It’s that time of the year! It’s time to share a recap of the books I’ve read in the past 12 months.

If you’ve created your own list, I invite you to share it either in the comments or by adding your list to the link-up using the blue button at the bottom of this post.

I always love seeing what other people have been reading!

Please note, the links in this post are affiliate links to Amazon. If you choose to click through and make a purchase I will receive a (very) small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your support!

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Click each title below to view the Amazon listings: 

Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done
by Katie M. Reid

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book recommendations

I enjoyed reading an early copy of my friend Katie Reid’s book, Made Like Martha. This book was freeing in so many ways, as it reminded me of my position as God’s beloved daughter, and that He loves me unconditionally, regardless of what I manage to accomplish in this life.

Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind
by Brenda L. Yoder


This book by my friend Brenda Yoder was a timely and helpful read for me, as our kids are now 16, 13, and 11. I know these next few years are going to pass by in a blink, and then they’ll be gone. Fledge helped me to realign my perspective as a parent and reminded me to make the most of the time we have left, while gearing up mentally and emotionally for an empty nest in the near future.

The King’s Knight
by Matthew Blythe and Cynthia Stuckey

book recommendations

I so enjoyed this fictional YA allegory, co-written by my friend Cynthia Stuckey and her brother, Matthew Blythe. It is an action-packed story that beautifully illustrates the many phases of the Christian life. If you’re looking for a gift for an 8- to 12-year-old, I think they (and you!) will really enjoy this read.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
by Trevor Noah

born a crime

I share this one with a language warning because it does contain a fair amount of swearing, but the story is so captivating. I read it on the plane back to South Africa for our first visit in over five years. I loved reading about Trevor Noah’s childhood, as he grew up as a mixed race child during apartheid South Africa. Fascinating (and funny) read. 

All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way
by Patrice Gopo

book recommendations

This is a lyrical and thought-provoking collection of essays written by my talented friend, Patrice Gopo. Patrice is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants and writes about identity, belonging, and place interwoven through stories that range from her Alaskan childhood through marrying a Zimbabwean man who she met in South Africa. Beautifully and skillfully written. 

Legacy of Mercy
by Lynn Austin

Legacy of Mercy

Legacy of Mercy is the sequel to Waves of Mercy, a historical novel set in my hometown of Holland, Michigan. Like all of Lynn Austin’s books, this one is wonderfully written, with richly developed characters and a captivating storyline. 

Influence: Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus (Not Me)
by Kate Motaung and Shannon Popkin

Influence Book

I read this one a few times in the process of writing and editing it, along with my co-author Shannon Popkin. We wrote this book for any Christian writers or speakers who wrestle with the tension of platform building and promoting oneself and one’s work in light of the gospel. 

We Hope for Better Things
by Erin Bartels

Book recommendations

This is a gorgeous new novel that you won’t want to miss. I received a free advanced copy at a writers conference I attended, and got swept into the story as soon as I opened the book. It is one of the rare reads that stayed with me long after I reached the last page. Highly recommended. 

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

the hate u give

Another language warning on this title, but another book worth reading. A few months ago, my sister invited my 16-year-old son to watch the movie that was made about this book. As I started reading about the film, I realized this story could be about my son. After reading reviews about the book, I decided to pick up a copy myself. Though I didn’t enjoy the volume of swear words in the book, I really did appreciate the story and the insights it provided into the realities of so many people. I’m definitely glad i read it. 

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown

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i'm still here


I’ve heard Austing Channing Brown speak a few times, and I’m really glad I read her book. I appreciated Austin’s honesty and perceptive insights into a number of aspects of American culture. This was a book I wish I could’ve read with a group of other people so we could have conversations about the many issues Austin raises. Another highly recommended and thought-provoking read. 

Never Again: Poems and Pleading for Freedom
by Nasreen Fynewever

This is a beautiful, transparent, and thought-provoking collection of poetry written by my friend, Nasreen Fynewever. A great gift for yourself or someone else. 

Sermon on the Mount Bible Study
by Jen Wilkin

The ladies in our church recently finished this Bible study written by Jen Wilkin and it was SO good. If you’re looking for a group study, be careful — this one will cut straight to the heart in all the best ways. 


Love Letters to Writers
by Andi Cumbo-Floyd

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I treated myself to this book a few months ago, and I’m still working my way through it slowly, on purpose. It is meeting me exactly where I am and has ministered to me in so many ways. Honest and encouraging. 

The ONE Thing:
The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
by Gary Keller

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My husband recommended this book to me, and it has been a good challenge to think through my priorities, gifts, and time management. If you’re looking for clarity or direction, this is a good choice. 

That’s it! Have you read any of the titles on this list? If so, which ones?

I’ve got another full list of books I’m eager and ready to read in 2019. Maybe I’ll share it with you soon. šŸ™‚Ā 


Books I Read in 2016

Books I Read in 2015

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book recommendations

What books did you read in 2018?

Share your list either by joining the link-up below, or by leaving a comment on this post: 

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