A reader asked me a while ago what books have most shaped my homemaking efforts. I have read so, so, so many homemaking books over the years. I love to pick up books on tending a family and home when I need extra motivation in that area. Every book I have read has given me a few new ideas and helped hone my craft as wife, mom, homeschooler, and homemaker, but only a handful have resulted in domestic epiphanies of sorts.
I borrow all the books I read, and only keep ones on the shelf that are worth rereading. Shelf space and book money is just too valuable in this home! Because of this, I know I’ve forgotten some of the books I’ve enjoyed over the years, but I’ll add them as they come to mind.
And, as always, please let me know what your favorite books are – I’m always looking for a new read!
The Spirit of the Home:
Before you get to organization, cleaning, and meal preparation, the spirituality of the home is the essential first step. These books help me remember the importance of my own sanctification while being faithful to my vocation.
My days are never as bad as the days described in this book, but I find this read encouraging and uplifting while providing practical ways to make spirituality “work” in our busy circumstances as housewives, mothers, and wives.
Think you gave up all your dreams when you decided to stay home? Think again! The book is a little redundant, but the theme of this book is truly life changing.
Husband and I are HUGE fans of Fr. Phillipe. He writes like a saint – simply and profoundly. When I find myself frayed around the edges, I pick up this quick read. (I also enjoy reading Teaching from Rest and Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit when I’m searching for peace in my mother’s soul.)
Holiness put into practical application for a lay person written by a saint? Yes, please! I picked this book up for the fourth time this past week!
I feel the weight of my vocation the most when I consider raising the souls of my little ones. What an awesome task the Lord has given into our hands!!!
This book gives a totally Catholic view of raising children in the faith. This is a MUST read and one to be read over and over again. It will change the way you view handing on the faith to your children.
This is my discipline style, though I could probably always work on the consistency of her tactics. This very practical book combined with the humorous wisdom of Dr. Ray has helped me develop some confidence as a parent and disciplinarian.
Ever wish you had a chart which gave you a Bible verse that corresponds with your child’s good behavior or misbehavior? Here it is. I don’t like to discipline by thumping their heads with a Bible, but I do like to have character discussions with my children outside of the context of misbehavior. This chart comes in very handy for giving them the Word of God as a life guide.
Last month, I used it to come up with our family’s “If, Then Chart” which outlines specific consequences for each type of infraction. I never thought I would use a chart to help me with discipline, but I found myself being inconsistent based on my mood and knew I needed some accountability. The “If, Then Chart” has kept me from wasting my energy finding the perfect consequence when a child misbehaves.
Large Family Logistics (not pictured)
This book is no longer in print, much to my chagrin. I would love to have a copy on my shelf, but instead have resorted to borrowing it via interlibrary loan. Regardless of whether you have a large family or not, this book is very helpful in the logistics (duh!) of running a home. She has very down to earth advice that any of us can implement in our homes. I also love her style of writing and found myself inspired in my parenting and homemaking vocation. I would love to read her new book Home Management!
What Catholic housewife has not read this book? I don’t agree with every premise or practice outlined in this book, but it is laid out in a very easy to follow and practical way. I keep it on my shelf to motivate refreshing our routines when we’ve gotten off track.
Organizing is more of a personal mental process than something that can be covered step by step in a book. In fact, I’ve begun to steer clear of organizational books after reading my fill. They all say the same thing: declutter, clean, and organize. Our time is better spent doing the actual organizing than reading about it! However, this book helps one understand the underlying elements of effective organization.
I enjoy Stephen Covey’s 7 habits. This book is more theoretical, but it has helped me think through how to think about my life. I pick it up every few years and it helps me clarify my purpose and goals so I keep making forward progress as an individual.
If you get one cookbook get the Joy of Cooking. It is a hefty cookbook, and I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the recipes. Many of them are a little too gourmet for me and mine, so I use the Joy of Cooking primarily as a reference. I like to make things from scratch and this cookbook helps me with that. You won’t find “Can of Whatever” in here. You start with ingredients! The following are just a few of the things I’ve made using this cookbook: chocolate sauce, candies, breads, canned tomatoes, pickles, pickled beets, freezing garden produce, and lots more.
I’ve been married for 10 years and never once bought a cookbook…until last year. I picked up Saving Dinner and I can’t say enough good things about it! Again, this cookbook is geared for the way I cook. No “cream of whatever” in here either. The meals are thrown together very quickly and are made with delicious and nutritious whole foods. Every single recipe I’ve made from this cookbook has been a winner.
I also like that the cookbook has the dinner meals organized by season. Each week has a grocery list so shopping is a breeze. I don’t actually use the cookbook that way because I cook based on what’s on sale; however, I like knowing the lists and meal plans are there for extra busy seasons.
This woman is after my own heart! I always enjoy checking this one out of the library. It is quite entertaining and I always find myself ready to buckle down on the budget even more.
What are your favorite homemaking books? I’m always ready for another book suggestion!
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