Saturday, January 9, 2016

Top 12 Books from 2015

I thought I would choose a handful of books from my 2015 reading that were favorites or made an impact on my life in some way. Here they are:

Choosing Rest: Cultivating a Sunday Heart in a Monday World by Sally Breedlove. I don't have my copy of my book in front me, and I must have underlined the book rather than taken notes, so I can't give you any of the amazing passages in this book just now. However, the theme of finding rest in various circumstances of life (the unknown, sickness, grief, hardship, joy) and using these as gateways to rest was well-developed and practically applied. Its the kind of book I need to re-read often and one that I highly recommend.

Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I am not a complete fan of Fitzpatrick's writings but this is one book that I must highly, highly recommend. Fitzpatrick clearly and beautifully takes the reader to Scripture to unpack what it means to be loved by Christ and how that knowledge goes on to transform our lives.

Touching the Hem: A Biblical Response to Physical Suffering by Elizabeth Johnson. This is a thorough yet clear and succinct examination of Scripture's teachings on physical suffering and healing. Without even realizing it, you find yourself having an excellent handle on a theology of suffering by the time you finish this book.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I wouldn't have thought this book would have made this list when I read it. However, some of the things Kondo said have stuck with me, particularly her thoughts on letting go emotionally of "stuff," expressing gratefulness for objects (I choose to express gratefulness to God, not the object itself), and how to fold clothing and organize drawers.

His Word in My Heart: Memorizing Scripture for a Closer Walk with God by Janet Pope. This book was an excellent shot in the arm to get me back into the habit of memorizing scripture and reaping the benefits of that. Pope is very enthusiastic about God's word and her excitement is contagious.

More Tales from the End Cottage (Young Puffin Books) by Eileen Bell. David and I discovered this book and its sequel this year and we love, love, love them. They are adorable, old-fashioned stories of an older lady who lives in a cottage in rural England along with several dogs and other farm animals.

The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War (P.S.) by Jacqueline Winspear was an enjoyable novel about World War I. I particularly enjoyed all the food descriptions that were included.

Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World by Michael Horton. This book was a great encouragement. In a nutshell, Horton talks about how sometimes it is easier to "do great things for God" than to actually buckle down and serve God faithfully where you are, day after day.

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry. This was such a funny book that we listened to it twice while on vacation this year! It's a little unconventional but everything pans out in the end. The story involves children, a nanny, horrible parents, funny predicaments, and an old-fashioned family.

  Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy's Daughter by Sara Mansfield Taber. I emotionally connected with many parts of this book because of various similarities in my own childhood and life (mostly living overseas). Taber tells of her childhood and teen years moving from country to country and following her father in his work as a Cold War spy for the American government.

The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood by Kathryn Aalto. This was a delightful "nature" read since it included beautiful photos and drawings from the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and the lands and places that inspired the tales.

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid. I'm including this because I was so surprised this year to find myself actually enjoying a Jane Austen spin-off. I never have in the past and never thought I would. This one was particularly fun because it is set in modern Edinburgh during the Festival and I could imagine so many of the scenes described.

Well, that's it for last year! I've got stacks and lists already begun for this year! I am so thankful for the joy and delight of reading!

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Helen said...

What a super, helpful list - many thanks :-)

Lisa Richards said...

I love a good book list! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

YAY! What a fun list, Heather!!! I'm adding a few of these to my TBR list!

Heather said...

Lots of books to add to my reading list.

Lynn said...

Almost all these books are new to me. Can't wait to look for them! Thanks for the recommendations.

Lynn said...

I read The Willoughbys, thanks to your recommendation, and asked our library to order the Winnie the Pooh book, which they have done. So thank you again! Love reading your book recommendations.