As you probably know by now, I love to read. In 2015 I set a personal record and read 61 books throughout the year. Of these 61 books, here are my top 10 favorites that I recommend to you (in no particular order).
- The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges
After reading this book I was motivated to purchase a couple more of Jerry Bridges’ books. It’s a practical read that addresses the paradox of allowing God to work in you and change you while at the same time, putting into practice such virtues as faith, goodness, patience, etc. As a result of reading this book I made a Bible study on various Christian virtues that I want to be intentional about practicing in my everyday life.
2. Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets
I picked this book up years ago when I was in high school but never finished. I began reading it again last summer and am thankful I gave it another shot. If you find yourself wondering why prayer is necessary or often lack motivation to spend time in prayer, this book is a must-read for you.
3. Raising Kids for True Greatness by Tim Kimmel
I don’t yet have children of my own, but I hope to within a couple years. This was a quick read for me because I enjoyed it so much. Kimmel’s points are counter-cultural, but definitely Biblical. It was filled with inspiring stories and practical steps you can take to implement his points with your own children.
4. Desiring God by John Piper
Don’t let the size of this book intimidate you. It’s so eye-opening, so filled with timeless Truth that I couldn’t put it down! I read this 369 page volume in a mere 2 weeks! John Piper is a deep thinker, so it may require you to read slowly with as few distractions as possible, but it’s definitely worth your time and effort. I wish I had read it years ago!
5. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell
This is a beneficial read for anyone and everyone. John Maxwell makes a compelling argument that connecting takes a lot of effort and hard work, but it’s something that can be learned. Implementing his tips will strengthen any relationship you have.
6. Heart Shift by John Trent
I must admit, it took almost until half-way through this book for me to really get into it, but once he got into the practical application of making 2-degree changes in your life, he had me hooked. By the end I had a list of various small changes I wanted to make to improve various areas of my life.
7. Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story by Joni & Ken Tada and Larry Libby
What a powerful story of true love. I so appreciated the raw honesty portrayed in this true love story of Joni Eareckson Tada. If you have ever struggled with selfishness or loneliness or hopelessness in your marriage, this book is for you. It may bring you to tears, but it will definitely encourage you.
8. The Act of Marriage by Tim & Beverly LaHaye
This is a practical and very helpful book about God-ordained sexual intimacy. This book will open your eyes, whether you’ve been married 50+ years or only a year. I think I may add it to the list of books I give to newlyweds.
9. Living by the Book by Howard & William Hendricks
I LOVED this book! If you desire to study the Bible in-depth but don’t really know how, read this! It’s easy to understand, practical, and will inspire you to study the Bible with a greater passion. After reading this book, I came up with an in-depth 28-day study based off the principles laid out by the Hendricks. (Stay tuned for a weekly post beginning the last week of January)!
10. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I almost didn’t put this book on my top 10 list but my husband confronted me with, “Wasn’t that the book that inspired you to create your own little project for 2016?” So I conceded and added it to the list. It’s unlike any other book I’ve read- probably because it’s the only memoir I’ve ever read. But I enjoyed it and read through it quite quickly, despite the fact she wasn’t a Christian and I didn’t agree with many of her beliefs. If nothing else, it’s bound to inspire you to live with greater intentionality.
BONUS: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman
John Gottman is not a Christian, but he has done extensive research that I believe is still helpful for Christian couples. Of course, you’ll have to take some of what he says with a grain of salt, but overall it’s a good read.
What were your favorite books from 2015?
Do you love to read? Have you ever heard of paperbackswap.com? It’s an online booking swapping community where you trade your used books in order to receive used books in return from other members. I’ve been doing it for over a year and so far have mailed 35 books and received 34 different books! Whenever I hear of a book I might be interested in, I immediately add it to my wishlist on paperbackswap.com and wait for a copy to become available. Sometimes it takes a while, but other times it’s available right away.
All you have to do is sign up, list the books that you are ready to part with, and send them out to other members when they are requested. Yes, you pay the postage to send your books out (between 2 and 3 dollars for an average-sized book), but when you request books for yourself, the senders pay the postage to send those books to you.
Every book you send earns Book Credit when it is received – you can use Book Credits to request books for yourself. They’ll even give you startup Book Credits free if you are the first account at your household – you can use those credits to get two books for yourself, totally free! Sign up, today!