After my post about my year of 100 books, people have asked me what books I enjoyed in 2019. Listed in the order that I read them, here’s a list of my favorites—the ones that moved me, the ones that opened my eyes, the ones I can’t stop recommending, and the ones I want to read again and again.
1. The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, by Maxwell King
Mister Rogers made a huge impact on my life. So of course, I couldn’t pass up the first full-length biography of one of my childhood heroes. Bonus: the audiobook is read by LeVar Burton, another one of my childhood heroes!
2. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
I believe reading novels is important. They make us more empathetic, creative, and articulate. This one made me cry!
3. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, by Jonathan Haidt
Wanna understand Gen Z? This is the book to read!
4. Come Matter Here: Your Invitation to Be Here in a Getting There World, by Hannah Brencher
This book challenged me with Brencher’s vulnerability about depression, loneliness, and the struggles of adulthood.
5. Faith in the Shadows: Finding Christ in the Midst of Doubt, by Austin Fischer
I couldn’t stop highlighting as I read this book. If you’re struggling with your faith, battling doubt, or feeling disillusioned by Fundamentalism, you want to read this book!
6. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, by Jemar Tisby
This book is a must read. It hurts in all the right ways! In addition to being a hope-filled vision for the Church in regard to racial issues, it is a beautiful example of how to dig into history and also how to properly interpret Scripture.
7. Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering, by Makoto Fujimura
Wow. This book is about art, literature, culture, suffering and trauma, Japan, the gospel…Almost every page in my book is marked. I had high expectations before I began reading it and it exceeded them.
8. Miss Mink: Life Lessons for a Cat Countess, by Janet Hill
This is a picture book. It’s ridiculous and I love it!
9. The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, by Jenna Fischer
This book is for aspiring actors, but it has so much wisdom for anyone wanting to go into an artistic field. Also, the audiobook version is fabulous.
10. Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram: A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation, by Adele & Doug Calhoun and Clare and Scott Loughrige
This book goes beyond knowledge about the Enneagram and delves into how we can partner with God to do the transformative work in our lives.
11. You Are the Girl for the Job: Daring to Believe the God Who Calls You, by Jess Connolly
This book is for anyone who has doubted themselves or is struggling to take the next step (or even first step) in what they feel called to do. The author packs this book with so much practical advice, wisdom, encouragement—and no fluff!
“We are the girls for the job because of the God of all capacity who not only calls us but equips us, and dwells within us, enabling us to carry out His plans. We are able to live, to love, to move, to repair, to receive, to heal, to hope because of Him. We are the girls for this job, for this season, for this life, for the joy and blessing of those around us at this appointed time because God has placed us here. He’s called us to be his ambassadors, and he doesn’t make mistakes.”
This book will fill you with a fire and give you tools to move forward and run on mission.
12. Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation, by Ruth Haley Barton
I needed this book. It has shifted my prayer life, my daily and weekly rhythms, how I view my body…It challenges you to go deeper into spiritual disciplines while breaking them down to make them practical and accessible.