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One of my personal goals for the New Year is to continue reading as much as I can and listening to audiobooks whenever I can. I have loved reading since I was a young girl, but haven’t made as much time for it in the past few years as I would have liked. During my blogging break, I read and listened to some fabulous books that had a huge impact on my life and expanded my mind and heart. I love that about books! Such a simple, but profound, way to build a greater understanding and awareness of the world around us!
I’m sharing my favorite books of 2014 to encourage you to read them in 2015, if you haven’t already! This list is in no particular order.
5 Books to Read in 2015!
Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
This book touched me on a deep level. I laughed out loud, cried big crocodile tears, and I think my heart grew three sizes by the time I was done reading it. It is profound in a, “Of course, why didn’t I think of that” kind of way, which makes it so relatable and practical. You will walk away from this book with a new grace-filled attitude toward yourself and others around you and a heart wide open, ready to live and love.
Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
“More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century,” the authors share at the beginning of this book. After hearing about it for several years, I finally got around to listening to the audiobook and it was a game changer. To learn about these issues affecting women in other parts of our 21st century world is completely shocking.
The stories in this book are gut-wrenching and heart-breaking, while being full of hope at the same time. This book will open your mind and your heart to things you never even knew you were passionate about, and help you to believe that you can actually make a difference in the lives of women and girls around the world.
*With inspiration from The Nesting Place and Pinterest, I found this brass lamp at a thrift store and spray painted it teal and added a shade from Target to bring color and personality to our living room! I LOVE it!
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
Here’s a little real-life about me: I am decorating and design-challenged when it comes to my home. It is not something that comes naturally to me at all. I have loved to look at beautiful spaces in home magazines since I was young, but could not ever translate that to my real life as an adult. Especially life after children, where of course, nothing in my home ever stays picture perfect!
But this book inspired me in a way I had never been inspired before to take pride and joy in the home I am creating. It inspired me to not worry about whether I am decorating the “right way”, but to do what feels good for me and my family, and to take some risks that I hadn’t ever been brave enough to take before.
For example, I realized through reading this book and then looking for inspirational pictures on Pinterest, that I love color in my home. But in my purging and minimizing of our stuff, I had gotten rid of many of the things that brought character and personality to our home. So I went on a quest to add some color and personality to our home again: throw pillows, curtains, and the newly spray painted lamp above. It’s an ongoing work, but I am thrilled with the results so far, and my family is too. Our home is no where near perfect, but it is beautiful to us!
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
It’s hard to put into words my reaction to, and feelings about, this book. This was another audiobook I listened to, at the recommendation of my little sister. Honestly, it’s a pretty hard book to read. It’s heavy, repetitive at times, and the problems can seem overwhelming, yet the overall message of the book could not be more important in our country today.
If you struggle to understand the importance of #blacklivesmatter, you need to read this book. If you dismiss the protests happening around the country as unfounded, you need to read this book. If you believe in the rule of law and that the justice system in America is actually just, you need to read this book. If you live in American in 2015, you need to read this book. Reading this book was like scales being removed from my eyes so I could see the racial injustice that is happening in our country clearly for the first time. And my way of looking at these issues will never be the same again.
Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker
Many of the books I’ve read over the past 7+ years of my life have been taking me on a journey that I could never have imagined when I began. Stretching me, shaping me and growing me, sometimes painfully, into a new faith and understanding of what it means that I have committed my life to following Jesus. Jen shares her story of a similar transformation in this deeply accessible book. By the end, you will wish you could be Jen’s next door neighbor and BFF. She is hilarious and honest and just so freakin’ real. I am so thankful that this book showed me I am not alone in my search for a meaningful life and faith beyond my comfortable Christian life.
And a few books on my Want-to-Read-in-2015 list:
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – Everyone I know who has read this book, including my hubs, has said that if they could recommend only one book for someone to read in their lifetime, it would be this one. So I’m going to take their word for it.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – I’ve had this book in my Audible app for a while, and have heard great things about it. It’s next on my list of audiobooks to listen to.
The Warmth of Other Suns – I saw this book come highly recommended on this list. And because I’m just trying to read as much on this subject as I can, I decided to move this one to the top of my list.
I’m curious, what were your favorite books that you read in 2014? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2015? I always love hearing others’ recommendations!
What would you like to read next?
Why I Accept Climate Change and Follow Jesus
Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook says
I just started Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. It’s a novel published last year that my aunt and mother recommend highly, so I got it for Christmas.
I also got The Long Shadow, a book about how poverty affects lives and how it is different by race, based on a longitudinal research study in Baltimore. I work for a similar study in Pittsburgh, so I am very interested in what they found. But the book doesn’t fit in the small bag I am able to carry to/from work (while carrying my baby and all her gear!) so it will take me longer to read–I do most of my reading on the bus and at lunch.
Emily McClements says
The Long Shadow sounds like a super interesting book – thanks for the recommendation! I know I should read more fiction right now, but there’s just so many non-fiction books I want to read, I don’t feel like I have time to read fiction!