I have always loved to read. And now, as a Christian, I’m more grateful than ever for the gift of books. Whether you’re looking for instruction, edification, adventure, learning from someone else’s experience, education, a good laugh or inspiration…pick up a good book and you’re off! Of course, the Bible is the only perfect book, but books are a sweet gift from the Lord.
The following is a collection of reviews of my favorite 10 books that I read in 2013 (not of books written in 2013). In no particular order…
1. Fit to Burst. Ever since her first book, Loving the Little Years, I have so appreciated Lizzie Jankovich’s wisdom, humor and insight. She frequently posts at Desiring God and the blog that she has with her mom and sisters, http://www.feminagirls.com. This book didn’t disappoint- it’s the kind that you know you should read frequently, and it’s an easy and quick read–perfect, indeed, for a mama with little ones. However, quick does not mean that it lacks depth, which is exactly what I like about Lizzie. She has a clearly tender heart toward her kids, she’s super down to earth, and she is wise. The book, like Loving the Little Years, is a collection of short thoughts and exhortations for moms.
2. Stepping Heavenward: One Woman’s Journey to Godliness. This is the only book on the list that I had read previously, and it’s one I’ll probably read every year for the rest of my life. This gem was given to me by a friend in East Asia and is truly a treasured read. It is the fictional story of one woman’s journey through life as she grows in sanctification through her teenage years, to being a wife, a mother, etc. The main character is such an inspiration, as are many of the women woven into the book. Read it and be challenged and encouraged to love Jesus as your first love, your greatest love, and the love that will enable you to live a life for others.
3-5. The Wingfeather Saga (3 books), by Andrew Peterson. I laughed. I cried. I’m pretty sure at some point I hugged my Kindle. Oh I loved these! I love good fiction- good, creative, wholesome, fun, interesting, and, ideally, Jesus-minded fiction. These books follow the Wingfeather family in their adventure from being an average family, living life under the rule of the Fangs (of Dang) to discovering that there is much more to them than originally met the eye. I loved many things about these books, but one is that the heart of the story is the family as a unit. So many books in this genre follow one main character, often an orphan, or who at the very least whose family just is part of the background in their life. But this family stays together, and it is a huge part of their strength. Can’t wait for the final book in the series to come out in April!
6-8. The King Raven Trilogy, Stephen Lawhead. Sometimes I get nervous that I’ll run out of good fiction to read. Like I said, I’m a little bit picky about what I classify as “good”- I’m not into that dystopian stuff, I don’t love science fiction, I don’t like violent or sexual or whatever and at the same time I don’t like books that are too childish… so after I read a great book or series I get nervous that that’s it, I’ve read them all. But the Lord is gracious and continues to give me new good books to read 😉 Dave and I finished these books right before the new year ended and both loved them. Their biggest problem, like any good fiction, was that they were a little bit addictive. The books follow the story of Robin Hood, but add such depth and character to his story and the story surrounding him that it feels like you’re discovering it for the first time. Each book is written primarily surrounding a different main character’s perspective, and the writing’s good, the plot’s good, the books are GOOD!
9. The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas, Ann Voskamp. This much anticipated book is a beautified version of Ann’s Jesse tree collection. I love her heart for Jesus and know that this book will be a part of my Christmas season for years to come. The insight and depth in each reflection really caused my heart to love and worship Jesus more.
10. Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times, Jennifer Worth. I watched seasons 1 and 2 of Call the Midwife and cried (and laughed) during at some point during every episode. The books were wonderful, too! But I loved the first one most. The books differ from the show in that they provide more of the history and background of London in the 50s. Life is precious and this book really highlights that.
How about you? What was your favorite read in 2013?