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Bookin’ It: February Update

I promised to share a monthly update with you on the books I’ve read this year from my rather-ambitious 2010 Booklist. But before I do, I wanted to mention something:

Why Am I Posting My Reading Updates? Isn’t That a Little Off-Topic?

Last month, someone left a pretty scathing comment on my Bookin’ It post saying they were very upset that I was writing posts like this on my blog and were unsubscribing. They thought it was out-of-place and boring. I deleted the comment because of its rude language, but I wanted to take a moment to explain why I am posting these updates–in case maybe some of the rest of you wondered, too.

As I said in my first Bookin’ It post, the books I’ve read over the years have had a tremendous impact on the person I am today. And I believe wholeheartedly that reading is something everyone can really benefit from.

Books challenge my thinking and my living and spur me on towards being a better a better wife, mother, homemaker, homeschool teacher, friend, business owner, writer, and so forth.

If you want to excel in life, I encourage you to exercise your mind by reading good books and you might be surprised just how much of an impact it can have–on your personal life, your relationships, and, yes, even your finances!

While these monthly posts might not always be directly related to finances, I hope it gives you a little peek into my own life, inspires you to read, and maybe gives you some ideas of books to add to your library list.

But if not, you can just skip these posts–there’s only one a month!–and stick to the normal fare you find on

And with that, here’s my February update:

Hired @ Home

This book would be excellent to read if you are struggling as a work-at-home mom or thinking of starting your own at-home business. I thought the author did a great job of covering a lot of material in the book as well as sharing resources and true stories from different women who are successfully working from home.

My only complaint would be that it seemed there was a bit of overlap in the book. She’d weave stories from different women throughout a chapter and then at the end of the chapter, there was a section with a few testimonials–usually from the women whose stories she’d used in that chapter. But it was often information which had already been told previously, so it seemed redundant. (Wait, was that paragraph a little repetitious, too?!)

Treasuring God in Our Traditions

I loved this book! It was packed with practical information and insight and inspired me to think of creative ways to teach character to our little ones and create meaningful traditions. I think moms with younger children would especially benefit from and appreciate this book.

What He Must Be: …If He Wants to Marry My Daughter

I love this book’s author, Voddie Baucham. We’ve had the privilege of hearing him speak a number of times and he’s a powerful and passionate orator who does a superb job of confronting the culture with grace and truth.

However, I felt he was a little out of his league in writing this book. He has great things to say on manhood and marriage–two subjects often disregarded in this present age. But presenting his material from the standpoint of how a courtship should happen when his daughter isn’t married yet just seemed a bit premature to me. I think it’s better to only write on things you’ve actually experienced yourself. You’re completely free to disagree with me on that, though.

First Things First: The Rules of Being a Warner

This book is a quick and easy read with fun stories and an interesting peek behind-the-scenes into the lives of Kurt Warner and his family. I loved some of their ideas and philosophies (though I disagreed with plenty, too!) and thought most any parent would find some helpful ideas and encouragement in this book. Plus, don’t we all wonder what it’s like to be a football star and make millions of dollars? Maybe not as easy as one might think!

A Charlotte Mason Education

If you’re looking for a very quick overview of the Charlotte Mason method of education, this book would be a great starting point. It’s not very comprehensive, but it gives a great starting point and it also has a number of good ideas sprinkled throughout.

So that’s what I’ve read recently. How about you? Be sure to link up over at LifeAsMOM.

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  • Lynn says:

    I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your book reading progress and short review of the books. It gives me ideas of books I’d like to read. I like to read blogs that have some variety and show some creativity and insight and that show that the blog author puts some thought and effort into their blog, not just the “deal of the day” or what is on many blogs. Keep up the great work!

  • Meagan says:

    I’m thinking that this is your blog, so you are entitled to post whatever you want to 🙂

    • @Meagan, Yep, exactly. I don’t always stay on topic on my blog, and I figure if people don’t like off-topic posts, they can just decide not to read them!

    • Lydia says:

      @Meagan, I totally agree! Thanks though Crystal for sharing why you do these posts. I really enjoy them, but I do confess I did wonder how it tied into the money thing. 🙂

    • Sandra says:

      @Meagan, Wow! I am saddened to hear that someone would complain about what you are posting on YOUR BLOG. I would expect that this type of person would also complain that you are posting deals for stores that are not in their locale. Thank you for the service you provide to us. It really is appreciated. – Sandra

    • Julie says:

      @Meagan, I wholeheartedly agree with all of you! I love seeing what you are reading AND feel that since it is your blog, you should post what you feel is appropriate! As a matter of fact, I ordered one of your books from last month, as I thought it looked very good. I am always looking for good books recommended by other Christians. So, Crystal, keep it up! Thank you.

  • Robin says:


    Thank you for sharing your ideas, your deals, your heart, your triumphs, and your disappointments. I’m sure for every negative comment you get there are thousands of us who appreciate the effort you put into making a blog that is God-honoring and that gives us ALL help we need in making our dollars stretch a bit further. As a former reader of Biblical Womanhood, I enjoy a post here and there that gives a peek into the person and mother behind December212012.

    Be encouraged today and know that your efforts are not in vain; you’ve helped me get started in couponing almost 2 years ago and I check this blog almost daily. For that, I’m grateful.

    • Amy says:

      @Robin, I agree with Robin – I loved your Biblical Womanhood blog & still miss it. It’s nice to still get little bits of who you are & encouragement on our journey, whether it’s financial or otherwise. Thanks for all you do.


      • Stephanie says:

        @Amy, I agree I loved biblical womanhood as well it was encouraging to know that even when she had a hard day she wa trying to love help and serve her husband and family as the Lord desired her to do. We try to live by these principles in our household and boy what a difference it makes when you are tired to just be able to sit and listen to your husbans day and then he notice I am tired and asks if he can run me a bath or take the kids for a walk just so I an have some downtime. I love that.

    • Carolyn says:

      @Robin, Robin, if I may? Ditto!! Very well said.

  • Lori F. says:

    Please, Crystal, continue to share your monthly reads with us! If nothing else, it serves to give us a reminder that we all need balance in our lives. While it is important to be good stewards of our assets, we should not become consumed with trying to find the next deal or feeding our family their daily bread.

    I love your blog because of its varied content. Keep up the good work and don’t let the nay-sayers force you to doubt the value of your posts. You are an inspiration to many women out here in blogland.

    • Emily says:

      @Lori F.,

      What a great comment. You’re right. That’s a great reminder to balance out our lives and not become obsessive about $, just wise about money!

  • Carrie says:

    Keep the book reading reviews. It helps us get to know you a little better and that makes your site more enjoyable to visit. I just wonder how in the world you find time to do all this. I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I’m slower than everyone else when it comes to getting lots of things accomplished. I’m evidently not too good at multi-tasking and therefore I seem to take longer cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc than everyone else. So, I am amazed at what all you are able to accomplish in a month with kids at home.

  • Amy @ MomsToolbox says:

    I, for one, am glad you are posting your reading updates, so thank you for persevering and including them in December212012.

    I wholeheartedly agree in the value of reading books. And it is always nice to gain a new perspective on new reads from a trusted friend (like you).

    Keep it up and don’t be discouraged, my cyber-friend. 🙂

  • julie says:

    I for one am glad you posted your reading list. I pasted it to my personal file for referral for my summer reading. I can’t wait!

  • Rhonda Devine says:

    I love hearing about other book lists~I can’t imagine life without books–as a home schooling family~what else is there:)! When we built our home, we built in a library and the shelves are full. I really like the Charlotte Mason Education by Karen Andreola–when my children were small, I read it every year to remind myself that children need something to do, something to think about, and something to love~great advice! Voddie Bauchaum is right on and a tremendous speaker. My 25 year old son just finished that same book a year ago.
    It’s your blog~post away:)

  • Angie says:

    I love that you are posting about what you are reading. It gives me some books to check out. I love how you share your personal journey with us. You do a wonderful job on this blog and I am so greatful for it.

  • Diane says:

    I very much enjoy this blog and everything in it. We are all here because we appreciate your point of view on things whether they are money related or not. Keep up the good work and don’t let the negativity effect you.

  • Kelly Hancock says:

    I don’t know if you’ve read it yet, but I just finished The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant and it is amazing.

    It outlines biblical principles on how to honor God in your chosen vocation. You must add it to your list! It is quick and easy to read.

  • sarah says:

    I’m always interested in what folks who inspire others are reading!

  • Andrea says:

    Yikes. It makes me kind of sad that people don’t value variety on peoples’ personal blogs. While I certainly may not choose to read some of what you do, Crystal, that doesn’t mean that I need to get nasty about it, and vice versa (because I KNOW you wouldn’t read some of what’s on my shelf).

    And as a librarian, it makes me sad to see that some people just do not value books, reading, and learning the way they should. *le sigh*

  • Michelle says:

    This is an awesome blog! I look forward to ALL of your posts….

  • April says:

    Your Bookin’ It posts have inspired me to be more diligent in my reading….so thank you! I look forward to reading your updates each month and have added books to my reading list from your list! 🙂

  • Merrilee says:

    You have my respect Crystal, and it’s ever-increasing. Keep being the person God made you to be and doing what God made you to do, in His strength. Your life (and your blog) is an encouraging ministry to others, as well as a resource for all that other stuff pertaining to money and what not. ; )

  • Dana says:

    I LOVE hearing insights on your life. As a mother of three littles around the same ages as yours, I am so encouraged when you give us a peek into your life. I am also a former Biblical Womanhood reader. I need to find other personal blogs of mothers as I need the encouragement!

  • Adriane says:

    I appreciate these posts! Your reviews are short and to the point, and pack a lot of good information. The vast majority of the books you write about are ones that I’ve never heard of before! Thanks for taking the time to share!

  • Jessica @ LifeasMOM says:

    I love hearing about the books you read. I am going to add the Kurt Warner book to my list in honor of the football fans at my house. Thanks for sharing YOU!

  • Kristen Golson says:

    I enjoy your posts on books as I’m always looking for interesting books – especially biographies. I’ll have to look for the Phelps one and the Warner one. I also enjoy stretching my knowledge on various subjects. I do have a question. Where do you get your books inexpensively? I’m always a fan of the library, but they don’t carry all the books I want. I’ve tried requesting some on paperback book swap, but it seems some of the lesser known books are hard to find on there. I’m guessing you use swagbucks for Amazon, but just curious. Thank you!

    • Amy says:

      @Kristen Golson, Have you tried using Interlibrary Loan at your library? Our library does not carry all the books I want to read either, but I just request them & they often find them at other libraries. HTH!


      • Emily says:

        @Amy, Another two thumbs up for interlibrary loan. I usually can’t get the books right away, but it’s such an awesome service. I get an e-mail telling me that the books are waiting on reserve for me. It makes life simpler when towing preschoolers around to just have the books waiting for me, rather than scrounging around the adult section of the library trying to keep my kids extra quiet!

  • Mimi says:

    Your blog is awesome. Being a mom of grown children I can tell you that I really appreciate the input on great books that you’ve read. I wish that I could have had a place like this to go to when I was a young mother. If it helps just one single person in any way, you’ve done what God would want you to do. Thank you for all that you give us daily.

  • Mandi Harris says:

    Your personal posts like these are the reason WHY I subscribe to your blog. There are so many financial and money saving blogs out there . . . but what sets your blog apart from the rest is that yours also includes interesting posts that inspire us to be better parents, people, and money-saving-moms 🙂 Thank you for posting these. I also can’t wait to hear more about how house hunting is going!!

  • Milk Donor Mama says:

    I’m with you on writing about what you’ve experienced, although medical topics might be an area where I’d disagree. I read mostly non-fiction and enjoy reading about health, pregnancy, birth, et cetera.

    Many health books are written by field experts but they might not have experienced that medical condition themselves. Similarly, many books about childbirth and pregnancy are written by MEN!

  • Heather D says:

    I always value helpful reviews, whether they be about books or other products. Thanks for sharing some of your personal life and opinions on here. Keep the book reviews coming each month!

  • Melissa says:

    I am glad that you include things like your reading list on here. Afterall, it is your blog and you can post whatever you wish. Everything on here is meant to help someone in some way. If just one person is blessed by your reading list, then you have done great. Keep up all the hard work you do for us. I know I appreciate all the contents on your blog. God bless!

  • Connie Corey says:

    Keep up the blogging and the reading. Like OP said, it’s YOUR blog after all!

    Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  • Sarah says:

    Ditto what others have said, it is YOUR blog! Furthermore, the books that you have included on your list seem to be incredibly edifying and/or helpful books. Wisdom is important in all areas of life, not just finances.

  • Jennifer Kaiser says:

    Your Book posts bother me too in that I don’t have time to read everything I want to!!! 🙂 Keep up the awesome work. It’s your blog, you can write what you want to! It’s very easy to skip a post if one doesn’t think it’ll be benificial to them at that point in their life.
    Thanks for all of your hard work.

  • Heather says:

    Wow Crystal, I’m sorry people are like that. Don’t get discouraged by one or two jerks though, as you can see there are thousands of us out there who love EVERY post you make and all the work and effort you go through for us. I don’t have any babies, but I’m not going to unsubscribe from your blog just because you post diaper deals.
    I’m super impressed with all the reading you’re able to get done as a busy mom! Again, THANK YOU for all the work you do on this blog. I appreciate it so much.

  • Tracy says:

    Just wanted to let you know I agree with everyone else. Don’t let one person’s comment stop you from running YOUR blog the way YOU want to. Thanks for all the great stories, info and tips. We totally appreciate it!

  • Liz says:

    I can’t believe someone would be so rude. It’s your blog, you should be able to post about whatever you want. If they don’t like it, then they can make the choice of not coming here or just skip over it! And I for one love these monthly posts..I’m an avid reader and always looking for recommendations!

  • Brooke Brand says:

    Some people can be so rude — it’s like they think they can “hide” behind the internet and that their rude comments won’t be hurtful to a human being! Just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing this blog! It is a lifesaver for me and my family – and I enjoy every bit of it! You rock!!!!!!

  • Mrs. R. says:

    Please KEEP ON posting whatever you deem helpful to us, INCLUDING these great reading lists and reviews!!

    For example, I read “Passionate Housewives Desperate For God,” based on your recommendation……and it was so helpful that it’s probably gonna be a LIFE-CHANGER for me—-like so much of what’s on your blog. (What a fun surprise to see they used YOU as one of the endorsers, too! What a smart choice.)

    Thank you so much!!

  • Jen says:

    I agree with all of the previous comments -1) ultimately it’s your blog, so post what interests you and 2) because of this post I’ve read two books I wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Let me start my ‘book review’ by saying that I don’t have my own blog or I would’ve posted a link at Life As Mom. I just ‘read’ (okay I read the first 150 of 900+ pages) the Tightwad Gazette (by Amy Dacyczyn)- on your list for later this year. I have to say that I was unimpressed. First, while some advice is timeless, all is not. This book is a compilation of her newsletter and some date back to the early 90s. Being 34 and a mom of one, I had a hard time relating to some of her posts and how they could possibly be relevant. In any case, on some of the topics that were relevant I was disappointed that there weren’t more examples of how they live their tightwad lifestyle. For example, she indicates that they’ve set a $50 limit on each child for their birthday, including the party and gifts. She said they can usually get by for $25 but never gives any examples of how she does this. I would have LOVED to know more about this. Oh well.

    Keep up the great posts!

  • Heather says:

    I love your reading updates! I am an avid reader, even with two little ones (we don’t watch TV, so that helps free up some reading time) and love getting solid recommendations from like-minded people. I checked the no-knead bread book out of the library simply because I saw it on your list for a later month, and we loved it! That’s how we make our bread now. We don’t have to buy artisan bread at the grocery store anymore!

  • Frugalista says:


    This may sound like a crazy suggestion for someone as frugal as you, but have you considered getting yourself a Kindle? I got one for Christmas and read on it mainly while breastfeeding. I love that I can turn the pages with only one hand with no noisy page shuffling, and that if I finish my book I can click right to the Kindle store and get another one (there are lots of classics that are free downloads) without getting up.

    Since you have lots of Swagbucks and since you are breastfeeding (or even if you’re not anymore since you plan to have more kids), it might be worth considering.

  • bonie says:

    Crystal, I completely agree and I’m thankful for your reviews. I’m always on the look out for good material. You have every right to post whatever you want on YOUR blog. Keep up the good work!

  • Cassie says:

    I love your bookin it posts!! In fact, I was just thinking this weekend, that I hadn’t seen one in a while. I have added some of the books you put on your book list to my list as well. I love hearing of new books to read and it’s nice to read your review too! Thanks for doing these posts. Thank you also for not caving into the criticism of others! I think you are doing a great job!!

  • Anna Espinoza says:

    I LOVE reading all of your posts…including ones some may consider “off-topic”. I consider it a way to get to know you and since I will probably never see you face to face on this side of heaven, it is nice to get to know you through the “blogosphere”. You are a great writer and I love how you challenge people. Sometimes, the way you write, reminds me of Dave Ramsey. He is not afraid to stand up for something that “goes against the tide” of what a typical person’s thinking is these days and I appreciate it. People like you guys are so rare! I love your deal posts, but I truly love coming to your website because of the other posts you write. (I am loving your grocery/menu planning posts right now so much!!!)

    Thank you for all you do!!!

  • Emily M. says:

    I have not read Vonnie Baucham’s book, but I would surmise that he is writing from experience–not the father-of-the-bride’s experience, but his own experience as a man who courted a woman and married her. He has that to draw on–what a man feels, thinks and does at that stage of his life, as well as his knowledge of what his friends and acquaintances were like at that time.

  • cheapolady says:

    Honestly, your reading posts are one of my favorites!

  • Quinn says:

    As a reader of your former Biblical Womanhood blog, I personally enjoy a post like this as well as the updates on your family! Sorry to hear of people giving you grief about it.

    I also wanted to say that I’ve often thought the same thing about What He Must Be and his corresponding lectures (as well as the Botkins’ teachings on courtship) Although it is good to have an idea of what you want before going into the courtship, I think that it has to be remembered that there is an entire other family who’s going to have some ideas as well. And for those of us blessed with more than one daughter, each of their courtships may look differently and may not fit into the mold we’ve made.

  • Kim says:

    I had one of my comments deleted despite the fact that it was not rude, but rather joking. And I didn’t unsubscribe.

  • Ashley says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your book recommendations, reviews, etc. Posts about your life, current books you are reading, etc. have really changed my way of thinking over the past year or two–financially, mentally, spiritually, etc. God has used you in my life in some neat ways! Please continue sharing your journey with us 🙂

  • Ashley says:

    oops-sorry about all the etc.’s–I was trying to keep it short 🙂

  • Angel says:

    I love your blog including the book reviews. In fact, I have been waiting for your Feb list all month!

  • Nancy says:

    This is your blog- do what you want!! So far I have enjoyed all your posts. My favorite is how you are saving to put 100% down on your first house- by the way, Congratulations on doing that!! I wish we would of done the same. Have a Happy Day!

  • Denise D. says:

    I really enjoy your reading lists and book reviews. I get many good ideas from you. please keep sharing!

  • Courtney says:

    Wow…people never cease to amaze me with their nasty behavior. For the record, I enjoy and look forward to your book reviews.

  • Renata says:

    It seems to me that I remember that your book list is something you made as a part of your yearly goals. It makes perfect sense to me to include these here. You have a business and reading and learning from books helps you in that. Perhaps that individual did not have the complete perspective as it pertains to your yearly goals. Whatever the reason, it is difficult to receive comments like that. I appreciate you and this site so much and all the work you put into it so we can save money. Thanks!

  • lauralei says:

    I want to go on record saying – keep doing it – it is a great addition to any blog – reading is one of the best things a person can do – and isn’t that what blogs are about – we come to blogs to read 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for posting your book reviews. I love to hear what other Christiam women are reading, and what would be beneficial to me as a mother and homemaker.

  • christina m says:

    i find your book lists inspirational and i think you are doing a great job!!! keep up the good work!!

  • Emily says:

    I didn’t read all the replies but I’m guessing most are the same as mine. This is your blog and you are entitled to do whatever you wish. Your site has changed my life in a positive way! Your views and values align very much with mine and probably with most of us who subscribe to your site. For those who feel the need to leave vulgar comments, I’ll pray that they will be changed in spirit by the ONLY One who can cause that change. Thank you for your site. It is very definitely a ministry.

  • Haila says:

    I agree with everyone who thanks you for all your hard work and the variety of great posts – including book reviews. So very appreciated, and inspiring!

    Personally, I’m just in awe of the fact you’re even able to squeeze in this much reading with everything else you do. Do you ever sleep?? If you have any time management strategies, that would be great too!

  • Rhonda says:

    To the person who left (and those who have previously left) the rude message: If you don’t like a blog, move on. You should have no trouble finding a blog that only talks about one topic, because many do just that. Why do you feel the need to make crappy comments just because this isn’t the blog for you? Many people, myself included enjoy this blog because of the variety. Keep up the good work Crystal!

  • Jerilyn says:

    I’m always looking for book ideas, so I enjoy hearing your reviews.

    Noel Piper also has one called Faithful women and their extraordinary God that I really enjoyed. Both of hers are very encouraging.

    I recently picked up “America’s Cheapest Family.” I know I’ve read others, or have at least started them, but I can’t even remember the titles! lol.

  • Susan says:

    Thanks for posting your book list, Crystal! My favorite part of your blog is actually your more personal posts … like another poster here, I miss your Biblical Womanhood blog too and find that since I’m in Canada, most of the deals don’t apply up here anyways. Funny how some folks can’t sift through what information is helpful to them. Keep up the good work, and have a great day with your little ones! Susan

  • Ami says:

    I wrote down many books to look for from your reading plan for the year. I think I’ll try to hunt down Treasuring God in Our Traditions soon. I love this Bookin’ It that Life as Mom is hosting, and I’m linked up there, too!

    As I transition to eating more locally and bargain hunting a little less, I appreciate your articles more and more. That’s why this is my favorite frugal/bargain blog!

  • Rae says:

    I agree if they don’t like these posts they should just skip them. They only come once per month… sheesh! There are a few off topic posts that don’t appeal to me that I just skip over but others I really like because it helps me feel like I am getting to know you. It is your blog and you can post whatever you want! If they want to be so sour that they leave, you still have all of us that will continue to support you. I love your blog so keep up the great work 🙂

  • libby acampora says:

    This blog has saved me SOOOOO much $$$. It has also inspired me so please just skip rude comments. Keep up the FANTASTIC blog!! Post whatever you like.


  • kelly says:

    I loved Treasuring God in our Traditions as well. Another of my recent best reads was Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. A MUST READ for any Christian wife & mother!!
    thanks for the reviews!

  • Ashley says:

    I love reading and really enjoy the book updates you give us. It’s your blog and you can write about what you want.
    I recently updated my blog with what I’ve been reading this year and I’m hoping to have a review of one of my favorites up soon.

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I think all of your posts are helpful and relevant-thank you for that! I love your posts about books as it is a frugal way to learn and improve ourselves & the lives of those we love. So, to me it is “on-topic”!! 🙂

  • kathy says:

    I was so excited when I saw your booklist. Believe it or not we women CAN read and save money at the same time!!

  • Jenny M says:

    Crystal…Just ignore those who make rude comments. I have always benefited from reading books that you recommend. I just finished Passionate Housewives, and it was extremely life-changing. Struggling with the new duties of being a first time stay at home mom, I was torn between the “focus on self” type of thinking and the more Biblical attitude of servanthood. I’m so glad for your recommendation. I, for one, love your reading posts, so please continue!

  • crystal says:

    crystal i look up to you so much and strive to be more of a mother and wife that you seem to be. i know that no one is perfect but it seems that you try so very hard in your day to day life. i didn’t have a mom around to teach me what it is to be a GOdly loving mom and wife so i get to learn it on my own and you are a huge help in leading the way. thanks girl for all that you do! also i love your list of books. i enjoy reading (when i have time) and your list of books help me to choose tried and true books to look for! thanks 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    I’m glad you are not discouraged by someone’s negative comments and are continuing the book review posts. I enjoy your blog BECAUSE of the other topics you sprinkle in. To me, it’s what sets your site apart from so many others.
    On a side note, I also appreciate when you share your short comings, like the time you went without a menu plan. It made me realize I don’t have to do everything perfectly as long as I keep trying.

  • Samantha says:

    Thank you for this post. I am always encouraged by what books you’re reading. I always copy the titles you’re reading and see if they’re at our library. It’s always fun to find new books that others recommend.

    If you’re interested in adding another read to your 2010 list, I highly recommend No Impact Man by Colin Beavan. He documents his one year of living life without creating any trash, living off the grid, and using his resources wisely…all while living in downtown New York.

    It was a great read! So if you have time, I highly recommend it. 🙂

  • Valerie says:

    It’s those “off topic” posts that make each blog unique and interesting, giving them a personality that sets them apart from others. This post has made me realize that the financial sites on my favorites list are those in which I get to know a little bit about the author. For me, I find it boring to read blogs that simply list the deals. I also miss Biblical Womanhood.

  • Leslie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your 2010 list. I love to read but never thought to make a list for the year. Now I am doing much more reading since I have a list. I agree, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if it weren’t for the books I’ve read and people I’ve learned from. I will look forward to reading your reviews.

  • Viveca from FatigueBeGone says:

    Oh I love this! Part of my bedtime, anti-insomnia routine is to read a couple pages – sometimes even a chapter!.

    Right now I am in fallout from the healthcare fiasco so I’m reading an “old friend” “The Shape Shifter” by Tony Hillerman. A recent new friend is “Martha Washington First Lady of Liberty” – fascinating and inspiring. Another recent favorite is “Why Good Things Happen to Good People.”

    Thanks for your list. I will look forward to your monthly list!


  • Sarah says:

    I love to read and am always looking for good books, so I think it’s great that you post your booklists! 🙂

  • Jill says:

    I am new to your blog, and take it in as I suppose others ought to…take what you can use and move on. With all of the trash thrown at us in the multiple media — and I don’t watch TV and haven’t for years — it is a gift to have other people share what is and isn’t worthwhile. We don’t have to agree…but you’re saving us the duplicity of reading something, reaching the same conclusion, and moving along to another book you (and many others) have already found to be valuable, or not. Thanks!

  • michelle says:

    Thanks for your book list. I already requested, received and read several of the books on your list from my library/interlibrary loan. I would not have heard about some of these books otherwise! For a stay at home Mom of a toddler, I feel like good books and blogs are a great way to keep my mind engaged and my heart challenged. One more book I recently found helpful was Families Where Grace Is in Place by
    Jeff VanVonderen. It got me thinking about how I want to show grace in my family and clearly identified what is not a grace filled family.

  • Agnes says:

    You inspire me! Thank you and may the LORD continue to bless you!

  • Jessica @ Life as I See It says:

    I am still reading through Making Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours. I had seen quite a few copies at our local thrift store but kept passing over it as the title sounded a bit cliche and I thought it might just be another dumb parenting book – I was SO wrong! I bought a copy a couple weeks ago and have really been enjoying the book. I think he should have named it something else a bit more intelligent sounding though 😉

    I was so fond of the book I went back and found a second copy to give away on my blog – it ends tomorrow if anyone is interested in entering.

  • Emily says:

    I know this has already been said, but I LOVE the personal touch you put into your blog, and have noticed the decrease in personal blogs since Silas was born… I appreciate that part of it, and would unsubscribe if it was only the coupon cutting portion! ;0) Thanks for sharing! and your book list is great, I’ve considered adding a few of them to my own list this year!

  • Claire at Saving Money Plan says:

    Hearing that someone complained about this is definitely a very sad point in my day! UGH.

    One of the things that really sets December212012 apart is the personal voice, personal stories, personal challenges, and personal journeys that you share. What you are reading – and what you are learning from these books – is right up this alley…

    In sum: The number of people that LOVE the “What I’m reading” posts surely outnumber that mean comment by many times!

  • Jessica says:

    Honestly, I’ve never questioned why you post your current readings. I’ve been reading your blog since early on, and I’ve grown to know this blog is about much more than simply money! Of course all of the money-saving content and features are wonderful, it fascinates me to somewhat get to know the person who is behind the scenes, and makes this website everything that it is. While of course not everyone who reads is going to 100% agreed with everything Crystal says or do things the way Crystal does, the fact is this is her website. And for those of us who have similar values and opinions, I find it very interesting to see what’s on her list of readings. I especially love the short description and her thought of it. I have read a few things she has mentioned…things I may not have read otherwise. If it’s not of interest to me or to you, skip over it and wait on the next post! Thanks so much for everything here Crystal….it amazes me you run such a fabulous website with 3 little ones under your feet! Keep up the great work!

  • Esther says:

    From a fellow book lover, I applaud your ambitious reading list and I love hearing about it! What a frugal form of entertainment….much cheaper than movie tickets or cable tv (especially if it’s from the library!) Much love and thanks to you, Crystal, for all you do to encourage others!

  • Cathi says:

    Isnt it helping us saving money if we dont buy the book if its not worth the read?! Like so many others I agree…its your blog and you can write about what you want. And if someone doesnt like it, scroll on by. I dont have a cat or dog, but I dont post harsh comments that you are wasting my time posting about those. Come on people….get a grip!

  • erin says:

    I love your blog! If something isn’t of interest to me or doesn’t apply to my life then I skip it…no biggie! Keep up the great work – your blog is my absolute favorite!

  • Andrea says:

    My mom always told me “it really doesn’t matter WHAT you read, just as long as you read”. Mind you I was a ‘know it all’ 13 year old and thought reading was boring. Her point was simply that reading doesn’t have to be about textbooks or organic chemistry or even what SHE liked to read. Just find a book that interests you and read it. It might surprise you. And she was (as always darn it!) right. Today reading is one of my favorite ‘me time’ things to do.

    P.S. I LOVE to hear what others are reading so keep it up! And I always get my books from the local library so ya see….it IS still a lesson in frugality. 🙂

  • Annette says:

    I appreciated reading Voddie’s book. I read it, though, from the angle of what my boys need to develop in their character to be ready to enter such a relationship. So, from that point of view I strongly recommend his book.

    The Warner book, I thought was terrible. He talks much too openly about his sex life and I felt it was very inappropriate to include such intimacy. I basically thought his book was garbage.

    My humble opinions though.

  • Teresa says:

    I do find this to be a money saver. Every book you have recommened that I have read I have enjoyed. It is much cheaper to take reviews from others with simular interests then to pick out on your own and possibly waste money on something that sounded good from the cover, but was not what you thought.
    I also like to know who I am getting information from. Wise cousil is repeated in the bible several times, so maybe we should listen.

  • Katie says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I love reading all of your posts. I feel privilege to have a peek into your everyday life. I will say my taste in books is vastly different – I prefer factual books on child development and biology than homemaker books. However you have inspired me to read more, improve my overall vocabulary and to stretch myself in terms of reading I love your style of writing it is very engaging and friendly – a style that I am trying to emanate in my articles.

    I don’t understand why anyone would complain – knowing more about you makes you more real and normal somehow. It certainly makes your achievements almost reachable for others.
    I particularly like the strength of your faith – I find that very inspiring and heart warming. Keep writing and posting the way you are; there are more people that appreciate it than people that don’t.

    P.S I strongly recommend reading “Planet Narnia”

  • Amanda says:

    Were the book reviews out of place because they didn’t directly relate to finances, or because they were too religious for the commenter’s tastes, or what? I don’t have to read all the same books you, but I’m nosy enough that I like knowing a bit about a blogger. If you wanted to write about how much you liked Breaking Dawn, or how the phone book just isn’t what it used to be, I’d probably still read that entry.

  • Marie says:

    I got my first few negative comments (anonymous of course) a few months ago, and was surprised by how much they hurt my feelings! I thought of you and how often you get them, and how hard it must be to just let them go. I hope you know that for every negative comment there are hundreds of us who love your blog and are thankful for your insights (regardless of the topic!).

    Thanks again!

  • Laura says:

    I feel badly that someone wrote a scathing comment to you – that is, unfortunately, one of the downfalls of computers; certainly, I wouldn’t imagine this person would be so bold and rude in person (sure hope not). Let me just restate what others have said, I enjoy your book reviews and your entire site. Keep the wonderful ideas coming. Thanks for being a blessing!

  • Robin says:

    Thanks for still posting about your reading!! You have nudged and encouraged me to get into reading more non-fictional inspirational as I call them or motivational books and I’M LOVING IT!!! Thanks again!!! Also for giving me ideas and now I’m able to branch out and read so many helpful books I’ve been able to find at our library or ask to reserve from a different library!!!

  • Alea says:

    Wow – you’ve done a lot of reading! How do you manage that with homeschooling and all these freezer cooking days? I’m not here for just the grocery deals – I like hearing about your life, etc. Keep up the good work!

  • Home CFO says:

    Thanks for posting. It’s nice to know what other people are reading and if I should take the time to find the book or not.

  • Jessica Booth says:

    I’m sorry you had to endure that kind of abuse. It’s amazing how people can act. If a post doesn’t relate to a person personally then maybe they should think about skimming over it. But keep on posting what you do, it’s all great!

  • Lisa says:

    Wow, someone complained about your choices for your blog?? Sorry to hear that!! I personally really like your post about the books you are reading. Thanks for reminding us to continue expanding ourselves always!

  • Susan J says:

    I appreciate your book posts! In fact, I’ve requested some of the books you listed on your 2010 reading goals on Paperback Swap! =)

    Those of us who used to read your other blogs are probably especially fond of posts like this. Thanks, Crystal!

  • patti says:

    I love ALL your posts!

  • Donna Lewis says:

    I enjoy all your posts and I was really excited at your first bookin’ it post because I enjoy reading non-fiction and informational books and it’s really hard to find good reviews on those. Please keep the monthly updates, I look forward to them!

  • Elisabeth says:

    I can’t believe someone thought it was out of place for you to put these book posts on your blog! You inspired me to start my own book challenge, picking non-fiction and fiction books. While I haven’t been as successful as I hoped, it has been fun! I love reading, and living frugally, and I’m glad you feel the same way! I so rarely comment on blogs, but the fact that you had to justify yourself, riled me up! Keep up the great work! 🙂

  • Ginny says:

    I am going to take issue with your comments about “What He Must Be”. Having just gone through a successful courtship and betrothal with our daughter (she’s getting married on May 29), I can say from experience that parents need to think about how they will handle it when that young man comes to call LONG before it actually happens. We knew we wanted to use the courtship/betrothal model, but hadn’t sat down and talked about specifically what it would look like until it was upon us. Had we formulated a plan in advance, we would have been more prepared, and could have been praying, instead of being caught off guard. Rev. Baucham has put a lot of thought into the type of young man he believes his daughter should marry, but realizes that he has set high expectations, and that he may have to “grow” the young man.

    Perhaps, after Jasmine marries, he can write a follow-up book. Meanwhile, he has given the Christian community an excellent manual that fathers, sons, pastors, and all men should read.

    • Crystal says:

      I definitely agree that parents and young people should be talking about this and planning for it in advance. However, I think a book written by parents/young who have actually been through the process would be more appropriate. Or, he should have written the book solely from the premise of speaking to men on manhood–something he does an amazing job of talking about. 🙂

  • Antonella says:

    Thanks a lot for all the content that you post Crystal. I’m learning so much from your perspective and I’d say I’m even going back to Faith after a long hiatus. I was a fan of Biblical Womanhood and Moneysaving mom even if I’m not a mother yet, nor so biblical myself. Everything you write I find inspiring and challenging, stretching me and making me grow, whether I want or not :-).
    I’ve always loved books and studying them for gaining the wisdom they contain! And blogs like yours are adding to it.
    thanks again!

  • Denise C. says:

    I’m currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I LOVE it! I normally just read books that are mystery/suspense, but decided to borden my horizons this year!

    Thanks for posting what you’re reading, I may have to add them to my list! 🙂

  • Miranda says:

    I was able to find Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity thru the inter-library loan, which was one of the books on your to read list. I ordered the Playaway format so I can listen while I cut coupons:) The book has a lot of information but some great ideas. Thanks for the book ideas! Love to read!

  • Jami @An Oregon Cottage says:

    I love that your site isn’t just about deals. There’s so much more to saving and using money wisely than just deals. And in addition to the excellent points you make about why reading is so great, it’s also pretty cheap (or free) entertainment! Thank you for sharing part of you with us.

  • Dawn says:

    I am very glad that you’re posting your reading updates. After seeing your list of books I decided to read some of them, too. I read “Treasuring God in Our Traditions” and am currently reading “The Complete Tightwad Gazette”–the entire thing! Thanks so much for giving me some new reading material.

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