“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” – Mason Cooley
It was the year of page-turning adventure with my wings being clipped for any trip too far beyond 52402. Three months out of this year (March-May), I found myself Instacart shopping for others so I’d have a reason to be out and socializing! Despite the unique challenges and opportunities for growth this year brought, I loved the time to hunker down with books, audiobooks, and training manuals I’d been putting off for years…(I finally finished my personal trainer certification after holding onto that manual for 3+ years! Leave it to quarantine!)
As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to drop my book list here if anyone is looking for some good reads!
Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown – Christian fiction tale of 4 ladies and their unique faith journeys to encountering Jesus, recommended by dear friend Trisha.
When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper – I read Desiring God in 2019, so I had to carry on with the brilliant follow-up).
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant – Awesome fiction on Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah, sister of Joseph.
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper – Solid Piper read, recommended by sweet friend Carissa.
Maybe You Felt It Too by Justin Sapp – first of many published works of this young author, compilation of thoughts, prayers, poems, journal entries.
Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – One of my all-time favorite young adult fiction books…this may be my 3rd or 4th time reading!
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton – I went on a 2-day silent retreat to an Abbey where I discovered this treasure. I still ponder some of the revelations presented in this work.
You Set My Spirit Free by St. John of the Cross
Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy – Historical fiction with a fantastic plot twist recommended by awesome friend Sarah.
A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman
The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis – As always, Lewis is incredible. I recommend anything he’s written.
“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” – Paul Sweeney
Though None Go With Me by Jerry Jenkins – Christian fiction recommended by mi madre, and what sticks with me is the patient, steadfast spirit of the protagonist despite all the trials her life brought.
Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ by Jeanne Guyon – THIS BOOK. If I could only have 2 books the rest of my life, I’d choose the Bible and this. If you take nothing else from this list, go buy this one.
Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst
Knowledge of the Holy by AW Tozer – Always a solid author to read.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo – I already wrote an entire review on this one!! I absolutely loved Paulo and can’t wait to dive into more of his works.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I was going to reread all of them, but I read one, watched all the movies, and moved on…but I plan to pick up where I left off! Favorite series still 😉
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – fascinating memoir of her life with a less than conventional family always on the road.
Prayer by Richard Foster
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – incredible fiction series! Waiting eagerly for book 3….
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis – Just like I started HP again, I felt the urge to reread Lion, Witch, Wardrobe series..I read the first 2, watched the movies, and moved on! Oops…
What’s So Amazing about Grace by Philip Yancey – I was crying after several of these stories of undeserved, unexpected grace.
Letters to the Church by Francis Chan – walked through this slowly with good friend Jennifer and was definitely changed for the better! My passion and call to host a house church was re-invigorated by Chan’s writing!
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Crossroads by WM Paul Young – I had high expectations of this one after The Shack, and although it also tackled difficult theological points, I felt much more connected with the characters and overall story in The Shack over Crossroads.
Life Word by Dan Britton, Jon Gordon, Jimmy Page – expansion of One Word which I try to read every year to begin the New Year with that laser-focus.
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer – incredible encouragement for living as the body of Christ.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.” – George R. R. Martin
Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman – Christian fiction with sweet tale of friendship and overcoming strongholds.
Jabez by Thom Lemmons – I really enjoy an expanded take on a little-known, seemingly insignificant Bible story, and Jabez hidden in 1 Chronicles 4 is just the man to build a story around!
Here and Now by Henri Nouwen – Nouwen, another go-to favorite with so many underlines, highlights, and “ah-ha!” moments.
ACE Personal Trainer Manual – Yes, I’m counting this! 😉
Perelandra by C.S. Lewis – Drop everything and pick up Lewis’s space trilogy! Out of the Silent Planet precedes Perelandra, and I’ll never forget his description of outer space as this all-encompassing light and warmth.
September – ’twas my birthday month, so although I’m sure I read at some point, I didn’t complete anything since I was also busy celebrating! 😉
The Narnia Code by Michael Ward – I’m so grateful to my dear friend Selah for lending this to me! It revealed this beauty of celestial bodies and its relationship with Earth I was blind to before.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl – this one has been on my list to read for years, and I’m so glad I finally did! Viktor experienced unreal suffering in Nazi concentration camps, and his words were inspiring to find purpose despite circumstances.
“If my book is open, your mouth should be closed.” – Anonymous, and also, me
Dream Big by Bob Goff – I quit something every Thursday thanks to Bob! Read it and you’ll understand 😉
The Final Quest by Rick Joyner – recommended by house church friends, Travis and Christy, I have the opening paragraphs etched in my mind forever and the mantle of humility as my life’s pursuit.
Garden City by John Mark Comer – wonderful portrayal of work, rest, and the rhythms to find as created for us to experience the fullness of life in Christ.
Houses that Change the World by Wolfgang Simson – also recommended by Travis and Christy, Wolfgang writes with unabashed passion to call men, women, and children to be the Body of Christ right where they are with who surrounds them.
For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhan – I read For Women Only, and then curiosity got the better of me, and I had to see what they’d written for the guys.
Heaven Awaits the Bride by Anna Rountree – simply beautiful. Not for the cynical.
The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila – this one was on my list for awhile as well. Although I gained much from her thoughts, she seemed to write all over the place so it was hard at times to track what she was referring to. I would probably gain more from this in a few years’ time after more life experience.
Excited to read:
No Man Is an Island by Thomas Merton – I have about 4 chapters left of this incredible work!
That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis – Last of the space trilogy to complete, and I can hardly wait.
Anything else YOU may recommend!
May the lessons learned, perseverance developed, and character built in 2020 carry us forward in strength and hope! Cheers to 2021 and living in gratitude for the blessings Jesus sends us every day!
the tall girl