The Thanksgiving leftovers are finally gone (hopefully), the trees are being put up, and the stores are blaring Christmas music in every direction. The Christmas countdown is on and chances are you haven’t gotten around to buying all those Christmas gifts (big props to you if you’re already finished, please don’t tell the others and make us feel bad).
So this week I’ve decided to take a break from our regularly scheduled program and give you a list of 10 books that I recommend to be on ANY Christmas list!
You may be thinking, “but Mariah, I HATE to read” or, “they HATE to read”, but the gift of a book can be so powerful. Just this week I got a text from a friend that I had bought a book for a couple months ago (knowing full and well that she’s not a huge reader) about how impacted she was by the book. I’ll let you read her words for yourself:
"Idk if you remember but you gave me this book back in July for my birthday. I just finished another book so this week I started this one. For the first time in a while I fell back into believing all the list I used to hold on to before I truly knew my identity in Christ. Almost as if I had forgotten it...horrible I know. But this has spoken so much life, truth, and encouragement into my life especially during this semester...All that to say than you. I can't help but feel like God knew I would need this book for this time. And whether God lead you to give me this or if it was just something you thought I'd enjoy, I am so grateful. It's been such a blessing to my life."
Wow. Tell me that books aren’t the most beautiful gift ever!
We continued to talk about how she used to not like to read, but the last couple months, God has used them to minister to her life.
You may buy a book for someone and get an amazing message like I did, or they may never touch the book for several years and you never hear about it again. But book giving is an intentional way to allow God to move through your Christmas gift this year.
So to help you out, I’ve made a list of my FAVORITE books. I have a lot of favorites so it was really hard to narrow them down, but here’s my top 10 (in no particular order).
1. Love Does by Bob Goff
Honestly could never say enough words about how amazing this book is. It’s SO simple and an easy read, but it presents the gospel in the most beautiful, down to earth way. Have you ever felt so consumed by theology and arguments surrounding Christianity? READ THIS BOOK to bask in the simplicity of the gospel once again. Bob Goff is a superhero in my eyes (research him a little bit and you’ll be in love with him too) and his stories in this book will just light up your world.
P.S. Fun fact: Bob’s phone number is in the back of his book and he answers whoever calls! I’ve yet to call him (because I just adore him so much and don’t know what I’d say!), but I’ve heard of people calling him and having great conversations with him!
2. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Love a good romance novel? This is the ultimate one in my eyes. It’s such a beautiful romance book that is based on the story of Hosea in the Bible. Honestly, that book has always been a little weird and confusing to me, but this adaptation of the story makes it all “click”. Francine uses her beautiful imagination to fill in the gaps that the Bible leaves out and takes your breath away. What’s even more beautiful is that this story is an illustration of how the Lord loves/pursues the church. By the end, you will feel so loved and pursued. Guaranteed.
3. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis Majors
I have a deep love for books about missionaries (I have a whole list of great ones so hit me up if you’re interested in more recommendations) but this one has always been my favorite. Katie is such a sweet soul who writes about her transition from living in Nashville to Africa as a 17 year old girl. Powerful stuff. This book is super inspiring and cultivates a grateful heart.
4. God Has A Name by John Mark Comer
Love Does was for the person who needs a break from all the theology, but this book is for the person who thrives in theological thoughts. A lot of times, books about theology really lose me (as I’m more of the Love Does personality), but this book is so easy to read and understand! It opened my eyes up to so many things that I had never realized before (including the reason why I now reference God as Yahweh most of the time in my life). Best theological book I’ve been able to get through so far.
5. When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric & Leslie Ludy
As mentioned in a previous post, my 21 years have been full of single living, so I have read MANY books about singleness and preparing hearts for future relationships, but this one has always been my favorite. This book is written by a married couple and gives the perspective of both the guy and the girl and how letting God write your love story is so much more beautiful than when we try to write it on our own. Perfect for those who are single, dating, and married. Has something for each stage of life.
6. How’s Your Soul by Judah Smith
We’ve all been in a place where we just feel “ugh”. This is the book I turn to when I just feel “ugh”. Like nothing’s working, life’s hard, and I want to give up. It gets down to the root issues and really revives the soul. This book has walked me through many hard seasons.
7. Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
I recommend this book to every female on the face of the planet. This book unveiled so many truths to me. One of my all-time favorite messages came from this book: the concept of living loved. Please get this book for any female in your life. They will thank you for it!
8. The Sisterhood by Bobbie Houston
This book is also fantastic for any female, but is most amazing for those who are part of creating a community for women. Whether this is through a ministry or a friendship, this gets to the heart of how God created women to be connected and how beautiful that community can be and how Bobbie has cultivated that through the Sisterhood ministry out of Hillsong church.
This is possibly the hardest list I have EVER had to create as I love so many books, but I tried to pick only 1-2 books from the different subjects I read. This list may change as I read for years to come, but these have been the most impactful in my life up to this moment.
Merry Christmas & Happy Reading!!!
P.S. Thriftbooks.com is the BEST place to buy books! They always have the cheapest option and if you spend $10, you get free shipping! You’re welcome!