Ok, I have to start with this disclaimer : There are a whole lot of parenting books on this list! Obviously, this season of my life is different than anything I’ve ever experienced, so Will and I are ready to soak in any and every parenting book that has been recommended to us. (Parents out there – please leave more suggestions in the comments if you have a highly recommended book!)

Even while I am so ready and hungry to learn about parenting, I want to stick with my philosophy of maintaining a somewhat balanced reading list. Although the majority of books we read will be centered on the new tiny person in our lives, I’m excited to also incorporate books for life in all of the following categories, as I do every year :

Marriage + Family
Personal + Intellectual Development

I’ll be honest : sometimes I don’t want to read another book on finances, or marriage, or career – especially if I feel things are going well in those areas of my life. But I always include them on my list. Why? Because I believe it’s important to keep growing in all areas of your life – even the ones you don’t really want to learn about.

For example, Will and I have a really strong marriage. It’s NOT perfect – we have our moments of misunderstandings and frustrations. But overall, we communicate well and are very happy together. We read several books when we were engaged to prepare for marriage, and now I feel like I don’t really need to learn any more or read any more, because we are good to go. But how many couples think they are fine? That nothing bad could happen? That they have a good handle on things? And yet still, 50% of marriages end in divorce. I believe that a well rounded reading list is like preventative medicine : it keeps you from getting “sick” before you realize you already are. How many marriages could have been saved if couples were diligent to read and apply what they learned? It’s a life maintenance philosophy, and I believe much heartache and discouragement can be avoided if we commit to reading and learning about each area of life! (Hence the reason why Will and I are completing a marriage study together before Baby Ray comes along!)

So, with that said, I’m certainly looking forward to my list for this year! My goal is to read 12 of these 17 books listed, which translates to 1 per month. (Since there’s a baby that will take up much of my time, I figured it would be a wise move for 2015.) I may not finish all of them, but I did include extras in the list, just in case I found myself reading like a crazy woman on maternity leave. So here it is… my book list for 2015!

Nancy Ray Reads : 2015 Book List

Make it Happen
The Best Yes

The Soul of Money

Boundaries for Leaders

Marriage + Family
The Story of Marriage (Book + DVD study)
Love, Sex, and Happily Ever After
Childbirth without Fear
Power of a praying parent
The Happiest Baby on the Block
On Becoming Baby Wise
The Birth Partner

Social (Book Clubs and Small Group readings)
The Blessed Life

Personal + Intellectual Development
Time Traps

How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor

Rest + Enjoyment
The Glass Castle
The Harry Potter Series

Nancy’s 2013 Book List
Nancy’s 2014 Book List

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[…] found great titles for my own list through Nancy Ray’s yearly reading lists (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) and these posts by Valerie […]

[…] will be incorporating  Nancy Ray’s technique and guidelines for a well rounded reading list for the year focusing on major categories […]

[…] she has 5 kiddos (3 of which are triplets). Also, my bradley childbirth class instructor, and all the books I’m reading this year. We are big […]

[…] Will’s Recommended Reading Nancy’s Recommended Reading […]

Your reading lists are always inspiring to me Nancy! I just started reading ‘Redeeming Love’ and remembered how you have mentioned it in the past as a favorite :)

Hi dear! Loved seeing you this weekend. I love this list and will be grabbing a few of your marriage book recommendations! I have to share my go to parenting book—Moms on Call. I loved Baby Wise and Happiest Baby on the Block, but found that when I was exhausted and overwhelmed at 2 a.m. in those early weeks (it doesn’t last forever I promise!) I couldn’t process them or remember what I had read. Moms on Call is a quick, bullet point style read that I could refer back to in a hurry whenever needed (which was often!) Highlights include their shopping list and sample daily schedules for each age and stage. So so helpful!

The Glass Castle is wonderful! I hope you get to that one :) Also, I’m glad to see you found a copy of Childbirth Without Fear that has a better cover photo! Haha I can’t stand the other one(s). Love your list!

I always look forward to your book list! Scott read 1776 last summer and LOVED it. Enjoy!

Really excited for you, Nancy! I believe the best thing you can give your child (and this world, really) is a healthy marriage. Love that you’re continuing to invest in one another. I did a bible study my last 8 weeks pregnant with Eden. One of the first sentences in the study said something to the effect of: There are a million and one parenting books out there claiming to have the best advice and right advice. But they ALL contradict one another leaving us overwhelmed and confused. The author went on to encourage us to utilize the Holy Spirit, our Helper, in our parenting. I know you know that – but it was so good to read. Trust your God given instincts with baby Ray. He created that little love, and has equipped you PERFECTLY to raise him or her. I can give you instance after instance when I sought God in my parenting, begged for wisdom, and He gave it. Over and over again. With that said – there were 3 books I found especially helpful. Aaron and I did Bradley Method with each of our children, and if you aren’t able to take the class, Husband Coached Childbirth is a fabulous read. Even if you don’t intend on natural labor, it is very helpful, and through. I can honestly say that some of my most favorite memories as a married couple are the birth of our children. We were a team, and no way could I have done what I did without my man beside me. Precious memories. The other 2 are On Becoming Baby Wise and Shepherding a Child’s heart. Read them both with a grain of salt – and remember they aren’t Gospel. But they were VERY helpful for Aaron and I with our little girl. But as you walk through parenting and recall wisdom from books, friends, etc. don’t forget your Helper. If it’s not working, try something else. And give yourself a LOT of grace. Y’all aren’t going to be perfect parents, but you serve a God who is. Can’t wait to see his or her beautiful face!

I have an almost-three-year-old daughter (and another baby girl due in May!) and I am a parenting/childhood development book junkie.

That said, my favorite parenting book hands down is Simplicity Parenting. It is the one book that truly changed the way we parent.

Congratulations on your sweet baby, Nancy! Motherhood can make your whole life seem brand new.

PS Great with Child is my second favorite; I give it to all my expecting friends. xoxo

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