One of my challenges for 2013 was to read 12 books. I went straight from high school to college to grad school, and in that time almost all the books I read were from school. Once I graduated from grad school, I was trying to establish myself as a counselor, and continued to read all sorts of counseling material. I learned a lot, but I realized that I really was missing reading for fun. Besides the magazines I read regularly (Runner’s World, Real Simple, Psychology Today, & Psychotherapy Networker) and the numerous other journal articles I read (whether for writing other articles, the lectures I give, or for clients I’m seeing), I wanted to get a balance of reading for fun and education this year. I was a little nervous about managing to get in 13 books, but I blew it out of the water. Here’s what I read:

Mental Health

  • Beyond Boundaries (a follow up to the book Boundaries)- I shared quotes & ideas from this book in the following posts: Influence vs. Ownership & Acknowleding Our Hurts
  • Who’s Pushing Your Buttons by Cloud & Townsend
  • The Mom Factor by Cloud & Townsend (I’m only 4 chapters into the book & loving it so far)- this book is all about the relational impact of our struggles and pain that we have from our moms (could be generalized to either parent), and how this impacts how we connect to others we are in relationship with. It’s excellent.


  • House on Fire: The Fight To Eradicate Smallpox I actually read this book while I was on vacation in Florida this summer, and really really loved it! The strategies they developed to help eradicate smallpox across the globe was really fascinating to me.
  • Do You Believe in Magic? The sense and nonsense of alternative medicine.  This book was also really interesting to me. The author broke down the research for various types of alternative medicines and therapies, showing where there is and isn’t scientific evidence. It was a really great read.
  • Born To Run: I just finished this book right before Thanksgiving. It was a quick read, and there is a lot from this book that I’m still mulling over.

Lighthearted Enjoyment

  • Catching Fire & Mockingjay: This was my 3rd time reading both of these books (part of the Hunger Games Series), and I love them more and more every time I read them!
  • The Little House on the Prairie Series: I wrote an entire post on this earlier this summer, but I have to say that it had been about 2 decades since I’d last read the books. Although they are quick reads, they give a good glimpse of what life was like back on the prairie. If you have little kids (especially girls!), this is a great series. (I think I read 6 or 7 books of the series this summer)
  • The Percy Jackson Series: I’ve read through this 5 book series this fall. While this is definitely middle school appropriate, I like the mix of present day America and Greek Mythology. There are weeks where my job is incredibly stressful (especially when I have a few suicidal clients at the same time), and to unwind with a lighthearted book has been pretty great!

So that’s 18 full books and 1 half book throughout the year. I’ve already started to accumulate a list of mental health/other type of educational books for the coming year, but I’m looking for some lighthearted “for fun” books too! Any suggestions?

Now it’s your turn to share! Do you have any books that you read multiple times? Are you a reader? Finally- any suggestions for my book list this coming year?