15 Great Books to Read + GIVEAWAY
Happy Tuesday! It is, indeed, happy—because I’ve got a novel idea for today’s post (ba dum tsss 😉).
I am a bonafide bookworm. Whenever I have a few minutes to spare between one stop on my schedule and the next, my natural instinct is to turn to mindless scrolling on my phone as a filler, but to combat the urge, I always keep a book in my purse to give myself a more productive option. All I’ll say is, I’ve never once lamented a decision to go with the latter. Reading is powerful—it has the potential to shape our minds and influence the way we live. It’s been a minute since my last book suggestion post, so I figured I’d kick off your day by sharing some of the page-turners that have enriched many of mine. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s something for every palette below—and in case you want to crack one open, all images are linked. Be sure to read through to the end for an exciting GIVEAWAY!
GET INSPIRED TO CHASE YOUR DREAMS (AND VISIT WACO)
1. The Magnolia Story: We all know and love Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper, but this book takes us behind the scenes to tell their story of becoming—and it will only make you love them more. Reading this was reminder to me that when trust God with our dreams, He can bring them to life in ways we never imagined.
GO ON A NOSTALGIC (HAIR + BEAUTY) JOURNEY
2. Hair Matters: This book was written by the kindest, most warm-hearted lady who used to do my hair. In her sixties, after years in an interior design career, she made the brave decision to make a change and pursue cosmetology. At each visit to her chair, I got to enjoy a new manuscript chapter. Now the book is complete, and Elayne’s story is inspiring and beautiful in every way.
TRY TO SEE THIS ONE COMING (YOU WON’T)
3. The Girl on the Train: I’m not typically a huge fiction reader, but I picked this one up at the Las Vegas airport on a midnight layover-turned-flight-delay, and I could NOT put it down. A mystery told masterfully, you’ll think you know what’s coming at several points in the story, but then the end will hit you like a train (see what I did there?) and you’ll be like, WHOA.
RETHINK YOUR APPROACH TO RELATIONSHIPS (AND LOL)
4. Swipe Right: With witty humor and hilarious pop culture references, author Levi Lusko challenges us to rethink society’s assumptions when it comes to relationships, and he gives us to tools to live the alternatives out. My youth group co-leaders and I are thinking of going through this book with our high school girls—I think it has an vital message for anyone around that age group and up.
FIND TRUTH THAT STANDS (WHEN ALL ELSE FALLS AWAY)
5. Shaken: How I didn’t find my way aboard the Tebow Train until this year is a mystery to me, but rest assured, I’m a loyal passenger now. This book is the male version of a story I’m passionate about telling—that our identity lies not in what we’ve done, what’s been done to us, or even in who we are, but in Whose we are. Did I mention this guy like, really loves Jesus? #TEBOWMARRYME
GET LOST IN GOOD STORYTELLING (AND FEEL ALL THE FEELS)
6. A Monster Calls: I discovered this book at the recommendation of a blogger-friend of mine, Victoria, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a quick, easy read, and it’s a taste of storytelling at its finest. If you want to be swept away into a story that makes you think and feel deeply, give this a read.
STEP INTO FREEDOM AND FULLNESS (AND WEAR OUT YOUR HIGHLIGHTER)
7. Uninvited: I can’t speak highly enough of this book. Seriously. I did a seminar on knowing who we are in Christ at a girl’s conference last fall, and other than the Bible, this was my primary resource. It’s so easy to allow things that have happened to us in the past to manifest as fear in our present, but God has more for us—and there is freedom to be found.
UNDERSTAND YOURSELF MORE (AND MOVE INTO WHOLENESS)
8. Changes that Heal: When it comes to psychology and self-discovery, this book throws in everything but the kitchen sink. It covers everything from boundaries to attachments, and it’s guaranteed to help you learn oh-so-much about yourself.
ENJOY SHORT PASSAGES WITH SWEET (AND DEEP) TRUTHS
9. The Inner Voice of Love: It seems we meet God most in seasons of profound pain—it awakens us to His presence and personhood in a way no sunny day ever could. This short book of devotion-like readings was written by author Henri Nouwen during what he describes as the most difficult six month period of his life, and the resulting work is one that draws the reader deep into the heart of God.
ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS (AND BELLY LAUGH)
10. Angry Conversations With God: Through the rouse of taking God to couple’s counseling, author Susan E. Isaacs explores in her memoir what it was like to work through her understanding of who God is when life didn’t go as planned. This book left me with one simple yet weighty takeaway: God being good doesn’t necessitate our getting what we want. When we don’t, will we still choose Him?
UNDERSTAND HOW HABITS WORK (AND USE THEM FOR GOOD)
11. The Power of Habit: I’ll admit this wasn’t necessarily a page-turner, but it was one of those books I read a bit of at a time, and took a whole lot away from. With fascinating stories and interesting facts, this book explores psychologically how we form and respond to habits—and how we can harness that knowledge for good in our every day lives.
ACCEPT YOU CAN’T BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE (AND KNOW THAT'S OKAY)
12. Present Over Perfect: To anyone who’s ever felt overwhelmed by a busy schedule and desperate to catch a breath, this is your book. I walked away feeling warned of the dangers that will come if I walk down a path of trying to keep up and people please, especially when it comes to managing my time. It left me feeling empowered to take ownership over my life and the way I spend myself, and to steward it well.
SOAK IN ALL THE DATING WISDOM (AND UNDERLINE EVERY WORD)
13. Sacred Search: I wish I could personally meet Gary Thomas and thank him for writing this book. Navigating dating as a twenty-something in this day and age, I am profoundly thankful for each tidbit of truth tucked away in these pages. This book reframes the search for a spouse to make us ask ourselves not only who we should marry, but why.
A FEW ON DECK
14. Altar in the World: This one was recently gifted to me by a mentor. The fact that she loved and learned from this book, when I've learned an immeasurable amount from her, makes me excited to dig in.
15. This Life I Live: I'm looking forward to learning more about the story of country music husband-and-wife-duo Joey and Rory Feek in this book written by Rory after his wife Joey lost her brave battle with breast cancer.
Now, it’s GIVEAWAY time! 🎉 To one blog reader, I’ll be giving away a copy of Present Over Perfect, along with two other surprise titles from this list. Enter by commenting below with your email address and one reason why you’d love to read this book. For five extra entires, make sure you have liked my Facebook page and are following me on Twitter. UPDATE: Winner has been chosen and announced in the comments! ❤️