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I read some fantastic books in 2015. Really, really good. So grateful for the brave, faithful writers out there who sit down and put in the work for our benefit.

My goal was to read a book a month, and I rounded out the year with a grand total of 16 books. Not many compared to some, but I’m satisfied.

Here are the books I read in 2015:

 

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Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves by Trillia Newbell {Review & Video Author Interview}

Such a helpful, biblical resource for all who battle with various fears, anxieties, and insecurities.

Until We All Come Home by Kim de Blecourt {Review}

A page-turning, suspenseful account of one family’s harrowing journey to adopt from Ukraine.

Dragons and Dirt: The Truth About Changing the World – and the Courage it Requires by Dalene Rayburn {Review}

One of my favorite books I read this year. So much wisdom and food for thought on a wide range of topics and issues. A short read, but full of gems.

 

Three more nonfiction titles

 

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker

This is the first Jen Hatmaker book I’ve read. There are a few chapters I wish I could mass produce and distribute all over the country. I didn’t write a review, but my friend Bronwyn wrote a good one here.

Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are by Deidra Riggs {Review & Video Author Interview}

Inspiring and motivating. That’s how I would describe this debut book by Deidra Riggs.

Girl Meets Change: Truths to Carry You through Life’s Transitions by Kristen Strong {Review}

Encouraging words for all who have experienced change.

 

Nonfiction Titles 3

 

Nobody’s Cuter Than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship by Melanie Shankle {Review}

A funny and heartfelt tribute to friendship among women.

Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie Downs

I underlined copious amounts of this book. So many challenging words; highly recommended.

Dance with Jesus: From Grief to Grace by Susan B. Mead

Susan Mead kindly sent me a copy of this book, and I read the whole thing in one evening. It’s a quick read, but a moving testimony of a mother who has found grace in the midst of grieving the loss of her son.

Fiction: 

Three fiction titles

 

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner {Review}

Beautifully written historical fiction about two sisters during the London Blitz of World War II.

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

I adored this debut novel by Katherine Reay. A series of letters written by a Jane Austen-loving journalism student to her anonymous benefactor. Captivating and cleverly written.

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner

This latest novel by Susan Meissner releases on January 5th, 2016! I was privileged to read an advance copy of this story set in the Hollywood period when Gone With the Wind was filmed. Review coming soon. Pre-order now by clicking here!

 

On Writing:

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On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig

A wonderful resource for writers. I was challenged and guided in my personal writing life, and had such fun leading a six-week online discussion on this book with several other writers. Catch up on the discussion here. I’ll be referring back to this book many times in the years to come.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

This book is pure gold. Natalie cuts right to the chase in this no-nonsense, down-to-earth book that will make you want to pick up your pen and write like crazy. She covers all the bases and then some.

 

Christmas: 

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The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp

Another gorgeous book from Ann Voskamp. This one offers daily Advent readings which carry the reader through biblical history, starting with Adam and Eve. So much spiritual food here; definitely worth reading at any time of the year, not just Christmas.

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional by Asheritah Ciuciu

My friend Asheritah wrote this wonderful resource focusing on the names of Jesus. I read it aloud to my kids to start each of our homeschool days in December. Again, this book could be read and benefited from at any time of the year, not only during Advent.

 

 

Still busy reading:

Still reading covers

 

Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith is No Longer Enough by Kristen Welch

Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity, and Purpose by Emily Wierenga

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

 

Related Post: My Top 14 Books of 2014

What are you reading now? What do you hope to read in 2016?

 

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It’s your turn! I’d love to see what you read this past year. Either share a direct link to a blog post using the InLinkz button, or type your list of titles into the comments below!

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Maybe it’s because I’ve met the author personally.

Maybe it’s because the child she fought to adopt in this riveting book happens to be in my son’s class class at school.

Or maybe it’s just because the account is utterly captivating in its own right.

Whatever the reason, I was completely taken by this woman’s story — a harrowing, true story of dedication and commitment to adopt her son from Ukraine.

In fact, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days.

Until We All Come Home: A Harrowing Journey, a Mother’s Courage, a Race to Freedom by Kim de Blecourt drew me in from the first page. When the de Blecourt family embarked on their international adoption journey, nobody could have imagined all that they would have to endure.

With each chapter, they hit more and more roadblocks and setbacks. It was a spiritual battle as much as it was a battle with the Ukranian government. As I read the countless hardships and difficulties they faced, all on foreign territory, I was convinced that I would have given up. I would not have had the strength to persevere to the end. When I confessed this to Kim, she said, “It was all God. I would have said the same thing, that I couldn’t have done it. God was what got me through.”

What Kim and her husband Jahn thought would be a short jaunt across the ocean to adopt a child turned into an eleven-month-long nightmare. Jahn eventually had to resume his work in the States, leaving Kim alone in a non-English speaking country to continue the adoption process. Though he returned for two different visits for court appearances, Kim was largely on her own.

Until We All Come Home is the powerful testimony of God’s provision in the midst of a complicated web of corruption and spiritual warfare.

Once she finally returned back home with her newly adopted son, Kim realized the full effect that her experience had on her body, mind and spirit. She says she came home a different woman. After receiving counseling, Kim was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, so severe and traumatic was her prolonged experience.

By God’s grace, Kim has now recovered and is active in promoting adoption and the cause of orphans worldwide.

You can find Kim at her website, on Facebook or on Twitter.

 

Order Until We All Come Home now.

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.