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What I’m Reading in 2015

The Frugal Girl's 2015 Reading List

One of my goals for 2015 is to read more books, and since goals are more fun to complete when we share our progress, I’m going to keep a running monthly list of the books I read this year.

They’re not all books about frugality (by a long shot!) but reading is a fun and frugal hobby, and since I usually find other people’s reading lists helpful, I’m hoping you’ll find this to be a useful page.


For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men

An easy read by a Christian author, based on a survey of men.   Nothing super astonishing to me, but a good reminder of some things I already knew.   Of course, I think it’s always smart to actually check with your guy to see if what the book says actually IS true about him, rather than operating on assumptions.   You know…communication.

Astonish Me

A surprisingly gritty novel about a ballerina.

Me Before You

I don’t usually like sad stories, but for some reason, I couldn’t put this one down, and I got a super late start on things one day because of that.   😉

The Definitive Book of Body Language

I’ve been wanting to learn more about how to understand people based on their body language, so I checked this out from the library. It was interesting and informative, but whoa! There’s just SO MUCH body language to learn about, I feel like I’d need to read this several more times to get it all stuck in my brain.

Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

Hatching Twitter Review

Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended this story of the hatching not only of Twitter but of Blogger itself.   It’s kind of a sad story about the dog-eat-dog nature of business. At the same time, it’s super fascinating to read about what happened behind the scenes of a service I was actually using while all this went on.


February reads

Imperfect Birds: A Novel

I enjoyed Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird so much (a book about writing), I thought I’d pick up one of her novels.   But sad to say, I enjoyed her book about writing more than I enjoyed this book.

I think the problem is that I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters.   The drug-addicted, lying teenager, the widowed and remarried mom, her writer husband…I just couldn’t imagine myself in any of their shoes.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful

This is a really lovely book, full of photos and sidebars, and perfect for skimming or reading in little bits.   While The Nester’s decorating style is different than my own (I lean more minimalist than she does), I still gleaned some helpful ideas from this book (must hang my curtain rods higher!), and I especially appreciated her words about contentment.

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

I loved some things about this book and raised my eyebrows at others.   A fuller review coming soon.

The Homeschooling Handbook: How to Make Homeschooling Simple, Affordable, Fun, and Effective

I got a complimentary copy of this, as there’s a quote from me in the back.   😉   Geared toward early homeschoolers or toward people considering homeschooling, it still has helpful information for people like me.   Lots of profiles of homeschooling families who run the gamut from unschoolers to classical homeschoolers.


How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul

I’ve read this once before, but it’s a good re-read for any blogger.   The only thing that bums me out when I read books like this is the fact that I only have so many hours to devote to my blog, and that’s that. I could do more with it if I had more time, but at this stage of my life, and especially during the school year, my hours are limited because I’ve chosen to prioritize things like homeschooling.

So, I just have to remind myself of that, or I will get discouraged.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert

Someone on a blog somewhere mentioned this one (do you love my specificity? I just can’t remember!), so I checked it out from the library.   Lots of helpful information, but I feel like I need to read it again in order to remember more of it! It sparked some good discussions between Mr. FG and me, though.


Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

I’ve read this one before, but picked it up again because it has a lot of good stuff, and I was pretty sure I’d forgotten some of it.   One takeaway I’m remembering this time: Set the table (which means “Get things ready so that you can dive right into a task.)   This has lots of blogging applications!

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

I did not like this one as much as I thought I would, mainly because I felt like the author was sort of trying to make examples fit his topic and agenda, especially in the last half of the book.

Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane)

The edition I got from my library was a little older (I’m sure the new one has a lot more internet-specific info!), but it was still good.   Lots of sensible, not-alarmist advice for parents.


I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time

This is less of a time-management tome (unlike Eat That Frog!) and more of a change-your-mindset book.   Vanderkam challenges assumptions about the amount of time necessary to cook and clean, and says that simplifying, lowering your standards, and outsourcing some things is key to making your life work as a woman with a full-time job.

(I don’t have a full-time job per se, but rather several part-time jobs, which, when combined with homeschooling, probably ads up to a full-time job.   So, I’m probably not exactly the target audience, but   I still found the book enjoyable/helpful. And I love that Vanderkam maintains that you can sleep AND do big things with your life, which is something I say all the time.   I actually think sleep is key to doing meaningful stuff with my life!)

Stuffocation: Why We’ve Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever

This was an interesting take on the whole minimalism/decluttering/simple living movement.   Basically the idea is not that we need to live spartan lives or go back to living off the land (which ends up being sort of, uh, not simple anyway!), but rather that we should spend our time and money creating an economy based on experiences, not stuff.


Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead Daring Greatly

I’ve seen this book recommended allll over the place and I finally managed to read it!

One of my favorite parts? The way she distinguishes between guilt and shame.

Guilt? I did something bad

Shame? I am bad.

Super helpful for parenting, I think, and also for examining my own thought processes.


Just Your Type

I think Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended this one.   Basically, it tells about all the possible pairings of Myers-Briggs personalities and then gives advice on how to make each pairing work best.

(Mr. FG and I are INFP/ISFJ.)




This book was just ok.   If you like simple books with super short chapters, you’d love this, but for me, it just lacked a little depth.   I wanted ideas to be fleshed out more.


Building a Framework


The Brilliant Business Moms recommended this book, so I downloaded it and I really liked it!   It’s got some great actionable content, and I’ve been able to implement some things right away.

(That main dish roundup page? I got the idea for that plugin from this book!)


Choose Your Retirement

I’m not super well-educated about retirement, so this was a helpful read for me.   Especially helpful was the section on debunking retirement myths (there’s a whole chapter on debunking social security myths, which was enlightening!)

Choose Your Retirement

On Second Thought (halfway)

I started reading this one, thinking it would be interesting but I gave up.   There were SO MANY detailed explanations of experiments psychologists had done, and I couldn’t take it any more.   It might be more interesting if you ARE a psychologist or sociologist or if you are fascinated by the process of experiments, but I’m really more interested in hearing a summary and the results of the experiment.

And it might have worked if the writing was just more engaging overall, but as-is, it wasn’t working for me.

Below Stairs

Below Stairs

I LOVED this book.   So delightful to read, especially if you’ve watched Downton Abbey.   The writer has a fun way with words, and she’s surprisingly frank and open.   If you enjoyed Downton Abbey, you’ll dig this book.

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Sunday 27th of December 2015

Thanks for sharing your Reading List. "Daring Greatly" is available at our library & I hope to read it soon!

I have difficulty finding interesting book titles for myself & my daughter. My daughter is around Zoe's age. Would you please consider periodically sharing the names of good library books you find for Zoe/Sonia ?

Thanks Again, Anusha


Monday 31st of August 2015

Unbelievable! I just read your snippet from July (Just Your Type) and had to do a double-take when I looked at your personality types. Then I realized it's because you and your husband are the exact opposite of me and my husband! (I am the INFP and he is the ISFJ). In some areas, my husband and I are very different and we do have some conflict. But in other areas, we are very, very similar. In fact, we just celebrated 17 years of marriage last month. No wonder why I identify so much with your writing (I'm an introverted homebody and fellow believer who home schools, buys secondhand clothes, cooks mostly at home, loves Aldi and drives an older car. Oh, and I play piano as well. Online connections are just so neat that I wanted to share.

PS I plan on reading this book...and just reserved from the library, of course!


Monday 31st of August 2015

Haha, mine was from the library too. ;)


Friday 5th of June 2015

At first I thought all you read was nonfiction bc of the photo ;). Maggie s.'s other book is better. I love your note about blogging and business: . I could do more with good that you set limits on your time and prioritize family first. We all need that reminder. :)


Friday 5th of June 2015

I love reading & I usually make it a point to read memoirs or stories about people whose lives vary greatly from my own. Isn't that how we learn to have compassion for others? By viewing things through the perspective of others, in what I read, it helps me to be more open-minded about people in general. I find it surprising you said you couldn't enjoy certain books/relate to characters that were widowed or drug-addicted, just because you're not? That's the whole point of reading, to step into someone else's shoes & see the world through their eyes & try to find a common thread so we can all learn to be more understanding of one another. It can be fun to explore the lives of people who seem different from ourselves, I hope you give that another try!


Friday 5th of June 2015

Well, that was my theory, could be that if the story had been written differently, the characters would have been more relatable.

I liked Anne of Green Gables, for instance, and Anne is REALLY different from me. So maybe the problem is the book and not the fact that the characters were so different from me. And I am a super empathetic person in my day-to-day life (and in my sad stories on the internet make me very sad and I feel so bad for the person I'm reading about), so the more I think about it, maybe the problem was the writing.

(LOVE Anne Lamott's non-fiction writing, though.)


Friday 22nd of May 2015

I really enjoy Ann Lamot's writing both fiction and nonfiction. Maybe try some of her essay collections: Traveling Mercies, Plan B: Further thoughts on Faith, Grace Eventually, Small Victories, Help, Thanks, Wow: the three essential prayers, Stitches... she has several and I've read most of them and really enjoyed them. I am always reading something and most of my reads come from the library. I recently read my first ever novel by the author Amy Harmon and found her writing to be very engaging and poignant. The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Enriques was one of several books that made my top reads list for last year. There are so many wonderful books out there. I look forward to reading the updates to this post and really enjoy your blog. Thanks.

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