The doors sweep open and light pours through ceiling-high windows. Belle looks around in awe at shelves and shelves of books, unsure of where to begin. That scene from the movie Beauty and the Beast is imprinted on my mind, and chances are, if you’re a book lover like me, it’s one of your favorite scenes as well!
Every two weeks on my own blog I document a list of books I’ve completed, and in 2016 I’m completing a 52-book reading challenge to find even more great reads! It’s tough to narrow so many great books down to only six picks for this article, but I find myself returning again and again to the titles below.
- Make It Happen by Lara Casey. Lara Casey is the founder of the popular magazine Southern Weddings, blogger, wife and mother whose testimony is powerful. Trapped in a cycle of perfectionism and busyness, Casey found her world collapsing around her. Her health, marriage and work were all suffering. This book documents what Casey learned in her journey out of perfectionism and into a productive and thriving life. You’ll have practical steps to implement at the end of each chapter, as well as questions to ask as you evaluate your own life priorities.
- Being a Girl Who Loves by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio. Jesus narrowed down His commands to the greatest two: love God, and love others. But isn’t loving others hard? In this book, Shannon Kubiak Primicerio breaks down what it means to love people like God loves us. She talks about loving those who don’t deserve it, and what to do when our efforts aren’t rewarded. This is a convicting read for a girl at any stage of life—16 to 86!
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Do you struggle with forming good habits? This book is for you! In a friendly style, Gretchen Rubin relays a year-long experiment she did on herself. Each month she implemented new habits, tried new things, and changed her life in small ways to lessen stress and improve her overall happiness in daily life. I reread this book every year for its practical tips and conversational writing.
- Who Stole Feminism? by Christina Hoff Sommers. As I mention in my posts “Is the Bible Sexist” and “Can Women Preach?”, the feminism of today is a far cry from the beliefs of true feminist founders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. But how did we get to where we are today, and what is today’s feminism really about? This book answers those questions with in-depth research. This is a rigorous read—one that takes time and thought to finish—but it’s worth every minute!
- Crazy Love by Francis Chan. If you have ever struggled with accepting God’s love, look no further. Francis Chan’s famous book about the love of God will transform your understanding of God’s kindness and mercy. Chan uses scripture to depict the how and why of God’s love and what it means for us personally—and how we can take this love into the world.
- A Young Woman’s Walk With God by Elizabeth George. Teen girls will benefit greatly from this book, which was a staple of my own girlhood bookshelf. In easy-to-read, applicable chapters, Elizabeth George breaks down the disciplines and attitudes young women can begin incorporating into their spiritual lives from an early age. I read this book many times in my teens and eventually transitioned to George’s A Woman After God’s Own Heart as I got older!
What are you reading in 2016? Share your recommendations in the comments section!