Best Reads of 2018

The three of us are big readers. We constantly find ourselves recommending books to one another and sharing thoughts from our current reads over phone calls and texts. So, as the end of 2018 approaches, we wanted to share our favorites from this past year with you!

We had a hard time choosing books – we could easily have listed twice as many. The ones listed here are the books that have most blessed, challenged, encouraged, and convicted us, and we share them in the hope that they will do the same for you.

Molly:

  1. Knowing God (J.I. Packer). The three of us started to read this book in January, and throughout the year, we’ve been encouraging one another with different passages and quotes. In each chapter, J.I. Packer unpacks an attribute of God and applies that explanation to how we worship God and relate to others. Whether you’ve been a Christian for years or you’re just beginning your walk with God, this book will certainly deepen your knowledge of Him.
  2. Unblinded Faith (Elisa Pulliam). (Yes, that’s Leah’s mom – but this isn’t sponsored content, I promise!) I worked through this 90-day devotional over the summer with my own mom and found it to be an incredibly fruitful, encouraging, and convicting walk through both the Old and New Testaments. Mrs. Pulliam’s advice to keep a journal as you go through it is well worth following – it’s so encouraging to look back and see how God answers prayer.
  3. Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot (Mo Isom). Mo is incredibly vulnerable and honest about her own struggles while simultaneously refusing to sugarcoat the Biblical truth about sexuality. If you’ve ever found yourself with questions about Biblical sexuality, the gray areas of relationships, and what purity really means in practice, this book is definitely worth the read.
  4. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (Nabeel Qureshi). This powerful story is the testimony of a devout Muslim who converted to Christianity. I learned more about Islam both by itself and in relation to Christianity, and I was blown away by the faithful witness of the Christians in Nabeel’s life. (This book is also good to read with a friend – this was one of the books my boyfriend and I studied together this year.)

Leah:

  1. The Gospel Comes with a House Key (Rosaria Butterfield). This book was by far my favorite read of 2018! I have never read a book that has challenged and changed me quite like this one. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it! In a world where offenses are frequent and tensions run high, Rosaria challenges her readers to see the brokenness of others and meet them in their pain and love them like Jesus does. Hospitality can be ordinary and practical, but it requires selflessness and sacrifice.
  2. Love Does & Everybody Always (Bob Goff). You cannot have Love Does without Everybody, Always, which is why I have grouped these two books together. Bob Goff is a storyteller like no one I’ve ever read and each chapter will leave you laughing and yet motivated to love others well. Amidst his fascinating adventures, Bob Goff always finds a way to incorporate Biblical truths and practical application. I loved reading this book aloud to my family as it is perfect for all ages!
  3. Letters to the Church (Francis Chan). I hate to admit it, but I am late to the Francis Chan game. But after reading Letters to the Church all I can think about is reading more of his work and listening to more of his teaching. He is authentic and does not shy away from speaking the truth of the Bible. In this book, he analyzes what the Bible says about the role of the church and challenges the twenty-first century church and its attendees to reevaluate if they are operating the way they are called to. A fascinating and informative read.
  4. Anxious for Nothing (Max Lucado). If you have been following our blog, you know that I have shared about my struggle with anxiety. This book felt like a game plan as I learned to manage my anxiety and how to lean into the Lord more. Max Lucado breaks down how to use Philippians 4:4-8 to strengthen your reliance on the Lord and to find practical ways to do battle with your mind.

Ana:

  1. Daring to Hope (Katie Davis Majors). If you’re interested in missions, this one’s for you! This book complements Kisses from Katie and is Katie Davis Majors’ reflections on life as a missionary and mom in Uganda. She grapples with the role of suffering and beauty in sanctification through stories from her daily life and deep reflections on scripture. Her writing is incredibly impactful, and has greatly influenced my desire to go onto the missions field!
  2. Sacred Singleness (Leslie Ludy). This book is a short but worthwhile read for any young women with questions about their season of singleness. It gives a scripturally-based theology of singleness that is especially helpful for girls who want to get married in the future but are currently single. Ludy challenges cultural assumptions about singleness and paints a picture of Biblical singleness that is fruitful, others-oriented, and joy-filled.
  3. Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold (C.S. Lewis). A retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche, this book is an absolute masterpiece and is one of my favorites. CS Lewis constructs a narrative that’s inviting but also rich with wisdom; it has a lot of commentary on relationships and the meaning of love. A great read for any fiction-lover!

We would love to hear what you’ve been reading this year, and what’s on your list for 2019!

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