Dear Christian Sister,
Well, we are officially into February and 2020 is in full swing! I’m not one who typically makes new year resolutions, but in 2019, I did make a few goals for the year. One of these goals was to read 24 books, an average of 2 books per month. I ended up exceeding this goal, while also enjoying several audiobooks, and learned SO much! (Nerd alert: I also kept an Excel sheet to track stats such as pages read, average number of days per book, etc.)
I love to read! I enjoy fiction and non-fiction alike, but tend to stay away from fantasy and science fiction. I enjoy reading about people’s real lives and stories. I also enjoy reading theological books, preferably ones that help address cultural or scientific topics from a Christian worldview.
I like to intersperse the theological books with a lighter novel, memoir, or autobiography. I tend to need a little time to think through and process the heavier topics. It is not uncommon for me to be reading through 2-3 different books at a time. Sometimes I’m ready for hard-hitting theology but sometimes I just need an imaginative novel.
This year, I have challenged myself to re-read a few classics and read at least 24 books again. I don’t have a complete list of what those 24 books will be. I tend to change my mind throughout the year and pick up new books, so I’m leaving it intentionally open-ended.
But I have made a short list of things that I definitely want to read this year. Here it is!
(Quick disclaimer: All links below are to Amazon for the sake of convenience, but I am not compensated for sharing!)
1. With All Due Respect by Nikki Haley
As I’m writing this post, I am over half-way through this book. Nikki Haley is the former US ambassador to the UN. I am really enjoying this read! Not only does Haley have an incredible personal story that exemplifies the American Dream, but I have learned so much about US foreign policy, a topic which is almost completely foreign to me (pun intended).
2. Love-Kindness by Barry Corey
This book was actually written by the current president of my alma mater. I recently visited my best friend’s church and was able to hear Dr. Corey speak on the topic of this book. It was very encouraging and caused me to consider how I show love and kindness to my brothers & sisters in Christ and also to the non-believers God has placed in my life.
3. Out of a Far Country: A Gay Sons Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope by Christopher Yuan & Angela Yuan
I was introduced to Christopher Yuan on the Relatable podcast, then I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at the 2019 ReThink Apologetics conference. Yuan wrote this book with his mom. It recounts the story of his life and the amazing, redemptive work that God did in his life and the life of his parents. Hearing his testimony at the conference was moving and I’m really interested in reading about it from his mother’s perspective as well. Yuan is living proof that God can use anyone to bring glory to His name.
4. God’s Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace
Another speaker at the 2019 ReThink conference was apologist & homicide detective, J. Warner Wallace. He came to Christ after he applied the methods of investigation to the Bible! He has a really interesting testimony and is a compelling and engaging speaker. This is his most recent book and this cop-show marathoning, justice-loving girl can’t wait to dive in!
5. You’re Not Enough (And That’s Okay) by Allie Beth Stuckey
This is Allie’s first book! I’m a big fan of her podcast, Relatable, and I’m really looking forward to this read. (It doesn’t come out until May, but I’ve already pre-ordered!) I recommend Allie to friends pretty much on a weekly basis and have come to really enjoy and value her views on politics, culture, and theology.
6. Girl Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird
I came across Girl Defined Ministries on Instagram last fall. They were mentioned by someone I follow. I ordered a copy of the book to check it out for myself, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it in 2019. Fast forward to January 2020 and the youth director at my church mentioned it to me as a possible contender for our youth group girls ministry. Since I had the book already, I told him I would go ahead and read it and let him know what I thought. I just finished and, let me tell you, I wish I had this book as a teenager. It would’ve been beneficial even in my early twenties. It so clearly lays out God’s design for womanhood as communicated in the Bible. Authors Kristen & Bethany (two actual Christian sisters) even provide discussion & reflection questions at the end of each chapter which are great for personal study or to help facilitate a group conversation. I’m so excited to have my youth group girls read it and grow in their understanding of their calling as young women of God.
So there you have it! Just a few highlights of my reading list for 2020.
Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or Instagram what books are on your list this year, or if you have read any of my picks! Happy reading!