I am a voracious reader. I know this. I know not everyone likes to read as much as I do. But because I read so much, I always have a long list of books to recommend to friends and family. In this space I'm going to focus on Non-Fiction books for now. I've challenged myself to read 20 of them this year (2019) and I've got an ongoing challenge for my readers to read 10. So this is the place I'll list some of my favorites or some that I'm planning to read. I'll be adding to this list regularly so check back to see more books. Feel free to ask me questions about these books or for other recommendations.
This was the non-fiction first book I read this year. I think I read it almost straight through and it's been highly impactful. I learned some lessons that I use daily—four months later. If you are someone who has trouble finishing projects, to do list items, books, or home renovations—anything, really—this book is for you. If you're a perfectionist who gives up when you can't do it perfectly, this book is for you. And if you're someone who usually can't finish a book about how to finish, this book is for you. Jon Acuff is funny. He makes it easy to keep turning pages. By the time I finished this book, I felt confident, for the first time in I don't know how long...since high school? That I could actually accomplish my goals for the year. And I'm well on my way! I highly recommend this one!
It's totally cliché, but I laughed...I cried...this book just warmed my heart. As a woman who often thinks of herself as a hot mess, I find it so refreshing when other women let us in to their life a bit, revealing that we are not the only ones who forget where the field trip is, hate to grocery shop, or want a prize for returning to the gym after an 18 month hiatus. Jen Hatmaker basically tells us all to relax. This life IS messy and she encourages us to use our innate moxie to get through the struggles that different seasons of life hurl at us. And to laugh. As much as possible.
Fall. Get back up. Try again. Brené Brown, social scientist, packs all that she's learned about feeling your way back to your feet after you've been knocked down. This is from the end of the book and I think it's beautiful:
MANIFESTO OF THE BRAVE AND BROKENHEARTED
There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise.
With skinned knees and bruised hearts; We choose owning our stories of struggle, over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.
When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free. So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye. We will not be characters in our stories. Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.
We craft love from heartbreak, compassion from shame, grace from disappointment, courage from failure. Showing up is our power. Story is our way home. Truth is our song. We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong.
Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff ✅
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg & John David Mann ✅
Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey ✅
Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines ✅
Grounded: Finding God in the World –A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass
Lies We Believe About God by Wm Paul Young
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet ✅ (Okay, so this is fiction...but it's so freaking long and it's historical fiction so I'm counting it. It's my list and I can do what I want 😜)
UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality by Colby Martin
Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing—and How We Can Revive Them by Jonathan Merritt (this one comes out in August but I have an advance copy if you're local and would like to read it)
The Very Worst Missionary: A Memoir or Whatever by Jamie Wright
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans (release date 6/12/18)