I’ve dithered for a couple weeks over how to pick the best out of the 117 books. A little insurmountable. But I went through my Goodreads and narrowed down all my 5 stars books until I was left with these. I’ll spare you the gory details. Here are my top 11!
My non-fiction favorites fall in the camp of wholeness, faith and living well as yourself in this world. My fiction reads might be all be called a step into someone else’s life: social justice-inpired, With a little drama, malcontent, nerdery, and some magic. Life, basically.
- Shalom Sistas: Living Wholeheartedly in a Brokenhearted World by Osheta Moore -Practical, wise, encouraging, and challenging advice for everyday peacemakers.
- What Falls From the Sky: How I Disconnected with the Internet and Reconnected with the God who Made the Clouds by Esther Emery -Honest, wise, inspiring, and beautiful reflections and writings that call forth better things.
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessell van der Kolk – A fabulous resource for anyone walking alongside someone with PTSD. Though be warned it is heavy. Not difficult to understand, the information is really accessible, just a very honest look at what it is like to have PTSD and what forms treatment can take and to what effect.
- The Gift of Being Yourself by David G. Benner – Very hearty. A lot of thought in a few pages about a topic often overlooked or undervalued in American Christianity.
- Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – This helped to explain so much for myself and for my kids. Apparently 4/5 of us are spirited and we have one delightfully calm individual who is just “spunky”. :) Worth a read if you have your suspicions for any of your kids or even yourself.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – nothing less than 5 stars. stark, lively, honest, shocking, and a really good read. A must-read, and a must-think, about racial tension, divides, social structures, and being a person in it all.
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – Adorable nerdy, fun, smart, romantic, and snappy. YA, but the main characters are 18 and all-grownup so I wouldn’t hand this off to a young teen. loved it!
- Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – Reads like an Audrey Hepburn movie and the gutsy female characters made me laugh out loud.
- Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult – told from two opposing viewpoints with racial tension as a driving piece of the plot. I appreciated seeing and being shocked by the extreme views, conflict, and the storyline that held them all together so well.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – The return of English Magic (yes, capitalized) and the magicians therein. Dark, light, intrigue, betrayal, enchantment, spells: think Lord of the Rings (the book) meets Peter Pan (the book) meets Enchanted (the musical with Amy Adams). That’s the right concoction. And absolutely delightful. Be warned (or overjoyed, whichever your personality) it is 1000ish pages.
- The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova – everything you could want in a novel: historical, new angles, mystery, present and past storylines wound, and extra long (though only about 500 pages).
What were your favorite books from last year? I hope you find a good book to curl up with this weekend!