Little did we know at the start of last year how much time 2020 would eventually grant us to work through our reading resolutions. And yet I managed to still waste too much time and not get to as many books as I wished. I am resigned, however, that my reading list will never reach completion. As soon as I cross one book off, I add three more.
With Christmas in the rear view, my thoughts turn to the books I still want to tackle. So, in case you need some reading recommendations for the new year, I present my 10 favorites from those perused in 2020. And the rest as well.
For When You Need Something Light (and Who Doesn’t These Days?)
- On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle – Melanie remains one of my favorite authors and somehow knew exactly what 2020 needed. Part humor, part memoir and all an encouragement to look for the good in any situation.
- Why I Hate Green Beans by Lincee Ray – Melanie Shankle wrote the intro and I agree with her synopsis. This book feels like a conversation with an old friend.
For When You Want Something True(ish)
3. My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie – Yes, I know. This is technically fiction, but so well researched that I learned a lot. I have been a Hamilfan for several years, but this book gave me a much deeper understanding of the musical. I enjoyed subsequent viewings on Disney+ even more. This author team also wrote another favorite of mine – America’s First Daughter, which they based on the letters between Thomas Jefferson and his oldest daughter. Do yourself a favor and read both!
4. Wally Funk’s Race for Space: The Extraordinary Story of a Female Aviation Pioneer by Sue Nelson – I can’t say for sure if my love for this book would be the same had I never met Ms. Funk. She attends (at least pre-Covid-19) the senior center where I hold a part time job. But I wanted to read it because I do find her fascinating! She was among the Mercury 13, the first group of American pilots to complete NASA’s 1961 Women in Space Program. Her physical and mental test scores outranked many male astronauts including John Glenn! Unfortunately, the program’s sponsors cut funding, but she still awaits a trip to space now well into her 80’s. Her many other accomplishments won’t fit in this post, but I think you will like to read about them in the book.
When the Prominent Topics of the Day Pique Your Interest
5. Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry – a memoir from a girl of color who came to know God and learned she wasn’t who she thought all along. Whether you want to learn more about same sex attraction or read more women of color, you won’t be sorry you picked up this beautifully written memoir.
6. A Bigger World Yet: Faith, Brotherhood and Same-Sex Needs by Tim Timmerman. This one might be hard to find, but proved for me a very eye-opening perspective on how the church, and Christ-minded individuals might better love the same-sex attracted.
7. White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson – Lots of books about racial inequality and justice got into lots of hands last year. I chose this one, written by a reputable author, on good recommendation. I won’t sugar coat how much my heart broke to read about some of the lesser known events of our nation’s history with regard to racial relations. But I think it’s important to know how we got here so that we can do better.
When You Need to Read and Meditate More on Scripture
8. Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life by Beth Moore – Whether you read the book alone or do the workbook with videos in a group (I did both.), just read it. Full of insight and truth with encouragement to introspect, you will come away with a new appreciation for the God of creation and want to know and serve Him better.
9. Love Found a Way: Stories of Christmas by Ron Mehl – Each chapter of this little book tells a precious freestanding story with enough scripture included to use for devotionals during Advent. That’s what I did.
Last, but Not Least, Fiction
10. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson – You have to weed through a few curse words, but this story is a delight for the literary minded. Part family mystery, part love story set in a background of books, books, books. I read other fiction books last year, but none as enjoyable.
And the Rest (Some Good, Some Forgettable)
- Confident Moms, Confident Daughters: Helping Your Daughter Live Free from Insecurity and Love How She Looks by Maria Furlough. Review here in To End a Generational Curse.
- Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities by Gary Chapman and Jolene Philo
- Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson
- Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, a Broken Mother’s Search for Hope by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan
- Rooted Peace (Small Town Secrets #3) by M.E. Weyerbacher.
- God’s Heart for the Nations by Jeff Lewis.
- Ready to Rise: Own Your Voice, Gather Your Community, Step into Your Influence by Jo Saxton
- Sunday Punday: Celebrate the Little Everyday Joys That Make Us Smile by Winsor Kinkade
- Well, Girl: An Inside-Out Journey to Wellness by Jami Amerine
- Appeal to the Courtroom of Heaven by Shonda Whitworth
- Lose It For Life by Stephen Arterburn
- Where Does a Mother Go to Resign by Barbara Johnson
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
- Giant Killer: A Heart Like David by Dennis Jernigan
- The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation: How Knowing Ourselves Can Make Us More Like Jesus by A.J. Sherrill
- Chasing Vines Group Experience: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life by Beth Moore with Darin Buursma
- The Care of Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
- The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
- The Ghost of Christmas Past (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #8.5) by Angie Fox. Don’t ask me why and don’t ask how this could be number 8 and a half in a series.
- The Christmas Honeymoon by Alicia Street
- Two Heart’ Christmas Wish (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance #4) by Tamara Ferguson
And now for this week’s featured post!
For one more week I selected a post similar to my own. While I read lots of bloggers’ book recommendations, this is the first one I’ve seen written about books the writer wants to read versus books she already read. I enjoyed this fresh twist and added a couple from her wish list to mine! Visit Cathy at thoughtsonbooks.blogspot.com to read 5 Books on my Future Reading List.
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