A Few Favorites from the Bookshelf

favorite books

I have always been a reader. Ever since I was a little girl, rather than watch television or go shopping, I would pick up a book, often reading it from start to finish in a single sitting.

So I thought I would take a few minutes to share a few books that I have loved over the past few years. Today happens to be very snowy, so I have some time on my hands. And I have to give credit to Shauna Niequist, who shared a few of her favorite books on her blog and gave me the idea.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Donald Miller has taught me so much about faith and authenticity. He writes A Million Miles with humor and humility, telling the story of how his life came to a stand still after writing a bestselling memoir, and how he wanted his life to tell a better story.

One Thousand GiftsAnn Voskamp’s prose is some of the most beautiful that I have ever read. If you have not read this book, please, let me encourage you to pick it up. In One Thousand Gifts, Ann searches for the beauty in what looks ugly and the holy in what feels heartbreaking, and invites you to do the same. This book has been particularly comforting to me in this season of my life, as I have watched a couple of my friends walk through some really awful valleys. But seeing the gift and choosing gratitude really will change your life.

Daring GreatlyI love Brené Brown’s humor and honesty in light of her work on vulnerability. She speaks with such an air of humility and makes you feel comfortable from the very beginning. She is also incredibly encouraging, as she writes that being vulnerable isn’t being weak, but rather, that vulnerability is our greatest means to connect in meaningful ways.

A Million Little WaysI have loved Emily Freeman ever since I first started reading (in)courage and her blog, Chatting at the Sky. I began reading her first book, Grace for the Good Girl, and loved it — but A Million Little Ways just took it to the next level for me. Emily writes that everything about the way you live your life is art, and at the heart of it all, is the Artist who designed our souls with love and care and pleasure.

Blue Like JazzThis is Donald Miller’s bestselling memoir about life and faith, which he writes with incredible humor and humility. I’ve always found Don’s work to be very approachable and honest. This was really the first book that I had ever read that talked about faith in such an authentic way.

Eat, Pray, LoveI love writers who are honest, and Elizabeth Gilbert is no exception. When her life falls apart, she knows she needs to make a change. On something of a whim, she picks up her life and spends a year traveling throughout Italy, India, and Indonesia, searching for herself, but also for God. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a Christian book, but it is very spiritually oriented and an excellent read.

A Million Little Pieces. This book would definitely not fit in to the Christian genre. It has graphic sexuality and drug use in addition to a lot of language. I knew there was some controversy surrounding whether or not James Frey fabricated some of the details in this memoir, but honestly, I love it. It is a story about overcoming. I picked it up at a used book store and read it from start to finish in about three sittings. It is written in a very stream of consciousness style, and there is very little punctuation, so it takes slightly more attention. Observation: For some reason, I really like books with “A Million” in the title. 

The Desire MapI believe I first became acquainted with Danielle LaPorte through Lauren Dubinsky’s blog. I watched the trailer for this book in late 2014 and knew that I had to read it. Danielle argues that goals are great, but what we really want is the feeling that we associate with the goal. She guides you through discovering how you really want to feel in your life, and encourages that it is okay to try different and new things in order to feel the way you want to. Let me clarify: I don’t think feelings should always be our dominant source of guidance in life, but I do think that they are incredibly important and that we should pay attention to them.

Well, there you go: a peek at some of my favorites on the bookshelf. This certainly is not an exhaustive list. And I’m planning to share some favorite musicians soon, too.

What is your favorite book and why do you love it? Leave your answer in the comments below.

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