Reading List 2019

Last December I went through my bookshelves and made a stack to read in 2019. I had several books I had never read and knew I needed to open those before buying new books. Well, that didn’t quite work out as I planned because there are too many good books coming out! I have been adding books to my birthday and Christmas lists, but some have made their way to the checkout. I also have a handful releasing this fall that are already preordered! Anyone else have a major book buying problem? Very low self- control over here! 

These are the books I’ve read in the first half of 2019. Below are a few thoughts on the books from my original stack, with a second post coming on the additions to that stack. These are definitely not thorough reviews by any means.

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie OMartian 

I read this book for helpful prayer prompts while I was fasting when my husband was away at an intense military school. I should have flipped through it quickly beforehand, because it was not the most helpful resource during this time. I had read it during our engagement, twelve years ago, and did find it helpful and informative then. This book has short chapters that outline a topic for prayer, has some anecdotes for the situation, and provides a sample prayer. At the end of each chapter are a few Bible verses for the specific topic. 

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

Many authors targeting Christian women have largely appealed to emotions in their books. High on fluff and low on Scriptural backbone. This is not the case with Jen Wilkin. She highlights ten of God’s attributes in an easy to understand way. Humans try to put on these attributes belonging only to God and desire to be little gods themselves. Jen breaks down some of the big words we hear in Christian circles (for example: omnipresence, omnipotent, omniscient) in a relatable way for the new or seasoned believer. I highly recommend this book.

In His Image by Jen Wilkin

In this book Jen Wilkin highlights ten attributes of God that humans image and how that image so often becomes distorted. Jen points her readers back to Jesus at every point. As we grow in knowledge of Jesus, we grow in knowledge of ourselves and our sinful natures. As we grow in knowledge of ourselves, we are better able to deny ourselves and follow Christ. God desires holiness for His people and He has graciously provided His truth and His Word to develop His own attributes within His body. This is another must read.

Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis

This is an autobiographical account of Lewis’ journey from childhood to manhood and discovering the joy of the Lord in the most unusual places. He chronicles his times as various schools, for better and for worse, and his collegiate pursuits. He briefs his time in the military and the war. He discusses those who influenced his paths into atheism and later theism. He closes with his surprise in discovering the joys of faith and the Lord. I had known the basic story of Lewis’ conversion, but this more detailed account was very interesting and specifically, the emphasis on the joy found in the Christian life.

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker

I was not awayre of what this book was about before opening it, just that it was recommended by a few of my friends. It is the autobiography of Baker and her story of motherhood. As a girl and young woman, she experienced pains surrounding motherhood and had no desire to become a mother herself. Through the working of the Lord, her desire changed and she was surprised by motherhood and how the Lord used it in her life. It is a very thought provoking read. My experience is very different from Baker’s, but God remains the same in both of our stories even though the circumstances were different. What a blessing to read her account of the Lord’s faithfulness.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith 

I have trouble fitting fiction into my reading list because I don’t think I will ever be able to catch up on all the nonfiction! I acquired all three books in this series and rediscovered the adventure of fiction. As a Harry Potter fan, I am embarrassed to say this was my first time reading The Cuckoo’s Calling. While I love classic literature and specifically, British literature, I rarely read modern non-Christian fiction. So I was surprised at the foul language. Otherwise, I enjoyed the story as a crime drama. The last few chapters I sped through to see if my predictions were correct and I was very invested in the results. I was not disappointed.

Everyday Generosity by Drew and Brad Formsma

I received a free copy of this book to review on Amazon. This book is primarily written by 16-year-old Drew, with some guidance from his father. This is written by a teenager as an encouragement to teenagers and their parents. Drew outlines his personal experience in learning how to be generous and how it has influenced his life. He provides examples of how to be generous in seemingly small ways with big impact. This could be a helpful resource for teenagers as it is written from their generational viewpoint and provides practical ways they can act.

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

I tore through this book! I had put it off because usually Jerry Bridges requires a bit of time for my mind to marinate on his words. But this was a healthy dose of conviction served up in a loving manner. Bridges reminds us that the standard for holiness is God Himself. So our greatest sin issue is our ungodliness and from that stems all other forms of sin. Every sin separates us from God and we need to be ever aware of our need for Jesus.

Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson via Kindle

I also have a Kindle list I wanted to work through for 2019. Humble Roots is the only e-book I finished, but it is a good one! One of the best books I’ve read in awhile in both content, structure, and ease of reading. It (along with many other promptings from the Spirit) has suggested my theme for next year being humility. Hannah uses the example of plants for each chapter as an example of different forms of humility. Most importantly, we are to remain rooted to our Savior, Jesus Christ, to produce His fruit.

So there are the nine books from my 2019 reading list that were completed in the first six months of the year. This is the first year I have felt like I am getting back into regular pleasure reading after being pregnant and having infants for so many years. It is a blessing to be able to grow and learn through books and the experiences and wisdom of others. My brain and soul feel filled up with life-giving words and I am so thankful for so many wonderful authors and teachers who faithfully spread the gospel into everyday living.

Come back tomorrow to read about the books that snuck in to my reading list this half year!

What has been your favorite read of 2019?

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