The 2016 Book Challenge :: January & February

March 4, 2016

I love to read, and I love to learn.  Recently, a friend told me about her coworker who makes reading goals for himself every January.  His are very specific, page counts and all.  I decided to try this technique in a very non-specific way– I looked at all the unread books on my bookshelf (bought with good intention and many recommendations), the unread ones on my Kindle and Audible (same story), as well as several in my wish lists and on a list in my phone of books that come up in conversations as “You’ve GOT to try this one”.  At nearly 30, I am okay being an obsessive reader.  I have grown up a lot in my tastes, but not enough to be part of a “literary” crowd.  Happy endings are still the best.  Lessons learned are great.  Children’s literature grows more profound every year.  The books that I didn’t “get” as a high schooler suddenly make me burst into tears at how incredible they are.



Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.43.07 PMTo Kill A Mockingbird :: I read this as required reading in both 8th grade and 11th, and it’s beauty was lost on me both times.  I can’t help but think that Tara Smith would be proud of me for finally appreciating this book.  In fact, as I sat and read it, I cried.  About 20 different times.







Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.44.25 PM

Walking His Trail by Steve Saint :: The book I have recommended to people more times than any other in my recent memory.  I love these stories from Steve Saint, and his wife’s version of some of their stories.  Evidence of God in the small things as well as the big; evidence that He is present and cares about all of the parts of our lives.






Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.43.44 PMFriend Raising by Betty Barnett :: If anyone got a random card from me in the mail recently, this might have been part of the inspiration.  I loved this book, as one that was recommended to me as I begin the journey of support raising and asking for prayer in the ministry I’m being given.  The key?  Seek out friendships.  No ulterior motives.  Be a friend. From earnest friendship I can build a good prayer support network, and when I do ask for support, people will know there is truly a basis of friendship there and I’m not just after money.  It’s a good one.  The first of 5 or 6 ministry development/support raising books on the list before my move in May.




Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.44.00 PMBonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas :: The Port Alsworth Ladies’ Book Club pick for December/January (it was LONG, so we took 2 months with it).  AMAZING.  Eric Metaxas wove the story of Deitrich Bonhoeffer’s life and faith in such a way that I wished he had been my pastor.  Many of Bonhoeffer’s letters and writings are included as part of the narrative, which has inspired a few of us to read “The Cost of Discipleship” and “Life Together”.  The depth of history about how Hitler rose to power and deceived the entire German church was eerie, and in some ways I feel like history might repeat itself before long with political leaders.  His life was a powerful testimony of what it looks like to live for Christ and not back down for any reason.



I’m ahead on my goals, so I’d love a few recommendations– you’ll see that things are pretty varied in subject matter.  Only two things I WILL NOT READ: Christian fiction/romance and Nicholas Sparks.  Nope.  Single girl can’t handle it.

The complete January/February “Books Finished” list:

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.12.32 PM


Sign Up for My Monthly Newsletter!

No spam guarantee.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: