Some of you avid readers who look at this list might think, “only 40??”, but those who know me know that reading 40 books (36 completed and 4 to finish before the clock rings in 2019) is probably more than I’ve read in my entire former life. And in ONE year? Inconceivable!
But before you get overly impressed with my literary accomplishments (even though I’m not posting this to impress you), I need to confess that I mostly read with my ears. I adore audiobooks! I am an auditory learner so they work for me. I love that they are getting more common which means they are becoming cheaper! (I’m not a library girl but that’s another post for another day.) I get super excited when I find an audiobook for less than $10 and even better if I have an Audible.com credit to use. I do save my Audible credits for the pricier books, though. It’s noteworthy, however, that for good non-fiction audiobooks, I will typically purchase the paperback and/or kindle version(s) after so I can highlight and underline all. the. things. Highlighting, underlining and taking notes is not advisable while driving which is typically when I “read”.
I “read” two books in one day on a drive from Texas to Arkansas. And then one longer book on the way back a few days later. Doing the math, that’s three books in less than one week. It takes me 30 minutes to drive to the grocery store – or anywhere. A round trip into town is an hour of “reading”.
And in full disclosure, some of the books are short. Remember God, Risk is Right, Let Your Life Speak, and a handful of others are super short books that can be consumed in a few short hours. Super short is not to be confused with super simple. Most of the short books on my list absolutely rocked my world.
You’ll notice that some of the books are not ones the average reader would just pull off the shelf on an ordinary day. I’ve read so much this year to help me learn about and heal from sexual betrayal and addiction. While that’s helpful reading, it’s a bit intense so I make sure to sprinkle in a few lighter reads in the mix.
All in all, it’s been a good year for me, one for the books (see what I did there?). I’m pleased with my accomplishments and feel good about the places words have taken me over the last 12 months.
The books aren’t listed in any certain order, separated by genre and I’ve provided no links. (Hey, I’ve been reading and I’ve got four books to finish before the end of the year!) I did have an Amazon Affiliate account (which could have made me some money if I used links) but they broke up with me – again. I’m calling it a relationship fail and moving on. They never could quite appreciate my effort. For this reason, I’m not bothering with links. I feel very good about getting this list together! It sure was fun to look back and get excited about certain books that were game-changers, life-changers, or simply enjoyable. (You can copy and paste a title in Goodreads or Amazon pretty quickly to get more information about it.)
There’s not one book on this list that I wouldn’t recommend. Some I would recommend more than others but there was not one that I felt was a waste of my time. If you’re not healing from sexual betrayal or codependency, however, I’d probably advise skipping over those. I’d be happy to discuss any of them with you in the comments, on my Facebook page, or since some of the subject matter is of a sensitive nature, privately if you want to email me through my contact page.
Books I read in 2018:
Forgiving What You’ll Never Forget, Dr. David Stoop
Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World, Max Lucado
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa TerKeurst
Remember God, Annie F. Downs
The Misfit’s Manifesto, Lidia Yuknavitch
Risk is Right: Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It, John Piper
If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free, Jamie Ivey
Letters to the Church, Frances Chan
C. S. Lewis and the Art of Writing, Corey Latta
Uncluttered: Free Your Space, Free Your Schedule, Free Your Soul, Courtney Ellis
#BeWorthFollowing: How to Be Different and Influence People in a Crowded Social World, Dr. Jennifer Bennett
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved, Kate Bowler
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert
Everybody Always: Become Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People, Bob Goff
The Cure: What if God Isn’t Who You Think He Is and Neither Are You?, John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, Bill Thrall
A Prisoner’s Perspective: The Redemption of a Criminal Mastermind, Mike Savage
The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For, Jo Saxton
Wounded Traveler: Devotions for the Journey, Georgia Miller
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, Melody Beattie
On the Journey: Poems of Betrayal and Hope, Elaine VandeReis
The Shack: Reflections for Every Day of the Year, Wm. Paul Young
Worthy of Her Trust: What You Need to Do to Rebuild Sexual Integrity and Win Her Back, Stephen Arterburn, Jason B. Martinkus
Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy, Larry Crabb
Moving Beyond Betrayal: The 5-Step Boundary Solution for Partners of Sex Addicts, Vicki Tidwell Palmer
A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging, Kate Motaung
Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts, Stefanie Carnes
TRIVIUM (Trivium Trilogy), Amber Nguyen
Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, Parker J. Palmer
Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot, Mo Isom
English Lessons: The Crooked Path of Growing Toward Faith, Andrea Lucado
Recapture the Wonder: Experiencing God’s Amazing Promise of Childlike Joy, Ravi Zacharias
Take Your Life Back, David Stoop, Ph.D., Stephen Arterburn, M.Ed.
Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott
Redemption, Gary Smalley, Karen Kingsbury
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer
Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
*Love Life Again: Finding Joy When Life is Hard, Tracie Miles
*People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
*Added as an update to the original post. I forgot a couple of books. Good ones too! I can’t leave them out. So… make that 42 books this year! Yay me!!
Books I WILL finish before year’s end:
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King (Update: I finished 1/6/19!! “Better late than never” is a much-needed grace in my life these days.)
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (Update: I finished on Christmas Eve!)
Wild Dark, Kelly Buddenhagen
Shackled by Grace: Why I Chose to Stay Married When My Husband Went to Prison, Deb Gruel, Lisa Bartelt
Books I started but they’re taking me a while to get through (they require smaller bites):
Sacred Questions: A Transformative Journey through the Bible, Kellye Fabian
Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur
What You Feel, You Can Heal: A Guide for Enriching Relationships, John Gray Ph.D.
Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes from, How It Sabotages Our Lives, Pia Mellody, Andrea Wells Miller
Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction, Mark Laaser, Gary Smalley Ph.D., Patrick Carnes
Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis, Abigail Santamaria
Books in the 2019 lineup:
The books below are ones I already own. Yes, I know I have a problem. I think it’s a good problem, though. I’m sure I will add to this list tomorrow but hopefully I’ll make it through these and more in the coming year. Maybe I’ll shoot for 50 next year.
Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue
Peace Like a River, Leif Enger
Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World, Scott Harrison
The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears, Mark Batterson
Hinds’ Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard
Come Matter Here: Your Invitation to Be Here in a Getting There World, Hannah Brencher, Jess Connolly
Roots & Sky, Christie Purifoy
Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller
Let Me Be a Woman, Elisabeth Elliot
Intimacy Anorexia: Healing the Hidden Addiction in Your Marriage, Weiss, Douglas
The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations for Codependents, Melody Beattie
Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been, Jackie Hill Perry
Laugh it Up!: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy, Candace Payne
Simple Joys: Discovering Wonder in the Everyday, Candace Payne
Is it Just Me?, Miranda Hart
Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense, John Bevere
Wind in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home, Amber C. Haines
It’s Good to Be Queen: Becoming as Bold, Gracious, and Wise as the Queen of Sheba, Liz Curtis Higgs
A Friend in Paris, Jennie Goutet
The Fantasy Fallacy, Shannon Ethridge
The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives, Ravi Zacharias
Cries of the Heart: Bringing God Near When He Feels So Far, Ravi Zacharias
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, Donald Miller
The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships: Breaking Free of Exploitative Relationships, Patrick Carnes, Ph.D
Love Letters to Writers: Encouragement Accountability and Truth-Telling, Andi Cumbo-Floyd
Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder
Insidious Bonds, Nancy Trifilo
Lay it Down: Living in the Freedom of the Gospel, Bill Tell
Holding onto Hope, Nancy Guthrie
Beyond the Bedroom: Healing for Adult Children of Sex Addicts, Douglas Weiss
I’m setting another goal for myself over the next couple of months. I have written reviews for some of these books but not all of them. I hope to be an author someday so I’ve been following authors to see what works and what doesn’t. I’ve discovered that reviews are better than chocolate for an author. It might not make sense but it’s true. When you read a book and love it or have anything good to say about it, leave a review. Short and sweet will do the trick. They really are important.
My friend, Kelly, at Mrs. Disciple, shared her 2018 favorites. Hop on over and check it out.
What was your favorite read of 2018? What’s on your nightstand now? What’s on your reading list for 2019?