5 Best Books of 2013

how to simplify your homeschool

Every year, I share my favorite books of the past year. I’m running a little late this year, but here are my best books of 2013 . . . and a giveaway for one of them at the end of this post.5 best books of 2013 & giveaway to enter ~ reviews from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com

Click on any title or image to read more or grab your own copy.  Remember you can get FREE shipping from Amazon through Jan 10, 2014 by clicking here.

Thorn in My Heart - Best Book of 2013  ~ Review from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com

#1  Thorn in My Heart
by Liz Curtis Higgs

Two brothers fight to claim one father’s blessing.
Two sisters long to claim one man’s heart.

In the autumn of 1788, amid the moors and glens of the Scottish Lowlands, two brothers and two sisters each embark on a painful journey of discovery.

I wasn’t sure if I would like this book as I started reading.  The plot is similar to Esau & Jacob with Rachel & Leah.  Even though I knew the Biblical story, I became fascinated with this tale set in 18th century Scotland.

When I was finished reading, I immediately started the 2nd book in the series.

Why is this my favorite book of 2013?

When an author causes you to really, really “not like” a character, she has done a great job.  I won’t spoil the series, but there is one character in the book I really couldn’t stand because he was so evil. I was completely involved in these characters’ lives and thoroughly enjoyed all 4 book in the Lowlands of Scotland Series.

Other books in the series include:

Fair Is The Rose
Whence Came a Prince
Grace in Thine Eyes

Let Them Eat Cake - Best Book of 2013  ~ Review from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com

#2  Let Them Eat Cake
by Sandra Byrd

A delicious read with Lexi Stuart at a crossroads in her life. Still living at home, not sure which direction her life will take, Lexi accepts a job offer that will eventually change her life.

I loved reading all 3 of the books in the French Twist series. They were fun, summer reading in 2013.  I’m usually not into Christian fiction, but this one challenged my own walk with the Lord & Bible reading.

Other books in the French Twist series:

Bon Apetit
Piece de Resistance

Pursuit of God - Best Book of 2013  ~ Review from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com

#3  Pursuit of God
by A. W. Tozer

Steve & I ate dinner with some college friends back in June. After dinner, our host read part of this books to us. We chuckled that this was required reading during our college years.  When I got home, I couldn’t find our copy so I ordered a new one.  Although I remember reading Knowledge of the Holy, by Tozer,  I really don’t remember reading this title in college.

Out of all the books I read this year, I was most challenged by Pursuit of God?  Do I really pursue God or do I simply include God in my everyday life?

As I write this, I am challenged again to pursue God over everything else in my life. What about you?  Are you pursuing God or just leaving room for Him?

Limited Church, Unlimited Kingdom - Best Book of 2013  ~ Review from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com

#4  Limited Church, Unlimited Kingdom
by Rob Rienow

My dad recommended this book last spring, so I ordered a copy. When it arrived, I looked at it and wondered if I would really read it. From simply browsing, I didn’t want to read it. In fact, it sat on my bedside table for several months.

Finally, I read it and WOW! I’m so glad I did. Rob Rienow shared so many ideas that have been on my heart, when it comes to the family.  Rob was a former youth leader who spent more time with his youth than his own kids.  He shares his story, as well as God’s ideas of fulfilling the Great Commission through family & church.

One of my favorite aspects of Limited Church, Unlimited Kingdom is the Scripture used to back up his suggestions.  Rob even says, I’ll listen to other views, as long as you support your view with Scripture.

This is a great read that highly recommend for homeschool parents and leaders in your church.

Table Life: Savoring the Hospitality of Jesus - Best Book of 2013  ~ Review from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com

#5  Table Life: Savoring the Hospitality of Jesus in Your Home
by Joanne Thompson

My sister-in-law gave this to me for Christmas last year. I started reading the first few chapter, but misplaced it.  I picked it up again recently and devoured it.

Joanne Thompson shares so many ideas near & dear to my heart, including the importance of family meals, time around the table, inviting others to your home for a meal.

I challenge all homeschool moms to read this book and make time around the table a high priority.

This Week’s Giveaway:

One lucky winner will receive one of the Best Books of 2013 listed above. It’s your choice which one! Just fill out the form below … you have several chances to win!

What was your favorite book of 2013? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BundleoftheWeek.com, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links.

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  1. I guess I’ll have to try and keep a list of the books I read this year – it’s hard to think back over a whole year and pick a favorite. I have read Thorn in My Heart and the others in the series, and I have to agree that they are fascinating.

    1. Laurie,
      I use shelfari.com to keep track of the books I read. Whenever I finish I book, I enter the date finished. Then, I have a complete listing of books I’ve read since I joined in 2008.

      A friend of mine uses his Amazon account to see what he’s read, but I read library books & books I own.

    1. We went to church with Rachel several years ago. I haven’t read her book, yet. But, I’ve read several of her mom’s.

  2. I loved reading Little Pilgrim’s Progress with my son and Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp for myself.

  3. My favorite books for 2013 was the Karen Kingsbury redemption series. She’s a wonderful author. I actually heard about her through my grandmother and have grown very fond of her!

    1. I didn’t enjoy Great Gatsby much in high school, but have enjoyed it much more as an adult. I hope my kids had a better experience when we read it during their high school days.

    1. Bob Goff sounds like an interesting fellow. Taking your kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state…

    1. Sounds interesting…stock car racing. I’ve read lots of sports biographies, but not sports cars. I have a few friends who love NASCAR & stock car racing, including my dad.

  4. My favorite book is a devotional by Ruth Myers called 31 days drawing near to the heart of God. It’s a daily reminder of God’s love and how He thinks of me. Live it!

  5. My favorite book of 2013: I have two: The Hunger Games trilogy (I wanted to read them before watching the sequel) and When A Woman Says Yes To God by Lysa TerKeurst. I’m still in the midst of reading this one, but it’s been so wonderfully encouraging & motivating!

    1. My kids tell me I need to read Hunger Games, but I haven’t been motivated enough to start. Glad to hear other homeschool moms like them

  6. I really enjoyed Thorn in Myheart but have yet to read the others in the series. I will have to check those out.

    I really do not have a favorite. I love Christian mystery and suspense in general though.

    1. Hiding Place was one of my favorite books in high school and re-reading it when my kids were in high school

  7. My favorites were Teaching in your Tiara by Rebecca French and Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond.

    1. I love that title. When I look it up I find 2 different books:

      — Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae
      — Hope for the Weary Mom by Thacker, Stacey and McGlothlin, Brooke

      Do you know which one you read?

  8. Three of my favorite fiction books from the last year are The Language of Flowers, The Forgotten Garden (by Kate Morton), and The Kashmir Shawl (by Rosie Thomas).
    On the non-fiction front I’ve enjoyed How to Teach Shakespeare to Your Children (Ken Ludwig?) and I’ve been revisiting some old favorites.
    Thanks for the give away.

    1. I’m always looking for good fiction. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve added them to my Amazon list

      Is Vanessa Diffenbaugh the author of The Language of Flowers?

  9. It’s terrible, I’m looking at so many books and ebooks in my life that I’ve read a little here and a little there, but not enough to say if it’s the best or not. One book that I found useful that I finished this year is _Scattered_ by Gabor Mate. It’s about ADHD, and while it is thoroughly secular, it shows so clearly how much children need the relationship with their parents. If you’re dealing with ADHD in your family — in yourself, a spouse, a child, I really recommend it.

    1. Thanks so much for your book suggestion. I often have moms ask for resources about ADHD. I’ll add it to my recommendations

  10. Living in an Imperfect World by R B Ouellette. This book teaches how to respond scripturally to the offenses in life that each of us come across. This book was a real eye-opener for me.

  11. Our favorite (my 17 year old daughter and myself) was Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth. It inspires you to declutter so you can focus on what’s important: God, family and inviting people into your homes. Love it, Love it, Love it

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