Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books You Should Read This Year

A few weeks ago, I shared a top ten list of books I want to read in the coming year. Because I love fiction, most all of mine were novels-- with some writing books thrown in for good measure. Later, I must confess, I sat down with my Amazon cart list, my library hold list, and my jotted down titles and created a more encompassing list... and came up with 38 novels I want to read this year. Call me ambitious, but I think I can do it. Of course, it will mean less tv this year but that's ok.

Mark Hamby, a speaker I love, says that the only things that will have changed us years from now are the people we meet and the books we read. That is so true.

And so, this week I thought I would share a top ten list of books that have changed me. Books that made me think differently after having read them. These books are important books-- books that, if you are looking for something to read and haven't read them, you should put on your list.

And so, here they are (in no certain order):

1. A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller: This was a book from last year that is one I will most likely re-read once a year, going through it slowly. It's about living a better story, which appeals to me both as a writer and a person.

2. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott: I could list all of her books but I won't. I will just pick this one because I love it the most if I have to pick a favorite. I love Anne Lamott and have ever since I first read Operating Instructions back when my 18yo was a baby. For the record, I also love Bird By Bird. And Plan B. But Traveling Mercies is the book I went with for this particular list.
3. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller: This book was so good for me to read. I inhaled it. It's the perfect blend of great writing and gripping truth.

4. Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson: This is the only novel on the list. This book made me think long and hard about who I am and what I commit to... and why.

5. In The Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. This book inspired me big time. I read it last year and this year am going through it again with a group of writer friends online. Just as powerful the second time.

6. What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa TerKeurst. This was the book that started me on the journey of listening to God and doing what He tells me to do. I am still on the journey and amazed at the adventure it has taken me on thus far.

7. Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick: My pastor. Powerful book. I get this kind of teaching every week and feel very blessed for it. If you can't live in Charlotte and go to Elevation you can buy this book and get a dose of it.
8. Battlefield Of The Mind by Joyce Meyer: This one is about the way you think-- and how to change your thought life. Powerful stuff. As one of my friends said, she could read this one every six months and still not get out everything in it.
9. Love And Respect by Emerson Eggerich: Curt and I went to his marriage weekend two years ago and love the message of this book. Men want respect, women want love. How can both parties get what they want? Life changing way to look at marriage. Also, a bonus book along these same lines is The Five Love Languages. Another life-changing book that makes you think differently about marriage. And no mention of marriage books would be complete without mentioning my friend Melanie Chitwood's book What Every Husband Needs From His Wife. A great, easy read full of good info.
10. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey: Ok, so I didn't actually read this book but Curt did. And I sat through his 6 hour class based on this book. And it's the book that started our journey out of debt, so I count it as life-changing.
What books would go on this list for you, if you were to make one?
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Ellen - SkoMomma said...

I always love to get book recommendations from've never steered me wrong! I read Quaker Summer last year and really enjoyed it. TMMO by Dave Ramsey changed our lives too.

JottinMama said...

Cool list. I have read a few of them and I'm interested in the others!
Thanks for sharing.

What would be on my list?

Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Forgotten God also by Francis Chan
Faith and Doubt by John Ortberg
I'm currently reading Radical by David Platt
I'd also include Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

I have SOOO many books I want to read this year! Reading your list - makes my list even longer! Thanks!

Kate :)

Zibilee said...

I hadn't heard of most of these books, but a lot of them sound really interesting. I hope that you do get the chance to read all the books that are on your list this year!

Cheri Bunch said...

Thank you for sharing your list, Marybeth! I am going to Amazon right now! I am always looking for a good read!


Alycia Morales said...


Thanks for the list! If I may, I'd like to back your choices. Love and Respect is a life enhancer for any married couple. My husband and I both highly recommend it! Bird by Bird is one of my favorite books on writing, and I'm in the middle of Operating Instructions. I love Anne's style! Any Dave Ramsey book is full of wisdom concerning finances.

I am going to pick up a copy of Lysa's book as soon as I get through the pile on my desk...

If I could add a few:
Wild Things by Stephen James and David Thomas (a must have for moms with boys...)
Thin Places by Mary DeMuth (She's so honest!)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (a fantastic memoir)
White Like Snow by Robert Engelhardt (It's on my pile to read. He's my spiritual father and an incredible minister of the gospel. Everyone who's read it is raving...)

Erin said...

I loved your list - and have read and recommended many of them!
On my current list to read:
Forgotten God by Francis Chan
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin
Scared by Tom Davis
Supernatural by Chris Jordan
Just finished "The Glass Castle", and "What Good is God?" by Philip Yancey - and will be re-reading it. I also plan to re-read Donald Miller's "A Thousand Miles in a Million Years".