I’ve had a fierce love of books and reading for as long as I can remember. My home was always filled to the brim with books throughout my childhood and it still is, to this day. I’m a quick reader and when I’m really devoted to a book, it’s rare that it takes me more than a day or two to finish it. I like to use Goodreads to track my reading for the year, if for no other purpose than to just see how many books I manage to read. I’ve been doing their Goodreads Challenge since 2011, and in 2013 and 2014 I managed to surpass 100 books read. My goal this year is a little lower, 52 books in 2016, but that’s roughly a book a week so I figured that’s a manageable goal. So far, I’m at 17 books this year, which is actually one book ahead of schedule.
In the past few months, I’ve gotten into reading books from the “Christian living” genre, which is pretty different for me. For years I pretty much stuck to just young adult fiction but I suppose my tastes have changed as I have gotten older. I wanted to share with you just a few of my favorite books that I’ve read lately!
Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs // Alright, so I haven’t actually finished this one, but I’m in the midst of reading it and I love it! Annie’s writing makes you feel like you’re sitting down with her over coffee and I love that kind of writing. It’s relatable and so relevant to things I’ve been feeling in my own life lately.
I Said Yes by Emily Maynard Johnson // I feel very proud of the fact that I have never watched an episode of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, nor have I ever felt the desire to. How or why the show is so popular, I will never understand. I only know of Emily Maynard Johnson since she lives here in Charlotte, North Carolina and has ties to a prominent NASCAR family here, through her daughter Ricki. I Said Yes was a quick read and I really enjoyed hearing her story of how she met Ricky Hendrick and her life following his tragic death, particularly of how she found her faith in the process.
Dancing Through Life by Candace Cameron Bure // I grew up on Full House, you guys. Didn’t we all? Even though the series ended when I was four (what?), I survived off reruns well into my adolescent years. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m almost 25 and I still watch the reruns on Nick at Nite and you better believe I watched (and loved) Fuller House. I also love Dancing with the Stars, which is why this book stuck out to me. Candace gives an awesome behind the scenes look into the production and ins and outs of the competition, while also sharing how the experience paralleled in many ways with her faith. She is a strong Christian woman and although the word conviction was used quite a bit (I listened to the book on Audible – she’s the narrator, too!), I feel like I learned a lot about her and her walk with Christ.
A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman // How do I love Emily Freeman? Let me count the ways. Just before the New Year, I read Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman and I knew I had just found one of my new favorite authors. Her writing is so relateable and speaks so much truth. Plus, she lives in North Carolina so that’s awesome too. A Million Little Ways focuses on embracing the “art” that we were made to live. I loved how she refers to things like our callings and our God-given talents as art. Such an interesting way of looking at it.
At Long Last: A Story of Love + Hope by Erin Morris // Erin Morris is a Christian blogger who created her blogging ministry around singleness, relationships, and maintaining purity before marriage. At Long Last is the story of her childhood and youth as she waited and prayed for her future husband and also the story of how she met Daniel, her now-husband. While I can’t necessarily relate to all of Erin’s story- I wasn’t the type of girl who grew up daydreaming about their wedding or being a wife – their love story is very sweet and makes for a great read!
Me Before You (and After You) by Jojo Moyes // My one fictional story in the list! I am more than a little excited that Me Before You is coming to theaters very soon with the oh, so lovely Sam Claflin. I heard about Me Before You just before Christmas from one of my favorite YouTube-ers and it was the second book that I read in 2016. There are not enough heart-eye emojis for this book! It’s been awhile since a book has gotten me right in the feels (look out, my young adult reader-talk is coming out), but this book was amazing. I read the sequel After You, a few weeks later, and it was also great!