2020 has thrown a wrench in a lot of my plans, but one of the things that really benefitted from this wacko year was my reading list. I completed my initial reading goals in April, and decided to keep plowing ahead. I haven’t read this much in years, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed reviving the very bookish heart in me. Are you looking for some good reads to kick off 2021? Maybe you’ll find something in this list of my top ten reads from the year. In the following list, I don’t detail much of each book’s content, just a brief description or perhaps my thoughts on them. For fuller summaries click on the links to read more.
(A) Typical Woman by: Abigail Dodds
In this book, Abigail Dodds expounds on what it means to be a Christian woman. Books on biblical womanhood tend to evoke one of two responses in me, either a burdensome weight to do it all better or confusion. Abigail Dodds book was a breath of fresh air and I have found myself returning to my many underlined passages often and recommending it left and right. Thoughtful, beautiful, and unashamedly biblical.
Laughing at the Days to Come by: Tessa Thompson
A convicting and encouraging book on suffering, hope, and how the truth of the Gospel changes how we look to the future. I read this one in a week, drinking deeply the hope and comfort each chapter offered. If you know someone suffering, give them this book for Christmas.
12 Faithful Women edited by: Melissa Kruger & Kristen Wetherell
This collection of short biographies on twelve women of the faith was enjoyable to read and refreshing to my soul. I love biographies, and this was like a road trip to visit some of the most convicting and inspirational in more recent church history. I loved how each chapter was written by a different woman. Overall the project was a wonderful demonstration of how God uses so many people in so many different ways to make His name known.
Blogging for the Glory of God in a Clickbait World by: John Beeson & Benjamin Vrbicek
Some of my friends from the GCD Writers Guild wrote this book! I had the privilege of reading it prior to it’s publication, and let me tell you, it is full of wisdom for both beginning and experienced bloggers. If you aspire to blog, do blog, or know someone who blogs, this is a book you should have.
Adorning the Dark by: Andrew Peterson
A beautiful memoir on the wonder of making art, experiencing community, and how the greatest Story ever told changes how we approach all the others. A lovely book for any writer, reader, or artist.
Reformation Women by: Rebecca VanDoodeward
I got a copy of this book at the G3 Conference in January, and thoroughly enjoyed reading about some lesser known women in church history. It was full of interesting information and was easy to read. Would be a delight for anyone interested in church history, and might be fun to go through with a group!
The Tale of Despereaux by: Kate DiCamillo
This story moves me to tears. I read it in middle school, and re-read it aloud this year to my students. We all loved it, but I think it meant more to me as an adult than it did as a child. If you like fairy tales, cute mice, and powerful stories of hope, this book is for you and any children that may be around.
Bleak House by: Charles Dickens
The longest book I have ever read, and 100% worth it. Dickens can be wordy, but I loved this story. The characters were so distinct, the differing subplots intriguing, and the ending was the best blend of happy and sad. If you’ve never read Dickens before, I wouldn’t suggest starting with this one, but if you have, I wholeheartedly recommend it. (Side note: the BBC film adaption starring Gillian Anderson, Anna Maxwell-Martin, and Carey Mulligan is very well done and I’d recommend it for someone interested in the story but unable to commit to the 800 pages of the novel.)
Go Set a Watchman by: Harper Lee
I was hesitant to read this. For a very long time To Kill a Mockingbird has been my favorite novel. I’d heard that this sequel ruined the original. It was my first quarantine read, and I finished it in three days. While it wasn’t necessarily delightful, it was profound. I think Harper Lee’s second work may surpass her first in wisdom and lasting impact. (Side note: there is quite a bit of language.)
Emma by: Jane Austen
Hands down the most delightful read of the year. Need I say more? (Side note: the 2009 BBC miniseries with Romola Garai and Johnny Lee Miller is a cinematic treat.)
Happy reading, friends! What did you love this year?