I really love books. I have lists of books I am dreaming to own and stacks of books waiting to be read. I love sharing great books I have recently read and hearing what others are reading. In years past, I have set goals for the amount of books I was going to read, however in 2019 I didn’t feel the pull to set a goal. I just wanted to read.
While most of the time, I think goals are a really good thing, not having a goal for how many books I was going to read in 2019 was nice. When I looked over the books that I read I realized, there were months I read more than five books. Before you think that is crazy, let me say there were also months I only read one book. It was nice to not feel any pressure to move through a book because of some self imposed goal I had in my mind.
One of the most special parts of this year, is that it seemed the books I read were perfect for the situations that I was walking through. There isn’t really a super specific way I choose what book to read next, I usually just randomly choose a book off our bookshelf and start reading. If a book has made it to our bookshelf, it has been vetted, so I really can’t make a “poor” decision. This year it never failed, I “happened” to be reading a book about fear while sitting in a hospital waiting room. I “happened” to read a book about the Father’s love on a plane to a conference all about the Father’s love. These weren’t coincidences, but subtle reminders that the Father’s hands were all over everything. He loves us so much He thinks of every single detail.
Out of all the books I read in 2019, these are my top 5 favorites (in no particular order):
Preach to Yourself
By Haley Morgan
So many of us are walking around believing lies. We know intellectually that what we think about ourselves isn’t true, but we can’t break the thought pattern. We find ourselves continuing to tell ourselves “bad news”. We continue to think “I can’t do this” or “I’m not enough” or “I should be more” or “I’m always failing”. Sadly, most of us are thinking those things about ourselves and we aren’t even realizing they are lies! In this book, the author talks about how her heart felt dull and frantic until the Father woke her up to the authority and power she had because of Him. We all have that same authority. We have all the tools we need to stop the bad news that’s in our minds. I read this book early in the year during a season that was full of transition and tough situations. It was such a good reminder of how important is is to learn how to recognize the bad news and then preach the good news of Jesus to ourselves. It was just the reminder I needed of how to find truth to replace the bad news. You can purchase this book here.*
The Grace of God
By Andy Stanley
Have you ever read the Bible and struggled with how God showed grace in the Old Testament compared to how he showed grace in the new New Testament? Or maybe you have heard about grace, but still struggle to see it throughout scripture or in your day to day life. In this book, the author starts from the beginning. He paints a story of grace that started before creation even began and he continues to tell that story all the way through the New Testament after Jesus’ resurrection. This book is one of the best I have read on grace. It made me think about different stories in the Bible in ways I never had. It’s helped me understand grace better than I did before. It also showed me how I can live more abundantly simply because of grace. You can purchase this book here.*
How Joyful People Think
By Jamie Rasmussen
It’s no secret around here that Philippians 4:8 is one of my favorite scriptures. It’s hard for me to put into words how focusing my thoughts on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy has changed my perspective. I can honestly say with 100% surety, this verse has been life changing! Since I love this verse so much, I was super excited when I found this book. “How Joyful People Think” is a deep dive into Philippians 4:8, with each chapter devoted to one word. If you are a nerd about the original Greek words, which I TOTALLY am, this book is for you! Understanding the root meaning of each word and how it’s used throughout the Bible gives me a fuller, richer understanding of exactly what this verse means. Studying Greek can be really intimidating, however the author of this book made it super approachable and easy to understand! As much as I have loved this verse, this book made me love it more. It convicted me and gave me more to meditate on than ever before. I honestly think I am going to be unpacking the truth in this one for awhile! Not only that, this book helped remind me the importance of renewing my mind when it comes to choosing joy. You can purchase it here.*
Experiencing Fathers Embrace
By Jack Frost
In this book, the author explains how important it is to be close to Jesus. He shares personal stories and points out areas that may be hindering you from getting closer to the Father. He talks about the power that comes when we walk in the authority that comes from walking close to the Father. This book will change your walk with the Father, because when we have new revelation of the Father’s love it always changes everything. No matter where you are in your journey with the Father I think it will encourage you and make you hungry for more! You can purchase it here.*
By Banning Liebshier
Our word of the year in 2018 was “rooted”. (Walnuts and the Year We Rooted For) In a lot of ways 2018 was a super hard year, however God taught me so much about intimacy with Him! When I saw that this book was called “Rooted” I knew I had to read it, even if we were no longer in 2018. This book opened with a reminder I hadn’t thought about in a long time. David knew he would become king for twenty years before he actually became king. Think about that for a minute. David knew he would be in a place of authority, however for twenty years he waited. For many of those years, he faced extremely hard situations. I can’t imagine waiting for something so big for so long. In this book, the author talks about how God used those twenty years of David’s life to establish deep roots. The book provides guidance into being fully grounded and established in Christ. When we establish those roots, we can produce fruit that lasts. I read most of the pages of this book in a hospital waiting room, and found myself incredibly grateful for the roots God established in 2018. This book will step on your toes a little (or a lot) but it will also encourage you. It’s a reminder of how important it is to let God establish a root system in our lives. Establishing roots positions us to influence the world around us. You can purchase it here.*
If I am being honest, I wanted to add five more books to this list as honorable mentions! Have I mentioned how much I love books? So if you are looking for something to read in 2020, I encourage you to check out all the books I recommend! (Books I Recommend)
You can also check out my Top Reads of 2018 for more of my absolute favorite books!
What were your favorite books from 2019? Are you setting any goals for 2020? I’d love to hear all about it!
*Please note, I have included links to the books on Amazon, however I am not an Amazon affiliate.