I LOVE reading about everyone’s favorite books, so I thought I’d join in and share mine, in no particular order…
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
About the book: “From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.”
Why I liked it: This book looked so gloomy from the cover. I was sure I’d be the one person on earth who didn’t like it. Nope, I started binge reading on the first page. Stock up on milk and bread, you won’t put this book down until the last page.
Secrets of A Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
About the book: “Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades…beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden–one that will test her convictions and her heart.”
Why I liked it: ALMOST as good as “All the Light” above. I read this book in one day over Christmas break. YES.
Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
About the book: “Glennon Doyle Melton’s hilarious and poignant reflections on our universal (yet often secret) experiences have inspired a social movement by reminding women that they’re not alone. In Carry On, Warrior, she shares her personal story in moving, refreshing, and laugh-out-loud-funny new essays and some of the best-loved material from Momastery.com.”
Why I liked it: laughing. I liked this book for so many reasons, but the first thing I remember about this book was that I was sitting in a waiting room reading it and I started laughing so hard that I had to run into the bathroom. Worth it just for that.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
About the book: “Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.”
Why I liked it: When I really love a book, I refuse to finish it, I still have a chapter or two left and I don’t want it to be over, so I might never read it. Grab your high lighter, if you are a writer, this book is for you.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
About the book: “With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.”
Why I liked it: I cannot stop talking, thinking or misplacing this book. I’ve read it twice over the past year. Eye opening, and also quirky and weird, everything I love. It made me get things more tidy in my home, so I don’t really care how odd it is at times–this book lives up to the hype.
Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman
About the book: “Our obsession with bigger and faster is spinning us out of control. We move through the week breathless and bustling, just trying to keep up while longing to slow down. But real life happens in the small moments, the kind we find on Tuesday, the most ordinary day of the week.”
Why I liked it: This book confirmed my suspicions that it’s okay, and good to slow down. But it also encouraged me as a mom, maker and friend. Also, my sister wrote it, so I especially love when she tells stories of our childhood–newborn kittens, Halley’s comet and more! UPDATE: this just in, Simply Tuesday just hit the Wall Street Journal’s Non-Fiction eBooks Best Seller’s list at number 3!!
Flowers Coloring Book by Brittany Watson Jepsen
About the book: “Divided into 10 beloved botanicals, artist, designer, crafter, and blogger, Brittany Jepsen, created Flowers Coloring Book, 60 pages of hand-illustrated patterns, bouquets, and scientific charts awaiting the distinctive color palettes only a flower lover could imagine.”
Why I liked it: I love adult coloring books, but most of the time, when you are done coloring, the page is really ugly. Not this one, you’ll want to frame these pages. It’s thick, bright white paper with very black drawings of flowers, leaves and such. Like nothing else out there.
The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka
About the book: “Gina Homolka is America’s most trusted home cook when it comes to easy, flavorful recipes that are miraculously low-calorie and made from all-natural, easy-to-find ingredients. Her blog, Skinnytaste is the number one go-to site for slimmed down recipes that you’d swear are anything but. The Skinnytaste Cookbook features 150 amazing recipes: 125 all-new dishes and 25 must-have favorites.”
Why I liked it: We’ve all loved everything I’ve made from the zucchini fries, fish tacos (I make this almost weekly) to the bang-bang shrimp knock-off. This book was a best seller for good reason.
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
About the book: “Just one look at our jam-packed schedules tells us how hard it can be to strike a well-reasoned balance between doing nothing and doing it all. That’s why award-winning author and pastor Kevin DeYoung addresses the busyness problem head on in his newest book, Crazy Busy — and not with the typical arsenal of time management tips, but rather with the biblical tools we need to get to the source of the issue and pull the problem out by the roots.”
Why I liked it: Because I’ve been repeating this quote since I read it…”the biggest deception of our digital age may be the lie that says we can be omni-competent, omni-informed, and omni-present. We cannot be any of these things. We must choose our absence, our inability, and our ignorance.” That last line gives me chills ever time. The only way to truly live in this digital age, is to choose to be ignorant of some things. I’ve been choosing my absence, inability and ignorance every day since. Amen.
Soul Keeping by John Ortberg
About the book: “When is the last time you thought about the state of your soul? The health of your soul isn’t just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith.”
Why I liked it: Maybe I’m out of the loop, but this is the first book I’ve ever read about the Soul. My Soul. Eye opening (funny!) and wise all at the same time. I wish I would have read this book 20 years ago.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
About the book: “The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is asystematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.”
Why I liked it: My favorite book of 2015. My copy is tattered and torn like the velveteen rabbit. I’ve applied this book to my online life, my work, my decorating, my goals–I highly recommend it.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
About the book: “The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.”
Why I liked it: Just a really sweet read. I didn’t love the sequel, but this book was a delight.
Have you read any of these? Did you like them? What’s one of your favorite books of 2015?
PS, see my list from 2014 here.