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  • 10 Best Books of 2017

    Every year I do my favorites list of the books I read that year. I have to confess, this year I did a lot of "fluff" reading....lots of mysteries. They're fun and easy. But here are 10 I read that actually meant something to me.

    The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp- She tells in her signature autobiographical way about how God chooses to take our brokenness and make us beautiful. Even through some of the heart wrenching difficulties in life, she challenged me to look deeply into the eyes of my Savior and trust His goodness over my circumstances.

    Love Lives Here by Maria Goff- She and her husband have lived a bigger story that most ever do. But what struck me was her simplicity. She loves her family and desires for them to flourish. I was challenged to cut out the noise and simply pursue the things of God that feed my soul. 

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain- I was transported to my childhood reading this book again. It's funny and exciting and I enjoyed every page of Twain's storytelling. As a kid I used to listen to a yellow cassette tape of the reading of this book. I would sit in the basement and turn off all the lights with my friend Emily and soak in the story. Reading this book took me back to the dark basement all over again. 

    Hearts of Fire by The Voice of the Martyrs- This book shares the stories of 8 courageous women living their faith amidst harrowing difficulty. It challenged me to think deeply and conscientiously about my faith and to be prepared to talk about it even when it's uncomfortable to acknowledge God out loud.

    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell- My sci-fi nerd is showing. This book involves space travel, aliens, Jesuits, guilt and grief. It was a very good book. And I feel nerdy enjoying it as much as I did.

    Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - After working in a school this book hit a little close to home. It was a great reminder that no one is how they appear on the surface. It's also funny, suspenseful and unexpected.

    The Good Girl by Mary Kubica- Also suspenseful and unexpected. It is a book told from the perspective of several people. All except the main character. You want to hear from her the entire book, but Kubica makes you wait until the end. The very end. And then when you do it's not one thing that you thought you'd hear.

    Under the Same Sky by Joseph Kim- This is an autobiographical work about childhood in North Korea. I'm not sure how Kim remembers exactly all he does from his childhood, but even if bits and pieces felt repeated it was fascinating to read and learn more about. It gives a new perspective on freedom and poverty. And just when you think Kim is safe in the US American poverty also stares him in the face.

    The Lucky Few by Heather Avis- This memoir captures the story of a mother's unconditional love as God brings 3 children into her family via adoption. It was especially poignant as Jason and I have begun the adoption process. I couldn't wait to hear every story of how her family grew and it increased my anticipation for our own family's growth.

    Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas- First of all, anything by Metaxas that I have read has been worth the time. This gigantic biography was riveting. It brought Luther's humanity into the forefront and increased my understanding of the time period and the reformation. It's worth it.

    There you have it. These are my favorite 10. What did you read? What should I dig into during 2018? I'd love to have your suggestions.