Top 15 Books of 2018
While the blog may have been relatively silent, our days have not been. And in the middle of it all, somehow reading has been a way to feel somewhat sane in the midst of adding a new baby to the family, homeschooling, furlough, and life overseas. The things I’ve read have generally been around a few different topics, and I’ve given a brief description as well to why I appreciated them in this season. So, if you are interested, here are my top books from 2018. (Organized by topic rather than by level of appreciation)
Books about Birth:
Holy Labor – Aubry Smith
As a (student) doula, this book captures so much of what I want to share with mothers about the possibilities of birth, while including a solid and refreshing perspective on the journey of faith and motherhood. I recommend it to all expectant mothers!
Faith and Life:
Birthing Hope – Rachel Marie Stone
Having crossed paths while they lived in Zomba, I couldn’t wait to read Rachel’s book about birth and hope and so much more. Such a wonderful read, with incredibly accurate depictions of labor wards in public hospitals, as well as some internal self-work that causes the reader to look inward as well into where our own fears and hopes are. Love her willingness to write about things that are as she says are both “all of this and all of that.”
Learning to walk in the dark – Barbara Brown Taylor.
I read at least four of her books this year, and it was hard to choose a favorite. There is so much that she writes that resonated throughout. I also learned more about caves and the dark then ever before, and enjoyed thoroughly her excellent writing as well as what she has to say.
Theology and the Bible
Original Blessing – Danielle Shroyer
A refreshing perspective on why how we view ourselves matters, and affirming that when it all began IT WAS GOOD.
Reading the Women of the Bible – Tikva Frymer-Kensky
Interesting profiles of women and their archetypes throughout scripture. Very enlightening to see some of the harsher stories of women in a new light as well as bring out stories of powerful women I had not seen in context before.
Meaning of Mary Magdalene – Cynthia Bourgealt
This book challenges a whole lot of things that I have assumed about Mary Magdalene as well as the disciples. All in all, a great book to widen my perspective, and while I don’t always land at the same conclusions as the author, caused me to think more about the biases of some of the authors of scripture and to ask better questions.
Inspired – Rachel Held Evans
A wonderful read to help put into context the reading of scripture. I can identify with a lot of the same struggles that she has had, and love her commitment to learn to love scripture again.
Family and Parenting:
Parenting from the Inside Out – Daniel J. Siegel
My therapist says she gives this at every Baby Shower. Hard internal work, but worth every minute.
The Birth Order Book – Kevin Leman
Some enlightening perspectives on why birth order makes a difference, and helps to understand many others in life as well.
French Kids eat Everything – Karen Le Bilon
Lent to me by a friend, this book is both well written and full of delightful stories and anecdotes about clash of culture and learning to try new things. Also, we have introduced “three course meals” to our family as a result, and the girls love some of the simple but healthy recipes inside.
The Time Quintent – Madeliene L’Engle
One of my favorite authors, re-read her time quintet and it never disappoints. Finally got a lovely hard back copy while we were on furlough and I may be reading these every year.
A light so lovely: The spiritual legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, Author of a Wrinkle in Time – Sarah Arthur
After seeing a review in Christianity Today I was overjoyed to have something more to read about Madeleine and to see that there are many others who feel the same way about her in their spiritual journey as I do. She does a wonderful job in describing her as an iconoclast rather than an idol, and highlights her faults as well as her strengths, allowing the reader to get a fuller picture of the Madeliene that she was. A delightful read.
The Shaping of a life: A spiritual landscape – Phyllis Tickle
A fascinating look into the spiritual formation of Phyllis Tickle, from her own eyes. She had some amazing people pour into her and offer her insight which she shares with us.
Devotion – Mary Oliver
While I am not completely finished with this book, it deserves a high place in the list. Her poetry captures my heart and leaves me the way that I want to be finishing a poem, pondering, nodding and feeling a resounding “yes” in my heart, connecting little things in nature to deep things of the Spirit.
To Bless the Space Between Us – John O’Donahue
Beautiful Blessings and wisdom for so many seasons and things in life. A treasured book I slowly read to savor each section.