books,  seasonal

30 Non-Fiction Book Suggestions for Your 2020 Reading List

“I couldn’t put it down.” I can’t tell you how often I’ve said that about the books I’ve been reading lately. It’s not because their dramatic plot or dynamic characters; it’s because of their content.

I am obsessed with non-fiction.

As an adult, and especially as a parent, I’ve come to love and appreciate this underrated genre. You can often find me curled up on the couch with a book and pen in hand, discussing some newly-considered concept with my husband or friends, or implementing what I’ve read. I’m not kidding when I say that non-fiction books have greatly impact on how I parent, on how I live my life.

Are You Getting Enough Non-Fiction?

Non-fiction books offer so much. They are sources of knowledge, perspective, inspiration, and conviction. They are an easy and affordable way to broaden your education, to improve your life. Are you taking advantage of the incredible gifts these books have to offer?

If not, that’s ok! I’m here to help.

30 Non-Fiction Book Suggestions

I’m so excited to present a list of 30 non-fiction book suggestions for your 2020 reading list. Many of these books have directly influenced me and how I live and parent; a few that are on my own to-read list. All of them are valuable for some reason or another!

Broken up into categories of Parenting, Homeschool, and Lifestyle, there’s at least one book on here for everyone. I hope you can find a few to add to your own reading list for the upcoming year. And if you’re someone that doesn’t enjoy or have time for reading, don’t worry – audiobooks count! Many of the books are available through Audible.

Happy Reading!

Note: this page contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links provided, you will be supporting me and my family with no cost to you!


For Every Parent:

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting

Also available on Audible

This book may very well be my Parenting Book MVP. It is an incredible book that will help you to navigate through common parenting struggles in a peaceful way. The book is divided into three sections: Regulating Yourself, Fostering Connecting, and Coaching, Not Controlling. Each is rich with explanations, examples, and advice. With so much insight onto gentle parenting and fostering connection with your kids, it is a must-read for all.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids

Also available on Audible

We live in an overstimulating, overwhelming world, and we’ve become accustomed to some practices that are impacting the well-fare of our children. Payne suggests a new way of living, one that’s rooted in simplifying life for our children. In Simplicity Parenting, he addresses issues from over-scheduling to ADHD. His recommendations may be challenging to some, but the challenges are worthy of considering, especially when you can see the benefit it has for your kids. It has motivated me in many ways, from de-cluttering our house to reconsidering how I want my kids to spend their time.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind

Also available on Audible

This text is so helpful for understanding the way that the mind of a young child works. So often, we put too high of expectations on our children, especially when it comes to their emotions. This text helps with understanding why our children behave then they do, and with helpful illustrations, illuminating anecdotes, and practical strategies, it helps equip parents to help young ones navigate through their emotions and make sense of the world around them.

For Specific Parenting Stages:

The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby

Also available on Audible

We are huge advocates for attachment parenting, and this book, by the revered Dr. and Martha Sears, makes understanding attachment parenting easy. It explains the importance of bonding with your baby and the attachment building blocks that make it happen. It is a wonderful resource for new parents.

Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy

This book came to me at a time when I desperately needed encouragement; I was pregnant with my second and still nursing my first, and I questioned everything. This book, which I picked up at my local library, educated me and inspired me. Breastfeeding is such an important act, one I fully support and believe even more in after reading this book. Unlatched addresses issues including the history of breastfeeding and formula and the societal implications for breastfeeding, all while sharing the author’s personal experience. It’s a beautiful book.

The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being

Also available on Audible

Inspired by the teaching of Dr. Maria Montessori, this incredibly practical guide will equip you with parenting tips that will raise your child to be, as the title states, a curious and responsible human being. With a beautiful design, insightful information, and a wealth of wisdom, this book is a must have for any parent of toddlers!

The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need from Grownups

Also available on Audible

This book will remind you of the amazing gifts your little one has, and instruct you on, as the title says, what they really need from us adults. It will make you reframe your thinking on what’s most important in education, play, and relating to these special little people.

For Christian Parents:

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

Also available on Audible

This is the only Christian parenting book I recommend. This isn’t a 14-step plan to create kids who behave, which, he explains, shouldn’t be the goal of parenting at all; rather, it’s 14 principles that will lead a child to their Creator and Savior. According to Tripp, we are God’s ambassadors in the lives of our children and must remember that they are ultimately His. Therefore, we must love and disciple our children as God would. We need lots of grace for that, Tripp points out, meaning that parenting will do a humbling and beautiful work in our lives as we seek to best care for our children.

On Kevin’s List: Dad Tired and Loving It: Stumbling Your Way to Spiritual Leadership

My husband began listening to the Dad Tired podcast this year, and we both have been grateful for the impact it has had. Author and Pastor Jerrad Lopes is honest and real, offering practical suggestions and gospel-based advice for dads striving to be spiritual leaders.

On My List: Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Women

Also available on Audible

When of of my best friends from college suggest we study this book together, I wholeheartedly agreed. Written by the hosts of the popular Risen Motherhood podcast, this book is all about the highs and lows of motherhood, addressing everything from marriage to feeding our children through the lens of the gospel. I look forward to being challenged by this book.

For Parents who Want a New Perspective:

The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids

Also available on Audible

If you’re finding that your parenting journey has felt more stressed than happy, it may be time to take some advice from the Danes. Using the acronym PARENT – play, authenticity, reframing, empathy, no ultimatums, togetherness and hygge – the book shows how the values of the Danish culture impact parenting and, in turn, the nature of their children. I found this easy-to-read book to be a gem, ripe with helpful tips and ideas to make time with my children more enjoyable and life-giving.

There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge)

Also available on Audible

McGurk’s provides such intriguing insight on the difference between American and Scandinavian parenting! Her book reads like informative memoir, sharing stories and facts harmoniously alongside of each other. It will inspire you to get your kids outside more, among other things!

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature

Also available on Audible

This book is full of information and practical advice for getting your kids to become a lover of nature. Sampson laces anecdotes, statistics, and tips together in an extensive text that will inspire you to be a nature mentor to your kids, whatever age they are. It also will remind you of our need for nature; something that we, as a society, are forgetting all too often.

On My List: Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

Also available on Audible

I know play is important. But I look forward to learning about why. I know my kids need play, but I have a feeling that I would benefit from it, too, if I didn’t spend quiet so much time adulting!

For Parents who Value Reading Aloud: 

Honey for a Child’s Heart

Also available on Audible

Want to read more with your children? Pick up this book. Not only will this text inspire you to read regularly with your children, but it provides a series of recommended book lists to get you started. Gladys Hunt’s commentary on parenting is a sweet bonus.

The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids

Also available on Audible

With an open and conversational tone, Sarah Mackenzie, of the beloved Read Aloud Revival, shares both research and her own experience with reading aloud in a way that inspire you to read aloud to your own family as often as you can! At the end is an incredible book list, a resource to treasure and carry with you.


For Parents Considering Homeschooling:

The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education

Also available on Audible

Ainsley Arment, Founder of the impressive Wild + Free homeschooling community, has written a passionate manifesto on homeschooling. Thoughtfully assembled and beautifully designed, this book both instructs on everything from reasons to homeschool to styles and methods of homeschooling. It is deeply inspiring!

For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School

Also available on Audible

This book is what fully inspired me to homeschool my kiddos. Gleaning from the rich wisdom of educator Charlotte Mason, Macaulay’s text provides a foundation for the whys and hows of home education.

For Homeschooling Parents:

The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life

Also available on Audible

This is a wonderful, down-to-earth, advice-filled guide for homeschooling parents. Julie Bogart will encourage, make you laugh, and inspire you to make changes that will, indeed, make learning more magical.

Mere Motherhood: Morning Times, nursery Rhymes, and My Journey Toward Sanctification

This memoir of seasoned homeschool mom Cindy Rollins ministered to my soul. I love to hear people’s stories, and I was so grateful to read her honest, thoughtful reflections on life as a wife and mother to nine children.

On My List: Mother Culture: For a Happy Homeschool

Being a mom is hard. Homeschooling can make it harder. I’ve heard so much good feedback about this book, which encourages homeschooling mamas to nurture their own interests and care for their own needs so that she can continue to nurture and care for her children.


For People who Self-Reflect and/or Seek Healing:

Attachments: Why You Love, Feel, and Act the Way You Do

Also available on Audible

This is THE book we recommend that everyone read. Drs. Clincy and Sibcy, Christian psychologists, explain attachment theory and how it shapes us. They explain the four attachment styles with easy-to-read explanations and anecdotes, then addresses the implications of each attachment style in life, love, and even faith. As parents, our responsibility to nurture and care for our children from infancy is of vital importance, and this book showed us why. It also has helped us understand ourselves, each other, and our families better, leading for higher quality relationships all around. Seriously, read this book.

Wholeheartedness: Busyness, Exhaustion, and Healing the Divided Self

Also available on Audible

Do you feel pulled into a hundred different directions? If so, this book may be for you. While addressing issues such as attachment, vulnerability, and faith, DeGroat seeks to get to the core of why we are exhausted and divided in the first place, then provides some insight on to help us become more whole, known, and at peace. I’ve read this book twice, and continue to glean from its wisdom.

On My List: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Also available on Audible

As a recovering perfectionist, I look forward to reading this book. It is often a struggle to live as a Mary in a Martha world, but I know that being present is the greater of the two. I anticipate being both convicted and inspired by this well-reviewed book!

Food and Wellness Lovers:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Also available on Audible

I, pardon the pun, ate this book up. Kingsolver writes about her family’s year as “locavores”, eating only was raised on their own farm or produced locally. She writes a memoir about food, from planting it, to cultivating it, to preserving it, and enjoying it, reflecting on the experience with unparalleled passion. Interspersed, her husband offers short articles about key topics, such as the economics of eating locally, and her daughter offers short anecdotes and favorite recipes. This book inspired me to make adjustments in our own eating habits, and I’m sure it can inspire you, too!

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats

More than a cookbook, this incredible resource has deeply informed how I feed myself and my family. Written by Sally Fallon (Morell), who is also the president of the Weston A. Price foundation, this book educates the reader on the most nourishing foods, how to prepare food, and what foods to avoid, all with a well-researched why. With ample recipes, including how to make bone-broth and ferment your own food, this cookbook is one to keep going back to.

The Year of Cozy: 125 Recipes, Crafts, and Other Homemade Adventures

TO READ: As someone who has fully embraced hygge and has found crafting as a meaningful hobby, I look forward to reading up on more cozy practices! This book, which my sister recommended, celebrates a year of cozy living with cooking, crafting, connecting, and more.

For Nature Lovers:

On My List: One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey

Also available on Audible

My husband and I saw this incredible documentary last year and were blown away. I can’t wait to read the journal entries of Dick Proenneke, who lived alone in the wilderness of Alaska in a home he built by hand.

On My List: The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills

As my love for nature is growing, I am finding that I want to know as much about it as I can. I picked up this book in attempt to learn, too, how it can teach and serve me. I know this book will be an education in itself!

Mary Oliver – New and Selected Poems: 2

Mary Oliver’s poetry is dear to me. Her reflections on nature, beauty, and life are both existential and simple, appealing to even the most skeptical reader. So many of her words have inspired me, challenged me, and affected my life. In fact, the name of this blog is taken from one of her poems. This is a lovely collection; my favorite.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @withquiethands for weekly book recommendations for you and your family!

See other book recommendations on my Book Talk Tuesday page.

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