What I Read in 2015

It’s the last week of 2015 and this is one of my favorite times of the year. I love looking forward to a fresh start and making new goals. This week, I’ll be sharing 5 posts to help get us ready for a new year. My sister is also blogging about goals this week so check out her blog as well!

25in2015First up, I wanted to share the books I read in 2015. I had a goal to read 25 books and I just squeaked by meeting that goal! I LOVE learning from books and have been really intentional about tying the books I decide to fill my mind with to the goals I have for my year. Later this week I’ll be sharing my goals and then the books I will be reading (or hope to!) in 2016. I hope from both lists you’ll find a few books that tie to your goals as well!

1. Make it Happen – I’ve had a few people mention that this whole goal-setting is completely new to them. If you’re in this place too or even if you’ve made goals before but aren’t sure how to make sure they are intentional and not simply “lose 15 pounds” or “be a better friend” I would highly recommend this book!! Lara started her goal-setting series today too and has a link to the first few chapters of this book for free!! Go check it out here!

2. Love, Skip, Jump – This book radically changed my thinking on giving and my thinking on what I could do if I simply opened my eyes to opportunities. It’s also what got my heart stirring to start the Boaz Fund!

3. Profit First – If you own a business, you have to get this book. It’s super practical advice for making sure you aren’t overspending on your business and instead making a profit. I can’t recommend this book enough!

4. Prayers for the New Bride – If you are looking for an intentional gift for your engaged friend, I would check out this book! The chapters are short and practical but filled with Biblical wisdom! As someone who’s been married for 5 years, I found it incredibly encouraging!

5. 31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer – This book was created by the girls behind The Well Studio. They have 31 women each write a prayer for 31 different chapters and share a few key verses that related. I got to write the chapter on prayer! When I first opened the book, I could honestly feel how prayed over this book was and how intentional each writer was for their prayer. I was constantly feeling like they were in my head and articulating my thoughts so well. Definitely a must read and something you can go through each month!

6. The Fringe Hours – If you simply can’t find time for yourself, this book is filled with ways to find the time and also remind you of why it’s important. It references a survey a lot but there is lots of good content.

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7. The Power of Habit – I actually started a book by the same name by Charles Duhigg but did not finish it. It had a lot of good content but the book was huge and the content started to get repetitive. The book I finished was by Jack Hodges, very similar content actually and much shorter! I reference both these books in the chapter on habits in The Finishing School.

8. The Compound Effect – This book was a great reminder of how small things add up to big things when done over time. It got a little repetitive too but I actually liked the consistent reminder and wish I could tattoo this message on my head!

9. Bread & Wine – Oh y’all! One of my favorite books this year! I actually read it really slowly, just a little bit each night, so that I could make it last as long as possible. Her stories about food and community inspired more gatherings at our house and lots more intentional conversations and relationships!

10. Seven – Another one of my favorites! If you haven’t read this yet, you need to. Jen Hatmaker covers 7 different areas of excess: food, clothes, spending, media, possession, waste and stress. She’ll have you wanting to throw out everything that isn’t necessary! Highly recommended if one of your big goals this year is to just live with less.

11. Eat, Move, Sleep – One of the best, most practical books on health I have ever read. It served as a great jumpstart and I made tons of notes that I am planning to keep front and center this year!

12. Scary Close – This book by Donald Miller was on relationships. I liked it, but didn’t love it. There were a few things that really stood out to me but overall, I couldn’t relate to a lot of what he talked about.

13. Your First 1,000 Copies – Being completely new to this whole author thing, I read this book about selling your first book. There was some content that seemed basic for market but other stuff that I had never thought about! If you are writing a book this year, I recommend checking it out!

14. My Name is Hope – Another favorite!! If you struggle with anxiety or depression in any way, BUY THIS BOOK!! It is written from a Biblical perspective and also gave incredible practical applications. When I had my panic attack in May, I thought I was always live fearful and I can thankfully say, this book pointed me to Christ in an incredible way.

15. Where’d You Go Bernadette – I read this book while writing The Finishing School and also after my panic attack. I was dreading the nights (because my panic attacked happened at night). I’d spend my evenings reading my Bible and reading this fiction book. I haven’t read fiction but it was just what I needed! If anyone has recommendations of similar books, I’d love to hear!!

16. Tribes – This book is geared toward entrepreneurs or leaders and encourages them to do more than just sell a product but to create a tribe and connect people. I haven’t implemented much but plan to this next year with the journals and the book because accountability is particularly important for both our products! This book has helped me figured out authentic ways to do that!

17. Clout – Another great book for leaders of any kind!! Jenni outlines so many pitfalls and a lot of the heart issues that can cloud us from being a good leader. I loved this book!

18. Anything – One of my favorite books of the year!! This book radically changed my heart and approach to life in general, to go from a place of fear about what God has for me to excitement at whatever comes my way. The book challenges us to give God ANYTHING. Our home, our life, our family, everything for His kingdom. Definitely a must read!!

19. The Storied Life of AJ Fikry – This was a fiction book about a bookstore owner. They made tons of references to book so if you are a book nerd like me, you will love it! It was a bit slower than Where’d You Go Bernadette but I enjoyed it!

20. Satisfied – I haven’t read a book like this before. In terms of consumerism, Christianity and contentment. If learning to change your heart in regards to spending is something you desire, this book will encourage you!

21. United – This book was about racial unity. I think I wanted more from this book. It was insightful to hear the writers perspective in being a minority even in church and definitely made me want to be more sensitive now knowing how others might feel but I would have loved more practical advice in how to bridge this gap in our culture.

22. Women of the Word – I learned a ton from this book! There were a few ideas that I didn’t completely agree with or that seemed a little too rigid BUT her advice on studying the Bible is incredibly practical and were things I haven’t heard before. It got me really excited to dig into the Word this coming year!!

23. Rest of God – I have spent many a Sunday meditating on this book. Another one that goes on my favorites list from this year! This book is about experiencing the rest that God intended for our life. It’s inspiring and freeing from the world of progress (a world I tend to love!). I’d highly recommend getting this book and reading a portion each Sunday as a way to slow down and delight in the Lord.

24. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness – This book is super short but super packed with content about how we should view ourselves. If you feel tugs of pride or insecurity, this book will Tim Keller is always a deep read for me so I liked that this book was small.

25. The Finishing School – Ok so I had to include this. I read it at least 10 times this year. 😉 At least. Now is the perfect time to start The Finishing School! We will be starting our book club and reading through it together on January 4! So many of the books I’ve read, I’ve shared some of my favorite nuggets from each in the book so if you are looking for just a taste of a bunch of these, check out The Finishing School and then see what chapters or topics you want to pursue further! You can order on our website if you’d like the other supplementary tools or order on Amazon here for just the book!

There you have it!! 2015 has remembered in books!! 🙂

Check out Natalie’s post on books today too! We read a few of the same books and had different perspectives so definitely check out her thoughts too!!

Coming this week:

Tuesday – My favorite resources for goal-setting and
top blog posts in 2015
Wednesday – My Word for 2016
Thursday – 10 Goals and Verses for 2016
Friday – Books for 2016

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