Books I Read in 2021

I read 17 books in 2021! My initial goal was 20 and then I changed it to 18 around October.

1. To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson

I decided to read all the prophet’s biographies going backwards. I had read Russell M. Nelson’s book back in 2020 and so next was Monson’s. I loved hearing about him as a young kid and reading story after story about the Christ-like service he dedicated his life to. I will write my favorite takeaways from this book sometime soon.

2. Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

I wrote a blog post about what this book I read in the beginning of 2021. I really enjoyed Mr. Roger’s biography!

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What I Learned From Fred Roger’s Biography

3. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know

I was expecting something different when I started this book, but it was interesting to hear stories of people who thought they knew someone but were entirely incorrect. The book goes through tools and strategies we can use ot make sense of people we don’t know to avoid conflict and misunderstanding.

4. Grow Bag Gardening

I bought this when we were getting into grow bags for the summer of gardening and I also wanted to support Epic Gardening, the Youtube channel I go to for tips on all things gardens!

5. How to Go (Almost) Zero Waste

I had a number of free books on my Kindle and so I started going through them. This was a book that goes over 150 ways to make more sustainable choices at home. This wasn’t one I highlighted and took notes on, but more of a skim read to get a sense of any other ways I could make our home more waste-free.

6. Minimalism for Families

Another book I read during my minimalism era of 2021. Here is one of my highlighted quotes from the book:

“In our home, I like to call this the Use It or Give It guideline. If I’m keeping an item that isn’t adding use or beauty to my life, why not give it away so that it can do that for others? Losing it is a loss but giving it is a gain.”

Zoë Kim

7. Hunt, Gather, Parent

Definitely top 3 of the favorite books I read for 2021. I wrote a huge blog post on all the things I gained from reading this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently in the “raising small children” phase of life.

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The Parenting Book that is Minimizing Conflict and Maximizing Cooperation in Our Home

8. Minimalist Living

Another quickly read book about decluttering. A few of my highlighted quotes from the book:

“You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy.”

Genevieve Parker Hill

“Clutter is visual noise that prevents you from seeing clearly. It is visual agitation, or visual perturbation. It takes subconscious effort to ignore clutter, and this effort builds stress.”

Genevieve Parker Hill

9. More Than Enough

I read this halfway through the year and was inspired to spend as minimal amount on shopping items with our big move across the country coming up. I didn’t end up doing that (which is totally fine!), but I did enjoy hearing how Miranda’s family benefited from a difficult challenge like this. My favorite of the highlighted quotes:

“Eliminate unnecessary and mindless consumption, and more importantly, we developed a family culture of gratitude, contentment, and recognizing abundance in our everyday life.”

Miranda Anderson

“It was simply all in my head. Enough wasn’t an amount. It was a decision.”

Miranda Anderson

“I think we forget how valuable it is to have empty space. The space is worth more than the stuff.”

Miranda Anderson

“Being able to dig a little deeper than “I’m upset and shopping feels good,” helped bring an added measure of intention to my relationship with myself. During The Challenge I began to be more open to uncomfortable feelings while I explored what I was really thinking about, or what story I was telling to create these emotions.”

Miranda Anderson

10. The Spiritual Physics of Light: How We See, Feel, and Know Truth

Another of my top favorite books. I feel it has truly been a life-changing book, as cliche as that sounds. I read this book during my month-long haitus from Instagram and Marco Polo (my two most time-sucking apps). I plan on writing a long blog post about everything I loved about this book soon.

11. The LDS Gospel of Light

As soon as I read the first light book, I dove into another written years before. I enjoyed this one as well and will also be included in my blog post about the topic of spiritual light!

12. Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley

I finished the next prophet biography, Gordon B. Hinckley. I wrote the most notes down from his book than the other 3 I read this year. I will hopefully write my thoughts and takeaways from this book as well sometime soon!

13. Howard W. Hunter

Although, somewhat shorter, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about the life of Howard W. Hunter, another prophet of the church. It is interesting to see how time after time, they put the Lord first and became such an amazing instrument in their hands.

14. Free of Me: Why Life is Better When It’s Not about You

This book is one I will come back to over and over again. I highlighted it a ton in my Kindle and I recommend it to friends. Essentially, it’s a book reminding you that “It’s not about you.” I also want to write a blog post about my takeaways from this book in the next few months!

15. Mother’s Milk: Poems in Search of Heavenly Mother

It was December and I was rushing to finish as many books as possible to add to my list. This was a small book of poems about Heavenly Mother and I was intrigued to see what she had to say. It is a very quick book since each page has a simple short poem but I am so glad I decided to read it on a whim! I don’t read poetry often so it took a few poems to get into the feel of her style and here are a few of my favorites:

The Bearer
The Mother carried our souls. I asked Her, Were they heavy?

Rachel Hunt Steenblik and Ashley Mae Hoiland

The Mother prefers the backs of cross-stitched canvas. She bears testament to the beauties of imperfection, of starts and stops, of cross overs, of loose threads and frayed edges.

Rachel Hunt Steenblik and Ashley Mae Hoiland

Choose Wisdom
The Mother mentored Eve, to choose Wisdom. When she did, the Mother rejoiced.

Rachel Hunt Steenblik and Ashley Mae Hoiland

The Mother’s face is hidden from us, because Her arms are around us. (Our heads rest gently on Her shoulder.)

Rachel Hunt Steenblik and Ashley Mae Hoiland

When my daughter cried for me as I showered, I gave her soft words. I’m right here. I’m just on the other side of the curtain. And suddenly, I knew my Mother was.

Rachel Hunt Steenblik and Ashley Mae Hoiland

16. Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography

Another amazing prophet, another great life to learn from!

17. The Priesthood Power of Women: In the Temple, Church, and Family

I loved this book and am so glad I decided to dedicate a lot of time to read this. It took me longer than most because I wanted to read it slowly. I wanted to soak in what I was learning and coming understanding about the power I have within me because of the covenants I partake in and promise to keep. I will share my thoughts and takeaways from this book soon.

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