Spend much time with me at all and you’re bound to hear the phrases, “I’m reading this book…” and “I read one time…” They are two of my most-uttered phrases. I can’t help myself. I love to read, and I love sharing what I’ve gleaned from my books with others. I currently work as a bookstore manager, and one of my absolute favorite parts of the job is recommending books to people. I love connecting their needs with a book that I know has made a profound impact in my life. I often feel I’m not good at advice, but I almost always know how to point them to an author who is wiser and better with words than I am!
Over the next few months, I’m going to do a series of lists of my favorite books. I have read so many that I’m sure I’ll leave some out, but it will a good place to start. These lists are going to be broken down by my favorite subjects and genres: Books for women, Marriage, Motherhood, Faith & Christian Living, and General Nonfiction. I don’t read much fiction these days, but there are a few that have deeply affected me, so I may add a list for them.
As you peruse my lists, there are a couple things you should know. First, many of my favorite books are written from a Christian perspective. My faith is central to everything I do, and I love reading about how to live my life in a way that glorifies God. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of good advice for people of other beliefs, but you shouldn’t be surprised to find that the majority of my favorite books center on a core belief in God.
Secondly, you should know that you’re probably not going to agree with everything in every one of these books. I don’t even agree with everything in every one of them. In fact, I rarely read a book and love everything the author has to say. I take the good, move on from the “bad,” and if there’s significantly more good than bad, I recommend it. Also, I can’t guarantee that you will love every one of these books as much as I did – or even at all! I usually prefer to recommend books on an individual, more personal basis, but that’s not really possible with this platform! So, I’ll tell you what books I have loved and what I loved about them, and I’ll let you decide for yourself!
I’ll start this week with my list of favorite books for women.
**Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you click that link and purchase the product, I will receive a small compensation. I am, however, committed to honestly assessing the products mentioned. My opinions are my true feelings and are not affected by my participation in the program!**
My Top 5 Books for Women (Give or Take):
Resolution for Women, by Priscilla Shirer
While the other books in this list may not be listed in order, I know for sure that this is my number one favorite book for women. Written in conjunction with the Kendrick brothers’ movie Courageous, Priscilla Shirer inspires women to live out their callings and their purposes with intention and excellence, whatever their current circumstances may be. The whole book is good – SO good – from beginning to end, but my favorite chapter, the one that changed my life forever was “Surprisingly Satisfied.” You see, my life at the time was not going at all the way I had planned, and I was kind of a mess. That chapter taught me how to be content and satisfied even while waiting and working toward my goals. I also owe a lot to this book because her chapter on raising kids was what changed my mind about becoming a mother! (Read more about that here – it was a 180° heart change, I assure you!)
I HIGHLY recommend this book to all women! You can find it here: The Resolution for Women
Kingdom Woman, by Tony Evans & Chrystal Evans Hurst
I’m keeping it in the family for #2 (the authors are Priscilla Shirer’s father and sister).
I always benefit from being reminded to keep a Kingdom perspective, and Tony Evans is a master encourager in this area! (to learn more about Kingdom living in general, I recommend reading his book Kingdom Agenda). Kingdom Woman is full of powerful teaching on how to be a woman who lives her life on purpose to be all that God has called her to be. This book is just so good and will fill you up with a fresh desire to tackle your roles and your everyday life with vigor and purpose. As Tony says,
“You are first and foremost a kingdom woman created for God’s work. Your life, through His sustaining strength, ought to be one of great purpose, spiritual power, and possibilities.”
A Woman After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George
This one might be just a bit controversial for some, especially in her views on wives’ roles (not that I disagree with her, necessarily, but I did want to issue the caveat), but I had to include it because of it’s profound effect on me at the time that I read it. I read this book during the same period of time as Resolution for Women, and it was the other book that encouraged me to embrace my God-given roles and make the most of my season of life. This book challenged me deeply. It challenged me to take my faith more seriously, it challenged me to love others the way God calls us to love, and it challenged me to stop wasting time and be more intentional with my time and my life. I promise it will challenge you, too, while at the same time providing a wealth of practical advice for how to pursue Godly priorities.
Click here to find A Woman After God’s Own Heart!
The Best Yes: Making Wise Choices in the Face of Endless Demands, by Lysa TerKeurst
I’m sure most of you are familiar with this one and with Lysa’s ministry in general. As I confessed in my post earlier this week, I am a huge people pleaser. This means I really struggle with saying no. I hate the idea of people being disappointed in me, so I have often agreed to things that I shouldn’t have agreed to. This book, while unfortunately not curing me of my “disease to please,” as she calls it, showed me that saying yes to everyone else may lead me to actually say no to God! That helped me a lot to realize that when I say yes to one thing, it always means a no to something else (I studied economics – I should be familiar with the concept of opportunity costs!), and that “something else” may be something God is asking of me instead. This quote sums up my biggest takeaway from this book:
“Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head.”
If you ever struggle with saying “no” or prioritizing tasks, then this is a must-read for you! You can find The Best Yes HERE!
Keep it Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing At All, by Karen Ehman
I really debated what to choose as my last top pick, but I decided to go with this one because it’s a topic that I think soooo many women can relate to, and I found it to be full of vitally important reminders, especially in motherhood.
If you’ve ever said things that you regret (and who hasn’t??), then this is a book for you! I’ve written an entire post on this book, so instead of repeating myself, you can read my review here! If this already sounds like a book you need, you can find it now here!
Related post: Book Review: Keep It Shut
What are some of your favorite books for women? Have you read any on my list? If so, what did you think? What recommendations do you have for me?