Books are our treasured companions, our lifelong friends. They were meant to be ingested and savored, highlighted and bookmarked, shared and discussed, given and received.
A book is such a personal gift, isn't it. You can tell when someone has gone out of their way to find a volume that fits you to a T. It makes you cherish the giver and the gift all the more as you appreciate the thoughtful kindness that's gone into their selection.
I've purposefully chosen these ten books for Christmas giving because I've gained renewed life and fresh energy from their pages. Along the way, my thirsty soul, over-stimulated brain, jangled emotions, tired daily routines, untended relationships and/or blah living spaces have been enriched in one way or another.
Four of these selections have been Book Club picks here on the blog. Check out the conversations we've had to get more insight into why these are must-reads. You'll find those links at the end of the reviews.
May you feel gently calmed, motivated, and blessed as you spend time with me here today. And then have fun making up your Christmas shopping list ... and your own very personal wish list, too!
Filled with soothing, personal, Christ-centered devotional readings, favorite Scripture, and stunning wintertime photography, this is one gorgeous book. I feel like a kid in a candy store as I've often leisurely wandered through these pages.
BUY the Hardcover
Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey off the Beaten Path
- Erin Loechner
'Renew your priorities with prompts and charts that ask you to consider your words and choices. Shift your focus with recipes and resources to help slow your life. Refresh your perspective with insights worth sharing to uncomplicate your life.'
Welcome Home: A Cozy Minimalist Guide to Decorating and Hosting All Year Round
- Myquillyn Smith
'A home that's ready for the seasons is automatically ready to host all sorts of seasonal celebrations. Be the one who volunteers her home to host because you're finally confident and ready.'
This is not a typical home decorating how-to, but instead a common sense approach to creating your own signature home style that will leave you smiling and wondering why you waited so long. Myquillyn's keep-it-simple hostessing tips will make opening your doors to others a more natural and relaxed experience.
Because it's not about your domestic expertise. It's all about the hospitality.
BUY the Hardcover
Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode - and into a Life of Connection and Joy
- Aundi Kolber, MA, LPC
'One of the best parts of learning to open myself up to God and allowing him to sit with me in my joy and grief is this: I have learned to see myself as He sees me ... during our hardest, scariest times - whether our bodies feel stressed and jumpy or sluggish and slow - God is there to reassure us that we are no defined by our best days or our worst days. We are His beloved.'
For those who've been living in survival mode, Aundi's wise counsel is soothing and life-altering. Even the book's title will cause you to exhale just a bit deeper after living on high alert for far too long. This process of finding gentle healing from continued anxiety and stress is necessary, a sacred work so we are able to move ahead into whatever God has for us to be and to do.
BUY the Paperback
I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life
- Anne Bogel
'In this book, we'll dive into the personal nature of reading - what shapes us as readers, what we bring to the page. We'll explore how to read, how to choose good books, and what happens when we read bad ones. We'll dive into why we connect with some books so powerfully. We'll peek into other people's reading lives. And we'll enjoy every minute of it because that's the kind of people we are. How good it is to be among people who are reading.'
Anne's ode to the bookish life is every book aficionado's delight. If you view books as vital to your daily life, this lovely, whimsical read has your name on it.
Invitation to Solitude & Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence
- Ruth Haley Barton
'The image of the jar of river water captured what I knew to be true about myself. I could not avoid the realization that I was the jar of river water all shaken up and the sediment that swirled inside the jar was the busyness, the emotions, the thoughts, the inner wrestlings I had not been able to control. It was a moment of self-discovery - which is where all good spiritual journeying begins.'
This was the book that started it all for me ... the pursuit of a deeper, more reflective spiritual life. This little guidebook helped deepen my walk with the Lord in ways that have been life-changing.
If your relationship with the Lover of your soul has become rote or stagnant, may He be pleased to use this volume to draw you into a deeper, more substantial love relationship with Himself.
Book Club, February 2018
Buy the Hardcover