I’ve had lots of people asking for book suggestions and I recently put this list together for my friend Janelle and a group of moms in her area. I thought I’d share my Top 7. Some have reviews on the blog that you can read, others I have not reviewed here on the blog yet; but stay tuned. I will be sharing what’s in “my stack” to read and also a couple other lists that include amazing titles that didn’t make this particular cut primarily because they were not recent reads. I tried to provide a variety of authors, styles, and topics so I hope you will find something you might want to pick up. These are all non-fiction, books I have read in the past year, and in my own experience all of them were better read alongside a friend. So grab a book and a buddy and get reading. I’ll share a couple of tips at the end if you can make it that far without wanting to stop and shop for one of these titles.
Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer
This book on prayer is truly one of the most influential books I have ever read. Prayer is a practical answer but I needed tools namely Scripture and also strategies to help me actually turn to prayer and to grow my desire to pray. Fervent was that. I am currently revisiting this book as I am participating in #ferventfridays for the next 10 weeks as part of an online prayer challenge. So good. (The next Bible study I will be participating in about the Armor of God, starts June 9th, and is also by Priscilla Shirer.)
Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul by Jennie Allen
Anything is a great book to pick up with a friend or two as it has an 8-week study in the back that really takes the book to another level. Jennie Allen (whom I adore) is her experience as she turned her entire life over to God. This was the start of if: gathering if you’re familiar with IF and all they are doing to equip women. My family chose to give God everything so we could do “Anything” for Him and it is changing our lives. The book and accompanying study was an integral part of that experience.
Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker
I LOVED Jen Hatmaker’s book For the Love but Interrupted really focused on missional living and the church which for me was super relevant and what I needed to hear. I highly suggest both, but if I could only read one Interrupted would be it. However, For the Love made me laugh, cry, and chapter 18 on “difficult people” helped me through some challenging times in my life. I know with For the Love people all identify with different chapters as they are topical. Interrupted truly wrecked my life and challenged me to change how I am living out my Christianity (guess this one is a two-for-one recommendation) 🙂
Through a Man’s Eyes: Helping Women Understand the Visual Nature of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross
This book changed my view of men, my husband, and my sons. It helped my sex life (yes I admitted that), it increased communication between me and my husband, and it truly helped prepare me to parent my boys. This is a book that matters (read the full review here) and I would buy a copy for every friend if I could – especially in those early years of marriage (or even engagment). A must read.
Home and Life
Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace & Purpose in a Crazy World by Alli Worthington
This book is practical, and many of the tips I had heard before. When it all was in one place I found it totally helpful. I loved the chapters on communication styles, traditions, and how to evaluate priorities.
Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist
This is a beautiful daily devotional that is compilation of Niequist’s books (My favorite is Bread & Wine) and includes a short Scripture and story to go with it. I found it challenging, encouraging, quick and inspiring.
Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story by Angie Smith
If you are looking to study the Bible Seamless by Angie Smith is an excellent place to start. It’s a more in depth daily study (5 days in a week) and is an overview of the Bible. It helped me get a big picture and reignited my desire to read Scripture. (It has a video series and you’ll want to do this with a friend or maybe SIX! – local churches often have these you can rent or borrow so check there first).
Okay so my husband wanted to become a reader and at the start of last year he googled “how to become an avid reader…” Don’t you just love that!
These tips are from his findings. And boy have they worked for me.
These have totally helped me. And let me tell you, I have a new definition of “always keep your book with you.” I have two books going at a time typically. I try to keep one fiction and one non fiction so that they are easy to differentiate between but these days that doesn’t always happen. I have started to have one in digital or audio format (or both since I can also listen doing chores and driving) and one in hardcopy and since I always have my phone with me I in turn always have my book with me. Turning to Kindle instead of Facebook or Instagram is my new norm. And I also literally carry my hard copy book everywhere. It goes in my baby bag, it’s under my arm as I make the kids lunch or go to the bathroom. Literally. It’s the only way I can get through a book. And it is true that when you are reading it is easier to keep reading. So have that next book picked out and carry your book with you!
2 other things that have made my reading life come alive are the apps for my devices called “Overdrive” which lets you check out digital copies and audiobooks and then “Litsy” which is a social app for book people! I’ll share more later…