Thursday, December 10, 2015

2015's Shareworthy Reads


After curling up with dozens of books this year, here's my own personal game-changing choices.  These thoughtful authors would make fine traveling companions on your journey in 2016.  If you're ready to ponder, savor, question, and somehow integrate what you're reading into your life, here's what I'm recommending.  And a good classic novel, too!  

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Deepest Soul Searcher
Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference - Yancey
Yancey reflectively sits with the hard questions of the impact of prayer on suffering and evil.  He doesn't lob Scripture at you, he doesn't preach, and he tosses no pat answers your way.  His own yearning, failures, doubt, and joy all mix together and provide you with a kindred spirit guide for your own journey of faith.

Give yourself plenty of grace and space to savor his gentle, hope-fueled wisdom ... this book will sit on your nightstand for awhile.  And that's a very good thing.


Best Small Group Conversation Starter
Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity - Hatmaker
When it comes to the future ministry of your church, if you're looking for a jumpstart into some heavy-duty considerations, this is the book for you.  And even though the subject is deep, Hatmaker's writing style is light and conversational and fun.

When all is said and done, here's one woman in ministry's compelling invitation to dare to toss business as usual to the side, step out of our worn comfort zones, and figure out where we need to go next.  Good stuff.


Most Urgent
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Happens in the End - Gawade
Sooner or later, we've all got to face soul-searching questions about the end of our lives and how we want to be cared for.  I say let's do it sooner rather than later.  Why wait til your family's marking time over your hospital bed, frantically trying to figure out what your truest wishes would have been?

Today's tremendous medical advances make our choices more incredibly complex than ever.  So Dr. Gawade asks these kind of questions - What is your understanding of the situation and its potential outcomes?  What are your biggest fears and concerns?  What goals are most important to you?  What trade offs are you willing to make, and what ones are you not?

Bottom line?  As maudlin as it may sound, every family should read and talk through this book ... before the need arises.


Best Classic Novel
The Shell Seekers - Pilcher
By the end of the first page, I was hooked.  I'm partial to huge tomes, those gigantic sagas and complex stories that span the generations.

Set in the English countryside and by the sea, spanning three generations, this is the subtly stormy saga of Penelope and her family.  Throw some priceless artwork and a variety of interesting characters into the mix, and this novel makes for some fascinating reading.

At a time when I needed it most, this huge book was a wonderful escape, a splendid piece of fiction.


Most Helpful Homekeeping Tool
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Kondo
Because I'm still hip deep in unpacking and tossing and organizing all those extra post-move belongings that still don't have a space, I love Kondo's emphasis on gathering ALL of one category at a time ... and the subtle distinction to joyfully claim what we want to keep, instead of simply focusing on what to get rid of.  

And I fully embrace that 'a dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective.'  Ain't that the truth.

This book's message continues to impact me right where I live.  Literally.

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What's your favorite book of 2015?




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sharing with
Anne & Anita & Kate & Tina

38 comments:

  1. All of the books sound wonderful! I have not read any of them. I know you have referenced the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which I should invest in. There are several books I have loved this year. Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman. Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs and I am currently reading Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge which is like a devotional to ignite your quiet time with God. All have impacted me this year.

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    1. I love a good devotional that 'ignites' those quiet times! Anything that sparks a flame of adoration for Christ? Yes and amen!

      Thanks, Mary, for kicking off this conversation. I love to hear what friends are relishing ...

      Weekend joys to you, friend!

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  2. Read only one on your list--"The Shell Seekers"--great book!

    I read so much--I don't know if I could go back and resurrect a year's list! Impressed that you did this, Friend!

    Thanks for the tips!

    Blessings!

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    1. Since 1992 I've kept yearly list in a little blue journal with a teddy bear on the front (remember when teddies were all the decorating rage?!)

      It's been fun to keep track over time ...

      Hope you'll have some quiet reading moments tucked in this weekend, Lulu!

      ;-}

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  3. Hi Linda, I am yet to read any of these books!They must be really share worthy...I know a few of the authors on your list.
    How have you been Linda?
    Thanks for blessing us as usual.
    Many Blessings to you

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    1. You bless me by your presence here, Ifeoma!

      I hope you're doing well ...

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  4. I keep reading good things about the Tidying-up book. Sounds like one I should read before we start the retirement purging phase. We still have over 2 years though I wouldn't mind starting on the purging. I've not read any on this list either which sort of makes it all the better. New things to learn! Thanks Linda.

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    1. You're so smart, Debby. I wish I had read Tidying before we moved. Although we got rid of tons of stuff while packing, there's been plenty more that's gone out the door since we arrived at our new home.

      It's amazing how LITTLE we truly need.

      Can't wait to hear how it works for you!

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  5. Love seeing this list, Linda! Gives me more material to read later. :) One of my favorites this year also was Being Mortal---such an important work! It's in my top 5 for sure. My very favorite is Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, another important work. Have a blessed weekend!

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    1. Thanks for all the good reads you've suggested this year, Lisa. I know we've resonated on more than a few books! I'm glad to have gotten to know kindred-sister-book-lovers, even from afar!

      Can't wait to see your list! I know it'll be an inspiring one ...

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  6. A few favorites from this last year ... Nonfiction: "Let's Pretend We're Normal" by Tricia Lott Williford and "The Hardest Peace" by Kara Tippetts. Fiction: "Come Rain or Come Shine" by Jan Karon (latest in the Mitford Series), "The Lake House" by Kate Morton and "Dear Mr. Knightley" by Katherine Reay. I love your book posts, Linda!

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    1. Cool! I just finished Jan Karon's new book {thanks to someone's recommendation in last month's book post.} And THE LAKE HOUSE is on my request list at the library.

      And yep, I love the conversation 'round the table that springs from these posts! No big surprise that avid writers are avid readers, huh?

      ;-}

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  7. My favourite book so far is what I'm reading now, "Inferno", Joseph Springer's account (mainly an oral history collection) of the service of the USS Franklin in WW2, culminating in the horrendous fire that nearly sank the carrier after a hit from a Japanese bomb in March 1945. It's gripping.

    If you like tomes, Linda, have I got a treat for you...Susan Howatch's 'Starbridge' series, six books that chronicle the lives of a group of people involved (in various capacities) in the C of E from the 30s to the 80s.

    I read "The Shell Seekers" when it came out; great writing.

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    1. Yes, Andrew! Thanks to your recommendation earlier this year, I did read a few in Howatch's series. Compelling yet disturbing characters weren't they!

      My Dad would have loved your Springer recommendation ...

      Glad to hear that you're still up to reading and writing, even during those rough days. You're an inspiration, man ...

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  8. My Favourite book? Apart from mine that is? Well: "I am with you" by Father John Woolley. ISBN 0-950-8840-7-3 It is a book which you read again and again. It contains a series of divine inspirations as given to Father John in prayer. Each page is one devotion. You open the book at random and it is surprising how often God is speaking to you about what is on your mind, or troubling you at the time.

    http://www.amazon.com/I-am-You-John-Woolley/dp/0950884073/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449863371&sr=1-1&keywords=0950884073

    God bless.

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    1. Thanks for leaving the link to some inspirational reading, Victor! Don't you love how God sends us what we need to touch our hearts ...

      Advent blessings to you, brother.

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  9. Linda, I always enjoy visiting with you because every book I've gotten from one of your lists has been a worthy read. Thank you for sharing! GOD bless you, beautiful friend! :-)

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  10. Do you do any blogging for books type reviews? I do some with Zondervan, and its a wonderful way to read new releases without breaking the bank!! - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. The book giveaways here are through FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network. I get a free book to review ... and one for a reader giveaway. Love it!

      http://www.flybypromotions.com/

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  11. You are always in the know about what's good to read, Linda. Thanks for bringing our attention to these gems. I'm especially intrigued by the first two. I love Yancey and am familiar with Hatmaker but not through her books. I'll have to check it out. I hope you're having a restful Sunday, recharging for the week ahead, my friend!

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    1. I don't know about being in the know, but I'd say that many of the books I've read and enjoyed have been because of enthusiastic recommendations by online friends!

      I hope your sabbath included some time with a good book in hand, Beth, and that you've felt your soul revived by the reading.

      ;-}

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  12. I so enjoyed this post as there are several "new" to me books :) There truly were so many which I loved this year that it would be hard for me to pick just one. Thank you for the recommendations!

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    1. It was a good book-year, wasn't it! Can't wait to see what ends up on the pile in the months to come. A new adventure awaits ...

      ;-}

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  13. Ooooh, Fun! I love a list of recommended books. I remember listening to Shell Seekers on tape (yes, it was tape back then) on the commute to my last job. I was exceedingly and abundantly pregnant and had an hour and a half commute one way each day. Great plot for absorbing all those miles.

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    1. Oh my goodness, those were the days, huh? Amazing the energy level we had back in the day ... maybe that's why we had kids THEN!

      ;-}

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  14. The Shell Seekers is one of my favorites! And Kondo's book still has me thinking (and more important, doing. I will look for Interrupted!

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    1. And this you wrote -->'and more important, doing.'

      Well said! I'm trying to live it out!

      ;-}

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  15. I LOVED the Shell Seekers. It's a truly beautiful novel.

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    1. I know, I know! I was totally captivated and swept away, Brittany!

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  16. Hi Linda! Discovered you on Modern Mrs. Darcy's Quick Lit Link-Up. I just added Yancey's "Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference" to my TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. Shannan ... I'd love to hear what you think! Thanks for taking the time to leave a few words!

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  17. These look like great books! I'll have to look at Dr. Gawade's book--I'm convicted that thinking through the hard things before they happen is a good idea. I also love Philip Yancy books--I'll need to check that one out, too.

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    1. I'm with you, Anita! So much better to be pro-active whenever we can ... there are enough surprises along the way, yes?

      ;-}

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  18. I love Yancey and keep telling myself I need to pick up a few Hatmaker books. The Shell Seekers is one I don't know. Will have to look it up. I'm so glad you shared this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina

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    1. It was fun visiting your gathering, Tina! I do love me a good book party ...

      ;-}

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  19. I've read a couple of Jen Hatmaker's books and I run hot & cold with them. I'll have to look into Interrupted. Thanks for the recommendations!

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    1. Yep, she has a unique conversational style. I guess we all do! Would love to hear what you think ...

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda