My 2019 Reading List
After last week’s heavier topic, I felt that it was time for something a bit more light hearted (but still somewhat informative). So I decided to share my current reading list. You will note that there are only a few books in here, but that is intentional. I like to leave room for leisure reading and recommendations from others. I could easily have enough books to equate to two a month for a year, but that doesn’t leave much flexibility. I also have (what could be) a bad habit, and tend to read more than one book at the same time. Anyway, a reading list doesn’t need too much introduction, I will include links to the books online for those interested in purchasing their own copies.
“It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” by Lysa Terkeurst
I ordered this book with a gift card my youngest sister gave me. I was facing the decline of my Dad’s health and still trying to process a few past hurts along the way. I had enjoyed Lysa’s previous book “Uninvited“, so I figured that I would give this one a try as well. It arrived the morning my Dad passed away, which was on a Sunday (even during the shock and grief, my inner dialogue screamed ‘but there’s no post on Sunday’ — once a nerd, always a nerd). I am about half way through and so far, I have been moved to tears at many points, as Bible based truths have seeped deep into my heart, bringing light to things I didn’t even realize were still impacting my day-to-day. This timely arrival has been very helpful, even if I am a slow reader at the moment, as I work at processing my emotions.
“Girl Defined” by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird (now Beal)
Kristin and Bethany are the creators behind the Girl Defined blog and YouTube channel. They’re content was instrumental during my single season (especially as a new Christian with some intense hurts to work through). This book (I’ve read about three quarters of it so far) focuses on reclaiming femininity from the world and bringing it back to its Biblical foundations, exactly how God designed it to be. It’s funny that I found this channel when I was single, because the focus on biblical femininity and gender roles really spoke to me. I had always been oriented towards these concepts, but was missing a relationship with God and ultimately let fear lead me into an abusive situation. Once freed of that pain and finally reaching out to God, everything just kind of clicked. I used to pray that I would first become the woman God called me to be, but also that he would shape me into the woman my husband needed me to be. Wives are meant to be the helpers of their husbands (Genesis 2: 18-24), so when praying for my husband (outside of praying for qualities I sought for in a husband, like Biblical masculinity and leadership, ..more details in February during my upcoming love and marriage series, because I am a Valentine’s cheese ball..but back to the current post) I diligently prayed to be a wife uniquely suited to him. A love for God and a woman well versed in Biblical marriage and gender roles was something my husband had always prayed for, and he took learning about being a Godly husband very seriously too, so I can see why God led me to this ministry. I really encourage you to check out Kristen and Bethany’s content, which focuses on single life, faith based approaches to common everyday struggles, marriage, and much more.
“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis
My husband and I are both interested in Apologetics and I have always been a fan of C.S. Lewis’s writing, in particular his faith based works. I have only read the first couple of chapters, but I can already see that it is a great introduction to defending the Christian faith and a good logic based approach to Christianity (I have both a logic based and feelings based mind, so I usually aim to find material that activates both sides). I have found it very insightful so far.
“Jesus Among Other Gods” by Ravi Zacharias
My husband is very passionate about Apologetics and evangelism, so his personal library is full of books to help broaden his understanding of his faith to better share with others. He often sites 1 Peter 3:15, and as the spiritual leader of our household (with sound knowledge of my own interests and method of thinking) he will recommend books to me that he earnestly believes I will enjoy and could use in my own spiritual walk. I haven’t started this one yet, but I really look forward to digging deep and discussing it with Austin (my husband’s name, I think I can be a bit more personal now) when finished.
“More Hours in My Day” by Emilie Barnes
This book was lent to me by a good friend, that her mother (who I consider a mentor and church mother) encouraged her to share with me. I was feeling a bit confused about household organization, meal planning, and a few other things, so I reached out and received loving support and great advice. Being a wife is one of the ways I serve God, so I want to make sure that I am constantly improving and striving to do my best. Of course I fail at times and I say or do the wrong things, but with Christ we are picked back up, brushed off, and supported as we try again. We are meant to strive for Christ-like perfection, but the Lord knows we are hopefully inadequate on our own, that’s why he sent His Son to us, that’s why we need Jesus in our lives, otherwise we are a mess of all of our worst tendencies. Everything that is good in us isn’t there by our own efforts, it only comes from God (James 1:17).
“The Whole Foods Diet” by John Mackey, Alona Pulde, and Matthew Lederman
I am looking to be a bit healthier this year. I am a relatively active person (jogging, weight lifting), but my diet has been really lacking in the last few months. There just comes a point that you realize that feeding yourself garbage, makes you feel like garbage in return. Neither my husband nor myself are junk fiends, but we have lacked discipline in some areas and been a bit too lax with snacks. This is more so a me problem, then a him problem, to be honest. My husband and I have drastically different fitness goals (he’s a body builder, whereas I focus on cardio with weights secondary), we are different physically, and thus need different diets to achieve our fitness goals. He needs almost three times more than what I do to build muscle, and sometimes will eat more snackish food for the calories (or larger servings)..and me..the sweet tooth that likes to balance it out with a salty snack, tried to eat a lot of what he was eating (not nearly as much!)..but each snack makes a difference in how the body responds and metabolizes food, so I was doing a disservice to my own health by giving in to most cravings. I personally want to get back to a more plant based diet and focus mainly on whole foods, its scary what additives are in processed food these days, and this book was an Instagram recommendation I once came across from Ottawa based (and plant based/vegan) fitness trainer Kyle den Bak. I read about a third of this book last year, but that was too long ago, so I am restarting it with my new health goals in mind.
This is only a small look at what I will likely end up reading this year, but I like to start with smaller goals, and as I mentioned earlier, leave room for new recommendations throughout the year. I would also like to note that as Christians, the book that should always be first on our reading lists is The Bible. It is the Word of God and by better knowing it, we can properly discern supplementary sources.
I hope that you enjoyed this brief look into my reading life and if you have any book recommendations or would like me to review these books when finished, let me know in the comments!