I hope you had a lovely Christmas!
The end of the year is always a time for thinking back and reflecting on the year has passed. I’m planning a more general review post for later this week, but I have enjoyed thinking back over the year and the books I have read, so here are 10 of my favourites (plus a few extras!)
These are in no particular order. Where I’ve written a review or a post about a book you can go to that by clicking on the title.
Single Gay Christian by Gregory Coles
This is definitely one of the most memorable books I have read this year, and the review is one of my most-viewed posts here. Gregory Coles is very open in sharing his story of what life is like as a single gay Christian, and the book is packed full of wisdom and thoughtful insights which I believe will be helpful to all Christians as we consider how to live out our faith. I think this is a perspective we need to hear.
She Reads Truth by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams
If you’ve been around here any length of time you will know that I am a big fan of the She Reads Truth website and the Bible studies it contains. This book is written by the founders of the site, and in it they share parts of their own stories, but also point beyond that to the power of God’s Word and the fact that our individual stories are only part of his bigger story.
Deeper Waters by Denise Hughes
In some ways this is similar in style to the previous book. It is part memoir, part Bible study. Denise Hughes shares how God’s Word has impacted her at various points in her life and encourages the reader to go deeper in exploring all it has to say.
I Am Not But I Know I Am by Louie Giglio
Once you get your head round the title, it kind of says it all! The second “I Am” represents the name by which God revealed himself to Moses at the burning bush, and this book is an encouragement to live our lives with God at the centre, instead of ourselves, realising that in many ways we are not: we are not strong enough, or good enough, or powerful enough, but we can look to “I Am” to supply all that we need.
Free Of Me by Sharon Hodde Miller
Another book by a She Reads Truth writer, and another book to encourage us to focus not on ourselves but on God. I hadn’t actually realised until I began this post how much of a theme that has been in my reading this year! This book exposes the dangers of self-focus in seven different areas of our lives and provides practical advice on how we can focus on God instead.
Hope When It Hurts by Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton
A 30 day devotional exploring God’s presence and purpose in our suffering, this book is full of hope and encouragement. It is honest about the reality of suffering, never undermining the pain or brushing it aside, but encouraging us to look beyond our circumstances to find Jesus even in the midst of the pain.
On Writing by Stephen King and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
2017 is the year I started to take writing seriously as is shown by the fact that two books about writing feature on this list. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books- they are both full of humour as the writers share some of their experiences, but they also contain valuable insights and encouragement for all stages of the writing process from the first draft through to publication. They are both books I will return to I am sure.
The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
This is the story of a lighthouse keeper, Tom, and his wife, Izzy, who face a dilemma about what to do when a boat washes up on the shore of their remote island containing a dead man and a crying baby. A very moving and compelling story.
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
This book tells the story of Laurel whose fifteen year old daughter, Ellie, disappeared ten years previously. Laurel has never discovered the truth about what happened to Ellie, until she is introduced to her new partner’s nine year old daughter, who has a striking resemblance to Ellie! The story moves between the past and the present as Laurel seeks to find out the truth, and I found it gripping and difficult to put down!
Bonus Selection (some other books I have enjoyed this year):
Mosaic Of Grace by James Prescott
Whispers Of Rest by Bonnie Gray
The Way Of Hope: Sexual Identity And The Church by Melissa Fisher
Transgender by Vaughan Roberts
Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family And Church by Keith and Kristyn Getty
A Mary Like Me by Andy Lee
Those Who Wait by Tanya Marlow
A Thorn In My Mind by Cathy Wield
Sensing The Rhythm by Mandy Harvey and Mark Atteberry
In The Middle Of The Mess by Sheila Walsh
What about you? I’d love to hear about your favourite reads of 2017.