I haven’t always been a super motivated reader. It takes a really good book to keep me interested. Because of my personality, I’m not really captivated by fantastical stories. I want to read about the real stuff. That’s why I’m typically drawn to non-fiction books like faith-based books or memoirs. (I love a captivating true story!)
At the beginning of 2018, I set out to read 20 books in the year. Not because I wanted to accomplish a big number, but because I know that readers are leaders, and I wanted to push myself to grow in this area. I’m happy (but mostly shocked) to say that, as I’m writing this, we are two days away from 2019, and I just finished reading book #26! What!
Some of those were books I read for classes I’m taking, some were books I read with our church staff, and a majority were books I just wanted to read. I won’t list them all here, but if you want to see the complete list, you can check out my Goodreads profile. If you’re a reader (or want to be a reader) and you don’t know about Goodreads, go check it out! It’s a great way to keep tracks of the books you want to read, set reading goals for yourself, and find out what books your friends are enjoying.
One of my favorite things is to share resources I love with my friends. There are so many amazing books at our fingertips, and I can’t help but share a good one when I find one! Enjoy these lists, and let me know what books are on your own list!
2018 Favorite Reads
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
This is the first book I read in 2018, and I think I’m about ready to read it again. It may just become a yearly read for me. I know what you’re thinking. It seems a little daunting to submit yourself to such conviction, right? Trust me. You won’t be disappointed in the powerful truths that Tony shares in this book. It might hurt a little, but it will cause you to think more intentionally about your relationship with your phone. If you don’t add this book to your reading list, I recommend listening to his chat on the Journeywomen Podcast.
Unseen by Sara Hagerty
If I’m honest, I’m usually a little disappointed when I feel like I’ve wasted time or like I’ve worked really hard and no one noticed. This book helped change my perspective and understand that there is something beautiful and special about the “unseen” parts of our lives. If you feel like your life is full of mundane, ordinary moments or like you’re not accomplishing much compared to the next girl, let me encourage you to pick up this book and see just how seen you really are.
You are Free by Rebekah Lyons
Y’all. This book made me want to get up and run a marathon! …Okay, nothing would ever make me want to actually do that. But! The message of book was incredibly freeing (no pun intended) and empowering, and even typing about it makes me want to go skim through it again for a refresher!
Still Waiting by Ann Swindell
Wow. This book was nothing that I was expecting it to be, and I mean that in a good way! Oftentimes, we connect “waiting” with women waiting for a baby. But Ann’s story is much different, and the way God is using her story for His glory is just beautiful. If you love a good, personal story and you love to be encouraged, pick up a copy of this book.
Inheritance of Tears by Jessalyn Hutto
I’ve had many women around me walk through the painful experience of miscarriage, and then, in February of 2018, I got to experience that for myself. It might sound incredibly strange for me to call that a “get to,” but the Lord used that season of my life to grow me in ways in which I could never have grown otherwise, and for that, I am forever grateful. I miss my baby that I never even got to meet (which sometimes feels odd to say), but his/her too-short-to-me life taught me so much and pushed me nearer to God. This book was one resource I came across in my grief that I cannot recommend enough. If you or someone you know has walked through miscarriage, pick up a copy of this book to learn how God can use our pain for our good and His glory.
Practicing Greatness by Reggie McNeal
This book is probably the most different of my favorites from the year. It’s one of the books our pastoral team read together this year, and I am so glad we did! I wish I had read it earlier in my life! If you currently lead or plan to lead in capacity — I mean ANY — I highly recommend this book. My nurse practitioner friend even said she learned and applied so much from the book to her professional career!
Preach to Yourself by Hayley Morgan
It’s the last one on the list, and one of the last books I read in 2018, but it just might be my absolute favorite of the whole year. This book is IN-credible. I wish I could afford to give everyone I know a free copy! Preach to Yourself is nothing about standing behind a pulpit and everything about standing firm on truth when the lies start creeping in. It is absolutely a book I will be revisiting yearly and recommending daily (I’ll try not to be annoying about it).
2019 Reading List
My “want to read” list is ever-growing and seems to grow in size much faster than I can keep up! I plan to set a goal to read at least 20 books again this coming year. Here are a few that I’ll definitely be reading:
All That’s Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment by Hannah Anderson
I read Hannah Anderson’s book, Humble Roots, and it is one of my top three favorite books ever (in fact, I plan to read it again this year). When I saw that she released a new book, I knew I had to read it!
In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls us to Reflect His Character by Jen Wilkin
Similar to the one above, I will read anything Jen Wilkin writes! Her books, Women of the Word and None Like Him, both had a huge impact on my spiritual life, and I have no doubt this one will too.
How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority by Clay Scroggins
This book cover caught my eye as I was browsing a little shop in the Oklahoma City airport at Thanksgiving. I loved the title, and the reviews are very promising! I am always looking to grow in my leadership abilities!
Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything About Your Story by Nancy Guthrie
I have heard nothing but good things about this book, and I admire Nancy Guthrie and the way she teaches God’s Word. I’m looking forward to learning from her!
Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Another book that I’ve heard recommended over and over. I am a sucker for all things community, and I desire to enhance the community I’m in — especially among moms — so this one is on the list!
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron
I read a different book about the enneagram this last year and really enjoyed learning about it. Personalities are so interesting to me! I’d like to learn more about my enneagram type (and hopefully my husband’s too!) this coming year.
With the fast pace of our culture today, finding time to read can be a challenge. The idea of sitting down and focusing on a book seems fantastical in itself! I’m grateful we have the conveniences of e-books and audio books now! This means you can carry books around on your phone and read or listen to a book while you’re driving, sitting in a waiting room, or waiting in the pick-up line. It’s a great way to redeem all the extra time that is easily wasted by scrolling mindlessly on social media.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a reader, I challenge you to set a goal and read some books this year! It really is true that readers are leaders! With that said, if you feel like you only have time to read one book in 2019…make it the Bible. 🙂 No book could ever renew your mind and transform your heart the way God’s Word can!
Did you read any great books in 2018? What books are on your list to read in the upcoming year? I always want to hear about more great books!