Here are the 10 best books I read last year, listed in no particular order. They cover a variety of genres, but all of them were enjoyable to read and strengthened me is some area of my life. At the end, I listed out all the books I read last year.
The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with bullet journals, but using one has changed my life! I have never been a fan of planners. I buy one at the start of every school year, use it for like a week, and then open it maybe two other times before the next school year. Then a friend showed me her bullet journal and gave me a brief run-down of Ryder Carroll’s method. I loved that I could use it as a creative outlet and that I could develop it according to my schedule.
I finally got a hold of Ryder Carroll’s book in January of 2019 and loved it. His method reveals his philosophy of “intentional living.” He lays out his method so simply that anyone can use it and then develop it according to his own liking.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I basically love any book set during World War II–fictional or not. I liked this book in particular because it is an epistolary novel, meaning the entire story is told through a series of letters, and it centers around a character who is an author and lover of books. At one point, Juliet (the main character) reflects, “Perhaps there is some sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” That is precisely how I felt about this book.
Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin
I love every Biblical fiction book Lynn Austin writes. I read the Gods and Kings series last year and intend to re-read them this year. Keepers of the Covenant is from Austin’s series The Restoration Chronicles which is set during the times of Zechariah, Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah. I read the entire series this year, and it was hard to choose which one was actually my favorite. In any case, these books will cause you to view familiar Bible stories with a different perspective and challenge your faith in such a unique way. People who claim that they can’t learn from fiction are either not reading very good fiction or missing the author’s intentions.
The Reese Chronological Bible
Technically, I started reading this is 2018 but finished it in 2019. I’ll be honest there were times when reading the Bible chronologically was difficult because I would read the same events multiple times or because the children of Israel were wandering the desert for soooo long. However, I really did gain a new perspective on God’s Word that I never had before. I particularly loved learning which prophets were prophesying during which king’s reign. Also, it was amazing how I would end up reading Biblical fiction (such as Lynn Austin’s Restoration Chronicles) at the same time as I was reading through those books chronologically. It really made the Bible come alive!
Grit by Angela Duckworth
This book is ultimately what motivated me to train and run a half-marathon last year and what has kept me inspired to now train for a full marathon. Angela Duckworth explains what grit is and how the most successful people are not necessarily successful because of their talent but because of their grit. She also demonstrates how grit can be learned from the inside out. If you feel like you tend to start more than you ever finish, I highly recommend this book!
Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
I’m generally wary of books that are spin-offs of classics such as Anne of Green Gables, but I loved this one! I came across it by chance at the library when I was looking for another book. I love Anne of Green Gables so I figured I would give it a try. This book tells Marilla’s story when she was just a girl at Green Gables, and it reveals just what happened between John Blythe and Marilla when they were young. If you are like me, you have always wondered, and even though it is not written by L.M. Montgomery, I find this book enjoyable and satisfying.
Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch
Nerd alert. This book focuses on the linguistics of the internet and how the internet has influenced the English language. I know some English teachers complain about how this is a bad thing, but I personally think it’s amazing! From memes to social media slang to the different ways people write “lol,” this book reveals the history and patterns of internet language in a most fascinating way.
Dead Wake by Erik Larson
I love every book I have ever read by Erik Larson. He takes historical subject matter and makes it come alive. Sometimes I forget that I’m not reading fiction. This book, in particular, sparked an interest in World War I which I never before had. This books goes back and forth between the voyage of the Lusitania and the destructive path of Unterseeboot-20 until the fateful moment when they meet. The stories of the passengers of Lusitania, the captain and crew of Unterseeboot-20, and the diplomats and intelligence agents surrounding this historical event make Larson’s Dead Wake a entertaining and educational read.
Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen
This book reveals a part of Audrey Hepburn’s life that I suspect few know, her life in the Netherlands surrounding World War II. In the foreward, Luca Dotti writes, “The war made my mother who she was.” Hepburn dealt with family trouble, the murder of a beloved uncle, the Nazi occupation, starvation, yet she overcame tragedy and difficulty to become a renowned ballerina and actress and to make a difference around the world as a UNICEF ambassador. I have read other books that were set during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, yet this one gave me a completely new perspective of that time.
Everybody, Always by Bob Goff
It was hard to choose between Love Does and Everybody, Always. Both books by Bob Goff really changed the way I interact with others. Since I have read them, I find myself engaging more in conversation with others and looking for ways to show the love of Jesus to the people I meet. Both books are easy and entertaining to read as Bob Goff tells his own almost unbelievable stories to teach simple, yet powerful truths.
The Full List of Books I Read in 2019:
- The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
- The Calling by Rachelle Dekker
- The Alienist by Caleb Carr
- Return to Me by Lynn Austin
- The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie
- What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson
- The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
- The Last Days of Jesus by Bill O’Reilly
- Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
- Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson
- The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie
- Every Breath You Take by Mary Higgins Clark
- The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
- The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
- I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark
- Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock
- All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark
- Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin
- You Don’t Own Me by Mary Higgins Clark
- A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker
- Against All Odds by Irene Hannon
- Vanished by Irene Hannon
- And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle
- Grit by Angela Duckworth
- The Reese Chronological Bible
- On This Foundation by Lynn Austin
- Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer
- Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
- The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
- The Returning by Rachelle Dekker
- Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent
- Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
- Love Does by Bob Goff
- Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
- Be Mature (James) by Warren Wiersbe
- The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle
- Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
- Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch
- File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony Snicket
- The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
- The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
- Becoming Madeleine by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy
- Dead Wake by Erik Larson
- Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
- The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
- The Death Cure by James Dashner
- I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
- Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen
- Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
- Everybody, Always by Bob Goff
- Erasing Hell by Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle
- Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson
- Read Something Else by Lemony Snicket
If you would like to know more about any of these books, send me an email. I’d love to share more with you!