8 books I want to re-read in 2015

Re-reading is enjoyable, sure--but it also keeps you focused on the things that really matter to YOU. These 8 wonderful books will keep your mind focused on your marriage, your family, your heart, and your faith--the things that you need to pay attention to in order to THRIVE.

This morning (in the shower, where many great ideas happen) I was thinking about which books I wanted to re-read in 2015 … and realized many of these were the same books I wanted to re-read last year. This post originally ran on January 12, 2014, but who knows: maybe I’ll want to re-read these in 2016, too. Happy reading!  

My to-read list for 2015 is lengthy. Not only did you all blow it up with new titles when we all shared our favorites, but I want to re-read books that have made a significant impact me on the past. Here’s my to re-read list for the coming year.

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

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

The previous seven books have been on my to-read list for months. I just added this one to the list last week, because so many of you asked if I had read it after I posted about forgetting about results. I read it at the pool last summer (which is high praise, for a business book) but you reminded me I should read it again. More info →
Happier at Home

Happier at Home


I've been meaning to re-read this one since I made my 2013 goals last year. Rubin reminds me it's worth making the effort to do the little things--especially in my home—because they really do make a difference.

More info →
Renovation of the Heart

Renovation of the Heart


When you're reading a book, do you ever feel like if you could really understand it, it would change everything? That's how I feel about Dallas Willard. (Willard's words are so dense it takes me four times longer than usual to get through one page.) Add Audible narration for $3.99.

More info →
Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Also a book that will change your life, and a pleasure to read. (Don't make the mistake of thinking it will be boring, like I did!) I'd like to read it again to catch the things I missed on the first pass. More info →
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

This best-book-you've-never-heard-of outlines why good relationships work, and where weak relationships fall apart. (It's not always what you expect.) This is one of those books I want to re-read every once in a while to keep the topic top-of-mind. More info →
Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

I need to read this for the Jane Austen and Motherhood Book Club, and I'll probably read the other five novels while I'm at it. More info →
Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

I keep pulling this one out for the recipes (bacon-wrapped dates, magical white bean soup), and every time I do I want to start reading again. At least 30% of you (including me) chose this as one of your 2013  favorites, so you know it's good. More info →
Daring Greatly

Daring Greatly

I knew while I was reading this one the first time that I'd want to revisit it, sooner rather than later. If you've never read anything by Brené Brown, please do--and start here. It will change your life. More info →

Saying you want to re-read a book is a pretty serious recommendation. What books do YOU want to re-read in 2015? 


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  1. Beth Kensinger says:

    I think I want to re-read Madeline L’Engle’s Crosswicks Journals trilogy. They were my favorites in college, and I haven’t read them in years!

  2. I’m currently re-reading Emma (for the umpteenth time), I just finished re-reading Spe Salvi (an encyclical on hope by Pope Benedict XVI), and am planning on re-reading:
    1. A Song for Nagasaki by Paul Glynn (maybe my favorite book ever)
    2. All of the Chronicles of Narnia
    3. Planet Narnia by Michael Ward (he makes the case that medieval cosmology is the key to interpreting the Chronicles and it is FASCINATING stuff if you’re a Narnia/Lit Crit nerd like me)–I just finished this a few weeks ago and I’m thinking I’ll re-read each chapter in conjunction with the corresponding chronicle.
    4. That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis (also mentioned quite a bit in Planet Narnia)
    5. Interior Freedom by Jacques Philippe

    PS I just bought three copies (for my three favorite introverts) of Quiet. I heard about it awhile back but kept forgetting to buy it; thanks for the reminder!

    • Anne says:

      I just added A Song for Nagasaki to my first-time reading list. I love to hear people’s favorite-ever books (especially yours!)

      Planet Narnia sounds so interesting! We’ve been reading through Narnia as a family, so the time may be right for me to dive into that one.

  3. keely says:

    I will re-read Bread and Wine, as well. I read it twice last year, and still think about it.

    Others on my re-read list:
    Harry Potter series, Sense and Sensibility (maybe this will be the year I finally determine which I love more- S & S or P & P), 🙂
    Little Women, Jayber Crow

  4. AH says:

    Interesting. I have Charles duhigg and Quiet on my re-read list as well. I want to get Rubin’s book (the first one) as well. I read pride and prejudice not for ago so I’ll leave that for now as I want to read other classics like persuasion and Emma

  5. Leigh Kramer says:

    There are so many books I want to reread! It’s so hard to follow through because of how many books await in the To Read stack. I think I should make a list like you’ve done here. I’ll be much more likely to follow through. At the very least, I should read A Prayer for Owen Meany again. It’s been a few years and that is just a shame.

    • Anne says:

      I think of you every time I see that title! It’s been ages since I read it, and I have a hard time untangling that plot from Garp’s. (Gasp! I know!)

      The problem with this list is all day I’ve been remembering the titles I accidentally left off it, like Father Melancholy’s Daughter, and Brideshead. Too many books, not enough time–and 2014 has barely begun!

  6. Carly says:

    I haven’t read “Bread and Wine” or “Quiet” and you’ve inspired me to add both to my 2014 reading list. January is both inspiring and overwhelming with all these great reading lists going around the blogosphere!

    • Anne says:

      Inspiring AND overwhelming: yep. 🙂 But I don’t feel (too) bad about loading up your reading list with the likes of Bread and Wine and Daring Greatly–they’re both sooo good!

  7. Jeannie says:

    I’m currently rereading P&P too (Jane is my favourite author for bedtime reading; I just have the stack by my bed and keep going through the books over and over). But the 2 books I’d like to re-read in 2014 are Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon, and Shake Hands With the Devil by Romeo Dallaire (he was the Canadian head of the UN mission to Rwanda in 1994).

    I have yet to read Daring Greatly! Must. Buy. Soon.

    • Anne says:

      Oh my goodness, yes–read it!

      Shake Hands with the Devil sounds fascinating (and I know you have good taste, so I completely trust any book you liked enough to re-read). 🙂

  8. Jimi says:

    Have you read Renovation of the Heart in Daily Practice? I haven’t finished it but what I’ve read has been so good. It’s bite-sized portions of RotH.

  9. Kimberly says:

    I don’t even know where to start. Re-reading is my achilles heel–there’s so many I want to return to, but so many more that I want to start new. Bread and Wine would be on my list, and the Harry Potter series. Little women and Pride and Prejudice too. So many good books, so little time!

    • Anne says:

      No, that sounds too daunting! Although I’m thinking of doing a new-books-I’m-looking-forward-to post. (Interested?)

      My goodreads to-read list is here, but it holds more than I can get to in 2014, and I’m sure it’s missing some of the books I’m looking forward to the most.

  10. Kate says:

    When I read your post about forgetting about results it made me want to pass along this link to Dr. Christine Carter’s (free) online resolutions class. She also reference’s Duhigg’s book a lot. I think you’d like it! You’re definitely on to something (via your own experimentation), but the science behind habit-forming that she shares is really fascinating to me.
    I loved Rubin’s first book (The Happiness Project) but haven’t read Happiness at Home. I have to admit I was swayed by the terrible reviews on Amazon!
    You are inspiring me to read more – I need to get started!

  11. I’ve been thinking of rereading Rubin’s first book, The Happiness Project. Maybe I should pull that one out. I recently reread P&P, but have been wanting to reread Persuasion – it’s been years and I suspect I would appreciate it more now.

    Every winter since moving to Boston, I’ve pulled out The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder – for a little perspective and a little courage.

    I’m a big rereader, so I’m sure there will be more!

    • Anne says:

      Ha! I love your reasons for re-reading The Long Winter. 🙂

      I re-read The Happiness Project after re-reading Happier at Home, and the original fell a little flat with the newer one rattling so freshly in my brain. Curious to hear your thoughts if you do decide to re-read the original.

      (And by all means, re-read Persuasion! On some days, that’s my favorite Jane Austen. 🙂 )

  12. I’ve had Happier at Home on my wish list for SOOO long and nobody buys it (they buy other things on there) so eventually after Christmas I bought it myself 🙂

    And I have big plans to read that and Daring Greatly this month (besides a lot of chick-lit I’ve been saving for the beach. I’m in South Africa so it’s the heart of summer and we’re off to the beach on Wed 🙂

  13. Courtney says:

    I just started The Happiness Project, so I’m looking forward to reading Happier at Home soon too! I’m curious how you get your books – buy online/bookstore, library, etc? I love having an actual book, but with my Kindle and the awesome ebook prices we’ve been seeing, I just can’t pass that up!

    • Anne says:

      I try to borrow before I buy (unless I’m impatient about a particular title, strongly suspect I’m going to love it, or a friend wrote it) because I think mediocre books are clutter, and I don’t need any more clutter around my small house! I buy from Amazon when I’m in a hurry (and for ebooks, especially when they’re on great sales) and my local indie when I’m not.

      (For what it’s worth, I liked Happier at Home better than the original. I’m not sure if that puts me in the majority or not.)

  14. I’m re-reading the Austens for the book club too. And I started another book club (The Young Adult Book and Movie Club) so I’m rereading all the Harry Potters this year for that.

    Other than that… doubt I’ll have time for any re-reads.

  15. Leanne Penny says:

    I absolutely want to read that Gretchen Rubin book and the only one on your list here that I’ve read already is Bread and Wine. So good. I pull it out all the time as well, so much goodness there.

      • Leanne Penny says:

        I will! What happened was a friend… I think it was you… told me to get Brené Brown and I chose between that and Gifts of Imperfect and the latter won.

        That being said my reading is WAY WAY up in 2014 and I see it as a good trend which will yield more books truly digested this year. I think you’re right when you say that stressful seasons find us watching more TV. Now that things are balancing again in the Penny Casa, let there be books and structure… with grace… and chaos.

  16. Erin says:

    I just started re-reading How to Be Sick. Kind of strange, I know, because I’m not sick (and on the surface it’s about living with chronic illness). But my mom has been really incapacitated since the end of summer, so reading the author’s account of her illness is very helpful to me as I get frustrated. Also, the book is kind of an introduction to Buddhism, which I find fascinating.

  17. Hi Anne!
    I love reading everyone’s new year book lists. I actually cleared a shelf for my 2014 reads…I’m horrible at re-reading; I am also a rabid book-buyer, so I have collected quite the stack of “to-reads”, so never feel like I can afford the time to re-read. I’ve always felt somewhat guilty about this; I even feel like I’m acting a little unfaithfully towards my most loved books. But, this post has convicted me–and that’s good! I will now be adding two books to my 2014 reading shelf that will be deemed my “re-reads”….Hmmm….I think Great Expectations and The Screwtape Letters…Yes. Oh! And Renovation of the Heart is one of my most beloved books. I have re-read sections of Renovation several times.

    Thanks for sharing and convicting…er…inspiring me!
    Shari D.

  18. Lisa S says:

    I set a reading goal this year for the first time. For the last 20 years I just kept track of the books as I finished them. This year I want to read 5 books per month. 3 fiction (one classic, one ya/juvenile, one “light”/fun) and 2 non-fiction (history/biography/adventure/christian). I am purposefully limiting my re-reads this year and will only do one if I finish my 5 books before the end of the month. I have a list of ideas to choose from, but am not deciding in advance what I will read. That way I can add to the possibilities over the course of the year. (And is it even possible to read one Austen book without reading the other five?)

  19. Kristen says:

    I’ll be re-reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger this year. It’s one of my favorites, and I finally convinced my book club to read it. I also had the chance to meet Leif and hear him speak at a conference last year.

  20. Andrea Ward says:

    I just posted what I’m looking forward to reading in 2014. It isn’t a full list, but it is a start. My 2 re-reads (Only 2 because I almost NEVER re-read anything) are The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison and Bread of Angels by Stephanie Saldana. Both of them are memoirs that really touched me the first time I read them. I think I’m ready to revisit them this year.

  21. Ginger says:

    The only book I’m planning on rereading this year is a Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. It was a changer for me last year, and now I want to reread it in hopes that I can implement each of the 12 disciplines into my life.

    I have this silly, made-up rule that I am allowed to re-read a favorite book whenever I’m traveling. Something about the difference in out-of-comfort-zone travel paired with a comfortable re-read.

    Ok, speaking of introverts, someone convince me to read Quiet. I am as introverted as they come, but not particularly quiet (in fact, most people are surprised to find out that I’m an introvert unless they really know me and how I value alone-time since I’m rather gregarious) and I think the title might be what’s putting me off. All the best people I know have read and loved it, but I suppose that yes, I’m making the assumption that it’s going to be a boring read.

    • Anne says:

      Ginger, the title Quiet kind of put me off, too. I was afraid it would be boring! Well, no worries there. Just start reading, Cain’s intro is fantastic (so I was hooked from the start), she’s a great writer, and she’ll debunk the myth that introverts can’t be gregarious–and plenty more–in the book. 🙂

  22. Jillian Kay says:

    I’m reading P&P now for the book club. Yesterday I got such a wonderful treat. DH saw I wasn’t feeling well, so he took the kids out while I snuggled in bed, read P&P, and ate toast. The best kind of medicine 🙂

    I loved The Power of Habit when I checked it out from the library, so I ordered a copy to own and highlight. I will probably do the same with Give and Take. I’m going to re-read Emma and S&S for the book club and read the others for the first time. So, it will be a Jane Austen year. I’m not sure what else I’ll re-read, I have to wait until the mood strikes me to visit one of my old friends.

  23. Unfortunately, there are so many new books that I want to read that I don’t know how I’d find the time to re-read books. Daring Greatly and The Power of Habit are now on my wish list at the library. Thanks for the recommendations!

  24. Melanie says:

    David Allen (GTD guy) interview Charles Duhigg for his podcast and it was a such a great interview. The author sounds like such an interesting guy. You’ve inspired me to now actually pick up the book.

    And I really must give a shout out to Happier at Home. I have both of the books by Rubin as audio books and they’re great! I would even say that Happier at Home was better than the first because it seems somehow more “applicable.”

    Rereads: Hmm. David Allen’s books for the upteenth time. I find them so soothing — ha.

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for the tip! I’ll look up that podcast.

      I like to re-read Gretchen Rubin’s happiness books occasionally (obviously 🙂 ) so thanks for the tip about the audiobook.

  25. Tori says:

    If you love things that will change you forever you should read The Anatomy of Peace AND Bonds that Make Us Free. Both life-changing books. So good!

  26. Amy says:

    So I show my husband something from the MMD or comments at least twice a day usually more. Today he asked if he just needed to sign up himself up so I didn’t have to keep finding things to show him!!!

  27. Alison Pike says:

    I’m a total Audible junkie, and there are a handful of books I listen to more often than I care to admit:

    The Happiness Project — Gretchen reads it herself, and I love that. I love her imperfections & peculiarities because I share so many of them (difficulty keeping my temper with my children, love of routine to the point of hating travel). I read Happier at Home and loved it too, but she did not narrate the audio version, so I won’t listen to it! So glad she has narrated her upcoming book about habits, I cannot wait.

    Manage `your Day-to-Day — the 99U book. Great reminders to get my bum in the chair and DO the work!

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes — one chosen at random when I want some fiction.

    These are like cozy quilts to me. They don’t count as reading, they are pure comfort without calories!

  28. Just was talking with a bookseller about HABIT yesterday! Last year I re-read 15 book, which was such a pleasure. This year I’ll re-read the last half of the Little House books (through the free online course at Missouri State University). Not sure what else at this point…

  29. Jill says:

    Before I read “Happier at Home” I had hesitated because of reviews which discouraged picking it up, saying it was not like “The Happiness Project.” Eventually I ignored the critics, read it and loved it. I’m not sure which I loved more of the two, but I will re-read “Happier at Home” before re-reading “The Happiness Project,” though that may be due solely to how recently I read the former.

    I’m listening to “Pride and Prejudice” in the car as I run errands with my children and my eight-year-old is loving it. She asks about it now. I may have given my kids a hook to latch onto loving it when I named our Roman Tufted Geese, Lizzie and Lydia. 🙂

    Other re-reads: Sarah M. Eden’s “Seeking Persephone” or Julianne Donaldson’s “Edenbrooke.” They are both clean, breezy romance set in regency-era England. They are a break for me from the non-fiction I typically choose.

    With my children I am rereading “Snow Treasure,” a book about a town in Norway during WWII when the Nazi’s invaded and they had to hide their gold using the children and their sleds. My third or fourth grade teacher read it to us and I remember loving it, being on the edge of my carpet square wondering what was going to happen and when.

    After finishing “Pride and Prejudice” we will begin to listen to “Farmer Boy” next as we drive along. It was my favorite Little House book the first time I read the series, probably because of all the description of mealtimes. I like good food. I am excited to introduce this one to my children.

    • Dana says:

      I would like to re-read:
      To Kill a Mockingbird
      The Shack
      Little Women
      Van Reid’s Moosepath League Series ( These are wonderful stories written in style of Dicken’s Pickwick Papers, but easier to read and great hilarious fun. Set in turn of century ( 19th/20th) Maine. These books are so wonderful and are not as well known as they should be.

      Anne of Green Gables

      Don’t know if I will be able to do so…there are so many other books calling me.

      Right now I am re-reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen so I can read First Frost which follows the same characters 10 years later.

    • Anne says:

      I bought it for Kindle first, but ended up getting the hardcover as well. (It’s sooo pretty, and I do actually use the recipes, and I far prefer to have those on paper.) Of course tastes differ, but that’s what I did. 🙂

  30. Hannah Beth Reid says:

    I need to re-read “The Happiness Project” because I think I am in a completely different place in my life than the first time I read it.

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