I have always been a lover of books. This year I read 25 books. I was hoping for more but not too bad. This is my annual post where I share about some of my faves. Here’s my top ten! (Followed by the list of the rest of what I read this year)
Remember God by Annie F Downs—I love everything of hers that she has written. But this read was so much more. The words woven onto the page were incredible. In a lot of ways this book was so mature and grown up as Annie reminds us to trust and remember God.
Inheritance by Nikki Kapsambelis—If you know anyone who is struggling with Alzheimer’s in their life, this book is a must read. Heartbreakingly beautiful. This is based on the true story of a family where most of the family ended up with the gene and were some of the first to be tested.
Becoming by Michelle Obama—This memoir was so so good. I loved learning about her journey as the First Lady and so much more. Michelle shares personal details and how she found her voice. I also love what she shares about being a mom, her own public health campaign and so much more.
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans—I didn’t want to put this book down. It was especially hard after losing a Rachel. I’m so thankful for her words and that they carry on in her books. This one was a favorite! I took so many notes that my copy is very marked up. It helped me to see the Bible even more beautifully.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng—This was fantastic! I fell in love with the characters and they are still with me to this day. I didn’t want this story to end. You’ll just have to pick it up for yourself to see what I’m talking about.
Love Big: The Power of Revolutionary Relationships to Heal the World—This is Rozella’s first book. I first heard her speak at an ELCA Youth Gathering. Rozella is a life and leadership coach as part of her company RHW Consulting. This book is a gift as it invites all of us to fall more deeply in love with ourselves.
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a black preacher to whitest denomination in the US by Lenny Duncan—This book truly challenged me especially as a leader in the ELCA. Duncan writes in a way that is very thought provoking and gets me thinking deeply about how others see this church. I found myself realizing my own white privilege as he writes about his own struggles. I think too often we have a hard time seeing our own sins and this book opened my eyes even more to what my race has done to others.
The God who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible and the Journey to Belong by Karen Gonzalez—Another book that challenged me. She opened my eyes to new interpretations of specific stories especially in the Old Testament.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens—This is one of my favorite reads EVER!! It kept my attention all through its over 300 pages. It is stunningly written. I fell deeply in love with the characters in this book. This story is so breathtakingly written and captured as the story unfolds on the pages. I just found out it’s being made into a movie but for the love….please read it first!
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate—I will start by saying there is a little content warning as there are some elusions/stories of abuse in this book. The storyline is intense but is also beautiful. It often took me by surprise. It’s based in a true story about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. It reminded Me of the reality of many of the challenges children in our world experience every day.
The rest of the list:
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
Everybody Always by Bob Goff
You are a Enough by Mandy Hale
Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Seven by Jen Hatmaker
Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans (a reread)
Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
Big Magic:Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (another reread)
I See You: How Love opens our eyes to Invisible People by Terence Lester
Ruins and Kingdoms by Jen Rose Yokel
God’s Country by Brad Roth
The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
Currently Reading: Educated by Tara Westover
After reading my friend K’s post, I’ve add some Frederick Bachman books and Light in the Distant Stars. What else do I need to read?