Monday, January 9, 2017

The Book List {2016}

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. 
The more you learn, the more places you'll go." 
-Dr. Seuss

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book."
-Austin Phelps

Goals make me happy. Or is it just the setting of goals that brings on joy? Because reaching those goals in a whole other thing. Good intentions? I've got plenty.

Quite possibly the only goal I have snagged in the past few years is this one:
1. Read 12 books.

Books make me happy.
Books grow me.
Books make me more disciplined. 
I owe most of my thoughts to good books.

We learners, we need each other. I want to hear what you are reading and I'm here to tell you what I have been reading. So here is my book list from last year and a quick recap.

Books {2016}

1. The Best Yes -Lisa Terkeurst
If you are going to say Yes to anything this year, read this book first. Are there not a million taps on our shoulders urging us to volunteer, commit, or sign-up? I love to be involved and I love to DO. This one was a gentle little shake of my shoulders reminding me of how to make good decisions in the middle of endless opportunity. 

2. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants -Malcolm Gladwell
Brilliant! I could just move into this Canadian's brain and be gleeful forever. In his latest national best seller, Malcolm challenges the way we view obstacles and set-backs. We have always seen David's win as miraculous but he gives us a different view of the underdog. A smart story-teller, I will read everything this man writes. 

3. Overextended... And loving most of it -Lisa Harper 
Lisa has been hanging out with Christine Caine doing the Propel curriculum for women and I find her hilarious and so relate able. She tells her story of adopting her girl from Haiti and becoming a mom for the first time in her 50's. See, she's a little crazy. And that's why I like her.

4. 60 People Who Shaped the Church -Alton Gansky 
I, for one, can take this lovely thing called Church for granted. This is what it looks like, this is where we are going and this is what we collectively have decided we believe. But the Church in every century stands on the shoulders of the previous generation and should look back with gratitude while they plan for the future. I feel so much richer having read this one. 

5. The Plausibility Problem -Ed Shaw 
If we believe that a homosexual life style is wrong, then how do we make it possible, for people in our churches who struggle with same-sex attraction, to live a pure life? I'm over here clapping for Ed in his brave vulnerability and practical guide to loving everyone in our churches well. Churches, we need this book!

6. Love Does -Bob Goff 
Favorite Book of the Year Award! Oh gosh. That Bob. A lot of people talk about loving their neighbor, Bob has just been doing it for decades. He reminds me of Yes Man (remember the Jim Carey movie?) but for Jesus, defending and serving his neighborhood, the vulnerable in Uganda and anyone in-between. Easy to read and full of cheer and hope. 

7. Undone -Michelle Cushatt 
When a tired mom lugs her last car seat out of the van and steps into another phase of parenting, there is a huge sigh of relief. Right? Michelle and her husband had no sooner lugged, then three foster children were riding in the back of their van again. Through her marriage struggles, unexpected family extension and cancer, this lady had me cheering her on. Plus, she is just amazing with words. 

8. Unashamed -Christine Caine
Fiery ball of passion, that Chris. I've been listening to her preach for years and you know how they say that every story has a back-story? She lets us see the first part of her story and how God redeemed her life. Does shame try to follow you around? Need some healing in your identity? Have I got the book for you!

9. Crazy Love -Francis Chan 
Francis is just simply gaa-gaa over Jesus and it feels refreshing to me. I was reading it for the second time with a young friend ready to travel the world on a missions tour so there were fresh discussions happening. Every bookshelf should be sporting this classic.

10. The Glass Castle -Jeanette Wall 
I am very late coming to the party, but I'm here! I vaguely remember hearing about this best seller many years ago and now I know the intrigue. The beauty of this memoir was the gentle unfolding of the characters as Jeanette sees her family through maturing eyes. Could not peel my eyes away until the story concluded. 

11. Jesus Feminist -Sarah Bessey
What is it about a campfire that invites? The warmth? The half-darkness giving us the cover we need to be a little more vulnerable? Sarah hosts a marshmallow roast with her writing and I love reading her ideas. Because she loves Jesus, she loves women and has a gently bold way of telling us why. This is such a kind cheer for women (and I really want you to read it). 

12. Blink -Malcolm Gladwell 
Have I mentioned how brilliant Malcolm is? We just may think without ever thinking. So many things make up our decision-making ability and he looks at our choices and conclusions umpteen different ways. Although this book was written a few year ago before the Black Lives Matter movement and the attention the police force garnered, this has some fascinating ideas about why we make the snap decisions we do.

13. Daniel -Tammy Chupp 
Every moms' worst fear happened to my friend Tammy and she bravely tells her story of loss and the aftermath of it. An honest look at grieving after soul-shattering loss. I am wiser for the reading. 

14. Out Of Sorts -Sarah Bessey
As adults, the time comes when we need to sort through all that we have been taught about God. Oh, this one resonated with me and wet my smiling cheeks. Can we as believers be honest without being ugly? This lady Sarah is showing me how and I highly recommend her as a closet-cleaner advisor. 

There is my list, friends. Well, most of it. A few more half-read books didn't make the list but there is always next year. 

Would you be so kind to drop me a title or two from your reading list? Which books have wowed you, elated you or made you squirm in the best way possible? 

Fellow nerds, which new books shall I buy?


  1. Thanks for sharing your list! I've been blessed by a number of the free books (one handed out each month) by An outstanding one from last year is "The tank man's son" Difficult to listen through the first 90% of the book, but an awesome "but God..." ending!


  2. Hey Patch! I'll have to check out that recommendation. Thank you!
    Free audio books, eh? No more cheap classics from Carrefore? 😃

  3. Hi Carissa, SMBI sure was a lot time ago. ☺️ I enjoy reading your blog. I am in the middle of a book by Andrew Klavan about his conversion called "the great good thing." Truly captivating. Also, just finished " hillbilly elegy" by j.d. Vance. Lots of language in that one but very insightful if you are interested in helping this specific cultural group. Thanks for your list. - Bethany ( Martin) Heatwole

    1. Hi Bethany! That WAS awhile ago. Great to hear from you. Those reconditions sound like good ones, I will check them out. Thanks!