Wednesday, April 29, 2015

25 Books You Need in Your Life

So I've written about zero blogposts in the last...oh...three months. At least. Whoops. I've started more thoughts than I could count, but actually polishing off the writing and sharing it has been non-existent. I blame it on the move and the fact that I haven't spent more than four nights in the same place in the last two months.

That being said, let's go to a list. Lists are easy. And when I posted this photo on Instagram today and was asked for my booklist, I decided this was the best platform to share it.



So, in no particular order, here are the 25 best books I've read in the last 3-ish years. And I use the word "best" pretty loosely, but essentially I'm talking about the books that I credit as life-shaping in my journey, books that I wanted to devour but paced myself so they wouldn't end, books I wanted to buy for every person I know, books that slapped me across the face and books that I wanted to be able to write someday. These are the books that put words to what I wanted to say and left me still speechless. First, a list of the books, and then below, my thoughts...

1) Love Does, Bob Goff
2) Seven, Jen Hatmaker
3) Scary Close, Donald Miller
4) Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist
5) A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller
6) Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist
7) The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson
8) Sun Stand Still, Steven Furtick
9) Through Painted Deserts, Donald Miller
10) Crazy Love, Francis Chan
11) Plan B, Pete Wilson
12) When God Writes Your Love Story, Eric and Leslie Ludy
13) Interrupted, Jen Hatmaker
14) A Million Little Ways, Emily Freeman
15) Let's all Be Brave, Annie Downs
16) Packing Light, Alison Vesterfelt
17) Notes from a Blue Bike, Tsh Oxenreider
18) Living Your Strengths, Clifton and Wiseman
19) The Wisdom of Stability, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
20) Bread and Wine, Shauna Niequist
21) Freefall to Fly, Rebekah Lyons
22) All In, Mark Batterson
23) The Lipstick Gospel, Stephanie May Wilson
24) Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller
25) I've Never Been to Vegas but my Luggage Has, Mandy Hale

1) Love Does, Bob Goff
If I could only read one book for the rest of my life, and make everyone else in my life read it, it would be this. Also, if I could only listen to one speaker or have one friend, it would be Bob...and any of my friends who have heard him would take no offense at all at that statement.

2) Seven, Jen Hatmaker
ROCKED MY WORLD. I want to be friends with Jen and this book makes me feel so dumb for how spoiled I live my life. Definitely a face slap in the best way.

3) Scary Close, Donald Miller
Therapy in a book. It brought up issues in my life I didn't know where there, but in a good way, not a paranoid bad way. So thought-provoking on how I interact in relationships.

4) Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist
Shauna is my soul sister in every way. She just gets me. Every chapter felt like a page out of my journal, but the way she words thing just makes my heart happy.

5) A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller
Oh this one...I read the entire thing in a day in a hammock on the beach. The idea of life as a story, and it makes me want to live a better one.

6) Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist
See Bittersweet, #4. I love Shauna.

7) The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson
Definitely one to read with a highlighter. Topic = praying big prayers and claiming big dreams.

8) Sun Stand Still, Steven Furtick
See #7,

9) Through Painted Deserts, Donald Miller
He road-tripped for three months in a Volkswagen van. Umm, come on. My dream life?!

10) Crazy Love, Francis Chan
This will make you hate how you do church and just want to be like Jesus.

11) Plan B, Pete Wilson
So good, thoughts on when your plan doesn't match up with God's plan, and why that's probably a good thing.

12) When God Writes Your Love Story, Eric and Leslie Ludy
I hate cheesy Christian dating books. HATE them. BUT...one time I was sitting in an aisle seat, and talking to a girl, my age, in the window seat. After a talk about relationships, she set a book on the middle seat: "You don't have to read this, but I just really think you would like it. So I'm just gonna set it here, and if you want to read it, you can, but I won't feel bad if you don't." I didn't...but five months later I went and bought it, and it was exactly what I needed. Such clarity in my life.

13) Interrupted, Jen Hatmaker
See #2.

14) A Million Little Ways, Emily Freeman
The creative dreamer's dream. This book just makes me want to create and make art and turn everything into worship.

15) Let's all Be Brave, Annie Downs
This one came at a time when I needed some bravery. Just a great single girl anthem about making the most out of every day.

16) Packing Light, Alison Vesterfelt
Again, life goals. She took an amazing road trip, essentially trying to find herself and figure out life. Ahh...it's all about getting rid of baggage. So good.

17) Notes from a Blue Bike, Tsh Oxenreider
And once more...life goals. If you are a mom of young kids, this is a must read. Also, follow her on instagram. She is the definition of an adventurer and I love that her whole family's in it together.

18) Living Your Strengths, Clifton and Wiseman
This book told me so much about myself, why I do what I do based on personality...ie I procrastinate because of my high levels of adaptability.

19) The Wisdom of Stability, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
This book kept me in Florida at a time when I desperately wanted to go. There is so much good that comes out of planting yourself in one community and committing for it.

20) Bread and Wine, Shauna Niequist
See #4 and #6, and add some amazing recipes and a desire to sit at Lake Michigan all day.

21) Freefall to Fly, Rebekah Lyons
A book about finding freedom from depression and cultural expectations to discover who we really are.

22) All In, Mark Batterson
"Jesus did not die just to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous."

23) The Lipstick Gospel, Stephanie May Wilson
Oh I really like her. So real. Stephanie's weekly emails might be just as good as her book. I felt like we were sisters going out for coffee and she was telling me stories from life that kept me asking for more.

24) Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller
Ok it's been a long time since I've read this one...but I just love anything Don does, so I had to include it.

25) I've Never Been to Vegas but my Luggage Has, Mandy Hale
The entire time I was reading I was like, "this can't be real." Every story is crazier than the one before. Another single girl anthem, but in Nashville so come. on.

So, have you read any of there? What's on your list?

Also...many of these, while reading them, made me think of specific friends, because of words I thought they needed or topics they might like. Sooooo if you made it through this entire list, and want to know where I would recommend you start, let me know!!

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