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A Homeschool Mom Reads: 2017 Reading List and January Books

I haven’t done a reading post in awhile. It’s not that I haven’t been reading, but it always seems that the last few months of the year I have a harder time keeping track of my reading. At the end of 2016 in particular, I just blew through a bunch of modern mystery novels. I needed something easy on my brain, but it wasn’t anything particularly worth noting.

Here are some highlights from my January reading:

Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins
I read this in a day and a half. It was sooo good. Cindy has been such a homeschool encouragement to me over the years. I don’t agree with everything she does (and I don’t agree with her discussion of culture in parenting in chapter 10 of this book and a couple of other minor points), but this book was inspiring and comforting in so many ways. It was also hilarious. It’s a memoir of her parenting and homeschooling journey with nine children and many moves around the country.

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley
I can.not ever remember the title of this book! It doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue–or maybe it’s just me. This it the eighth book in the Flavia de Luce mystery series, which I enjoy. Flavia is a 12-year-old amateur chemist and detective who solves murders. They’re written in first person and set in post-WW2 small village England. Some books in this series are more entertaining than others; this wasn’t one of the best. These are not books I’d give my children, by the way (and I don’t really think they’re written with children in mind, despite the young protagonist).

The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart
This is a new book by Stewart, the author of the 4-book Mysterious Benedict Society series. This book is unrelated to the Benedict Society books but is similar in tone…an eleven-year-old boy, a city ruled by a villain called “The Smoke,” a mysterious watch, and extraordinary events. Its full of fun and adventure. It would also be a little scary in parts for sensitive children. I kept going back and forth in my mind as to whether my 10-year-old son would like it or not. My biggest caution would be that the boy, Reuben, repetitively lies to his mom in order to “save the city.” He does feel guilty about his lying throughout, but it is never punished and does, indeed, help him achieve his goal.

The Confessions by Augustine [in-progress]
I’m just loving this translation of Augustine by Maria Boulding. It’s incredibly accessible. Our church women’s book group is reading through this, and we hope to finish up this coming month. If you haven’t ever read this (or even if you have), I’d encourage you to pick it up this year.

My To-Be-Read List for 2017


  1. Norms and Nobility by David Hicks
  2. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K.A. Smith–next for church women’s book group; builds on Augustine
  3. The Supper of the Lamb [cookbook/philosophy/Christian-living]
  4. Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic
  5. Mind to Mind by Charlotte Mason and Karen Glass
  6. Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney, et al (her three daughters)
  7. Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung


  1. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  2. All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot
    I actually picked up all five of Herriot’s books for $5 at our library book sale, so if I have time, I may read them all.
  3. The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip and Carol Zaleski [in progress]
  4. Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper
  5. Belles on their Toes by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
  6. Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards by Elisabeth Dodds
  7. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be by Farley Mowat [read-aloud; in progress]
  8. The Confessions by Augustine, translated by Maria Boulding [in progress]
  9. Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins [completed]


  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein [on Audible, read by Rob Inglis]
  2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Pevear & Volokhonsky
  3. At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald [in progress]
  4. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset, translated by Tiina Nunnally [in progress]
  5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  6. Ember Falls by S.D. Smith
  7. Wingfeather Tales edited by Andrew Peterson
  8. The Bird in the Tree by Elizabeth Goudge
  9. Stories from the Old Squires Farm by C.A. Stephens [read-aloud]
  10. All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor [read-aloud; re-read]
  11. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley [completed]
  12. The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart [completed]

About Becky Aniol

Becky holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and music, a master's degree in Christian education, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Christian education. She taught classical upper school grammar, literature, and history and lower school composition and grammar for two years, elementary school music for one year, and Kindermusik classes for four years before the birth of her children. She now loves staying home with her four children, Caleb, Kate, Christopher, and Caroline and homeschooling them classically.