Here’s what I read this year. I will say, this wasn’t my favorite year for books. I read a lot of semi-duds. Or I may just be getting to where I’ve read so many books on the same topic that they aren’t really duds but simply things I’ve read before. Ironically, a lot of them were books that were favorites from people who recommended them so I don’t want to discount any and they may turn into your favorite reads so I wanted to share everything I read!!
1. Christmas Stories by Max Lucado – This book was a compilation of fictional Christmas stories. Last year I read Redeeming Love during the holidays and really loved reading another fiction book this time of year.
2. *Dance Stand Run by Jess Connolly – Loved this book! It got me thinking a lot and she talks about grace and holiness in a completely different way than I normally do so it was really refreshing to read.
3. *Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller – If you own a business, you need this book. It will help clarify your message. This could really be a game-changer for you.
4. Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges, and Phyllis Hendry – I picked up this book as I started leading my own team. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but there were some good nuggets.
5. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson – As someone who already knows the importance of sleep, I still learned a TON about how important it is and things to do to help you get the best sleep. If sleep is a struggle, I’d highly recommend it!
6. Before Amen by Max Lucado – Max Lucado’s writing is easy and effortless. He’s poetic and light but I still get so much out of it, maybe partly because I don’t have to reread sentences several times like I can with more challenging writers. This is his book on prayer and although I don’t feel like it covers as many areas as Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels does (or A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller) it was a really great intro to prayer.
7. The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee – I gained a lot of freedom in reading this book. I tend to get legalistic and push aside how God longs to see us happy but this was a good refresher.
8. Glory Days by Max Lucado – This book fell right in line with my word Abundant for the year. Max talks about how to live the abundant life right now.
9. 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke – This book was really good. I wish I could say it immediately changed my habits but I don’t think it’s that simple. I do however think I’m seeing a shift now and I’m sure it was from seeds planted from this book.
10. Essentialism by Greg McKeown – I liked this book but I will say it wasn’t as revolutionary to me as others. I think it’s just because I’ve read other books on the topic. Margin by Richard Swenson was the book that really shifted my thinking on this topic but I can see this being a really “essential” read if you haven’t read much on simplifying life.
11. The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian – If you are a parent, I would get this book. Feel confident as you learn how cover your kids in prayer.
12. *Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson – One of my favorites from the year. This challenged my thinking in a new way. Highly recommended.
13. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin – This book was really strong on figuring out habits. I couldn’t put it down for the first ½ to ¾ but then it started to lose steam. I think if it ended on the high note, I would have had this as a favorite too but I think it was just too much toward the end and I had kind of gotten her point. Still a really really good read especially if you have some habits you want to grow this year.
14. Discipline by Elisabeth Elliot – Loved some parts of this book. I honestly am not remembering much of the overall message but I have some friends that LOVED it.
15. Lists to Love By for Busy Wives by Mark and Susan Merrill – This was ok. It read more like a 31-day email newsletter. Good content but I don’t think I made the most of it as a book.
16. *Purpose in Prayer by E.M. Bounds – Favorite book of the year. This book lit a fire in me for prayer. Highly recommended.
18. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence – I think certain books are talked about so much that you have certain expectations for them and when they aren’t by your definition, life-changing or amazing, they fall flat. This was one for me. I think maybe if I hadn’t heard how amazing it was, I would have liked it more but I expected too much from it.
19. What’s Best Next by Matt Perman – Good content but not succinct at all. And again, I think I just have read too much on the topic. This was another book a few of my favorite people have loved so much so it’s definitely worth a try.
20. *Parenting by Paul David Tripp – I loved this one. It gave me a fresh more gracious approach to parenting and I will likely reference this one again and again.
And if you are just sort of thinking, how the heck does she have time to read, check out this post!!
Check out Val’s best tips for making real change happen in her book The Finishing School. You’ll get all the best information on goals, habits, margin, prayer and more!
COMING UP NEXT: How I use Trello for goal-tracking
MISSED THESE?: 2017 Goals Recap