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I love to read, and I love finding those five-star books that keep me captivated the whole way through. I shared The 18 Best Books I Read in 2018 last year, and now it’s time for this year’s list! Without further ado…
10. Swing Lowe by Erynn Mangum. A cute, quick novella from one of my favorite authors. Erynn Mangum’s never written anything I don’t like!
9. Sweet On You by Becky Wade. This is the long-awaited conclusion to Wade’s Bradford Sisters series. I liked the first two books the best, but I like every book this author writes, and I’m looking forward to her new series next spring!
7 & 8. Royally in Trouble and Fanatically in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones. I finally caught up on this hilarious series (These are books 2 and 3, and book 1 is free right now!), and I can’t not include these books on my list because the characters are so funny! The stars of the show here are Sylvie and Frannie, sassy retired CIA agents who aren’t your typical grandmas and literally make me laugh out loud with their comments. I hope they continue to appear in future books!
2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. Hawthorne House Series (A Lady of Esteem, A Noble Masquerade, An Elegant Façade, An Uncommon Courtship and An Inconvenient Beauty) by Kristi Ann Hunter. I had never read anything of this author’s before, but I got free downloads of both the prequel novella and the first book, and I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed them! I quickly purchased the remaining three novels and finished them all in record time. I’m usually drawn toward more contemporary books, but this historical series kept me reading to the end.
1. As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner. I’ve been enjoying Meissner’s books for years, and each time she releases a new one I read the description and wonder, Is this really my kind of book? Every single time, it turns out to be “my kind of book.” She often writes about historical events I know next to nothing about, and no matter the topic, she crafts an intriguing story that pulls me right in. I felt more empathy and emotion while reading this book than I expected to, from the loss and grief to the triumph and unending hope.
9. Remember the Roses: How to Hold Out, Hang On & Marry the Man of Your Dreams by Lynette Lewis. This woman’s story is amazing! She was given a prophetic word that she would have twin girls, but her dreams of getting married and becoming a mother were delayed for many years until both appeared impossible. She finally got married at 42 and offers advice from the other side of a long wait and an “impossible” situation that became possible when God stepped in. This was actually a reread for me after I heard Lewis interviewed on this podcast episode, which I also recommend!
8. The Prophetic and Healing Power of Your Words: Creating an Atmosphere for the Miraculous by Becky Dvorak. This book was very informative and also convicting, because it made me realize how often I speak things over myself and others that are more harmful that I think. This is probably a book I’ll reread at some point to remind myself yet again why I need to be so careful about the words I speak.
7. The New Era of Glory by Tim Sheets. A helpful and encouraging book full of strategies on how to reach breakthroughs, contend for promises, and see victories. This is another book that emphasizes the importance of our words and declarations – they are so powerful!
6. The Veil by Blake K. Healy. This is a book written by a “seer” – someone who has a gift from God to “see” things in the spiritual realm. It’s an interesting read whether you think you may be a seer or not; I don’t consider myself much of a seer other than in my dreams each night, but I still learned a lot from the author’s descriptions of what he’s seen and how the spiritual realm affects the physical realm.
5. The Speed of Favor: How God Exceeds, Increases, and Accelerates Your Life by Tim Hill. I didn’t know much about this book going into it, but it turned out to be one of the best ones I read all year! God promises favor to each one of his children, and this book taught me a lot about what that looks like, what it requires, and how we can receive it.
4. Breakthrough: Prophecies, Prayers & Declarations by Shawn Bolz. I didn’t think I’d like this book – I thought it might be kind of trite with too many discussion questions and not enough “meat” – but I was wrong. This book is powerful! I’ve been learning about the power of decreeing (Notice a theme in many of these books?), and this book is probably the best resource for that I’ve come across.
3. Your Beautiful Purpose: Discovering and Enjoying What God Can Do Through You by Susie Larson. This was a reread – my third or fourth time through now. I’ve lost count! It was just as good the third or fourth time. I love it so much, it inspired a whole blog post! In fact, I’ve mentioned it more than once. 🙂 Read this book if you’re wondering even a little bit what your purpose might be!
2. A-Z Dream Symbology Dictionary by Barbie Breathitt. THE most amazing resource!! In the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about how God speaks to us through our dreams, and this is a book I use almost every morning when I wake up to help me figure out what my dreams mean. I’ve read other dream books, but none of them is as comprehensive as this one. It’s a splurge at $50, but it’s entirely worth it.
1. (+ a bonus) The Perfect Match: Finding the ONE You Were Made For by Wes Raley. It’s hard to find relationship books that I wholeheartedly agree with, because I don’t usually see relationships the same way that most of the world does. This one was a winner! There’s also a companion book titled 7 Signs That God Has Someone for You, which is great for those who may worry they’re eternally cursed with the “gift of singleness.” 😊 Both books were full of hope and wisdom and I recommend either to anyone who’s single.
1. Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines. I know I’m late to the party, but I got to visit Magnolia this year and now I finally understand what all the hype is about! I enjoyed breakfast at Magnolia Table (the restaurant) and was determined to recreate some of Joanna’s recipes once I got home. (The peppermint mocha was my favorite thing at the restaurant, and the Korean beef is my favorite recipe from the cookbook so far!) I’ve enjoyed every recipe I’ve made from this cookbook. Excited for Volume 2 next spring!
Your turn: What were the best books YOU read this year?