Here are my favorite books from 2017!
I picked up this book by Jill Briscoe after hearing her talk from IF:Gathering 2017. If you haven’t already heard it, do yourself a favor and listen to it here. She is not a new voice to those a generation ahead of me, but the things she shared both at IF and in this book were from a fresh to me perspective that I needed to hear. I walked away from Spiritual Arts feeling much more equipped to walk alongside others in the Body of Christ.
This first Veronica Speedwell novel/mystery was creative, adventurous, and it kept me guessing. I despise predictability in novels and mysteries and this one definitely did not have it! The heroine has spunk and charm while the characters are intriguing and out of the box. It will keep you turning the pages for sure! There are now two more books in this series and they are both on my 2018 TBR list.
Jen Wilkin teaches on the ten attributes of God in this book. It was refreshing, healing, reminding, and helpful. If you’ve never studied the attributes of God, this book is a MUST, and if you have, this book is a wonderful refresher. I also think this would be lovely for books clubs, accountability groups, and high school moms and their daughters to read together! It is easy to understand and the truths presented would be so fun to talk through with other women.
This is the 2017 release by the author of Where’d You Go Bernadette (which is coming out in theaters in September and I can’t wait!). The entire book takes place in one 24 hour period - and I read it in a 24 hour period. It was that good. If you’ve never read anything by Semple before, her books are light hearted and witty while the main character is usually trying to find answers to questions and solve a problem. Loved it!
Standing at the intersection of several niches of writing, What’s Best Next talks about how to accomplish tasks in our day to day lives in light of the Gospel. The author has read through most of the leading productivity business books out there and talks about why other’s structures and solutions to accomplishing things don’t quite cut it for the Christian. I listened to this book on audio and then purchased a hard copy because it's one that I foresee myself returning to again and again and again.
I grew up in Appalachia, just west of Asheville, NC. My entire life, I have told people that I’m from western North Carolina, just outside of Asheville, and people have nodded in understanding. But in the last year, with the news coverage on the opioid crisis, people’s response to this statement has changed. Instead of a simple nod, I am often now asked if that is considered to be a part of “Appalachia” and how I feel about the opioid crisis. Because I’ve been gone from this area of the country for 11 years, I really knew nothing about it outside of what I’ve seen and read in the news, so I picked this book up. I couldn’t put it down, couldn’t stop talking about it, and couldn’t keep myself from incorporating it into every conversation for about two solid months. J. D. Vance paints a vivid and accurate picture of rural culture in Appalachia, and details a story-like history about how things came to be the way that they are - blended with compassion for his own people yet written from the standpoint of a man who has fought for American freedom, attended Yale and has rubbed elbows with some of the most prominent businessmen in the country. So well done.
Roots and Sky made my TBR list when it was published because the author is a contributor at one of my top two favorite blogs, Grace Table. The almost lyrical and rhythmic writing style of this memoir captured me. This is a book for Mama’s, for those who love gathering their people, and for those who have walked through seasons where people have been scarce. It doesn't contain any specific pointers or tips for life change, but it is packed with potential takeaways and application.
Did anyone else read Beth Moore’s first novel? I consumed it in 24 hours by the fire with LOTS of hot chocolate and whipped cream. I hope she writes another!
I picked up The Lake House because so many people said it was their favorite Kate Morton and I loved one of her other works, The Secret Keeper. It definitely didn’t disappoint! Morton weaves tales through generations and time, picking up in one place and moving backwards and forwards with each chapter. Before I’d read any of her books, I would have guessed that this style of writing would drive me crazy but she has such a knack for it that it has caused me to pick up other authors who write the same way! There were aspects of this book that felt a little bit dated - not like a classic dated - like the way that watching You’ve Got Mail feels dated - and I think it was something else that made me love the book.
I'm still shocked this book made my top ten. It’s been on my TBR for many years and sat unread on my kindle for at least a year after I caught it on sale for a dollar or two. In Writers to Read, Douglas Wilson tells the stories of 9 different authors and why they are important authors for to read. Many of his tips and reasonings for reading these authors are for those who also write. I laughed, cried, and kept interrupting whatever Robert was doing to read excerpts to him. I’d already read some of the authors he reviews, but will definitely be doing a tour through most of them this year in my reading life.