Can I join the plethora of book award posts floating around cyberspace? Yes? Good.

As you know, I again took the #vtReadingChallenge that blogger Tim Challies sets up, choosing this year the “Committed Reader” plan, which is fifty-two books in a year. Not only did I hit my goal, I’m on target to complete just over sixty titles by the end of the year! The ironic thing is, I still have thirteen books on my list of titles I hoped to get to this year. That just means I’m armed and ready for the 2018 challenge. If you enjoy reading books that cross the whole spectrum of topics and genres, check out Challies’ book list and join me next year!

So now, in alphabetical order, here are just a few of my favorites from this year’s reading list (some having been mentioned in previous posts–here and here–but are worth bringing up again).

2017 Top Picks

Boundaries by Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud – Wow. This book is mind-blowing. There are some parts, however, that are extremely thought-provoking; as in, I’m not entirely sure if I agree 100% on some points the authors make. But overall this is an excellent read.

Counsel from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson – This is a life-changing book—the kind of reminder I need beat into my head daily—about God’s immeasurable love and grace to me as His beloved, chosen, forgiven child. I may never stop reading this book.

The Curious Christian by Barnabas Piper – I wrote a whole book review on this here.

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry – There’s something so pleasant about reading the everyday events of a fictional character. I’m not much into sci-fi or fantasy, so this novel is right up my alley. If you haven’t read Wendell Berry before, this is great one to start with.

Hope When It Hurts by Sarah Walton and Kristen Wetherell – I’ve said this before, but, Read. This. Book. I purchased several copies to give as gifts this year. Your source of “hurt” may not be physical like mine, but we all have hurts or are walking through difficult times with a loved one. This book oozes comfort and hope because it consistently points you back to Jesus, the Source of all comfort and hope!

The Last Lion (Vol. 2) by William Manchester – This biography on Winston Churchill was a ten cent find at my library basement sale. Because of the sheer number of words, I thought this would be one of those books I would be eager to begin but slow to finish, with only the Churchill mantra of “never, never, never give up” to get me through it. However, I was wrong! This has been a delightful book. I sit down to read, blink twice, and literally an hour has gone by. If you’re even the least bit interested in Churchill, British history, or the events leading up to World War II, you need to read this book. I hope now to find volumes one and three to complete the set.

Honorable Mentions

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Can one truly enter the Christmas season without reading this classic or at the very least watching a film adaptation of it? I am of the opinion that it is not possible. So my annual tradition continues with this excellent version on audiobook.

Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jessica Easto – I suppose this pick was to balance out the book on tea I read earlier this year. While I don’t adore coffee like I do tea, I certainly enjoy a cup now and then and am fascinated by the whole industry. Maybe, maybe, one day I’ll open up that coffee shop or tea house . . .

Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts by Trillia Newbell – I read this book this past summer when I was at my lowest point this year (physically and emotionally) in my battle with Lyme disease. It was a sweet, gentle reminder of my life motto–to look for the little things in life to find joy in. I probably should go back and re-read it, as I’m certain my foggy brain wasn’t able to process everything in that season. Still, it impacted me enough to be an honorable mention!

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton – In preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, I read this as well as Why the Reformation Still Matters (by Michael Reeves). It’s more story-like than textbook which makes it a great read for the everyday layman.

What did you read this year? What do you hope to read in 2018?

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