Favorite Reads of 2015


This year I became a bit of a bookworm. Like, so much so that on a night with no plans, I’ll be in bed by 8pm reading for hours instead of watching Netflix. It’s super weird, I know, but I’m ok with it. Seriously, I can’t get enough. Between listening to audio books in the car, reading iBooks on my phone while waiting for meetings and appointments, and reading the good old fashioned hard covers, I just love them all! Over the course of this year I’ve read nearly 70 titles and today I’m sharing a few of my favorites that hopefully you can pick up and find the magic in as well

I Thought It Was Just Me- Brene Brown

The Gift of Imperfections- Brene Brown

Daring Greatly - Brene Brown

Rising Strong - Brene Brown

Anything written by Brene Brown, um yes please. You will find yourself highlighting, underlining, circling, dog-earing, and coming back to her words. Her works are research based and even if you’re not a fan of academic stuff, I think you’ll still love her writing. It’s practical, applicable, and you’ll feel like she’s put words to what’s in your soul that you couldn’t have ever verbalized. She’s dedicated her career to researching shame and not only are the results fascinating but the work being done radically changing the way people are able to connect with one another. Go read everything today.

Essentialism – Greg McKeown

If you’re a busy, overwhelmed, or just need to get your life organized and streamlined, this is a must read. In this incredible work, McKeown dispels the myths that more is better and busy means productive. Essentialism equips you with the tools to say ‘no,’ discern what is important vs. unimportant, make trade offs, and prioritize in the truest sense of the word. I actually ready this book twice this year because it was just that great!

The Lipstick Gospel - Stephanie May Wilson

This girl knows how to tell a beautiful story in the most endearing and captivating way. As a sorority girl who’s tired of the life she’s living, she packs her bags for what she thinks will be one adventure and embarks on another one entirely. You’ll feel like you’ve known Stephanie your whole life and like you’re catching up over coffee as she tells her honest and inspiring account of finding God in unexpected places.

Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott

Small Victories - Anne Lamott

I have a deep appreciation for her downright hilarious sense of humor, unabashed political statements, and cursing that are intertwined in all of her works. Bird by Bird is a must read for any writer or aspiring writer. He work, Small Victories, pulls out the tiny threads of grace that run through our everyday lives and makes them stand out. Her wisdom and wit leave you deeply moved thoroughly entertained.

The Knowledge of The Holy - A.W. Tozer

The Pursuit of God - A.W. Tozer

Tozer is a little bit heady and not everyone loves his style but you’ve got to appreciate what he is able to articulate in his works. The Knowledge of The Holy is in stark contrast to many Christian works of literature these days that speak of seeing, feeling, sensing, and knowing God. Each chapter will leave you with a small bit of knowledge of a God who is so vast, immutable, omniscient, and supreme that he seems distant, great, and unknowable in an awe striking sense.

The Spirit Catches You & You Fall Down – Anna Fadiman

I felt all the feels while reading this book. Each chapter will leave you in such ethical upheaval and with such a visceral response, that it will be exhausting and also amazing. This book is a must read for anyone in helping professions (doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers, pastors etc.) or if you work with people from differing cultural backgrounds. The setting takes place in California in the 1980s with immigrant populations settling in as a result of the war and this book gives an account of a Laotian family seeking care for their daughter stricken with epilepsy. This story exposes cultural views, approaches, and mindsets, of medicine in the East and West and challenges both equally.  Part of it was due to the fact that I studied nursing and was trained in the West while I was practicing in and living in China when I read this book, but seriously, it was so conflicting, challenging, and mind-boggling that I think I’ll say out of 60+ books this year, it was my favorite.

The Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell

If you enjoy reading fascinating stories and learning random, cool, and non-useless information, Malcom Gladwell’s books will not disappoint. His structure and poise pull you in quickly. Check out Outliers and David & Goliath too.

The War of Art – Stephen Pressfield

This book is for anyone; artist, writer, singer, dancer, teacher, business professional, medical professional, entrepreneurs. This book opens the door the naming resistance, wherever and whatever it may be, devising a plan to overcome it and ultimately inspires you to get in the game and live out your dreams.

Can You Drink The Cup – Henri Nouwen

Life of The Beloved – Henri Nouwen

This man knew deep sorry and deep joy and his writing was an overflow of both. Whether you find yourself in a season of celebration with lifting the cup is sweet, or a hard season where the cup you’ve been given to drink is bitter, you’ll glean truth and gain hope in his words in Can You Drink The Cup.

We all need to be reminded that we are beloved and this work of Henri Nouwen articulates the truth so beautifully. It will leave your heart so full, knowing and believing more fully your own beloved-ness that you will want others to know and experience the richness and depth of being beloved themselves. Life Of The Beloved is one I’ve read and will read again and again.

The Wright Brothers – David McCullough

The setting of this story has a special place in my heart, when I sit on the front porch at my grandparents beach house I can look over to the dunes and see the strip where the Wright Brothers first flight took place and their memorial now stands. In the account written by David McCullough you get a glimpse into the brilliant minds, brave souls, and true persistence of the Wright brothers who taught the world to fly.

A few other notable reads if these peak your interest;

Scary Close - Donald Miller

Platform- Michael Hyatt

Do Over - Jon Acuff

For The Love - Jen Hatmaker

The Art of Work – Jeff Goins

  • Disclosure of Material Connection: The links in the post are “affiliate links” meaning if you purchase any item from the links in this post, I will receive an affiliate commission. I’m recommending these products as I have personally read or used them and think they will add value to you as a reader. In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” I am disclosing this information.