My name is Bekah and I’m addicted to reading. I know this is probably a great problem to have, but perhaps it has gotten a little out of hand. Between the wonderful ebook and audiobook selection at the library (hurray for not having to leave the house) and my constant pillaging through amazon, I have accumulated quite the list lately.
Remember how my goal this year was to read 26 books? Well I hit 27 books on July 31st. Yea guys, I’ve ready 27 books so far this year. For the sake of full disclosure, I have read 24 books since May. MAY! I know this is pretty typical of some people, but this is a lot for me! It’s to the point where I feel weird if I’m not listening to an audiobook while cooking or cleaning…
Anyway, I’m not going to share the full list of 27 books with you. But I am going to let you know what my top 10 favorites have been! So here we go.
1. “Soul Keeping” by John Ortberg
Favorite Quote: “What matters is not the accomplishments you achieve; what matters is the person you become”
This book guys, it’s amazing. It was refreshing and challenging in the best possible ways. John Ortberg wrote one of my all time favorite books “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” and I’ve been a huge fan of his since. If you realize that the rhythms of your life are becoming taxing to your soul, this book is for you!
2. “Anything” by Jennie Allen
Favorite Quote: “The idea that we would actually hand it all over to God and say, “Go. Build it. Do whatever you want with all I have” . . . it is terrifying.”
Bonus Quote: “We move and love and restore not to matter but because we have been moved, loved, and restored.”
I read this book in a whirlwind of 6 hours and it is by far one of my favorite books. The concept of saying “Ok, God, I will do Anything” is scary and vulnerable in the best possible ways. Jennie brilliantly tells us what it looks like to live life in light of eternity. Life is so short in comparison and living in complete abandon is totally worth it. My favorite part of all of it is that “Anything” looks different for each person. For some it means “move to Africa” whereas others it could mean moving in to help an aging parent. But surrender and obedience is the objective. Surrendering to someone else’s calling is not obedience! Sigh, Just, GAH! This book is so so good I could not possibly recommend it enough.
3. “Jesus is_____.” by Judah Smith
Favorite Quote: “The greatest hindrance to recieving the grace of God is not their scandalous sins- it’s their empty good deeds.”
I’ve read a LOT of Christian and Theology books in the past 8 years because of school. If I’m being honest, there is nothing in this book that I would consider new revelation to me or something I had never heard before. But this is the book that I want to have 10 copies of to give out to people who are new to Jesus and just figuring things out. It is so concise and Judah Smith is so easy to follow that another title for this book could be “the ABCs of who Jesus is.” I totally recommend reading it and then giving a copy to everyone you know.
4. “Dad is Fat” by Jim Gaffigan
Favorite Quote: “There were times in my life when I had one thing to do all day, but I still couldn’t get to it. “I gotta go to the post office, but I’d probably have to put on pants. And they’re only open till five. Looks like I’m going to have to do that next week.”
This book is hilarious. I will fully admit that the above quote depicts my life more than I would really care to admit. This was one of the books I listened to on audiobook and I recommend doing the same. Jim Gaffigan is just hysterical and I’m not sure I would have gotten the full comedic effect had I tried to read the book instead. This book is truly so so funny and the audiobook is only 5hours long. Get it!
5. “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst
Favorite Quote: “Knowledge is wisdom that comes from acquiring truth. Insight is wisdom that comes from living out the truth we acquire. Discernment is wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit’s reminders of that knowledge and insight.”
I am not the person who has a problem saying “no” to things. I know a lot of people who overwhelm their schedules with things that suck the life out of them because they have a hard time saying no. I’m not that person so I really thought this book wasn’t going to be for me. But it was. Because sometimes I say no to things that are still good in the fear that it will suck away my soul too. The balance is knowing when to say yes and when to say no. This is another easy read and I highly recommend it.
6. “The Next Generation Leader” by Andy Stanley
Favorite Quote: “A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside.”
I love Andy Stanley’s leadership podcast and listen to it regularly. So I knew I needed to read this book and it did not disappoint. He covers 5 different areas of effective leadership and I found myself going “YES!” over and over. I’ll definitely be using this as a leadership training tool, a reminder to myself as a leader, and a rubric for leaders over me.
7. “Garlic and Sapphires” by Ruth Reichl
Favorite Quote: ““While cooking demands your entire attention, it also rewards you with endlessly sensual pleasures… The seductive softness of chocolate beginning to melt from solid to liquid. The tug of sauce against the spoon when it thickens in the pan, and the lovely lightness of Parmesan drifting from the grater in gossamer flakes. Time slows down in the kitchen, offering up an entire universe of small satisfactions.”
If you know me, you know that the kitchen is my favorite place to be. I love food and eating and learning about food. This book was right up my alley! Ruth Reichl is a former food critic for the NY Times and this book is about that time in her life. It is such a fun read! She talks about her different experiences as she dressed in disguise in order to give untainted reviews to the people of New York. This book is light and fun and will truly make you hungry.
8. “Interrupted” by Jen Hatmaker
Favorite Quote: “God does not change, but He uses change—to change us. He sends us on journeys that bring us to the end of ourselves. We often feel out of control, yet if we embrace His leading, we may find ourselves on the ride of our lives.”
This book is similar to Jennie Allen’s “Anything” the biggest difference being that Jen Hatmaker tells more about her personal story. She talks about how different her plans were from Gods and how complete surrender has radically changed her life. It’s great! She’s so raw that I felt like listening to a friend talk about her journey.
9. “Yes, Please!” by Amy Poehler
Favorite Quote: “That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”
I love Amy Poehler. This book is as funny as you would expect it to be. But I was also pleasantly surprised to see how inspiring it was. She talks about her work ethic and why women should support each other. Really great stuff. I also really enjoyed reading her birthing plan. That alone is worth getting the book in my opinion.
10. “This Time Together” by Carol Burnett
Favorite Story: When she almost peed her pants while talking to Marlin Brando on the phone.
I love Carol Burnett. I blame this on my mother. She obviously wasn’t really on the TV when I was young, but I was exposed to enough clips of her show to appreciate it. Of course, I also appreciated her role as Miss Hannigan in the film adaptation of the musical “Annie”. This is also one I recommend listening to on Audio book because her stories in her voice just felt like listening to a wise person telling you about their life. I loved hearing about her first days in Hollywood and her days in New York. If you’ve ever been a fan of Carol, you will truly adore this book!
Tell me, what books have you been reading lately and love? I’m needing more ideas to feed my reading obsession!