month, I read the following: Son of Hamas, Between Two Fires, God Grew Tired of Us, Acres of Diamonds (read many many times; I go back to it for a certain reason from time to time), In This Hospitable Land, My Antonia, plus a William Penn writing and a Martin Luther translated writing. Today, I read some Charles Henry Mackintosh writings in some original printings I have of his. I posted one of his on Christ vs. Self on my fb today! Happy reading!

Comment by Cassandra

January 5, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

Okay, so enter me into this giveaway! I love books! Good job on reading so many! I just got a Kindle Fire for Christmas, and I am ohsoverythrilled!

Comment by Cassandra

January 5, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

OH, duh. I forgot to leave the name of my favorite book. Just count this in with my first comment. 😉 It would definately be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Best book. Ever.

Comment by Jami

January 9, 2012 @ 11:30 am

Commenting just to let you know I’m here.
Too hard to choose a favorite book! Most recently enjoyed The Help, Bonhoeffer, Outlive your life, and Redeeming Love was good as well. Still have to put Pride & Prejudice and Little Women at the top of my list though.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment