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It’s been a big year for books! Maybe it was getting off Insta in February. Or maybe there’s just a lot of short ones in here, but I was able to read the most books I’ve ever read in a year! With that said, it wasn’t my FAVORITE year for books. Do you ever look back at your book lists from previous years on Goodreads (I’m thinking I’ve lost most of you 🤓) and just think, “Woah! That was a good year/season for books!!” Like it’s a bunch of your favorites?
Next year, I may slow down a bit and just sit with books a little longer so they marinate. I might also get a little more quick on quitting a book when I know it’s “not the one” 😜. Below is everything I read in 2021, who I’d recommend them for or even if I would recommend them! (A) means I listened to on Audible and * are my favorite reads of the year!
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1. THINNER LEANER STRONGER – MICHAEL MATHEWS
This is the book that got me weight-lifting. There’s a simple plan and lots of background info if you’re a beginner like me!
2. ALIVE TO GOD IN PRAYER – DONALD E. DEMARAY
This was another super practical book on prayer and really refreshing to read! I’m really getting into the old ones lately.
3. PRAY CONSISTENTLY AND CONFIDENTLY – VALERIE WOERNER
For as many times as I’ve had to read this over the last few months, you better believe it was gonna make the list!!! I am soooo proud of this book. I don’t like saying that, but as I’ve read it back, and knowing our audience so well after 8 years of conversations, I feel really confident that this book could change your prayer life!
4. LOVE ON ITS KNEES – DICK EASTMAN
If you have our prayer journal, I really think you will love this book. It’s organized by praying for different topics, like world and family, etc. and gives lots of specifics for praying for each. If you feel stuck on what to include or how to go beyond the basic things you pray for, this will encourage you!
5. AMAZING GRACE IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE – JOHN PIPER (A)
This was a super short Audible read I stumbled on about Wilberforce’s life.
6. THE GRUMBLE-FREE YEAR – TRICIA GOYER (A)
I’ve been wanting to encourage the girls to whine less and am not really sure the best way to do this. I listened to the book which I’m glad I did. It’s more story-driven with tips throughout but it was easy to stay engaged audibly because of the stories.
7. THE POWER OF WHEN – MICHAEL BREUS
I skimmed this book. It was ok and I’m not sure how scientific it actually is but it was an interesting read on when you should do things based on your sleep cycle.
8. LORD, CHANGE ME – EVELYN CHRISTENSON
I’ve read a lot by Evelyn. This was fairly basic and not my favorite of hers but still encouraging for those who feel stuck and want to change.
9. *THE ARMOR OF GOD – PRISCILLA SHIRER (BIBLE STUDY)
This isn’t necessarily a prayer Bible Study but focuses on the warfare that is so present with prayer. Highly recommend if you’re looking for motivation with fairly light study.
10. HELP ME I’M A HYPOCHONDRIAC! – PHILIP MARTINS
Short and funny. Loved hearing him describe things I’ve felt and made me feel less isolated in my feelings. Some helpful points but mostly just refreshing to not feel crazy. Could also be good for a loved one who doesn’t understand hypochondria to read. I highlighted things I’ve felt for Tyler to read.
11. YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL THANK YOU – DREW DYCK
Pretty solid book on self-control from a biblical perspective.
12. THE 4 DISCIPLINES OF EXECUTION – CHRIS MCCHESNEY, SEAN COVEY, JIM HULING
Very practical book for figuring out how to execute as a team. If you’ve read a lot about vision, or goals but aren’t sure where to go next, this was helpful.
13. I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING – ERIN CARLSON
If you are a fan of When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle or You’ve Got Mail OR just love a good behind the scenes of the film industry, this book is for you. The author compiles quotes and details for a full picture of each movie being created.
14. THE FOUR TENDENCIES – GRETCHEN RUBIN
I’m all “typed” out I think. I used to love learning about personality stuff but maybe I’ve read too much? I’ve heard others find it helpful but I didn’t finish.
15. 13 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PEOPLE DON’T DO – AMY MORIN
This book was really insightful. I tend to feel mentally weak and within the 13, I found a few of the 13 points were textbook how I thought. Not every chapter was as impactful but the ones that I struggled with were totally worth the read!
16. DEEP DISCIPLESHIP – J.T. ENGLISH (A)
This book was geared more to churches than expected but with Tyler’s new temporary role as youth director, it was still really helpful!
17. THE HEALING POWER OF HUMOR – ALLEN KLEIN
Many of y’all know I’ve been fighting some stomach pain since January. This was a positive read about finding humor in small ways that can change our attitudes in sickness. It’s not for everyone but if you struggle with chronic illness, I think you’ll find it encouraging.
18. E.M. BOUNDS – MAN OF PRAYER – LYLE WESLEY DORSETT
For as much as I have loved Bounds, it was time to learn a bit more about his life. This was a short biography but powerful. The most vivid takeaway was another pastor who shared a room with him at an event referenced how he silently wept in prayer each morning for lost souls. It was convicting and I felt the Lord really engage my own heart for the lost since reading about his passion.
19. A YEAR OF LIVING PRAYERFULLY – JARED BROCK
If you want to read about prayer but in a totally different story-driven way. Check out this book. Jared traveled all around the world exploring prayer.
20. SOUNDTRACKS – JON ACUFF (A)
Another book on the mind and our thoughts but I really love Jon’s delivery and the way he makes me think. Worth the read. I actually bought extra copies as part of a preorder bonus and am glad I did. I wanted to highlight a bunch so I was able to do that in my hard copy as I listened.
21. CONCERTS OF PRAYER – DAVID BRYANT
Another old book on prayer? I found this book in my mom’s stack. I was devouring books on prayer around this time so it wasn’t altogether new but they did have practical advice for leading prayer meetings.
22. THE POWER TO BLESS – ALAN WRIGHT (A)
This topic always feels like it’s a little properity-gospelish but it was solid information for speaking life-giving words to loved ones. It’s definitely changed the way I speak to Tyler and the girls.
23. ACTIVATE YOUR VAGUS NERVE – NAVAZ HABIB
This was me trying to do anything I could to figure out my stomach issues. The vagus nerve is important for a lot of this. If you struggle with gut sensitivities, inflammation, autoimmunity, brain fog, anxiety or depression, it may be worth reading!
24. PLATFORM – MICHAEL HYATT (A)
This was a good foundational book on platform. It’s a little dated now but if you’re looking for a really explicit guide to “getting noticed” it’s thorough.
25. DECLUTTER LIKE A MOTHER – ALLIE CASAZZA (A)
This is a really practical and motivating read to declutter your home. Allie has worked with moms for YEARS and it shows! She covers everything!!
26. DON’T GIVE THE ENEMY A SEAT AT YOUR TABLE – LOUIE GIGLIO (A)
This book is based on the verse Psalm 23:5: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Super practical and encouraging reflecting on the lies we believe that our enemy tries to bait us with.
27. ANALOG CHURCH – JAY Y. KIM
This was a fascinating read about churches becoming virtual. Especially following the Covid-age of lots of virtual church. It was super enlightening and a good reminder of the importance of being with people.
28. *TAKE BACK YOUR FAMILY – JEFFERSON BETHKE
One of my favorite books of the year. It was an unexpected read about the nuclear family (and how it’s not the biblical design) and got me excited about things I want to incorporate in our own home.
29. THE GENIUS ZONE – GAY HENDRICKS (A)
I could have done without this book. It’s a little woo-woo. I’ve read another book by Hendricks that I had to filter some of the woo-woo but this one was too much. Not recommended.
30. LEADING ON EMPTY – WAYNE CORDEIRO
This book was recommended to me by Michelle Myers probably a year ago. I wish I had read it sooner! It’s geared toward pastors or those in ministry and how burnout happens. I’ll be coming back to this one often.
31. EFFORTLESS – GREG MCKEOWN (A)
This was a follow-up to McKeown’s book Essentialism. Basically, what if you’ve already eliminated the bare essentials, but life’s still too busy? I need to go back to listen to the highlights.
32. THE BATTLE PLAN FOR PRAYER – ALEX AND STEPHEN KENDRICK
I can’t believe I’m just now reading this book but it’s a great foundational book on prayer!
33. THE GREAT SEX RESCUE – SHEILA GREGOIRE
This book is not what I expected it to be but still really insightful. It shares a ton of data from surveying their audience and all in all, it just made me really grateful to be married to Tyler. They addressed a lot of issues that I didn’t realize were issues for so many of their audience.
34. PREACHERS N SNEAKERS – BEN KIRBY (A)
If you like the Instagram account or Christian celebrity culture, you may like this deep dive. I find things like these great cautionary tales to stay humble and be discerning.
35. PRAY CONFIDENTLY AND CONSISTENTLY BY… ME
It was so fun to read this again alongside our launch team. This is my legacy book on prayer meant to help you overcome the obstacles keeping you from a thriving prayer life. It’s available here!!
36. RAISING TINY DISCIPLES – PHYLICIA MASONHEIMER
This was a short but super practical book on raising kids. It’s more geared towards toddlers but I took away a lot of good stuff.
37. THE LAZY GENIUS WAY – KENDRA ADACHI (A)
I bought this book but had a ton of audible credits and wanted to listen to it one day. After listening to Allie Casazza’s book while cleaning, I realize these types of books keep me moving when I’m trying to stay motivated and not just go curl up on the couch with a good book or Netflix. It had some helpful content for how to see things and I used her principles as I planned my goals this year.
38. *PRAYER SATURATED CHURCH – CHERYL SACKS
This book is so good and practical if you are looking to see your church become a House of Prayer. If you are on staff at a church, I think it’s a must read.
39. *IT’S NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD – GORDON J.G. ASMUNDSON AND STEVEN TAYLOR
I had bought and started a few books on health anxiety and this was the easiest to stick with and I just kept turning the page feeling more and more seen. If you struggle with health anxiety, I’d highly recommend!
40. UNDERSTANDING THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE CHILD – JAMES WILLIAMS
Have you heard of HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)? I was reminded of this concept while trying to figure out some things with Vivi. She has HSP tendencies and this book was helpful to kind of get inside her head and understand what she’s thinking or how she sees things so I don’t respond with impatience because it’s different than what I’m expecting.
41. ADVENT CONSPIRACY – RICK MCKINLEY (A)
This was just a really good reminder to not make this season so commercialized. Sounds obvious but the tug each year is so strong so I appreciated the reminder!
42. GRUMPY MOM TAKES A HOLIDAY – ME
I know this might seem weird to reread my own books but if I wrote them, it’s because I needed the lesson and so often, we need a refresher. And boy has this been good and necessary!! If you are tired of feeling stressed out as a mom or are scared to ask your kids how they see you, pick this up!
43. WHEN MAKING OTHERS HAPPY IS MAKING YOU MISERABLE – KAREN EHMEN (A)
To be honest, I don’t identify as a people-pleaser. I tend to think plenty about my own needs and aren’t easily swayed by whether others will get mad at me. I did however notice I do want people to think the best of me and I care about this more than I should. It got me into an awkward situation recently where I over-explained why I needed to say “no” and the result was just so messy and could have been avoided if I had simply said a succinct but polite no. Since this isn’t a topic I read about ever, I found this book insightful!
44. STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST – AUSTIN KLEON
This was a quick read, but inspiring for anyone in a creative field! I finished it up while lying on a table getting a HIDA scan. 🙂
COMING UP NEXT: 2021 Lifechangers