Here’s a sampling of some of the books I’ve read and enjoyed over the past couple of years! I typically read before bed. (I love using my Kindle Paperwhite if I’m not reading a hard copy!)
I’ve divided the books below into these categories:
- Motherhood and Parenting
- Faith, Spiritual Health, and Bible Studies
- Self Care and Personal Growth
- Health and Wellness
- Business and Blogging
Reads I Loved
Fireflies in December by Jennifer Valent
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
A Woman’s Place by Lynn Austin
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Unveiled: Tamar by Francine Rivers
Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – Note: There are some curse words in this book.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – I devoured this Victorian classic when I had the flu. Oh my goodness: It’s one of my favorites now! This novel is not about the Civil War. Rather, it is about a clash and coming together of two classes and cultures in Northern and Southern England during the Industrial Revolution. And Mr. Thornton: Let’s just say the complexity of his character leaves Mr. Darcy in the dust.
Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look by Emily T. Wierenga – This one was hard to put down. It’s so, so good. I love it when memoirs read like novels!
Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity, and Purpose by Emily T. Wierenga
Out of Mormonism by Judy Robertson – A page-turner, for sure!
Tables in the Wilderness by Preston Yancey – Yancey is a top-notch writer. I mean, truly, dude can WRITE!!! Yancey weaves a tale of his spiritual “coming-to-age.” He was raised Southern Baptist (dad was a pastor, actually), attended an Episcopal church in college and has finally landed in the Anglican church, which he describes as almost being a combo of Baptist and Episcopal.
My husband and I were both raised Southern Baptist but now attend a non-denominational church. Tables in the Wilderness didn’t change my belief system, but it definitely gave me good food for thought, made me realize how my worship can sometimes (more often than I like) be hollow, and it gave me a hunger for God. Oh…and Yancey weaves just a tiny bit of his love story into the book–enough of it that makes you want him to write an entire book just on it.
The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith Hahn Beer – This memoir read like a novel. It kept me up into the wee hours of the night; I simply could not put it down! The Holocaust/World War II has always been one of my favorite time periods to study. As a child, I often thought: “How could people not have known what was going on? Why didn’t more people step in and do something? Masses of people were being murdered right under their noses!” Reading about the atrocities of then really woke me up to the horrors that are happening in the now–right under our noses as well.
Books About Writing
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser
Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past by William Zinsser
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasure of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro
The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life by Ann Patchett
Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
You Are a Writer (so start acting like one) by Jeff Goins
Books on Motherhood and Parenting
The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child’s Life by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, R.N.
Mom’s Ultimate Guide to a Tween Girl World by Nancy Rue
The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Rachel Jonat
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch
Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic – I LOVED this book and wish I had read it 5+ years ago. I think this would make the perfect gift for any mom of littles! The chapters are short, and it’s a super quick read.
Mama Needs a Do-Over: Simple Steps to Turning a Hard Day Around by Lisa Pennington
The Art of Marriage by Family Life
9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage by Sheila Wray Gregoire
Entangled: A Woman’s Guide to Recognizing Your Emotional Affair and Restoring Your Marriage by Amy J. Bennett – Whether or not you’ve ever struggled in your marriage, I think this book would be a great read to help guard your marriage.
Faith, Spiritual Health, and Bible Studies
Living Free by Beth Moore
Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story by Angie Smith
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi
The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp – This Advent devotional is so, so good! Ann’s words are really hitting the spot for me! Read my thoughts on all of her Advent resources here.
The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer
Rejected – This is a 4-week mini Bible study that looks at both rejection and acceptance in the life of a believer in Christ.
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor or Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert – This one made my Top Reads of 2015 list!
Self Care and Personal Growth Books
Rising Strong by Brené Brown
Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Time Management Mama by Sarah Korhnak and Beth Anne Schwamberger
The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lisa TerKeurst
Hula Hoop Girl by September McCarthy – The author is a homeschooling mom of 10! She used to struggle with taking on too much and burning out. (I can so relate!)
Desperate – by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
Books on Health Topics
The Vaccine-Friendly Plan by Paul Thomas, M.D.
The 85% Solution by Dan Purser, M.D. – This book is all about the MTHFR gene mutation. I have a mutation, and I found the book eye-opening and helpful.
Tired of Being Tired by Jesse Lynn Hanley, M.D. and Nancy Deville
The Adrenal Reset Diet by Alan Christianson NMD – This one was an easy read but packed full of great information. I have been dealing with adrenal fatigue for over two years. I needed this one.
Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett – I love the wellness philosophy the authors take on–and how their view of food so well lines up with what I see in the Bible.
100-Pound Loser: How I Ate What I Wanted, Had Four Babies and Took Control of My Weight by Jessica Heights – This book will serve as an encouragement to you whether you need to lose 5 pounds or…like Jessica…100.
42 Days to Fit by Brandy Ferguson, Stacy Karen, and Emma Swanston – The main author, Brandy, is the mother of 8 boys, and she really struggled with “baby weight” during her most recent pregnancy. She admits in the book that she gained 60 pounds! But guess what? Brandy was able to lose her weight by buckling down for a 42-day fitness challenge! She gives you the realistic challenges she designed in this book.
Making Babies – This is a book and DVD series by herbalist and mommy-of-two Shoshanna Easling that I wished I had had way back when I was a newlywed just starting to think about conceiving!
This series takes a comprehensive look at pregnancy from a whole-health perspective. Instead of merely giving you a list of drugs to avoid and telling you to take a “good prenatal vitamin” (like I was told my first pregnancy!), Shoshanna gives a plethora of recipes and tips for proper nutrition for before, during and after pregnancy.
Books on Business and Blogging
Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine
The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
The Measure of Success: Uncovering the Biblical Perspective on Women, Work and the Home by Carolyn McCulley and Nora Shank – This looks at the history of women and work and Christian women and work in particular. And it’s probably not what you think. I encourage any woman who is interested in using her passions to bring in an income to read this book.
Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom by Tricia Goyer – Tricia’s work-at-home story especially interests me because she is a writer. But she is also a full-time homemaker, wife and homeschooling mom of six!
The Family-First Creative by Jennifer Fulwiler – This is another book that I simply could not put down! It gives the author’s very best tips for how she is able to work from home while keeping her family a priority. I couldn’t not share about this great read, but, sadly, it is not available anywhere for purchase right now. I wrote Jennifer and asked if she would put it on sale, though. It’s a truly excellent, encouraging book.
Pinteresting: Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers by Tabitha Philen – This book is only $2.99, but is worth SO much more! It is really only for small business owners or bloggers, so if you are one, I’d get it for sure! I learned a ton about how to use Pinterest!
Platform by Michael Hyatt – Hyatt works for Tyndale House Publishing, one of the biggest Christian publishing companies in the world, and he’s chock full of wisdom for bloggers who want to build authentic community and take their sites to the next level. I loved it! This book would probably only interest you if you are a blogger, but if you are, I highly recommend it!
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking – This book is encouraging, inspiring, convicting, and challenging. It’s a must-read for every Christian homemaker.
Good Cheap Eats by Jessica Fisher – Many of the recipes are even gluten-free!
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker – Hubs gave me this one for my birthday, and I love that the recipes are both gluten and dairy-free!
Crock On! A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook by Stacy Myers – There are 40 recipes included–from soups and stews to sandwiches to main dishes and side dishes and even desserts–ALL made in a crock pot! And the best part is–ALL of these recipes are made with whole foods. There’s not a canned cream soup in sight!
20-Minute Meals: Giving Weary Chefs Grace While Keeping Families Healthy – In this book, you’ll find 4 entire weeks of meals (7 meals for each week) that all only take 20 minutes to prepare! This is a must-have for a mom of little ones (like me!).