Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday by Valerie Woerner

“As you journey with Valerie, you’ll be inspired and equipped to banish the lies the world tells us about motherhood and replace it with God’s truth to find energy in the most unlikely places, pursue your own dreams, be set free from mom guilt, feel content despite unfinished to-do lists, spend purposeful time with God amid the daily chaos, and discover more joyous moments of motherhood.”

This book was SUCH a breath of fresh air. Mom guilt is real, exhaustion is daily and grumpy mom shows her ugly face WAY too often in my home. Valerie’s words are heartfelt and filled with grace and truth. I absolutely loved this book and I KNOW you will too!

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews

I’m a huge fan of Mary Kay Andrews and Sunset Beach was no different! Drue Campbell’s life is a mess, and then her dad offers her a job working for him and her 8th grade frenemy, who also happens to be his new wife. She tucks her tail between her legs and accepts the job out of desperation, and that begins a new life to her. She inherits a fixer-upper, and uncovers new evidence in a missing-persons case, which draws her into the investigation. It’s a super fun story, and the perfect beach read! 

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys

In London of 1948, Eve Forrester is stuck in a loveless marriage, and basically a dreary existence. But then she gets a mysterious letter telling her she has inherited a Mediterranean villa in the French Riviera. 

Once she arrives and accepts her endowment, she realizes that her glamorous and glitzy new life isn’t all it’s chalked up to be. A lot of haters come at her, and in order to keep what she never knew she needed, she has to unlock the secret to her mysterious inheritance. 

This was such a fun book, and totally makes me want to travel to the French Riviera!! It’s got suspense, glitz and romance. And I couldn’t put it down! 

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Have you ever participated in the new rage, “escape rooms?” I haven’t, because I’m super claustrophobic. BUT, I hear they’re super fun for people who don’t fear confined spaces. 

But if you’re Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam, your escape room may end up being your worst nightmare. They all work in Wall Street finance and will do anything to make the next deal. But when the four of them are told to participate in a company team-building exercise similar to an escape room, the four of them will end up in an elevator together.

This book is super fun! Reading it made me feel claustrophobic FOR them, but it added to the intensity of the situation. It had some unexpected twists, and a lot of suspense. Read it!

Out of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah

Oh my goodness, this book. It is such a beautiful depiction of personal sacrifice, love and loyalty. When Dr. David Livingston died in Africa, his cook, Halima and Jacob Wainwright a freed slave decide to carry his body across the entire continent so he can be buried back in England and his ministry continued. 

It’s an amazing story and one I will remember for a long time. I never thought I would enjoy a book about two people carrying a dead body across a country, but it was seriously so, so good!

Bossed Up by Emilie Aries

Bossed Up is Emilie Aries personal guide on how to take control of your career, be your own advocate and live the life you’ve always wanted. She helps you discover your own self-worth so you can know the kind of career you deserve. It’s tough as a woman to ascend in today’s job market, but that’s no reason to give up. Trust Emilie’s tactics and suggestions, she’s helped countless others, and wants to help you!

I loved this book, it gave me a ton of tips and suggestions on how to take control of my career. And I think it can help you too!

Cape May by Chip Creek

In September of 1957, Henry and Effie got married and Honeymooned at Cape May, NJ. But when they arrived, they found the town abandoned. They decide to leave, but then they meet a glamorous family and are swept up into their drama and lifestyle. 

This book is a fun, exciting, summer read about what happens when you get sucked into the wrong group of people. It’s adventurous, exotic and just a tad crazy. And just as a warning, it is a little Rated R. 

The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher

For fans of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty, this book is an intense page turner and adventure in suspense. Kate Jones moves across the country with her daughter, changed their names and started over. She moves to a street where she’s not the only one hiding secrets. And one day when she’s called to the site of a car crash, her world is turned upside down and the secrets she hoped she had left behind may come back to haunt her. 

I haven’t read any of Kerry Fisher’s previous books, but now that I’ve read one, I want to read them all! This is an awesome, page turning adventure, and a book that you won’t be able to put down until the very last page. It’s awesome, read it!

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

From the first day Lucy meets her future mother-in-law, Diana, it was clear that she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. And now 5 years later, Diana is dead, her suicide note saying she couldn’t handle her cancer anymore. But the autopsy shows no traces of cancer, and instead traces of poison and suffocation. 

This book is so fun, twisty and suspenseful. This was my first Sally Hepworth, but it will most definitely not be my last!

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

I have yet to read Ruth Hogan’s first book, The Keeper of Lost Things, but after reading Wisdom, I will be reading every single other book by Hogan! [And my mom read it and loved it so I’m sure I will too!]

Masha’s life was changed forever changed 12 years ago during a tragic accident, and it seems like her life has come to a halt ever since. She’s lived a hermit life with her dog and her neighborhood swimming pool. But then she meets bag lady, Sally Red Shoes, and her life is forever changed. 

This book was charming, sweet, and irresistible. I loved every page and every character! Now on to The Keeper of Lost Things!

The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada

When you’re a playboy baseball star, is the perfect date a pretend date? That’s what Bronx Bolt’s baseball player Caleb Lewis thinks when he meets Angel Gomez and she doesn’t know who he is or fall for his charms. And what begins as a perfect rouse turns into something neither one of them expect. 

This book is a fun, fluffy, romantic read. It’s perfectly predictable, and a good book when you need a break from deep, dark, psychological thrillers. I loved the ease of the plot and the characters are easy to fall in love with. 

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

This book is not only beautifully written, but gloriously intricate. It begins when a stranger brings a lifeless girl into the town bar, and she miraculously comes back to life. Three different families claim her, and no matter what happens, someone will be disappointed. 

You will be swept up in its words from the very first page and you won’t be able to forget it long after the last page. It’s fabulous. Trust me, please read it!

The Murder Book by Lissa Marie Redmond

Cold case detective Lauren Riley wakes up in a hospital bed certain of 2 things: she was stabbed and left for dead, and it was a fellow cop who did it. From the very first page of The Murder Book, Lissa Marie Redmond keeps you on the edge of your seat, trying to piece together Lauren’s attack and why it happened. She works her way backwards, involving a retired lieutenant in her search for the truth. 

This was a fun read! Quick and easy, but also suspenseful and edgy. It’s book 2 in the cold case series, and I definitely plan on reading more in the series!!

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

This book is great for fans of psychological thrillers such as Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. It’ll make you wonder how well you know your spouse! 

The book opens up with a dropped 911 call, but when the police arrive at the scene, the house is empty, the phone is smashed and there’s blood in the kitchen. From there the story focuses on Ian and Maddie’s relationship, going back and forth between 12 weeks prior and their early courtship. There is a big twist, fun side characters and a lot of suspense. It was a super fun, quick read and one I definitely enjoyed! 

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

Six friends enter the woods for a teenage overnight. Aurora Jackson is the youngest of the group and just happy to be included. However, in the morning, Aurora is missing and none of the other teens claim to have any idea what happened to her. 30 years later, her body is unearthed and Jonah Sheen is put in charge of her cold case. 

This book was a fabulous psychological thriller that had lots of twists, turns and suspense! I loved Gytha Lodge’s debut novel, and look forward to many more books in her future! 

Truth Unchanging by Becky Thompson

I’ve read Love Unending and, and followed Becky Thompson’s blog and Instagram for a long time. I absolutely love her writing and the authenticity in her words. She makes the difficulties of motherhood normal, and gives hope to moms on even their hardest days. 

Truth Unchanging is a daily devotional that allows moms a few minutes of quiet amidst the immense noise they have in their lives on a daily basis. It helps you refocus your heart, refresh your mind and revive your spirit so that you can be a better mom to those little noise makers. It’s a great addition to any mom’s day, and one I will recommend to all my mom friends!

A Little Bird Told Me by Marianne Holmes

As Robyn lives through the heat of the 1976 summer, she thinks it’s a normal, fun summer of a teenager. But her mother keeps bringing home strange women, a man follows her around and no one will tell Robyn the truth about anything. Twelve years later, Robyn returns to her childhood town, to an empty house, a town that hasn’t moved on, and a mystery that hasn’t been solved. 

This book was suspenseful and a quick read. It kept my attention, and I enjoyed learning about Robyn and her life. I’ll be honest it wasn’t my most favorite book, but still an enjoyable none the less.

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

I LOVED Sarah’s Key, so I was so excited to read another novel by Tatiana de Rosnay. And this one is just as spell-binding as Sarah’s Key. (If you haven’t read that one, ABSOLUTELY read it NOW.)

Linden Malegarde travels home to Paris from America, to see the family he hasn’t seen in years. It’s his father’s 70th birthday, and everyone is hoping the weekend will be free of drama and argument. But when you start with a dysfunctional family and add in an unexpected natural disaster, you definitely don’t end up drama free. 

I love reading books about familial relationships, and this one was an incredible read. de Rosnay has an amazing gift of storytelling, using lyrical words, incredible descriptions and soulful stories. This is a great read, and one that I will pick up again and again.

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston

An antique shop haunted by a ghost.
A silver treasure with an injustice in its story.
An adventure to the past she’ll never forget.”

Xanthe and her mother, Flora, take over an antique shop in a little town outside of London. Xanthe has a special gift with the items in the shop, when she touches them, she can feel a sense of their past. So when she is drawn to a silver chatelaine, she decides to examine it closer. 

All the sudden she finds herself transported back to the seventeenth century where the chatelaine originated. From there she embarks on an adventure that is full of intrigue, danger and maybe even some romance. 

This book is so fun! It’s a quick, easy read full of magic and history and suspense. And the best part is that it’s the first in a trilogy! The second book, Secrets of the Chocolate House, is due to be released October of this year! 

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

This book was just the most fun!! If you love books and libraries and mysteries, you will love this book. Susan Orlean uses the background of the 1986 fire that devastated the Los Angeles Public Library, to share a story about the love of books and libraries. 

I just can’t say enough about how great this book is. Susan Orlean is an award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author, so she knows her way around words. She weaves amazing details into her story, as well as introducing readers to a whole list of quirky and lovable characters. Seriously, if you have any amount of love for books and/or libraries, you will not want to put this book down.

We Found Home by Susan Mallery

I love books about families. Whether they be dysfunctional or somewhat functional, (because is ANY family just plain functional??) the intricacies in family relationships is just super interesting to me. 

And this book is a fun one. One day, Callie Smith finds out that even though her whole life she thought she had no family, she actually has a brother and a sister, Malcolm and Keira. 

They all decide to move into their grandfather’s grand home on the shores of Lake Washington, to get to know each other. The summer proves to be more than they expected in good and bad ways, teaching them each what it means to be a family and love each other in ways they never had before.

You will fall in love with this sweet, new family of siblings, while wanting to move to Lake Washington. Ha. I really loved this book, and will be recommending it to all my friends!

Brave Enough by Kati Gardner

Cason is an immensely talented ballerina, but one day, her future shatters at the same time as her femur. She had been dancing through incredible pain, and now comes face-to-face with the reality that she has cancer. While in cancer treatment, she meets Davis, who is also a cancer survivor and sober from his addiction to pain meds. 

Their friendship is sweet, and a huge support to Davis who is trying to keep his ex-girlfriend’s dealer out of his life. 

This book was beautiful, heartbreaking and heart-wrenching. I am so blessed to not have personal experience with childhood cancer, but reading Brave Enough gave me a small glimpse into the world that these kids grow up in. It’s a wonderful read, even as difficult as some of it is to read through.

Influencer by Brittany Hennessy

Whether you have 1 follower or 1 million followers, you have influence. And if you desire to grow your social media influence, this book is for you! Brittany began as a night life blogger, then a social media strategist and is now the Senior Director of Influencer Strategy and Talent Partnerships at Hearst Magazines Digital Media. In this book she helps you to build an audience, package your brand and monetize your influence, and SO much more! 

In todays world of Instagram sponsorships, Facebook promotions and twitter wars, this book is an amazing tool for anyone who is hoping to grow their online presence into more than just a hobby. Why not make your love for social media make you money?

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

I live in the Midwest, so when I see a book that’s written about a town, real or fictional, in the midwest, I’m always intrigued. And let me tell you, this book does not disappoint. Virgil Wander is a classic midwesterner, just going along in life, when one night, his car slides off the road and into Lake Superior. 

Virgil survives, but his language and memories aren’t the same. As he begins to piece together his life, this “reawakening” might be exactly what his sleepy little town needs to be revived. 

This book was just so much fun. The author has a gift for beautiful writing, mixed with humor and captivating detail. This will especially be a fun read for anyone who lives in a small town, and can appreciate all that living in a small town comes with. 

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

This book was downright amazing. Told over the span of multiple generations, it all comes down to one name: Birdie Bell. 

The book starts out with a group of artists who spend the summer at Birchwood Manor, hoping to be inspired. But at the end of the summer, one person is dead, one is missing and one’s life is in ruins. 

Then over a hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Windslow discovers an old leather bag with some unknown treasures inside. As she tries to figure out what they are and what they have to do with each other and possibly with her, you’ll be on an adventure of a lifetime. 

This book is so fun, full of intrigue and mystery, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Don’t miss it!

Feared by Lisa Scottoline

I am a huge fan of Lisa Scottoline, and this book did not disappoint! This was my first Rosato & DiNuzio adventure, but I will definitely be checking more out! 

Told in the expected Scottoline way through plot twists and adventurous turns, you will get sucked into Mary DiNuzio’s newest case. Her nemesis, Nick Machiavelli is willing to do anything to take down the firm he has lost too in the past. 

This book is seriously so good! Don’t miss it!

In This House We Will Giggle by Courtney DeFeo

What if someone told you the way to your child’s heart is through their laughter? Teaching them the joy of Christ is just as important as discipline? This book teaches parents that laughter and fun is one of the most important parts of your child’s life and winning them over to Jesus. 

Each chapter tackles a different virtue, one for each month of the year, complete with family activities, a memory verse and discussion questions to go along with that virtue. It’s a super fun book, and one that will change your family’s life!

Thrill Girl by Jack Curran

This book is CARAZY! There is so much in it, so many fun twists and turns, and you will not be able to put it down! It’s written in noir, with a perfect depiction of 1950’s Los Angeles. 

Jack Curran is a star reporter, and determined to find out all he can about the female vigilante, nicknamed, “Thrill Girl.” By diving into her story and true identity, Jack also finds himself in the deepest layers of the LA underground. 

This book will keep your interest, steal your sleep and make you want more books from Jack Curran!

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

This book was an amazing read. You will travel to 1973 Stockholm to a time of “crowded streets, gilded palaces and dark corners.”

What begins with a dead body floating in the Larder will take you on a journey towards justice in a way that will make you wish you were a personal observer in the eighteenth century. 

It takes some time to get used to the writing in my opinion, but once you get into the book you can’t put it down! I loved it!

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

This is my second Katherine Center book, and seeing as I LOVED How To Walk Away, I was super excited to read this book! And once again, Center does not disappoint. I can’t wait for her to write more books!

Cassie Hanwell is a well-respected female firefighter in Texas. She loves her job, and handles other peoples emergencies with amazing calmness. But when her ailing mom asks her to give up her Texan life to move to Boston, Cassie realizes that not all firehouses are the same. 

As the only female firefighter in the rundown and old school firehouse, she finds herself feeling quite unwelcome. Except for the very attractive rookie firefighter. But she doesn’t have time for love…or so she thinks ;) 

Like I said, this is such a fun read, and one I’d suggest highly. Katherine Center is definitely being added to my favorite authors list!

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

As a mother, if anything at all happens to your child, you will stop at nothing to find out the truth. And that’s exactly how Abi Knight reacts when she receives the most feared phone call as a parent, that her daughter has fallen off a bridge and she’s brain dead. But not only that, but she’s also pregnant and must remain on life support until the baby is born. 

When her daughter’s fall and death are ruled an accident, Abi takes it upon herself to unravel the recent events of her daughters life so she can be positive the police haven’t missed a clue. 

This book is suspenseful, twisty and so so good! It will remind you of Big Little Lies or Reconstructing Amelia. It’s one you won’t be able to put down, and you’ll find yourself trying to figure out the clues before Abi!

A Slice of Magic by A. G. Mayes

From the back of the book: “Susanna Daniels has spent over twenty years wondering why her beloved Aunt Erma disappeared from her life. When Aunt Erma leaves a voicemail asking for help at her pie shop, Susanna thinks she’s finally going to get the answers she’s been waiting for. But when Susanna arrives in the small town of Hocus Hills, Aunt Erma is gone, leaving only a short note and her mischievous dog, Mitzy. Running a pie shop is harder than Susanna could have ever imagined. To top it off she has an inspector and an overzealous gym owner breathing down her neck. Then a cookie shop opens up down the street bringing competition she can’t afford. As if that isn’t enough, strange things start happening around town.”

This book was a quick read. It wasn’t the most amazing book I’ve ever read, but it was a fun one with some twists, and sweet moments. 

The Elephant in the Room by Tommy Tomlinson

At 6’1″, Tommy Tomlinson weighed 460lbs. That’s 73″ tall, and 60″ round, calling himself “basically a sphere.” In The Elephant in the Room, Tomlinson writes with raw vulnerability about his journey from an extremely fat man on the verge of all kinds of life-threatening diseases, to someone who doesn’t run out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. 

This book will strike a chord with anyone who has struggled not only with their weight, but also with shame and self-consciousness. It’s a great read, and super interesting just about the obesity epidemic our culture is struggling with.

The Bloated Belly Whisperer by Tamara Duker Frauman MS RD CDN

For everyone who has ever lived through an upset belly or excessive bloating, this book is everything you need! Written the way Fauman would hold a meeting with a new client, beginning with a quiz to help readers pinpoint specific symptoms. 

From there she helps readers figure out specifically what questions to ask doctors, effective dietary changes, and healthy lifestyle changes to help combat chronic stomach bloat. 

This is a great book for anyone looking for more information on the workings of their body, and how to keep them from uncomfortable bloating. It’s an easy read, and Frauman offers simple tools to combat an unnecessary annoyance in life. 

I Can’t Believe You Just Said That! by Ginger Hubbard

Have you ever been embarrassed by something your child said? Whether or not you’re in public. Have you ever just wanted to BURST at your child’s whiny voice? I know I have! 

The bestselling author of Don’t Make Me Count to Three! has written another must-read! In her newest book, Hubbard tackles our child’s tongue- things such as tattling, whining and lying. She helps readers change their perspective from the sins of the tongue being simply something to punish and become angry at, to an opportunity to show our children the redemptive power of Jesus. 

It’s not an easy switch, but with the help of Hubbard’s 3 part plan, and the power of the Holy Spirit which all believers possess, the impossible is always possible. This is a must-read for every parent!

Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson

This book will seriously keep you up reading until dawn. I could NOT put it down!! Shy Elyse tries out for the school play, not expecting much. But the day of part assignments, she’s incredibly shocked to see her name next to Juliet! (Yes, as in Romeo and Juliet). 

Gabe is a sweet boy from Austin, but when he considers the unthinkable- breaking up with his popular girlfriend Sasha, he realizes that a simple choice may have many complications surrounding it. 

Elyse and Gabe realize too late that one choice has many consequences, and some that will affect the rest of their lives. Those of them who survive. 

This is such a page turner, and like I said you won’t be able to put it down! Go read it now!

Me for You by Lolly Winston

Fans of Jennifer Weiner and Fredrik Backman will love Lolly Winston’s newest book, Me for You. You’ll meet Rudy, a man who like most people doesn’t expect to wake up one morning during his 54th year of life and become a widower. And what’s even more surprising is his decision to downsize his job from one in finance to being a piano player in a Nordstrom’s store. 

But for Rudy, doing something he loves to bring others joy is worth the pay cut. And it doesn’t help that Sasha, the attractive men’s watch clerk joins him on his bench occasionally. 

But when the circumstances around his wife’s death become complicated, Rudy realizes life sometimes turns out completely different than you’d expect, but there may be an incredible beauty in that.

This was such a lovely book, but also one with humor unique to Lolly’s writing. I loved it!

The Scent Keeper by Erica Baurmeister

This coming of age book will stay with you long after you read the last page. It’s a story of a daughter and father who live on a remote island together. Emmeline’s father teaches her about the world through her senses, but he keeps some major secrets from her. One day, Emmeline’s curiosity gets the best of her and she’s thrown into the “real world,” a place of love, ambition, betrayal and ambition. In order to figure out who she is, she needs to uncover her true identity, which takes her on a quest she’ll never forget. 

This was an incredibly lovely story, that I loved reading. The lyrical writing is beautiful, and will make you feel like you live right there on the island with Emmeline and her father. You will quest for Emmeline’s identity along with her. It’s a fun read, and you should read it :)

I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

I have been a fan of Lisa Scottoline for years. She is from my hometown, so she writes her books set in areas that I’ve actually been to. It’s so fun reading her stories while imagining exactly what shopping center her main character just raced through! 

This was the first book I read that she wrote with her daughter, Francesca. And let me just say, it hopefully won’t be my last! This book is a collection of short, mostly humorous stories from their lives. Whether they’re hiking the Grand Canyon or trying to figure out what “adulting” means, they are a duo that anyone would want to be BFFs with.

This book didn’t disappoint, just like Lisa’s stand alone books! Check it out, you’ll fall in love with this mother/daughter duo and probably want to read it with your own glass of Rosé!

Before I Let You Go: Stories for My Grown Son by Kristen Wreggitt

This memoir about motherhood and marriage will touch the heart of every mother, whether or not you have a son. Kristen Wreggitt shares her story of mistakes and victories, self-discovery and struggles. She is honest and vulnerable about how becoming a mother changed her, and why she was petrified of having a daughter. She shares what it looked like as she struggled to find her purpose and the main question she asked herself at the end of her motherhood road, through it all, did I love me?

This book will make you laugh and cry, and desire to be a better wife, mother and person. It will help you realize how important self-love is, accepting yourself for who you are, right now in this moment and how the resilience of children can help you get past the regretful decisions you made at a certain time.

It’s an amazing read for any parent, and definitely one I will read again in the future!

Brave Love by Lisa Leonard

I started following Lisa Leonard for the same reason as many of us, I assume: because of her gorgeous jewelry line. I had no idea there was so much more to her story. In Brave Love, Lisa shares her story with vulnerability and honesty, not holding back her downfalls or her mistakes. She tells the world where she got it wrong and how we can learn from her mistakes. She realized she couldn’t be everything to everyone; she was just one person. 

This book will encourage your heart, remind you that you’re not superman, [and that’s ok!] and show you why it’s so important to figure out your priorities and focus on them. 

This book is a breath of fresh air, and one that anyone and everyone will enjoy!

The Wondering Years by Knox McCoy

Have you heard of the insanely popular podcast, “The Popcast with Knox and Jamie?” Well, one of the co-hosts wrote a book! And it’s SOOO super fun!

When you think about pop culture, things that come to mind are probably Netflix, reality TV, Justin Bieber and one of the 52 Kardashians. But what Knox says is that pop culture taught him about God. [Cue yourself saying, “whaaaaaaaaa?!”] Yep you read right! 

And you’ll want to read more, trust me. This book is amazing, and funny, and entertaining! It’ll show you that pop culture isn’t all bad, but one of the ways God shows us things about himself. Trust me, just read it!

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

As a fan of many of C.S. Lewis’ works, I was drawn to this novel at once. Reading about a part of his life was fascinating, and I couldn’t put this book down! Getting a peek inside the creator of the world of Narnia is something I’ll go back to time and time again. Seeing that a woman, in a time where women weren’t supposed to have a voice, used her voice to impact one of the greatest writers of all time was immensely inspiring. 

If you like historical fiction, especially one that involves correspondence back and forth between two people, this book is definitely for you! This will inspire you to live out your gifts, to live more passionately, and not allow the word “no” to hold you back. Read it!

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

You will immediately fall in love with the characters in this book. Sydney Batson is a lawyer who in facing quite possibly the most important court case of her career, when she finds out her grandmother has fallen ill. Instead of leaving court to go to her grandmother, she arranges for a cab to take her to a clinic. 

Enter Finn Parrish, once a successful gourmet chef, is now a cab driver, and feels responsible to drive Miss Callie whenever she calls, even when she forgets to pay him. 

I don’t want to give away too much, but this book is definitely a feel good Christmas book you won’t want to miss. If you like books that read like a Hallmark Christmas movie, this will make you very happy :)

The Ministry of Ordinary Places by Shannan Martin

This  book is amazing. If you’re ever wondering how you can live with intention and make the most out of every moment, READ. THIS. BOOK. 

Popular blogger and now author Shannan Martin shows others what it’s like to love your life and love others right where God has planted you. Live with intention in your neighborhood, love those in your city, and make your mission field your street. Ordinary doesn’t have to mean boring. It can mean intentional, consistent and committed. 

In a world where everyone lives more in their phones than in their yards, something that will bring it back to ordinary sounds like just what our neighborhoods need. Make a change. Right where you are!

Preach to Yourself by Hayley Morgan

Oh my goodness you guys. This book! You HAVE to buy it NOW. It’s a game changer for anyone who has ever had that little annoying inner critic telling you you’re not good enough, not thin enough, you’ll mess up eventually so why not give in now? Man, I’ve definitely been a victim to my own inner critic telling me the most negative things I’ve ever thought about myself. And this book has changed my life in such huge ways! 

Hayley, co-author of Wild and Free, shares personal stories of combating her own inner critic, as well as offers how we can fight our own, in order to become a more free, fulfilled, confident person. God’s truth is all we need, and renewing our minds with that wonderful truth day in and day out is how we will begin to see ourselves through the eyes of our First Love and the Pursuer of our Souls. Read this, it’s truly amazing.

Boundaries for Your Soul by Alison Cool and Kimberly Miller

If you’ve ever experienced feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, doubtful or depressed, this book is a must read for you! With the authors’ combined 25 years of advanced education, comes a book that will not only be a breath of fresh air, but also give you actual exercises to combat every day issues. 

The authors show you how to invite God into the hardest parts of your life, and allow him to partner with you in turning your feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, shameful, angry or sad into joy, freedom and confidence. This groundbreaking approach will be a game changer for anyone who reads this book!

Desired by God by Van Moody

This book is a must read for every Christian! When you love someone, you want to KNOW them. And when you know they love you for every ounce of who you are, then you know there’s nothing to be insecure about. 

Popular author and pastor, Van Moody, writes about God’s passionate, deep, unconditional love for his people in his newest book, that will transform your heart in every way. God is constantly in pursuit of our hearts, even when we reject him. But the more we know who God is, and his immense heart and love for us, exactly as we are, the more we will fall in love with him, and become more satisfied, fulfilled and secure in who we were created to be. 

Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar

Based on a true story, Auschwitz Lullaby, is about Helene Hannemann, and her desperate love for her children. Although she’s of German descent, when the SS come for her husband and children, she refuses to leave them. They all arrive at Auschwitz and from there, Helene embarks on a journey to protect her children at all cost.  

This book will break your heart, and make you want to call your mom to say thank you all in one breath. It portrays the perfect love of mothers and the terrible situations many were forced into during the Holocaust. It’s a must read for sure!

The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Younts

This book is about family, friendship, grief and true community. After her son passes away, Delilah Evans moves back to her hometown in Pennsylvania, thinking a fresh start is just what she and her daughter, Sparrow, needs. She reconnects with her childhood friend, Emma Mullet, something she never expects. Through her grief of losing her son, Sparrow’s grief of not only losing her brother, but also feeling responsible, and the the divisions in her community, Delilah, Emma and Sparrow embark on a journey they never expect. 

This book was a great read! Culturally relevant and a true story of how hope and forgiveness can transform a community. 

Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

Put me in a 1930’s Boston nightclub era book, and I’m hooked!! This book is such a fun read, intriguing, suspenseful and gripping. You’ll meet Hammish and Regina, “Reggie,” and the adventures that brought them both to Boston, and more specifically to the Flamingo nightclub. Hammish and Reggie are brought together at the Flamingo, both working for Hammish’s cousin, Luca, and along the way, they discover the lure of the flashy nightclub life might not be what they were expecting. 

Seriously, this book is such a fun read! You’ll feel like you’re right there in the 30’s with Hammish and Reggie, and you’ll be on the ride of your life. Read it!

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

I am a HUGE fan of Rachel Hauck, and her latest book definitely does not disappoint! In this book, you will meet charismatic characters that cross centuries, you will fall in love with falling in love, and of course the written words of love letters. 

The book begins introducing you to Chloe, an actress who is trying to get out of a rut, and auditions for a role in a love story. When Chloe meets her onscreen love interest Jesse, a man who is afraid of love after heartbreak, she wonders if their onscreen chemistry is real or just an act. 

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary war, you’ll meet Hamilton and Esther who fall into a forbidden love. You’ll love reading how the two storylines intertwine, and how Hamilton and Esther’s love impacts that of Chloe and Jesse, and you will not want this book to end! 

“Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.”

Inspired by Rachel Held Evans

Taken from the back of the book: “Drawing on the best in recent scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and possible interpretations, retelling them through memoir, original poetry, short stories, soliloquies, and even a short screenplay. Undaunted by the Bible’s most difficult passages, Evans wrestles through the process of doubting, imagining, and debating Scripture’s mysteries. The Bible, she discovers, is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God’s loving and redemptive work in the world.”

This book will seriously make you fall in love with the Bible again! Together you will dive into some of your favorite Bible stories and look at them with a brand new perspective! Rachel Held Evans has an amazing gift to show you a new side of the scriptures you’ve been reading your whole life, and deepen your love for the Lord and his Word. 

God’s Promises to Graduates- Class of 2018

If you’re looking to buy a gift for a graduate in your life, this is the perfect thing! This sweet book shows graduates how to live lives full of character, integrity, loyalty, focus, respect, perseverance and much more. It helps them dive into scripture for the aspects of life that will help them succeed in life after college. The version is NKJV and the cover is beautiful navy leather, perfect for a gift for any graduate!

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

This book will break your heart in the best way. When photographer Ellis Reed snaps a picture of two boys in front of their farmhouse next to a sign reading, “2 children for sale,” he has no idea how publishing a story with the picture will change all of their lives. 

His life is changed in amazing ways, his career is made with this one piece of writing, but what he didn’t realize before he published his article is how it would fracture the family involved. So together, Ellis and secretary Lilian Palmer set out to right a wrong and hopefully put back a devastated family. 

This book was an amazing, sad, beautiful read. It’s not a happy, go-lucky story, but it is one that will change your life and stay with you for a long time after you read the last page. It’s amazing.

Girls Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Ok, who DOESN’T love a girls trip away?? For friends Ashley, Natalie and Lauren, a trip to Tulum, Mexico is just what they think they need. But when Ashley disappears during their night out, Natalie and Lauren have to piece together the details of the previous night, and figure out what happened to Ashley. Time is running out, and the secrets they hoped no one would ever find out are threatening to be uncovered. 

This book was so fun!! Although I don’t think I’ll be going away on a girls trip any time soon! ha. But for real, it was fun to get to know these 3 friends, and follow along their journey of what happened to Ashley. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, that is full of thrilling twists and turns, this is the one for you!

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

This book is amazing. Set in a Chinese restaurant, the Beijing Duck House, that not only is beloved by anyone who steps foot in its door, it’s also a world of its own. The owners and workers are like a family, and similar to a family, there is drama galore. 

Whether it be owner, Jimmy Han wishing to leave his late father’s establishment for a fancier one, or Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny and Johnny’s daughter, Annie working through their own issues, or Annie’s relationship with employee, Nan’s son Pat causing trouble. 

When tragedy strikes and Annie and Pat are implicated, everyone will ban together to figure out just how far you are willing to go for family. 

This book was so enjoyable, I want to read it all over again! I love that it’s set in a restaurant, and every time I sat down to read it, I craved Chinese food! But the familial theme throughout the book was what kept me hooked. I loved getting a peek into the lives of the characters, and how they were all intertwined, and how they all would do just about anything for each other. Teaches you what true family looks like. 

The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen by Lisa Gungor

We’ve all been there. One thing goes wrong and all of the sudden it feels like EVERYTHING is going wrong. When it rains it pours, right? Well, Lisa Gungor definitely experienced the showers when not only did a close friend pass away, but other relationships and her career started unraveling, her husband didn’t know if he believed in God anymore and her daughter was born with two heart defects. Wow. 

What follows in the pages of her book is a beautiful memoir that takes place on both the music stage, as well as the front porch of her home. They show Lisa’s journey of a deepening faith through the trenches of doubt, and a deeper love for a child who isn’t the world’s definition of “perfect.” 

This book will change you in amazing ways and help you see life through a different perspective. One of love, hope and beauty.

Unbreakable by Sara Ella

As the finale to the Unblemished trilogy, Sara Ella completes the series with tons of fun twists, turns and unexpected plots. This was such a fun series, and one that I’ll be sure to share with lots of friends. 

Without giving away too many details, Eliyana Ember must destroy the Void, but she also must decide if the cost of doing so is worth it. Add to it 2 very different men vying for her heart, and Eliyana’s life is full of big, paramount decisions. Especially when she falls through a Threshold and ends up in a Shadowalker-ridden Venice, Italy. 

This book is full of fun adventure, and will take you on a journey that will excite you and make you not want to put the book down until the final page! (And even then, you’ll probably wish the book wasn’t over!) 

Always Enough Never Too Much by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan

We all have that little voice in our head that tells us we’re too loud, too quiet, too skinny, too fat, too something. Or it tells us we’re not as successful, as far along in life, as good of a mom, etc. Jess and Hayley are here to tell you that with God you’re never too much of anything and at the same time you’re always enough for Jesus. 

100 days worth of devotions that will shout truth, grace and love into your life, and help you to finally quiet the lies you believe about yourself. With Jesus you can live your best life, and be confident in who He made you to be! 

This devotional is amazing, and one you’ll definitely want to add to your collection. 100 days of blessings in reading through this book. Get it!

Ohio by Stephen Markley

This book is a doozy. To be completely honest, I can’t decide how I felt about it. It’s told from the perspectives of multiple characters, all with vastly different stories to tell. The story takes place in a midwestern town of Ohio, called New Canaan and the characters all meet up one summer night in 2013, brought together by their shared history and shared secrets.  

Like I said, I enjoyed this book, but I can’t say that it was my favorite read. It interested me since the story takes place in Ohio, and I like in Ohio, but the story didn’t seem to mesh well in my opinion, and just felt slightly choppy. Still an enjoyable read, none the less. 

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

This book is INTENSE. The story revolves around 3 friends: Angela Wong who disappeared back in high school, Georgina Shaw, AKA high school Angela’s best friend, and Kaiser Brody, who was close to both friends in high school, but is now lead detective on her case. 

When it’s discovered that Georgina’s high school boyfriend is actually Angela’s murderer, Georgina looks guilty as well. Georgina quickly realizes that although she’s built an extremely successful life in the present, her past is catching up with her. And the secrets she desires to hide may not be hidden for very much longer. 

This book is pretty dark, even for a crime book. There is a good amount of violence, so if you’re squeamish, I wouldn’t suggest it. It was still an enjoyable book, for someone who likes suspenseful books, but I wouldn’t say it was my absolute favorite. 

First Impressions by Debra White Smith

This book is a super fun retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I mean who doesn’t love a good love story?? Especially one as beloved as the one between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy! 

Eddi Boswick lives in a small Texas town and works as a lawyer. When she decides to try out for her little town’s production of Pride and Prejudice, what she doesn’t realize is that her town’s most eligible bachelor, who also happens to be extremely arrogant, is cast as Mr. Darcy. She receives the role of Elizabeth, and what follows is a fun, easy read of love in unexpected places. (Although if you’re familiar with P&P, it may not be all that unexpected…in the best way possible!) :)

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

This book is such a fun read! It’s about a reality show called “Goal Diggers,” featuring some five super successful women in NYC. Among other characters, you’ll meet Brett, Kelly and Stephanie all cast mates on the show. Brett and Kelly also happen to be sisters, hiding a dark secret. 

Underneath the surface, this book is about what it’s like to be a woman in today’s America. Whether it be the difficulty of trying to climb up the corporate ladder, or what sisterhood is portrayed as, or the pressure to stay young, vibrant and beautiful, this book will hit somewhere that every woman can relate to. 

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

If you ever wondered what life would be like as an elite member of society, this book may make you happy with your small town, non-celebrity life. You’ll meet Nina, Tom and Lyla, who are thrown together in the midst of a scandal at one of Nashville’s most elite private high schools. 

This book will make you think about what loyalty and love look like in your own life, and ponder what you would do if you were one of the characters in Giffin’s newest hit. I couldn’t put this book down, and I know you won’t be able to either! If you’re a fan of Giffin’s past books, you’ll once again love her amazing words. 

Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter, student, girlfriend and sister. At 15 years old, she was ready to enter into a fun summer of sun, friends and no responsibilities. But all of the sudden she disappears. 

Now, 10 years later, her mom, Laurel, is opening up the search for Ellie, after a new clue seems to appear. Laurel meets a man named Floyd and when their relationship deepens and Laurel meets Floyd’s daughters, her breath is taken away. [And yes, you’ll have to read the book to find out why…(insert evil laugh here)]

But seriously, if you liked books such as The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, What She Knew, then you will LOVE this book. It’s intense, and while it may not be filled with as many twists as other suspense novels, I still really loved it. And it has an ending that you’ll love. 

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

This true story about Tara Westover, the daughter of survivalists living in the mountains of Ohio will capture your attention and you won’t be able to let it go until well after finishing the last page. Seriously, this book is one that will stay with you for life. 

Tara didn’t set foot in an educational classroom until she was 17. She never saw a doctor or a nurse. But when one of her older brothers escaped his family’s world and got himself into college, he brought back stories of a “new” world that interested Tara immensely. She decided she wanted to experience this outside world. But not before first teaching herself all kinds of subjects, including math, grammar and science. After taking the ACT, she was accepted to Brigham Young University, and her new life only just began in those halls. 

Tara’s story moved me in a way I haven’t experienced from very many books, and I’ve read a LOT of books! This was an amazing story, and to know it’s a true story only makes you fall in love with Tara all the more. I am not a huge non-fiction reader, but this one was fabulous. Read it!!

The Better Mom by Ruth Schwenk

Motherhood is messy. Motherhood is tough. Motherhood is exhausting. Every single mother can attest to those truths. But at the heart of this book, Ruth wants every mother out there to hear the message that “God calls us not to a weary life but a worthy life. ” 

Ruth is a mother of four, so she knows what it’s like to be in the trenches of motherhood. But she has learned not just how to survive it, but to grow through it and in her awesome book, she shares all the lessons she learned along the way! It’s a great read, every mother should read it to glean her wisdom!

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

As someone who cherishes family recipes, this book was a journey I absolutely loved venturing on. It reminds you that family is the most important thing in life, and all the glitz and glamour of big cities and fame don’t hold water to spending quality time with those who love us the most.

Samantha “Sam” Mullins gets sick of life on her family’s orchard and bakery so she leaves home and works for a celebrity chef in NYC. But after a big incident at work, she quits and has no where to go except back to the home she was so eager to leave. Here, she learns that the place she was so willing to put behind her, is actually the best part of her life. Sam’s heart is healed in ways she doesn’t even realize she needs by spending time in the kitchen with her mom and grandmother, working her way through her family’s beloved recipe box.

Everyday Holy by Melanie Shankle

If you are a fan of Melanie Shankle like I am, you will absolutely LOVE this devotional! 100 days worth of Melanie’s wit, wisdom and wonderfulness :) If you are trying to make sense of the mess of life, and how God fits in the midst of it, this devotional is for you. God doesn’t always work in the spotlight, sometimes he works behind the scenes, and Melanie shows us through personal examples, scripture and wise insights that if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can see all the little ways God works in our lives. She also reminds us that no matter what is going on in our messy, busy, overwhelming lives, we’re not alone.

A Memory a Day for Moms by Thomas Nelson Publishing

I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with the “on this day” Facebook posts and Timehop pictures. I am such a sentimentalist and I love everything about memory lane, so this book has been amazing for me! If you are anything like that, and you want to be able to look back on what was happening in your life last year this time, this book is definitely for you! It’s adorable, has fun prompts and will make you smile looking back on it!

Embraced by Lysa Terkeurst

If you, like me, are a fan of Lysa’s past work, this devotional will be no different. 100 devotions that will bring you closer to Jesus each day, a beautiful book, and beautiful messages will make this book literally feel like a big bear hug from Jesus. 

I don’t know about you, but when I’m going through a tough time, even as simple as a hard day, a hug from a loved one is all I need to make my day a little bit better. So this book is a godsend, literally, and a perfect way to begin or end my day with Jesus. 

If I Live by Terri Blackstock

The third book in the “If I Run” series definitely ends with excitement! From the first page to the last page, your heart will beat twice as fast as normal, and you will NOT be able to put this book down! 

Casey Cox and Dylan Roberts finish out the trilogy with lots of running, lots of close calls, and a necessary trust in each other. Casey is running out of places to hide, and with attempts on Dylan’s life, she may in turn be forced out of hiding. Just trust me, this is a trilogy you’ll want to read, and the ending is worth the wait!

Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White

Clutter. It’s just a reality of life. When you have a growing family and children who leave their stuff EVERYWHERE, clutter will happen. 

Enter Dana K. White! She not only offers actual steps towards decluttering, but also addresses the emotional obstacles women face when they want to hold on to their belongings. I know there have been numerous books released recently about decluttering and minimizing belongings, but this book is the real deal. I am the worst with clutter, and my husband hates it, so he has been a huge fan of me implementing the suggestions in this book!

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors

Have you ever wondered if God is really good or if He really loves you? Has life ever turned out different than what you planned or expected? All of us have situations in life that aren’t what we would choose. And sometimes in those moments, it’s hard to choose to trust God. 

This is exactly what happened to Katie Davis, also the author of best seller, Kisses from Katie, when she experienced an unexpected tragedy. 

Even when life feels uncertain and our dreams look more like heartaches, God is there. He wants us to put our hope in him, because that’s the only way we’ll never be disappointed. 

This is an excellent book! I loved Katie’s first book, and this one definitely does not disappoint!

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen

I am a HUGE fan of Jennie Allen, and this book does not disappoint. I literally have been suggesting it to EVERYONE. It’s a life changer in a way that’s incredibly uncomfortable, hard and holy all at once. Jennie’s words will dig into your soul, the parts that you didn’t want anyone to know about or maybe didn’t even know existed yourself. But at the end, you’ll know more about yourself and be closer to Jesus than you started. It’s so good, I can’t emphasize that enough. Seriously, read it. Please.

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Have you ever found yourself believing something about yourself only to realize it’s a lie from the devil? Same here. And this book is the answer to how we can combat those lies with the truth that will send them back to the one who whispered them into our ear. 

From “I’m Not Good Enough,” to “I Don’t Know How to Be a Mom,” to “I’m Defined by My Weight,” to “I Can’t Tell the Truth,” author Rachel Hollis helps women attach the lies they believe with the truth that will set them free. She writes with humor and wisdom, and the frankness of a friend, and you won’t be able to put this book down. It’s fabulous and so is Rachel!

This Life I Live by Rory Feek

I hadn’t really heard of Rory and Joey Feek until they started making headlines over her fight with cancer. After that, I read a lot of articles about their fight and their marriage and couldn’t get enough. Their love, their parenting and their trust in the Lord through one of the hardest situations one can face on this side of heaven was truly, truly inspirational. 

This book gives readers an inside look at that fight, that trust and the love that got them through each day. Their journey was not an easy one, and it will probably cause many tears as you read, but it is SO worthwhile. It’s an amazing story and one that will most likely change your life for the better. 

Gospel Centered Mom by Brooke McGlothlin 

As a mother, what else could we possibly hope for than to be a mom who is centered on the gospel. We all need the gospel in our lives daily, and whether it’s speaking the gospel over ourselves, our children or our spouses, it’s a necessary part of LIFE. 

Brooke McGlothlin brings this concept to life in a way that is easily understandable and implemented. Her fabulous book focuses on 5 concepts: (taken from the back of the book)

  • embrace your moment-by-moment 
  • release the stress of believing everything is your responsibility
  • learn to fight for rather than against your child
  • believe that the story God is writing with your life is worth the sacrifice
  • practice the daily disciplines that lead to Gospel-centered parenting

This book is definitely worth the read if you desire to create an environment in your home of everything the gospel teaches. And really, who doesn’t want that???

A Simplified Life by Emily Ley

If you’ve ever seen or owned one of Emily Ley’s beautiful planners, then you’ll understand my excitement over seeing she wrote a book! As gorgeous on the outside as you’d come to expect a book by someone who designs planners, and equally as compelling on the inside. 

Emily’s catch phrase on the cover says, “tactical tools for intentional living.” Which is so much of what her planners are for! So a whole book written with the same concept is definitely intriguing! 

With colorful and life-giving pictures and places to journal through your own process of becoming more simplified, this book is an amazing tool for minimization. I can’t say enough how much I appreciated this book as a tool for bettering my life! You won’t be disappointed if you purchase it!

In the Middle of the Mess by Sheila Walsh

The inside cover of this book begins with the question, “Are you afraid your mess is too big for God?” 

Wow. I feel like most of our first instincts would be to say, “of course not!” But when it comes down to it, in reality, sometimes our answer would turn out to be yes. None of us is free of messiness in this life. Try as we may, we will never be perfect. We will screw up, we will be disappointed, we will be hurt. And Jesus is right there in the middle of it with us, if only we allow him into our mess. 

Sheila Walsh shares through personal experience what it is like to allow Jesus to enter into the messes of life, and how life changing it is to receive his love, grace and acceptance in the midst of a less-than perfect life. 

This is an amazing book for anyone going through a struggle or trial, or even anyone who doesn’t think they are, because one day soon enough you probably will be facing some kind of struggle and this book will be an amazing tool you will want in your life!

31 Proverbs to Light Your Path by Liz Curtis Higgs

If you’re looking for a book that will take you on a short but profound journey through the Proverbs, changing your way of living, lighting your path and bringing you to the feet of Jesus, this is it. 

Liz Curtis Higgs provides 31 outstanding nuggets of wisdom that will take the ancient words and allow you to see how they can apply to your modern day life. This book is fantastic! 

Staying Stylish by Candace Cameron Bure

If you’re a fan of Candace Cameron Bure, Full/Fuller House, or any of her Hallmark movies, then you will LOVE her newest book, Staying Stylish. She shares all her style secrets, from fashion, to skin care, to fitness, to spiritual health tips. It’s a great read, full of colorful pictures of Candace, and all her favorite ways to keep herself looking and feeling her best!

Sacred Rest by Cheryl Wunderlich

From the back of the book: 

“Author Cheryl Wunderlich knows these questions well. After years caught up in the whirlwind of family life, motherhood, work, and ministry, she couldn’t imagine allowing rest for herself—until cancer forced her to stop. In her crushing battle with exhaustion, she began to hear God’s still, small voice inviting her to hope, be restored, and to find deep soul-quenching rest in Him. God’s rest was her way back to life.”

The holidays are the PERFECT time for this book. If life gets crazy anytime, it’s definitely around the holidays. And sometimes our busy can take away from actually enjoying this season and what it truly means. It’s ok to say no to things, and this book will help you understand why it’s so important not to fill your life with “yeses,” and instead give yourself margin to simply be present and enjoy the life God has given you.

Bearded Gospel Men by Jared Brock and Aaron Alford

“Is there a connection between hairiness and holiness?” For some reason, men are pretty obsessed with facial hair. It’s always been a defining characteristic in describing a man. Although the length of a man’s beard does not in fact say anything about his walk with Jesus, it’s a fun topic to surround a conversation on manliness and holiness around. This book is a 31 day journey into what it means to be a godly man, bearded or not. It’ll keep you laughing, and make you think deeper into the kind of man you wish to be. 

Muslim by Hank Hanegraaff

There is so much about the Muslim religion I don’t know about, so many differences in the vast number of sectors within the religion. In this book, Hank Hanegraaff helps explain what the religion is, from the Westernized “version” that makes up a lot of our neighbors, to the radical, violent side of Islam that we see in countries around the world. 

This book was a huge help in understanding more about the fastest growing religion, my part in living in a world where Islam seems to be taking over, and possible ways to live at peace with people who believe in such different things as me. 

100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs

Like me, if you’ve been a fan of Annie F. Downs for a while now, her newest book will NOT disappoint. 100 Days to Brave is a 100 day devotional that will help you tackle some of your greatest fears, in a way that feels courageous and hard in a good way. Annie walks through your fears with you, as if she’s a friend sitting across from you at a coffee shop, and reading her words feels so natural. This book is an amazing new addition to your daily life and will help you unlock parts of yourself you didn’t know you were holding back. 

Captial Gaines by Chip Gaines

Really, is there anything the Gaineses CAN’T do?? I was just at Magnolia a couple weeks ago, so this book was especially intriguing to me. To get an inside peek at the mind behind the hit show Fixer Upper and Magnolia Market???? Yes please! 

This book will not disappoint! In typical Chip Gaines fashion, you will find yourself laughing out loud, learning a lot and wanting to better appreciate the little things in life. Chip shares how he got to where he is, the hard work that he devoted his life to, the mentors who helped him along the way and of course the family who has supported him through every crazy step he took. 

This is an awesome book, and one I’ll be sharing with friends and family for sure!!

Why I Didn’t Rebel by Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach


As a mom of 2 boys, I’m always on the look for new and unique spins on parenting. As a girl who didn’t much rebel growing up, this book definitely caught my eye. It made me think about why I didn’t choose to rebel, similarly to what Rebecca writes about in this book. 

Rebecca writes about her own experiences, in addition to social science, psychology and stories from her peers, and encourages parents to not view rebellion as something that’s unavoidable. She doesn’t give a step-by-step guide to the perfect parenting techniques, but instead simply shares what went right in her childhood and why she chose a different path than so many others. She also discusses some of our cultures hot topics, such as courtship, purity and spanking. 

Even if you choose not to do things exactly the way Rebecca writes about, it’s still a great book to get you thinking about parenting and being intentional with how you love and discipline your children.

Beyond the Castle by Jody Jean Dreyer


If you are a Disney fan, this book is FOR YOU. Jody Dreyer is a 30 year Disney employee, and in her book she gives a behind the scenes look at the company so many of us live for, as well as life lessons she learned along the way. Most young girls grow up playing princess, creating our dream weddings, and dreaming of our very own Prince Charming. This book helps us to look past the dream and create a reality for ourselves that gives us significance, meaning and adventure. It’s a good one!

Jesus Always by Sarah Young


I was a big fan of Jesus Calling when Sarah Young released her first best seller. Now, her second 365 daily devotional is out and it’s just as amazing as her original! This book is all about finding joy in the midst of good days and bad days, hardships and celebrations. 

It’s an awesome way to begin your day with encouragement and a reminder that Jesus will be with you always, in the good and bad. 

Come and Eat by Bri McKoy


In a world that is so caught up in virtual relationships, and tiny squares of perfection, this book is a breath of fresh air. It brings you back to the simplicity of what sharing a meal around the table truly means. Whether it be close friends, homeless strangers or new neighbors, the invitation to “come and eat,” is one we can all use more of. 

Bri McKoy offers recipes, tips and conversational suggestions to help grow your community right around your own dining room table. It’s a wonderful resource and an encouragement all of us can use to put down our phones and look face-to-face with someone new across our table. 

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker


Of Mess and Moxie is an anthem for every woman who is sick and tired of living in the fear of failure. It’s a book that gives us permission to mess up, to be sad, and then the encouragement to get our big girl panties back on and live another day. Every woman has great moxie build right into our DNA, and Jen Hatmaker, in her usual loving hilarity, encourages each woman to find theirs, in the midst of their mess. Through personal stories, she reminds every woman that they’re not alone in their mess, but totally normal. This is a must read for every woman!

A Fierce Love by Shauna Shanks


Wow. This book. Just wow. In a world where people are throwing in the towel due to “irreconcilable differences,” Shauna proves that marriage is worth fighting for. 

After she finds out her husband had an affair and wants a divorce, she realized she had two choices: give into her husbands demands for a divorce, or follow God’s laid out description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 and try to save her marriage. Even though she realized God’s definition of love was insane, she lived it out and fiercely followed after God, and found herself falling in love with her husband and her Lord all over again. 

This is not a sugar-coated, “and they all lived happily ever after,” fairy tale story, but one of gut wrenching pain, hardship and hard work at a marriage that most people would call dunzo. Read it. It’s worth every word. 

Start Where You Are Week-at-a-glance Diary by Meera Lee Patel


I am loving Meera Lee Patel these days…as seen by my choice of this diary/planner, and the notecards below. Her products are so colorful, so uplifting and just wonderful quality. I usually go for dated planners, so the fact that this one isn’t dated and I have to fill those in isn’t my favorite, but it gives it flexibility. There’s lots of space for each day, and before each month there’s a place for important dates and goals. Which I LOVE, cause I’m all about monthly goals! 

So all in all, this is a great planner for anyone looking for one! 

Start Where You Are Note Cards by Meera Lee Patel


I am a huge fan of old school correspondence, so I love cute, colorful cards and notes. Meera Lee Patel’s note card pack does not disappoint! With 12 different designs and inspirational phrases, her note cards are perfect for different occasions, or simply saying hi. To me, there’s nothing quite like receiving a handwritten note or letter. In today’s world of instant technology, going old school just feels like it means so much more. 

As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Eugene H. Peterson


This book is amazing. It is basically a journey through the scriptures through the teachings of Eugene H. Peterson. As a pastor, he saw a disconnect in what he was preaching from the pulpit and how he was living out what he read in Scripture. So he set out to figure out a better way to live out the teachings of the Bible, and now all of that can be discovered in this book! 

It’s an amazing journey into a deeper more truer life of living out the Word of God, and one you will not regret tackling!

Swipe Right by Levi Lusko_240_360_Book.2282.cover

In a world where sex is watered down into one night stands and not even knowing the other person’s name, Levi Lusko’s book could not be more perfect. Reminding us that the “old school” view of sex might in actuality be better than today’s sex-crazed culture, he keeps it real with personal stories, and compassion for mistakes made by readers. Today’s culture needs this book, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Cultivate by Lara Casey


I don’t know if you’ve heard of Lara Casey, but if you haven’t, you should look her up on every different medium possible! She founded Southern Weddings magazine, wrote the book, Make it Happen, and created multiple goal and planning tools for women to achieve a more successful life. 

And if you do know of her, you won’t be surprised to hear this latest book does not disappoint! Lara uses her love for gardening to show how, when we’re willing to get dirty in the rich soil of possibility, we can better embrace an imperfect, grace-filled life of joy. 

This book includes actionable prompts, a ten week discussion guide, and “Grace from the Garden” vignettes that will provide readers with encouragement and inspiration. It’s an amazing book, and one that will leave you changed for the better after reading it. 

The Weekly Prayer Project


If you’re looking for a book to help you take your prayer life to a new level, this book is the one for you! It’s simple, biblical and very pretty! Separated into 7 different biblical prayer topics: Requests, Gratitude, Lament, Intercession, Faith, Repentance and Awe, there’s a prayer topic for any prayer we could hope to pray. I love that it’s based around biblical prayers, and gives a little direction before giving you space to journal out your own prayers.

With 52 entries, one for each week of the year, this book will greatly help grow your prayer life over the course of a year!

Devotions for a Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas


I love this book! My husband and I have read Sacred Marriage together, so this one was great for day to day time together. This book will help you to see further how God is able to teach you about Himself through your marriage. As they say, “marriage is not meant to make you happy, but to make you holy.” Well I think with this book, you can have both! Through the 52 different devotions, you can create a healthier, stronger, godlier and more loving marriage one week at a time! 

The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell


Do you know your neighbors? Do you know them? Do you wish you did? So many of us wish we had neighborhoods like ones we grew up in, where neighbors were friends, and kids rode bikes and played cops & robbers together. That’s exactly what author Kristin Schell wanted, so she did something really simple: she put a picnic table out in her front lawn and painted it turquoise. She then invited friends, neighbors and strangers to come sit with her, talk and enjoy the day. 

It transformed her neighborhood, and because of her example, lots of other people have been putting their own turquoise tables up in their neighborhoods. 

If you have a desire to get to know your neighbors deeper than the, “how are you?” “good” type conversations, this book is for you. It’s fabulous!

Giving it all away…and getting it all back again by David Green


I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Hobby Lobby. I could spend ALL my money there if I was a millionaire. I love that it’s a store that so many people have come to love, and one that has an amazing story and an amazing man behind it. 

David Green shares his story of how Hobby Lobby began in his garage, and through all the difficulties, one thing remained: generosity. Green believes that leaving a legacy that has integrity, truth and faith is one worth leaving, and he has definitely done exactly that. 

This book will encourage even the most stingy person to see generosity as a way of life, and on that is a risk worth taking. Because when you see your belongings not as something to be hoarded, but given away, what you gain in return is worth all the money in the bank. 

The Mediterranean Love Plan by Stephen & Misty Arterburn


I love a good marriage book. I’m always looking for ways to savor and spice up my marriage. And this book is definitely that! 

As a mom of littles, it’s easy to only have your exhausted, annoyed, don’t-touch-me side left for your husband at the end of each day. Mothering is amazing work, but it’s also tiring and hard and emotional and a whole slew of other things. So what gets pushed to the back burner? Our marriages. And one day, our children will move out and too many of us will have to get to know our spouses all over again. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to ever stop knowing my husband. I want to always know him, to always love him, to always support him, to always desire him. And that may sound unrealistic, but with energy, effort and love, (and JESUS!) it is possible! And this book will definitely help too!

In their insightful, new book, Stephen and Misty Arterburn present 7 secrets to lifelong passion in marriage. The secrets of Attunement, Playfulness, Savoring food, Enjoying beauty, Creativity, Health and longevity and Blending the sacred and the sexual. 

If you’re willing to put in the work to implement these 7 secrets, this book will help transform your marriage in the best way. Buy it! Read it!

The Lucky Few by Heather Avis


This book was amazing. Simply amazing. 

How many times do your plans get thrown out the window because life goes unexpectedly? When Heather and Josh Avis decided to start growing their family, their plans did not include adoption or Down Syndrome. But very quickly they figured out that God’s plans, as unexpected as they may be, were better than their wildest dreams. 

In this vivid and honest telling of their life, Heather and Josh share their story of how when life gives you lemons, the sweetest lemonade can be created. It’s inspiring, emotional and empowering, and one that will stay with you for the rest of your life. I highly enjoyed it, and I’m sure anyone who picks it up, will as well!

If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock


If I’m Found is the exhilarating follow-up to If I Run, the first book in Terri Blackstock’s newest series. If you loved If I Run, you’ll be overjoyed to know the sequel is no less exciting! 

Casey Cox is still on the run, being hunted by Dylan Roberts, but now he’s insisting he knows the truth and wants to help her. Should she trust him or protect herself at all costs? Even more questions erupt when she meets a child and man who are both also wrongly accused. Now she faces the decision of helping them or saving herself. 

Trust me, pick up this book, because you won’t be able to put it down!!

Only Love Today by Rachel Macy Stafford


Have you heard of Hands Free Mama? It’s an awesome book, and an awesome concept. Well, from Rachel Macy Stafford, the woman who wrote Hands Free Mama, comes this new and awesome book, Only Love Today. Each entry is short, sweet and a great way to begin your day. If you’re like me and love the idea of reading a little devotion every morning, but get caught up in the “perfection” of missing a day and getting all messed up by the dates, this is the book for you! It’s non-dated lay out is perfect for someone who wants to be able to pick it up when they can but not feel the pressure to make sure it happens every day. 

This book is also set up by seasons, and provides unique encouragement and insights for each season of the year and season of life. 

The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd


Do you love coffee dates with a close girlfriend? Where you have time to get a hot drink, (still drink it while it’s HOT!) put your feet up and just chat? Well, this book is exactly that. It’s full of essays about identity, adoption, body image, miscarriage, friendship, faith, infertility and more. (List taken from the back of the book.) 

If you need to read a book that feels like a breath of fresh air, and having a conversation with your best friend, this is it. If you want a book about motherhood that doesn’t feel like advice being thrown at you, but a friend sharing her heart, this is it. If you feel alone in your journey through motherhood, the good, the bad and the extremely messy, this is it. Trust me, you’ll love it as much as I did!

Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner


If you have ever thought that fame and popularity were the be all end all of life, you need to read Erin Loechner’s book, Chasing Slow. She was dubbed “the nicest girl online” and had a following of over a million people. But one day Erin decided to turn away from the fame and the frenzy. Along the way, she and her family faced multiple trials, including her husband’s brain tumor, bankruptcy, among other things. But it was along this new journey that Erin realized true grace and surrender were found off the beaten path, and that was just where she wanted to be. 

This is a must read!

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen


How many of us believe the lie that we will BE enough when we HAVE enough? Or we will be enough when we DO DO DO more? We put so much pressure on ourselves to do more, be perfect, and never mess up. But that’s not the answer to life. We work hard FOR God, but forget that all He really wants is for us to be WITH him. All this striving leaves us thirsty for more, without anything that will quench that thirst. 

Jennie Allen’s latest book helps remind us of what God wants from us: to be with us. He created us to be who we are, and loves us just as we are. We don’t need to prove ourselves in order to gain or deserve God’s love. God just wants us to know him, love him and be with Him. 

If you need that reminder today, pick up this book! It won’t disappoint!

What Falls From the Sky by Esther Emery


Can you imagine life without the internet for an entire year? 365 days. No internet. At. All. 

I can’t! And maybe that’s why I needed this book so badly! Esther Emery takes you on her year long journey of life without the internet, where she travels back to a more simple life. Along the way she figures out things about herself, her faith, and her life that change her life for the better. 

Reading this book will encourage you to also take a journey of looking up from the screen and enter into a more present life with those around you. I definitely need to take a page out of Esther’s book and let go of some of the addictive behaviors I have when it comes to social media, so this book was life changing and one I want to share with everyone!

Strengths Based Marriage by Jimmy Evans and Allan Kelsey


This book is a MUST read for marriages! The organization I work for is big on helping their employees figure out their strengths and allowing them to work in an area that focuses on their giftings and strengths. I’ve gone through Strengths Finder a couple times, and have really enjoyed learning about myself and how I can use the unique way God gifted me. 

When I got married, I knew my husband and I were different from one another, but I never realized we were COMPLETE opposites until we went through Strengths Finder and some other personality tests. So when I saw this book, I jumped on it! Learning about each other and how to appreciate our strengths instead of become annoyed at how we’re different has helped our marriage in enormous ways. We communicate better, love each other better and appreciate each other so much more. 

If you’re married to someone who is opposite of you (or even if he or she is very similar to you!) this is a book that will do WONDERS to your marriage! I highly encourage everyone to read it, and even think it should be used in pre-marriage counseling to start off a marriage on the right foot! 

Love Unending by Becky Thompson


As pretty much every married mom will tell you, your marriage definitely changes once you have a baby. Not in a bad way, because having a child will make your marriage so much deeper and sweeter than it was before, but there are difficult times that come along with becoming a family too. It can be easy to put your marriage on the back burner and ignore your spouse at times. But if you allow your marriage to fall on your list of priorities, it could suffer in big ways, and could end up affecting your children as well. 

Enter: Becky Thompson’s Love Unending. This book is one that EVERY SINGLE married mother should read. It reminds you that loving your spouse is one of the most important ways to show your children love. When you love your husband well, your children will witness that and it will impact the way they look for a spouse one day. 

Through reading this book, you will embark on a 21-day challenge with Becky that will help reignite the love your marriage once had, will recenter your heart towards your spouse, and help you discover all those butterfly emotions that you once experienced at the beginning. 

If you haven’t read this book, you are missing out! Pick it up today!!

Open by David Gregory

The description on the back of this book made it seem very The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe-esque. The main character Emma Jameson is in a rut and all of the sudden receives a note telling her an exciting adventure is behind the nearest open door. So she walks through her pantry door and onto a boat! 

Emma watches first hand as the Gospel is played out right before her eyes, which makes her question everything she ever thought she knew about her life, her faith and what it means to be a Christ follower. 

This book is as exciting as it seems! It was so fun to go on this adventure right alongside Emma and experience the Gospel through her eyes. I loved it, and I think you will too!

A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker

This book intrigued me because I’m a big fan of Brandon’s wife, Jen! I just finished reading her book For the Love, and LOVED it. So seeing her husband had written a book was pretty exciting to me! 

In A Mile Wide, Brandon takes what he knows about rehabbing houses, and shares how to rehab your spiritual life! He shares 8 essentials of the Christian faith: the gospel, identity, scripture, discipleship, kingdom, mission, community and justice.

Brandon wants every believer to revitalize their faith, and live out of their faith right now, right where they are. This book will not disappoint! 

Raising an Original by Julie Lyles Carr

This book is a must-read for parents! Every child is different, and we need to treat them as such. In Raising an Original, Julie Lyles Carr encourages parents to recognize the unique gifts, talents and personalities each one of our kids has, and help them grow in those areas. This book helps equip readers to: 

  • Understand their unique strengths and the challenges associated with them
  • Discover their God-given gifts and how to use them for His glory
  • Succeed regardless of their circumstances

You and your kids will not be disappointed in this book! 

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist


I’ve always been a huge fan of Shauna Niequist, Savor, her daily devotional book is a favorite of mine, and Bread and Wine is on my nightstand to be read very, very soon! So when I heard she was writing a book about being present over perfect, I was super excited to read it! 

I’ve strived for ways to make my life more simple, not always being successful, but this book was a huge help in aiding to that end! 

Shauna puts it this way: “I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.” And she invites readers to join her on her journey away from pushing on to the next thing, and instead focusing on who you are, who God created you to be and realizing where your worth truly comes from. 

Play with Fire by Bianca Olthhoff


Bianca Olthoff’s debut book is an interesting one. I have to admit it wasn’t my favorite book, but I didn’t hate it either. It has a different style, both storytelling and Biblical teaching. 

Bianca parallels the mythological creature of the Phoenix to her own journey of faith, sharing how the beauty of reinvention through fire creates a opportunity for change. 

The back of the book states that Play with Fire will help women discover: 

  • The way out of the middle is moving forward
  • The personal and powerful nature of the Holy Spirit
  • The power and sacrifice of transformation
  • The unique calling and purpose of life involves transformation

If you’re looking for a book that gives a different storytelling style, but also includes some great Biblical truths, this is a great one to check out! 

Devo for the Rest of Us by Vince Antonucci


Devo for the Rest of Us is a 40 day journey to a deeper understanding of God’s love for us. We are loved by an extravagant God, and He wants us to understand that love deeper and deeper every day. 

So many of us don’t understand what that love means [not that we’ll EVER be able to fully understand it] and this book will take us on a journey unlike any other. These devotionals are a great way to start off your day on the right foot, feeling focused, refreshed and rejuvenated to live each day for Jesus!

Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson


Not everyone knows the story of Benaniah from II Samuel 23, regarding his 15 minutes of fame where he chased a lion into a cave and killed it. (If you’re going to be famous for anything, that’s a pretty rad reason in my book…) The idea behind his amazing feat is that with God you can do anything, including killing a ferocious lion. 

Chase the Lion is Batterson’s sequel to his best-selling book In A Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. Taking the idea from his first book even further, Batterson invites readers to figure out their “five hundred pound dream,” something that is so impossible, it takes facing our fears, defying the odds and holding tight to the Lord in order to accomplish. 

Whether or not you’ve read In a Pit, this book is an amazing wake up call to live a life dependent on the Lord, one that is outside our comfort zones, and chasing victory in small and large dreams we have for our lives. 

Check out Chase the Lion on Amazon.

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst


You guys. This book. Holy moly. 

I was already a Lysa TerKeurst fan, but this book. Whew. This book kicked my butt, in the best way possible. I don’t know ANYone who hasn’t felt left out, lonely or less than at one point or another in their life. 

There are different seasons you walk through, and this book can impact anyone at any age. Seriously. Lysa speaks with such vulnerability with stories and experiences from her own life and experience with rejection, you can’t help but relate to her. She gives biblical truth on how to combat that rejection, and work towards not letting that rejection ruin your life or your day. 

We will all face rejection in our lives, and this book is exactly the tool needed to fight against the fears and insecurities that rejection can cause and remember moment by moment that you are handpicked by God. 

READ IT. You won’t be disappointed I promise. [Then go read her other book, The Best Yes, cause that one was amazeballs too!!!]

Check out Uninvited on Amazon. 

Rooted by Banning Liebscher


I absolutely love the music that’s come out of Jesus Culture, so when I saw Banning Liebscher had written a book, I was intrigued. And this book doesn’t disappoint. 

Taking a look at the life of David from the Bible, Liebscher reminds readers that life “God is not interested in developing your vision first. He’s interested in developing you.” This book is a great one for anyone in any season of life, as a reminder that our best life is when we embrace the process God has us on, even if it’s painful, slow and undesirable in the moment. 

Check out Rooted on Amazon.

For Better or For Kids by Patrick + Ruth Schwenk


On the day you say yes to “for better or for worse,” you don’t anticipate part of the worse could be the impact having kids has on your marriage. Kids are WONDERFUL, I love my son with every ounce of my being, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t add strain to my marriage. 

For Better or For Kids is an amazing help at walking you through how to love your spouse better, even in the midst of the stress of children. This book will help in the following areas: (taken from the back of the book)

  • Build a God-centered marriage instead of a child-centered or me-centered marriage
  • Avoid the dangers of spouse neglect and self-neglect
  • Effectively communicate in the chaos
  • Explore ways to parent together as one team
  • Find balance in the busyness

If you need a little extra help in figuring out how to love your spouse and yourself in the midst of the difficult days of having kids, this is definitely the book for you!!

Check out For Better or For Kids on Amazon.

Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan


I’d been a part of the Influence Network for a few years, attending two Influence Conferences, so when Jess and Hayley, the Influence Network founders, wrote a book, I was sooo excited!! 

This book is jam PACKED with truth and encouragement. From the first page, it will feel as if you are sitting across from Jess and Hayley at a coffee shop, instead of reading the pages out of a book. Having heard them both speak at Influence Conferences, it’s like I can hear their voices chanting encouragement and truth through the pages. 

This book is for anyone who has felt like their either “not enough” or “too much.” This book starts off with an anthem to enter into the freedom God provides to be the woman He created you to be, and that anthem is repeated throughout each page of the book. 

Wild and Free will help to quiet the voices of insecurity and maximize your unique, God-given influence. It’s a must-read!!

Check out Wild and Free on Amazon. 

Man, Myth, Messiah by Rice Broocks


I loved the first movie, God’s Not Dead, so when I saw this book, I wanted to read it right away! I haven’t actually seen God’s Not Dead 2, but definitely plan to! 

This book was great…it’s a great help to anyone questioning the existence of Jesus. This book helps prove that Jesus did in fact exist as a real man, and exposes the beliefs of skeptics that He was a myth. It’s a great book, and won’t disappoint!!

Check out Man, Myth, Messiah on Amazon.

Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs


Ok, I was attracted to this book not just because I love Annie F. Downs, but also because the book itself is actually lovely!! The cover, and of course the inside is so beautiful. Annie is so real, so honest, so vulnerable in her own walk towards realizing the amazing life God wants for her, it’s hard to not desire the same thing. 

And as she writes in her book, it’s attainable for ever single one of us!! Annie uses Biblical truth, her own life experiences, and stories of how others have walked the path God set them on. This book is about finding that path for yourself, focusing on what truly matters in life, and following God to whatever He has in store for you! It really is a lovely read, and definitely worthwhile!!

Check out Looking for Lovely on Amazon.

Subversive Jesus by Craig Greenfield


Craig Greenfield lives life loving the people in the margins. Drug addicts, prostitutes, homeless. He loves them because Jesus loved and loves them. Subversive Jesus is about his journey to bring justice to the forgotten. He and his young family lived all over, following Jesus’ call to love the “least of these.”

And while Craig has done some pretty counterculture and radical things to follow God’s calling on his life, he doesn’t make you seem like you have to do the same exact things to be a “good” Christian. He simply encourages you to think outside the box and outside your comfort zone to follow God wherever he may call you to go. 

Check out Subversive Jesus on Amazon.

Pressing Pause by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk


One thing it doesn’t take moms long to realize: time is scarce. And unfortunately, one of the first things to go is consistent time with the Lord. I used to love spending time digging into a chapter of scripture, doing some inductive Bible study, and spending lots of time learning as much as I could about each sentence. 

Now that I’m a mom? Inductive what? More like small, short prayers throughout the day, whenever I remember to do so and mayyyyyybe reading some scripture, if I can fit it in. So when I got my hands on this book, it was PERRRRRFECT! 

Pressing Pause has 100 short devotionals with some scripture, some encouragement and some prayer prompts. One of the authors: Karen Ehman, is a Proverbs 31 speaker, and her wisdom is clear in the pages of this devotional. If you are a mom, and feeling guilty about not having very much time to spend with Jesus, this is exactly the book for your. Jesus understands our life stage, and He cares more about the motivation of our hearts than the exact amount of minutes we spend in prayer and scripture. And this book is great for quiet moments spent with our Savior that only take a few minutes out of your hectic day!

Check out Pressing Pause on Amazon.

The More of Less by Joshua Becker


I don’t know about you, but I find myself collecting more and more stuff that is just unnecessary. I constantly want to declutter, to live with less, and find more joy in generosity. Materialism can be an idol, and one that comes easy to me, so I need to be reminded that “stuff” just doesn’t matter. 

Enter The More of Less. Joshua Becker’s book is a fresh look at why we should declutter our homes and aim to own less. He helps you realize the benefits of owning less, how to declutter your home, how to find joy in owning less, and use your energy to be generous instead of greedy. His catch phrase is, “it’s time to own your possessions instead of letting them own you.” 

If you need help minimizing the unnecessary stuff in your life so you have the time, energy and space to spend it on what truly matters, this is the book for you!

Check out The More of Less on Amazon.

Answering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi


In the wake of the attacks on San Bernardino and Paris and having lived through 9/11, this book definitely intrigued me. There is so much I don’t know about the jihad and Islam. 

This book helps to answer a lot of questions such as “what is jihad?” “How does jihad relate to any Muslim friends or neighbors I may have?” “How should I respond to islamic terrorists?”

The author, Nabeel Qureshi, answers these questions and more, and due to being a former Muslim, and still having Muslim friends and family, as well as a deep love for America, his views are real, vulnerable and can definitely be trusted. If you’re curious about jihad and how it relates to you today, this is definitely a good book to pick up.

Check out Answering Jihad on Amazon.

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale


I don’t want to give away too much about this book because it’s just such a tastefully fun read, but if you like books about the south that are both charming and witty, you’ll LOVE this book! It’s full of laughs, will put a smile on your face, maybe cause a tear to fall, but most of all, it’ll make you feel like you’re in the book, becoming friends with the characters! 

From the back of the book: 

“In the South you always say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” You know everybody’s business. Football is a lifestyle not a pastime. Food—especially dessert— is almost a religious experience. And you protect your friends as fiercely as you protect your family— even if the threat is something you cannot see.

In this spot-on Southern novel brimming with wit and authenticity, you’ll laugh alongside lifelong friends, navigate the sometimes rocky path of marriage, and roll through the outrageous curveballs that life sometimes throws . . . from devastating pain to absolute joy. And if you’re lucky, you just may discover the secret to hummingbird cake along the way.”

This book won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a fun read! 

Check out The Secret to Hummingbird Cake on Amazon. 

Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington


Finding “balance” in life sometimes seems like a myth. There’s always something that takes more time and energy than you plan on, leaving hardly anything left for the other things in life. In a funny and refreshing way, Alli helps women get unstuck, by letting go of things that drag them down, in order to pursue the things that bring life to their souls. 

By reading this book you will: 

  • Learn how to stop chasing what leaves you empty and start doing what you were created to do.
  • Identify the common lies you believe and how to strip their power from your life.
  • Recognize how what you say no to determines what you can say yes to.

Alli uses secular research mixed with biblical truth in order to take you from “crazy busy” to a confident calm. If you need a break from the crazy, from the busy, from the mediocrity, this book is for you. 

Check out Breaking Busy on Amazon. 

1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ by Jen Wilkin

1 Peter

I love studying the Bible with guides that really help me dig into the purpose of the book. Jen Wilkin’s study on 1 Peter does exactly that! This 9 week study helps readers to find the deeper meaning behind Peter’s words and how it is applicable to any circumstance they find themselves in. 

From the back of the book:

Our inheritance through Christ is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. In 1 Peter, a man of faith and flaws and eyewitness to the life of Christ challenges us to look beyond our current circumstances to a future inheritance. He shares his concerns on big picture issues for the early church, describes believers’ true identity in Christ, and ultimately helps readers discover what it means to experience the Living Hope they have in Christ. Key themes of humility, submission, and identity in Christ guide the study of 1 Peter as participants are challenged to read the book in its entirety each week. (9 sessions)


  • Personal study segments to complete between group sessions
  • 9-session study with 8 weeks of homework
  • Verse-by-verse approach to complete a book study


  • Expand your understanding of 1 Peter for personal spiritual growth by reading the book in its entirety throughout each week of study
  • Follow a verse-by-verse approach to complete a book study
  • Discover the gospel of Christ as learners seek to conform fully to the Scriptures
  • Dig deeper into Scripture individually and alongside other women—both those new to Bible study and those more familiar with Scriptures—with this widely-applicable study

This study was so good for me to really focus on what matters in life- not the here and now, but eternity and the reward I’ll receive from the Lord for living a faithful life that is glorifying to Him. It reminded me that my true identity is in Christ, I am a daughter of the King! And living a humble, life submitted to His purpose will best help me live out my identity. 

I highly recommend this study for anyone who needs a reminder of what’s truly important in life, and why finding our identity in Christ will give immeasurable purpose, satisfaction and fulfillment to life.

Check out 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ on Amazon.

How to Weep in Public by Jacqueline Novak


I was drawn to How to Weep in Public because Amy Schumer gave it a raving review. The author is a comedian who knows how to bring authenticity and humor to a subject not often talked about in comfortable settings. [Although usually it’s done lying on a couch, but that’s beside the point…]

Author Jacqueline Novak claims to offer something most books about depression don’t: how to just sit and be in the midst of your struggle. She doesn’t offer “how-to’s” of getting better or overcoming your depression, she’s been there and wants you to know you’re not alone. 

I thought it was just that, a humorous look into the heart of what a lot of people are struggling with but don’t want to admit it. Depression is one of those “off limits” topics in most social settings, and Novak changes that notion. She brings it into the light and offers up some normalcy to the condition. 

It was enjoyable, but not my favorite book in the world. If you are depressed or know someone who is depressed, it would probably be a book that would make them laugh, and bring some humor to their situation, but won’t offer any help in how to get over it. [She states that from page 1.] But overall, it wasn’t a bad read! 

Check out How to Weep in Public on Amazon.

This is Awkward: How Life’s Uncomfortable Moments Open the Door to Intimacy and Connection by Sammy Rhodes

This is Awkward

I first heard of Sammy Rhodes when he was a speaker at Influence Conference in 2014. So when I saw his book, I was immediately intrigued. And I wasn’t disappointed. 

I remember him being funny at Influence, but his book brings his comedic stylings to new heights. He is so frank and candid about himself, his awkwardness and even mistakes he’s made in the past. [Like the time he got accused of plagiarism.]

He brings to light important topics that no one wants to talk about because they’re…you guessed it, AWKWARD. Topics such as depression, sexual issues, parent problems, divorce, and being an introvert in an extrovert’s world. 

I think my favorite parts were just how relatable he is, and the fact that I literally laughed out loud multiple times. He’ll make you nod your head in agreement and wonder why no one else has been courageous enough to address these issues in such a real way. I highly suggest this book for anyone who wants a vulnerable look into some of today’s biggest issues, while laughing your way through the hard truth. 

Check out This is Awkward on Amazon.

How to Live in Fear by Lance Hahn


Every since becoming a mom, I’ve realized I have a lot of fear over my family’s wellbeing. Fear that I’ve tried to pray about, but it’s proving to be difficult to get rid of. Fear is the opposite of trust, and God calls us to trust Him fully. In my journey of letting go of my fear and holding onto trust with every fiber of my being, I came across Lance Hahn’s book How to Live in Fear. 

Lance struggled with severe anxiety since his childhood, so he relates readers from his own experiences. He gives practical insights and concrete methods of how to begin to fight your own fear or anxiety. He doesn’t sugar coat it and make it seem like it’ll be an easy journey, but gives hope for why it’s worth the fight. Although we don’t know what trials we may fight, we do know that God promises we’ll never face those difficulties alone. And that knowledge can help us take one step forward in our journey of wrestling with our fear or anxiety. 

This book is great for anyone who struggles in these areas. It’s a real look into the life of someone’s who’s been there and understands that sometimes fear and anxiety can feel so real it’s  suffocating. It can be so hard to begin to figure out where that fear comes from and how to combat it, but the hope that God gives us makes that fight worth it. I would highly suggest this book for a good look into the reality of fear, and how to cope it and overcome it.

Check out How to Live in Fear on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received these books for free from their prospective publishers for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, all opinions expressed are my own.