*The following post is chock-full of affiliate links. Fear not, this costs you nothing more. I’m grateful for your support*
I miss writing in this space…I just need to tell you that. This is an intensely full season for me, as I continue to find my footing managing GraceTable, while carrying on my other responsibilities and work.
Because I love you, faithful readers, and because I love books, I wanted to share some of the good reads I have enjoyed over the last year, and also GIVEAWAY a short stack of books! (Yes!)
I started off 2014 strong in the reading department. I think I read more books in a single year in 2014, than I have ever managed in 12 months. I’m not setting any records, but for me, it felt good–a small personal achievement. I can also say that each book held something for me, something timely that I needed, which I don’t chock up to coincidence, but rather attribute that to God’s good providence, in knowing exactly what we need, when we need it.
My one word this year was “release” and many of these books were mentors to me in helping me to let go of things that held me back from living truly surrendered to God. I have by no means arrived (there is no such thing), but I am thankful for the ways these words and authors (so many of them friends!!) ministered to me over the past year.
This is a long list, so let get to it, shall we?
From the top on down:
Start Here: Beginning a Relationship with Jesus By Nicole Unice
An easy, introduction to the Christian faith, written with those questioning christianity in mind. Would make an excellent gift to a new believer, or someone wondering what Christianity is all about.
A closer look at the St. Benedict’s rule for hospitality. An inspiring and challenging book on what it is to practice biblical hospitality–which is, the love of strangers.
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
(Fiction) A story of two teenage boys growing up in Brooklyn, discovering their common humanity and growing together in friendship, despite their very different Jewish practices.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
(Fiction) A profoundly relevant, and beautiful book about racial tension in the south in the 1940’s through the eyes of a young girl (Scout) and her brother (Jem). A MUST read for all people.
Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith By Michelle Derusha
A hilariously humorous and tenderly poignant memoir of one woman’s journey to faith. This book will make you laugh and cry for all of the right reasons. An absolute MUST.
Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition Christine Pohl
An intricate look at the history of biblical hospitality from the early days, and a necessary discussion about the shifts in our world and cultures that have drawn us away from the once common practice of welcoming strangers. Insightful, educational and a solid read.
Inspiring, challenging, convicting, encouraging. Your heart needs this book.
The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchannan
An important book about Sabbath and why our souls need it, and what can happen when we observe God’s commandment to rest.
Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grownup World by Laura Boggess
An call to remember the importance of play and how it can draw us into closer relationship with God
Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition and the Life of Faith By Jen Pollock Michel
A deeply moving book about our God given desires, and how God uses them in our lives, to live the life He has called us to. Christianity Today named this Book of the Year for 2015 and it is well-deserved.
A Prayer Journal by Flannery O’Conner
A glimpse into the heart and prayer life of Flannery O’Connor. I found this brief snippet of her interior life to be quite encouraging and special.
Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look By Emily Wierenga
A memoir of a woman’s journey to finding home. Easily, Emily’s best writing to date. Simply beautiful.
Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us: by Preston Sprinkle
A sharp, moving look at God’s grace. I found this book to be a quick read, with lasting impact.
A tremendous testimony of how God comes to us, and invites us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, for His glory, and the service of His beloved people.
Honest, moving, inspiring.
The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands: by Lysa TerKeurst
If you hand out “yes’s” like their going out of style you need this book. A tremendously helpful and encouraging book about saving our “yes” for the things we’ve been specifically called to.
A Christian Survival Guide: A Lifeline to Faith and Growth: by Ed Cyzewski
Insightful, and thought-provoking.
Death by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent: By N.D. Wilson
A poetic, challenging, hard-hitting, and deeply beautiful book about what it means to live for Christ.
Found: A Story of Questions, Grace & Everyday Prayer: by Micha Boyett
A quiet, contemplative memoir about doubt and faith and the practice of prayer.
The Irrational Season (The Crosswicks Journal, Book 3) by: Madeline L’Engle
Book 3 in her Crosswicks series, this book is as wonderful as Circle Of Quiet, and a meditative breath of fresh air.
Absolute Surrender: by Andrew Murray
A challenging book about living the surrendered life. Small in size but long on impact.
Tables in the Wilderness: A Memoir of God Found, Lost, and Found Again: by Preston Yancey
A young man’s memoir of growing up and growing in faith through the tumultuous college years and how God welcomes us again and again to His table.
50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith: by Michelle Derusha
This is a must-have for every Christian home. Inspiring, challenging, and hopeful, these stories of women who risked big for God are a must-read for not only women of faith, but all Christians.
Also read but not pictured:
Brown Girl Dreaming
Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now
I Want God: Forever Changed by the Revival of Your Soul
Fahrenheit 451: A Novel
The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful
24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life
God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter
I could not complete this post without including the BEST children’s series I have ever read. The Wingfeather Saga spawned from the illuminated imagination of Andrew Peterson and is an absolute MUST for children ages 7 to adult. I read these 4 books aloud to my children and we laughed and wept our way through each them. Inspiring, funny, tender and imaginative, these books are a treasure to read and re-read.
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga)
North! Or Be Eaten (The Wingfeather Saga)
The Monster in the Hollows (Wingfeather Saga)
The Warden and the Wolf King (Wingfeather Saga)
And NOW, a little giveaway…
This giveaway is simple. Leave a comment below, and I will send you this delightful little canvas bag packed with these 4 books.
Tell me, what was your favorite book of 2014?
*unfortunately, this giveaway is open to US residents only.