Updated: May 10, 2021
I think the majority of people in the WORLD would agree that this year has been a crazy one. I wouldn't be surprised if the most used word of this year, 2020, is "Unprecedented." I learned so much this year and one of the most enjoyable things I've learned is that I enjoy books! I read a good amount of books this year and the general categories are fiction and non-fiction. Here are some books that have molded me, stuck with me, and were just enjoyable in no particular order!
1. "To live our lives with an infinite mindset is to live a life of service. Remember, in life, we are players in multiple infinite games."-Simon Sinek from "The Infinite Game."
This year I read dozens of books on leadership because it was my word of the year. This book is paradigm-shifting, my mind was blown after seeing how this applies to everyday life. The infinite leader is the one that makes a lasting difference for generations to come, I want to be that leader. Every leader should read this.
2. "Every action you take is a vote to the type of person you want to become.”-James Clear from "Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits."
Wow, talk about a book that presents material that could change your life if applied. This is that book. This next year, I purpose to build habits that will help me become who I purpose to be and accomplish what I want to do in life.
3. "It’s often the case that people see the same thing, but they see it differently, and the argument over who is right and wrong distracts them from learning or doing anything productive with the situation they find themselves in. The obvious is not obvious." -Dave Gray from "Liminal Thinking." This was such an eye-opening book. WOW! This book makes the adage "Where you stand depends on where you sit" even more profound for me. I want to be a person who understands others and see things from their perspective. Everyone should read this book.
4. "Life is a negotiation."-Chris Voss from "Never Split the Difference.”
I read this book twice this year. Chris presents good advice that could be used in everyday conversations.
5. “The real secret for listening is to know it’s not about you, it’s about the one speaking.” -Kate Murphy from “You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing And Why It Matters.”
Wow. Talk about an eye opening book. In our fast paced world, I need to intentionally slow down more and listen. Kate, thank you for this awesome book.
6. “Stepping up is seeing a need and deciding you are the right person to do something about it.” -John Izzy from “Stepping Up.”
After reading this book, I realized that I have a responsibility to step up and make a difference in my sphere of influence. Excuses don’t make things better.
7. “After all, ‘Anne had said to Marilla once, ‘I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string...” L. M. Montgomery from “Anne of Avonlea.”
I enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables series so much! It was so good, the visuals, story, character development, and life nuggets were heart warming.
8. “What I give you now will bring you joy.”-Aslan the Lion in C. S. Lewis’s “The Magicians Nephew.”
I read the Chronicles of Narnia series for the first time this year and I went through it twice. It is so beautifully crafted and I appreciate them so much. The Magicians Nephew is my favorite book so far from this series, Aslan’s words bring me to tears at times.
9. “The proper good of a creature is to surrender itself to its Creator—to enact intellectually, volitionally, and emotionally, that relationship which is given in the mere fact of its being a creature. When it does so, it is good and happy.”-C. S. Lewis from “The Problem of Pain.”
I know, Lewis made it on here twice out of all the authors in the world. I’ve read Lewis over two dozen times this year and I’ve grown to appreciate and like his works a lot. So I picked one of my favorite fictional and non-fictional works from him.
10. “One design you are to pursue to the end of time – the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity. Desire other things so far as they tend to this; love the creature, as it leads to the Creator. But in every step you take, be this the glorious point that terminates your view. Let every affection, and thought and word, and action, be subordinate to this. Whatever you desire or fear, whatever you seek or shun, whatever you think speak, or do, be it in order to your happiness in God, the sole end, as well as source, of your being.” - John Wesley from “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.”
John is such a profound writer. He puts the cookie on the lower shelf for everyone to get a piece to munch on. He’s one of my favorite theologians, He loves God and draws others to loving God also. I purpose to do the same.
11. “Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.'” -Ray Bradbury from “Fahrenheit 451.”
Books hold more value than our society give them credit for. After reading this book, I grew to love books more. Nuggets of truth and valuable treasure are stored in many of books.
12. “Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.” - Mrs. Whatsit in Madeleine L.Engle’s “A Wrinkle In Time.”
I read this book twice this year. I enjoyed the powerful story of good versus evil. It’s interesting to see how different authors paint this epic battle in their own words, influenced by their worldview.
13. “No one is ever too old for fairytales, unless they decide they are.”-Natalie Lloyd from “Silverswift.”
This was the first Audible Original that I listened to and I enjoyed it so much. The love story was great and warmed my heart. The quote above from this book stuck with me and I decided that I will never be too old for a good story.
14. “Better times are coming. Maybe, better than you remember.”-Gandalf in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” This was an epic series! I watched the movies also and It was just visually pleasurable. My heart loves good stories!
15. “Memories need to be shared.” -The Giver in Lois Lowry’s “The Giver.”
Wow, what an amazing book.
16. “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” -George Orwell in “1984.” In whatever society I find myself in, I want truth. This allegorical book helps me appreciate freedom and truth more.
17. “Where we journey, safety is a word truly without meaning.” -Gordon Korman from “The Emperor’s Code.”
The 39 Clues series was epic. Book #8 is quoted above and it was very intense. I enjoyed the action & plot.
18. “We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” -J. K. Rowling from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Wow! I enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series. Rowling’s perspective on the battle between good and evil was very entertaining. The movies were awesome also!
19. “God will always give us better gifts than we would give ourselves. He knows more than we do, and He loves us more than we love ourselves.”- Marshall Segal from “Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating.”
Marshall brings a fresh and different voice in the life of those “Not Yet Married.” I was greatly encouraged by the perspective that brings life and happiness that Marshall presents in this book. The “Not Yet Married” can still have joy in God.
21. “Stabilize your soul with the sovereignty of God. He reigns supreme over every detail of the universe.”- Max Lucado from “Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World.”
Wow. I need to life a life marked with gratitude and peace by trusting in God and thanking Him constantly. Max presents amazing truth from God’s word that can make the difference in ones life if applied.
22. “Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.” - Viktor E. Frankl from “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
The observations that Viktor presents in this book is so staggering and revealing. Hope makes all the difference in ones life!
23. "Christian hope is confidence in the purposes of God."- Randal McElwain in the devotional “Joy Comes in the Morning: 31 Days of Christian Hope.”
This devotional encouraged my fainting heart so much this year. I know the author personally and I am thankful for the life that he lives. Christian Hope has made all the difference in my life, I am so thankful for a loving God and His Word, the Holy Bible.
I’m 23 so I chose 23 books. I hope some of these books peeked your interest enough for you to read them and be molded for good by them! I am excited to read more books in 2022!
Bonus book quote:
“I feel certain of this: I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I weren’t a reader.”- Anne Bogel from “I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life.”