Recommended Reading On Life, Marriage, and Christian Living
Several people have asked me to recommend books so I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the best books I read in 2011. Also, since I work in a publishing house and hate to see the bookstores closing down–I’d like you to read more! In 2012, I have challenged myself to ‘read more’ because I do believe leaders are readers. Michael and I decided not to have a TV our first year of marriage and it has already promoted more reading time.
Marriage Books: Michael and I tied the knot in June of last year and we both read more marriage books than we really need around our house. (So we give them away). The best & most helpful were:
Love and Respect by Emmerson Eggerichs . This book proved to be the most tangibly helpful marriage book we read. The premise of the book is women want love and men want respect & most conflict in marriage arises because of a misunderstanding of these two desires.
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. Author Thomas ponders the question, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy instead of happy?”
Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll. Takes a look at hard questions about sex, abuse, pornography and how these often play out in marriage. Mark and Grace didn’t do everything right in their dating life and their transparent style is great for struggling couples.
Sheet Music by Kevin Leman. A wonderful book on God’s design for sex & honoring Him in the bedroom. It also gives detailed advice for the couples who are really nervous about intimacy!
The Best Fiction Books I read:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Ok, who didn’t love this book? I wrote the back story (she was rejected by 60 agents before landing a book deal) here.
The Noticer by Andy Andrews. It’s a parable about how our lives can change with just a little perspective.
Need You Now by Beth Wiseman. A story of a family in crisis–where they learn to cling to the One who matters most. Beth deals with difficult issues of self-harm, grief, and extramarital temptations really well.
The Books that Changed Me:
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning. I read this for a third time. God loves you, God loves you, God loves you. Not as you are supposed to be, but exactly as you are. A truly powerful portrayal of the never-ceasing, all-powerful love of God.
Shame off You by Alan D Wright. The cover on this book is horrible (sorry Alan), but I read it for the 2nd time this year because it discusses shame in a very powerful and relevant manner.
The Best Memoirs:
Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. There is a reason this book has sold over 6 million copies! A must-read.
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. One of my favorite books of all time. Ann discusses coming to faith in the most radical, unexpected way–and all her struggles along the way. It will make you laugh out loud (seriously) and cry. Note: a little “edgy” so if you are easily offended, probably don’t pick this one up. She talks a lot about forgiveness.
Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Cron. If you liked The Glass Castle, you’ll love this one!
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. A cooking memoir that is beautifully written. Molly writes an internationally read cooking blog & she recounts life through recipes. She met her husband online.
All Is Grace by Brennan Manning. Brennan finally penned his memoir! He will always stay on my favorite’s list as what he dedicated his life to preaching is “God loves you not as you are supposed to be, but exactly as you are.” A beautiful story of a man walking and falling in His Christian life, but never losing faith–because all is grace.
What are the best books you read in 2011? Please leave your recommendations below! Let’s support authors and bookstores, shall we?
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