Growing up, “avid reader” was a term I heard my mom apply to my friends. I wasn’t really that kid. And while I still don’t think “avid reader” applies to me, I do love to read and I simply keep plugging away at it! Between my personal reading and out-loud reading with my kids, I was surprised to find that I finished around 2 dozen books this year!
But I’m thankful to have hit on some really quality books in 2019. Books have such potential to change and influence, and I think that’s why I get excited about good ones. Some of my reading this year definitely had that sculpting affect. Other books were simply a joy to read.
So here you go– the most influential, memorable or enjoyable reads from my year.
You Who? Why you Matter and How to Deal with It, by Rachel Jankovic: I loved this book and read it twice in a row. I won’t go into much detail here since I wrote a blog post about it earlier this year. I would highly recommend to any Christian woman!
Boundaries in Marriage, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend: After 15 years of marriage, this book is making me think a lot. I’ve learned so much about myself and my relationship to my husband. It’s helped me see areas of personal weakness that are negatively affecting my relationship, and what I need to do about them. Haven’t finished yet but I will!
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, by Maryrose Wood: Incredibly winsome. Excellent vocabulary and wonderful prose. Endearing Characters. Lots of value packaged in a whimsical story that had us laughing a lot. The kids are eagerly asking when we are getting book #2.
Secrets of a Charmed Life, by Susan Meissner: This novel was delightfully distracting during those last, seemingly eternal days of being pregnant. I read it while in early labor and also during my hospital stay after the birth. A page-turner set in WWII England. Thrilling and sobering story about life choices. Grateful to my mom for recommending it!
George Mueller (Christian Heroes Then and Now), by Geoff and Janet Benge: This isn’t the first time I’ve read about George Mueller, and it probably won’t be the last. Nearly six months later, I still think of truths we read in this book. This man’s life makes me aspire to know and love God better. One of these days I’d love to go to Bristol, England, and take a tour of the buildings that were once his orphan houses. (My 3 older girls loved this book too!)
Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport: I’m not sure whether I’m up to the task of summing up this book! Over my years of owning a smart phone, I’ve suspected my use of apps like Facebook or Instagram was playing with my mind and making it difficult for me to focus on more important things. It turns out I was right. I read this book in hopes that it would inform me about the dangers of social media and smart phone use and give me perspective and motivation for making changes. It certainly did that, and more. The information here about what constitutes true leisure is fascinating. I highly recommend to everyone who owns a smart phone but doesn’t want it to own them.
Lady Audley’s Secret, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon: Mystery, suspense and a little bit of romance wrapped up in a clean novel. This book apparently created a sensation when it was published in 1862. Good, Victorian era fun.
Dear Mrs. Bird, by AJ Pearce: A WWII novel about an aspiring journalist whose audacity takes her in some interesting directions and helps her find meaning in helping others. Again, good, clean fun! (Pictured at the top.)
The Purpose-Filled Life, by Jan Johnson: I’ve read this book twice now! I found it to be a worthwhile and thought-provoking read both times. I love how she centers the idea of purpose in first knowing God, walking with Him, and then allowing Him to use our gifts in conjunction with His greater plan. This book has helped me distinguish between my purposes, which are more unique to me as an individual, and my role as wife and mother, a more general calling. My recent re-read helped me clarify some specific areas God has equipped me to serve, and sharpened my focus and my goals. Very helpful!!
Drop a comment about what you’re reading, or what you recommend for 2020!