I read over 60 books in 2015! They are a mix of biography/personal reflection, business/writing, Christian fiction/fiction, and Christian non-fiction. I also read the Bible all the way through for the seventh time! (This does not count the numerous research books that I scanned for my writing projects or the homeschooling/children’s books I read. It also doesn’t include books I read for endorsement.)
I also know I’ve forgotten some books. In 2015 I have to keep track better! <– Resolution!
Here is a list of the 15 Biography/Personal reflection books I read. I honestly loved them all. (I rarely read past the first chapter of any book that I don’t love.)
I’ve included a short description of each. Also, at the bottom of the page are my 2 TOP PICKS!
George Muller is my hero! He is a wonderful man of faith, and I strive to be more like him. This book was very well written. It told about his life in a dramatic way. It reads like a novel, but there is so much spiritual application that one can take away. If you’d like to read more about George Muller, or read more about the power of prayer, I highly recommend this book!
I went to Kenya in June, and I wanted to read an inspiring book about the country before I went. I’d met Claire Diaz-Ortiz at a blogger conference, and I was excited about this book. I wasn’t disappointed! The story of Claire and Samuel’s relationship was beautiful. This book showed me again what a difference once person can make in the life of orphans!
Fawn Weaver is an amazing woman. For many years I’ve loved her blog The Happy Wives Club, and I was looking forward to her book. What Fawn did is nothing short of amazing. She traveled the world and sought out couples in long-lasting relationships to get their advice. I love travel, and I love hearing stories of inspiring couples, so this book was a win-win for me! It’s a different type of marriage book, and that made it truly refreshing!
I met Carol Kent through an organization that I’m a part of AWSA. (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.) Carol is godly, well-spoken, and wise. She’s the real deal. I remember when her son was imprisoned on a murder charge. Because I was part of the same organization, Carol wrote in often asking for prayer and giving updates to the situation. I saw how God gave her strength, even during these difficult circumstances. God’s love showed in her, and through her, even as she was going through hard circumstances. I picked up this book because a dear friend had her son imprisoned this year. I sent this book to my friend and I read along. This book is a great help to those facing hard times … and for those who want to know how to help them.
I’ve heard a lot about Brother Andrew from friends I knew. My friend Robin Gunn smuggled Bibles for Brother Andrew when she was in college. Also, when I was in the Czech Republic for mission trips, I heard how Brother Andrew smuggled in Bibles during the Nazi Occupation and Cold War. So, of course, I wanted to learn more! This book did not disappoint. I love how God led an ordinary man to do amazing things. I can’t wait to get to heaven to hear about how those Bible impacted people’s lives for eternity!
I first heard Melanie Shankle at a blogger conference. She was my favorite speaker at the event. She was so funny, but she also packed a lot of truth into her message. I figured that if Melanie was half as funny in her books, I wouldn’t be disappointed. I wasn’t! I listened to Melanie’s books on audiobook, and I felt as if I was hanging out with a friend over coffee and hearing her parenting stories. It was a great “read”, and it made me an even bigger fan of Melanie!
The Antelope in the Living Room talks about all the stuff you really want to saw about marriage, but you don’t have the guts to! Melanie is funny, wise, and insightful. This would be a perfect book to share with someone who needs marriage advice but would be offended if you gave them a marriage book! 🙂
Wow. That’s the first thing that came to mind when I thought about this book. There are many books that inspire me, but this book made me ACT. Jen did hard things, like cut limit her clothes, food, and cut out electronics. She was honest about what was hard and what was easy, but that’s not the beauty of this book. Jen Hatmaker made me look at my own life and the consumerism mentality that has seeped in to my Christianity. It gave me a lot to think about, but I also started to live differently. Only a great book can do that!
I’ve heard about One Thousand Gifts FOREVER, and I even started to read it once before. Why did I stop? I’ll have to admit that Ann Voskamp intimated me. She writes so beautifully and thinks so deeply. I felt that her book would make me feel bad about myself and my life. But just the opposite happened. Instead of looking at myself as not being “enough” Ann’s book helped me to see all that God gave me. I also began to see that thankfulness is the key to seeing the world as God does. It’s a beautiful book that touched my heart. You won’t be disappointed!
When I picked up this book I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of Christine Caine before. She’s amazing! The stories she shared were inspiring. She truly is a courageous and undaunted woman. The book is engaging and easy to read, and I find myself thinking of her stories often. Christine is an example of what can happen when you believe that God can use you in amazing ways.
I grew up wishing that I could be Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’d picture myself walking behind the covered wagon crossing the prairie. I wanted nothing more to sit on Pa’s knee or listen to him fiddle. Obviously Wendy McClure felt the same way. The Wilder Life is one woman’s journey to bring “Little House” to life in her everyday world. I loved Wendy’s experiences, and it made me try some of my own!
Adoption has touched my life. First, I grew up with a step-father, and I didn’t know my biological dad until I was 28-years-old. Second, my husband and I have adopted three children. All that to say, Minka’s story was special to me. Minka’s innocence and love for her daughter drew me in, but her amazing life carried me along. I love the reunion and the amazing family she discovered. What a gift God gave her in her last years! A touching story, and very well written!
I am an avid World War II fan. I’ve written a dozen World War II novels, and I’ve interview over a hundred World War II veterans. I knew I would enjoy this book (because it’s World War II), but Louie’s story was even more amazing than I expected! He truly was an inspiring person. Because I’ve talked to so many World War II veterans I wasn’t surprised by the events, but they were very true-to-life in comparison to the veterans that I talked to. As a Christian I also was touched by Louie’s faith journey. Forgiveness transformed his life–both the forgiveness that he accepted from Christ and the forgiveness that he gave. Recently, I also watched the movie, and I thought it was well-done. I wish there was more of his faith journey in it, but it’s impossible to put so much in a story!
I adore anything written by Catherine Marshall. Catherine has been a mentor to me for many years–not in person but through her books. I love how she shares her lows and her highs. I love how she shares what God teaches her. Her stories help me look at my own life in new ways.
I learned about John Hyde while researching for my soon-to-be published book Prayers that Changed History. I was intrigued because I’d never heard his name before. What an inspiring man! John truly dedicated his life to prayer. Even as he worked all day as a missionary he spent most nights awake in prayer. John’s testimony has inspired my prayer life!
Now for my two favorite books from this category …
This is a favorite because I truly look at my life differently.
This is a favorite because it reminded me how much I love World War II … and because of that I decided to write World War II again. I’ll be doing that in 2015.
How about you? What biography or personal reflection books have you read this year? What are your favorites?
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