I’ve never really considered myself a reader. I like gathering new information and inspiration, but the actual reading part always seems to take way longer than I would like. However, I did manage to finish 17 books this year, and start at least that many more.
Here’s a run down of the books I finished this year.
1. Writing in the Margins by Lisa Nichols Hickman
I loved this book so very much. I’ve been writing in the margins of my Bible for as long as I can remember. This book took me on a little adventure through the Bibles of church leaders throughout history, composers, musicians and so many more. It became a devotional for me for the month it took me to read it and will be a treasured book for many years to come.
2. The Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst
3. Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
Glennon Doyle Melton has a unique and beautiful ability to connect with her audience in such an authentic and loving way. This book made me laugh, cry and think deeper thoughts. I love this woman and her beautiful book.
4. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
I love Jen Hatmaker and I loved this book. It took me less than two days to read it and I have re-read several sections several times since. I found myself praying that the words of this book would be sown permanently into my heart so that I could live more graciously and lovingly to those around me. Good stuff here.
5. Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande
6. The Six Hats of the Worship Leader by Rich Kirkpatrick
7. Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle
This might be my favorite book I read all year – or maybe ever. It made me laugh and cry – sometimes at the same time. It also gave me a deeper understanding of what it means to live with compassion and inspired me to love people better. If you only read one book this next year – I hope this is the one.
8. Soul Detox by Craig Groeschel
9. Hope for the Heart of the Homeschool Mom by Jamerrill Stewart
10. Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne
If the mark of a good book is how much hi-lighting and underlining I do, then this was a very good book. It was an important book. I actually wrote the words, “wow” and “yikes” in the margins several times. Very convicting and important book.
11. The Road to Becoming by Jenny Simmons
This is also one of my favorite books I’ve read in a very long time. I felt a kinship with this author that made it feel as though we were long lost friends talking about life and change and hard stuff. There is so much in this book that spoke directly to my heart. I recommend it very, very highly.
12. Every Little Thing by Diedra Riggs
I had no idea what to expect coming into this book since I’d never heard of its author. Wow. What a gem. I loved it all the way through. If you’re looking for a book to help you get up and move forward, this is a great one!
13. The Carols of Christmas by Andrew Gant
14. Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity by Clinton Arnold and Jeff Arnold
15. Jesus Is For You by Judah Smith
I read this book nearly a month ago and I still cannot stop thinking about it. It has changed the way I think about heaven – it especially changed how often I think about it. A very thought-provoking and exciting read.
17. Living Dead: A Zombielogical Exploration of God, Man, and What Lies Between by Ricky Wells
I’m a little biased on this one, seeing as how my sweet husband is its author, but it is definitely a book worth reading. I love analogies and this one is so creative and thorough that I couldn’t help but get excited about it. It also combines fiction and non-fiction, which I’ve never seen before.
I’m usually reading at least 4 or 5 books at a time. I read based on my mood, so I like to have several options. While I didn’t finish these, I still feel that they are worthy of mentioning. Here’s a list of the books I haven’t finished yet…
You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins
The Empowered Leader: 10 Keys to Servant Leadership by Calvin Miller
Worship Changes Everything by Darlene Zschech
People-Pleasing Pastors by Charles Stone (this book is so thick with amazing content that I fear it’ll take me another several months to finish. SO so good, though.)
Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford
Look and Live by Matt Papa (this book is also incredibly rich with content. I simply cannot read it quickly. A chapter here, a chapter there and then a week or two to soak it all in. So good.)
Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist
The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica Turner
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie Downs
Where God Was Born by Bruce Feiler
I already have about 10 new books on my shelf that I picked up over Christmas or from publishers to review and I can’t wait to dig in. I’m hoping to finish at least 25 books this next year, so we’ll see how that goes.
What are you reading?