Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top Ten Books of 2013

Top Ten Books of 2013

These are not in order except for the first one.  The first one was the best book I read this year.

Total Books: 111 (Most I've read in a year!)
Approximate Pages Read/Listened to: 35,147

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
This book was life changing to me.  Counting blessings has changed my outlook on life and the daily practice of looking for and counting blessings has really brought joy.  I loved this book because it changed my life in a daily practical way and helped my heart.

Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert

I love Katie Ganshert's writing.  Her stories weave heartache and God's goodness together in such beautiful ways.  Through some very real and difficult situations,when it is hardest to see God, Katie Ganshert reveals God--and I love reading how she does it.  She has another book coming out, A Broken Kind of Beautiful, and I cannot wait to read it.

The Cadence of Grace Series (Be Still My Soul, Though My Heart is Torn, My Hope is Found) by Joanne Bischof

This series was heart-wrenching and beautiful all at the same time.  It truly is a series about grace and true love--self-sacrificing love, God's love.  Joanne Bischof's writing is something you will want to experience.

YA Series (Fireflies in December, Cottonwood Whispers, Catching Moondrops) by Jennifer Erin Valent
I love To Kill a Mockingbird and to me these books had pieces from that book that I loved.  Teenagers and adults alike will be drawn to the stories told.  I got the first book for free and then went and bought the other two.  I only buy books if I love them and I bought those two on faith, so that shows how much I liked the first one.

24/6 by Matthew Sleeth

A Sabbath Rest.  Such a beautiful, practical, and Biblical portrayal of why God asks us to rest.  Read it.

In Broken Places by Michele Phoenix

I put this on the top ten because I have never read a book that described to me the relationship between a brother and sister that matched how I feel about my brother so well.  Maybe no one else will get it but it was wonderful.  I don't even remember if the rest of the book was great or I just loved that one aspect so much that the book became a top 10.

Burning Sky by Lori Benton

The American frontier, a white child stolen away by the Indians--it showed up in my mailbox one day, so I read it.  What I found was a great book. Lori Benton weaves a layered story of trust, prejudice, grief, forgiveness, freedom, and love beautifully written.

Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman

I have to say that the reason I chose this book as a top ten because of Steven and Mary Beth's relationship.  Somehow I expected that they had an easy and loving marriage all along (perhaps it is because they are a famous Christian couple) but Mary Beth vulnerably shares their struggles and the strong commitment to God and each other that saw them through the hard times.  Marriage isn't easy and it was so encouraging to read a true story of a marriage that didn't start out well but will finish well because they run with God.  The whole book is inspirational on multiple levels.

The Penny by Joyce Meyers and Deborah Bedford

This book surprised me in a very good way.  This book is God showing up in unexpected ways and places.  Seeing His love in the little things.

To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander

It could be that I liked it because it is set in Tennessee, or the fact that Bob Green is such a fascinating real-life person, but I just really enjoyed this book.  It is a long book but I loved every page of it.

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reary

What can I say?  This book was just plain fun.  Yet, I was also touched by the call the author made, through the characters, for caring for orphans.  When I think of this book I smile, so I put it on my top ten.  :)

Honorable mentions:

A Woman's Guide to Hearing God's Voice by Leighann McCoy

Last year I read A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warefare by Leghann McCoy and that changed my life.  This one was very, very good as well and I highly recommend both.

Calm My Anxious Heart by Lisa Dillow

I read this book for a Bible study group and have found myself referring to it as I talk to others about ways to deal with stress or anxiety.  

There are a few books that I had read years ago and re-read this year.  So while they would have made the top 10 I put them here.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I love this book.  One of my favorite of all time.  Atticus Finch is my fictional hero.

Education by Ellen White

I have't read this since I was "made to" in my education classes in high school and I found so many wonderful things in it this second time around.  Great for not only educators but parents as well.

Joseph by Terri Fivash

I was fascinated by all the things I learned about historical and ancient Egypt in this book the first time I read it, and when I had my husband read it this year I had to re-read it after him.  Really great book.

Dishonorable Mention:
Quest for the Nailprints by Don Furr. (not worthy of a picture)
Ugh.  Just save yourself the time and money.  Don't read it.

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