My 5 Star Reads of 2015

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My 5 Start Reads of 2015
My 5 Start Reads for 2015

This past year I upped my reading goal. The last couple of years I set a goal of reading 12 books a year, and I was able to meet that goal fairly easily. However, I felt challenged for 2015. For 2015, I set my reading goal at 24 books – double what it had been in the past. Now, I am not a lifetime reader. I grew up hating reading. Hating it. I bought cliff notes. {I wish I was kidding} It wasn’t until after I was married and even had my first child that I started being interested in reading – I guess due to all that free time I had?! I remember my first year I set my goal at 4 books for the entire year. Ambitious? Yes. Doable? Barely. I remember it being so hard, but just like other things, you keep doing them and it gets easier, and in this case, I really started to enjoy it.

 

#1 My first and foremost 5-star read was the Bible. I read through the entire Bible using the She Reads Truth Bible App  and followed their plan for reading the ESV translation of the Bible in one year. I really enjoyed how they broke up the old and new testament and I looked forward to my Sunday readings which were from the book of Psalms.

 

#2 My second, and to be honest, would be first if not for God’s Word, is For The Love by Jen Hatmaker. I had the privilege to be on her Launch Team and it honestly was one of my highlights of 2015. The tribe that has been formed among the #500 I hope is something that I can carry with me to eternity. Now, back to the book. It is a laugh out loud, cry ugly kind of book. It is written in more of an essay format which I am a fan of and it hits on some real in-your-face topics as well as topics like Fashion Concerns and Turning 40 (two of my favorite chapters!!) Oh, and do not even get me started on the recipes. Go buy it now.

 

#3 Next on my list is shoo g-er: A Sweet Journey of Faith by a dear friend of mine, Joanna Lynne Krenk. I remember when Joanna first emailed me and asked if I would be interested in reading her manuscript. It was such a joy to see her dream become a reality this year. Here is my review that I posted on Amazon of it:

In “shoo g-er”, Joanna Krenk shares intimate stories from her life and how God was present and preparing her in every circumstance. It is a beautiful testimony of how God is alive and active in the midst of tragedies and miracles. Grab a cup of tea (because that is what Joanna would have) and curl up on the couch to enjoy this easy, inspiring, and thought-provoking read. Joanna states, “God wants us to enjoy the sweetness in each distinct life situation He allows us to experience”, and that is exactly what I want to do after reading this. Enjoy the sweetness! It is raw, engaging, and I hope the first of many books from this writer.

And I am thrilled to say, that I just finished reading Joanna’s second manuscript.

 

#4 Fourth on the list is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. WHY did I wait so long to read this book??? I will tell you why – I am not a huge fan of fiction. GASP! Relax, I am seeing the error of my ways. I read it in 4 days and I just went and searched my friend’s facebook who recommended I read it… Would you look at this?My 5 Star Reads of 2015

What is this??

I knew I stayed up late to read it, but would you look at the day. This means this was the “night” of Valentines Day. Excuse me while I go apologize to my husband. I really hope he was sick or something. Geez. Perhaps this is why I don’t read a lot of fiction. Obsess much? Anyway, if you haven’t read it. Please do, just maybe not on Valentines night.

Later in the year, I read Bridge to Haven by Francine as well. I didn’t give it 5 stars because well, I just don’t think any of her books will compare to the first one I read, but it was still awesome and I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. I would have given it 4.75 if I could!

 

#5 is Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter your Soul by Bill Hybels. This book is chock full of ways you can simplify your life and live on focus, or perhaps, live the full life. The hubs and I read this book together and also watched the accompanying videos on Right Now Media. First, I just want to say I love reading books together with him. That is living the full life right there! Anyway, one of the chapters focuses on harnessing your calendar. I can not say enough about how this has been such a benefit to us. We have weekly sit-downs where we are discussing our calendar and we have put things like “church” on there as well as “family time”. We are calendar people and we are not letting our calendar control us, but instead, are in control of our time and making sure what matters happens – making sure we are living the full life.

 

#6 Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene’ Brown. This was one that I had seen multiple people post about on Facebook, and even Jen Hatmaker mentioned it in her book For the Love. So, OF COURSE, I listened to her when she told me to go out and get it immediately. I was able to read through this book with my friend Rebecca. Can I just say, if you ever have the opportunity to read a book with someone or a group – do it. I feel the value of the book rises exponentially when you are able to dig into it and discuss it with someone else. Sitting outside Panera on a summer night, drinking some iced coffee and discussing this book… living the full life. I’m sorry, I probably should say more about the actual book… I gave it 5 stars. I obviously thought it was good, however, looking back – the experience of reading it and being vulnerable with a friend is what is sticking out.

 

#7 And last, but not least, is Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope by Louie Giglio. I am always looking for a book to read during Advent, and last year (Advent 2014) after I had already started reading Ann Voscamps Unwrapping the Greatest Gift  I saw Shauna Niequist recommend this book. So I added it to my “to read” list and waited until this Advent. This book moved me and truly led me on a Journey of HOPE. It was one of those reads that you know God planned for that point in time for you to read. If I had read it last year, it would not nearly have impacted me like it had done this year. So much so, that my WORD for 2016 is HOPE.

 

So there you have it. Out of 24 books in 2015 – 7 of them achieved a 5-star rating from me. And in case you are interested, I only had 4 – 4-star books:

Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington – Read my review here
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers
The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst
Weird by Craig Groeschel
It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig

 

If you would like to see the full list, check out my good reads here.

What were your 5-star reads of 2015? Please leave a comment and let me know.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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2 Responses

  1. Joanna
    | Reply

    I concur with your top four. I haven’t read, yet, the others. They will go on my list.

    I am reading through the Bible in 2016 using a plan on YouVersion written by a British guy. The international flavor of his devotions is interesting.

    You forgot to mention the man capri’s in For the Love. Hilarious!

    • Heather
      | Reply

      I can totally see Jeff and Dave sporting man Capri’s. NOT!

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