Ten Books I Read In 2017



As of the writing of this post, I’ve read 25 books this year. I wanted to put together a list of my favorite 10 books, but the word “favorite” kept tripping me up. I enjoyed them all for different reasons. So, this isn’t necessarily my “top” or “favorite” books that I read this year, but they are the 10 that I wanted to highlight for my readers.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown

Essentialism gave me permission to let go of something things. I asked some good questions about some of the things I was doing. If I were asked today to do ____ (fill in the blank with something you are currently commited to), would I say, “yes” again? If not, maybe it’s time to graciously let go of that commitment. Now that’s a powerful question.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words Or Less, By Terry Ryan

This one was a delight.  This is the true story of Evelyn Ryan. It’s set in the 1950’s and 60’s, the glory days of contests for marketing household items. Ms. Ryan made it her job to enter these contests to help provide for the needs of her family.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir Of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by JD Vance

The amazon description says this: “A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.”

I found this really useful for understanding a culture that is foreign to me, in many ways.

A Family Shaped By Grace, by Gary Morland

Gary wrote this book because he’s passionate about healthy families. He speaks as a gentle guide. It’s a practical and hopeful book. I’ve met Gary and know he’s the real deal.

The Baby Thief: The True Story of the Woman Who Sold Over 5,000 Neglected, Abused, and Stolen Babies in the 1950s, by Barbara Raymond

This book made it on this list because understanding this history is important if you care about adoption. The summary on amazon says this, “Written by an adoptive mother, The Baby Thief is part social history, part detective story, and part expose. It is a riveting investigative narrative that explores themes that continue to reverberate in the modern era, when baby sellers operate overseas. It is particularly relevant at this time in the UK, amidst heated national debate over the controversial adoption targets that seem to provide a perverse incentive to remove babies from birth parents.”

The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey To Self Discovery, by Ian Cron

Ian Cron explains the Enneagram Personality profile in a way a normal person can understand. I’ve loved learning about the Enneagram. The powerful approach of this system is that it focuses on how to address your weaknesses and work toward becoming more healthy. It also offers a great starting place for learning empathy toward others.

Notes From A Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally In A Chaotic World, by Tsh Oxenreider

This one was one of my very favorites. Tsh talks about making a meaningful life wherever you are. She works through applying the rhythms they learned in living in another culture to their life back in the US. This is about living simply and intentionally.

Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin

Relax, this isn’t a “women’s ministry” book. 🙂 Jen Wilkin is passionate about Biblical literacy and she wants it to be accessible to women. She emphasizes the importance of engaging our minds and truly taking ownership of learning to study the Word. It’s not as complicated or scary as you might think.

Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul, by Hannah Anderson

Every year, one of my “favorites” is one I haven’t finished yet. I don’t know how this one ends because I just started it. I already love it. Hannah has become one of my favorite voices online. She has an insight into faith and culture that I appreciate.

Gracelaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart

I don’t love overly-flowery-get-lost-in-the-complicated-metaphors devotionals. I need to get that out of the way here first.  I wondered if this book might fall into that category. I’m happy to report that it doesn’t. This is a gorgeous book because the author can use a paint brush as artfully as she can turn a phrase. That’s a good thing. I’ve loved this book. It’s been a breath of fresh air. It has beautiful writing that doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s pretty to look at.

Alright, now it’s your turn. What did you read in 2017?

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