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Books I’ve Read in 2019 + Resources to Help You Read MORE

Maxed out library books

As a child, I was an avid reader. I don’t even know if that’s the right word…maybe more like “obsessed.” My mom used to take me to the library and we’d check out the max amount of books, and then I’d finish them in a week and we’d go back to get more.

I was that kid who used to read while walking. I wanted to read while eating dinner. I would get in trouble at school for reading under my desk or for going ahead while our class was reading a story together. And I always used to wish that there was such a thing as waterproof books so that I could read in the shower!

A reading challenge…?

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I finally decided to do a yearly book challenge. Jami Balmet of Young Wife’s Guide was talking about how she read almost 100 books in 2018, and I was like…”whaaaat?!”

You see, I read almost non-stop as a kid. It definitely slowed down in middle and high school, although I’d still take the time to read a good story every so often(I think I read the first Twilight book in one day).

But once I got married that changed. And once we had our daughter, I read even less! So when I saw Jami’s reading goals (and how much she actually read last year), I was inspired. She is a work-at-home mama running a business, and her and her hubby have FIVE kids that are home-schooled! So if she can read that many books in a year, I could at least aim for a fraction of that!

My 2019 reading goal

I chose to challenge myself to read 20 books in 2019! I will continue to update this post as I finish books. I’m so excited to have a running record of what I’m reading up on my blog, and to be able to share it with you all! Scroll to the bottom of this post to check out some of the resources I use that can help you meet your reading goals.

Books I’ve read in 2019:

  1. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines – It was so inspiring! This was a beautiful story about a beautiful relationship. You’ll be inspired to dream and to take action. They encourage you to be content and make the best of whatever home or season of life you’re in. I looooved this book! It was an easy read because they are just so fun and their stories are so interesting. Read more about how this book impacted me here.
  2. To-Do List Formula: A Stress Free Guide to Creating To-Do Lists That Work! by Damon Zahariades -The author lays out specific and actionable steps in creating a to-do list system.  Visual examples of the lists and steps definitely would’ve been helpful; however I will definitely be implementing a few of his tips!
  3. Finish by Jon Acuff – read (more like “listened to”) this book through Audible. It was very helpful and had so many practical applications and funny stories. I think I’m definitely a fan of Jon Acuff! One of my favorite chapters was when he talked about making our goals fun. Why not give ourselves incentives and rewards to reach our goals (especially if they’re challenging or boring)?! So now, if I do my dishes right away, I color in a square on a chart I made. 100 squares = salsa lessons! Woooohoo!
  4. The No-Spend Challenge Guide: How to Stop Spending Money Impulsively, Pay off Debt Fast, & Make Your Finances Fit Your Dreams by Jen Smith – This is a really great book for anyone looking to cut back on spending and wanting to pay off debt or save money faster. Jen’s writing style is very likeable, and their debt story is inspiring. I really love all the practical ideas and links she shares to help you get a hold of some extra money so you can reach your goals faster!
  5. I Declare War: Four Keys to Winning the Battle with Yourself by Levi Lusko – Also listened to this one on Audible! Great book with very practical and applicable ways to fight negativity, lies, dark thoughts, etc. Many powerful truths in here; plus some great anecdotes from Levi Lusko.
  6. In Between by Jenny B. Jones – I loved this Christian fiction book that was about a teenage foster daughter. I’m a sucker for foster care and redemption stories, so this was a great feel-good and fun read!
  7. 15 Handpicked Unique Suppliers for Handmade Businesses 2015-2016 by Renae Christine – She’s my business coach! I love her and am always appreciative of all the resources she provides (like this one). Oh, and it’s FREE.
  8. Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette – Oh. my. goodness. I LOVED this book! It gave me a glimpse into this time period that I’ve never had before. While I’m aware that it’s historical fiction and some of it was left to the author’s imagination, it allowed me to get a better idea of what the people may have experienced during these huge events.  loved the characters and the storyline… just everything. I was so drawn in and at times could not put it down! I highly recommend it! Read my full review here.
  9. Managers of Their Homes: A Practical Guide to Daily Scheduling for Christian Homeschool Families by Steven and Teri Maxwell – SO helpful in creating a schedule for stay at home or work at home mamas! It helps you see the importance and benefits of a schedule and assigning all the things that are important to your family to a specific time. I NEEDED this. I’m so disorganized with my time so this structure has been SO helpful.
  10. For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn – Gave very good insight on things our hubbies deal with or the way they may perceive things that we do. Gives great and practical suggestions on how to show love and respect to them in a way that is meaningful to them.
  11. Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk by Jordan Raynor – I loved this book! If you’re a creative and a Christian, you need to read it!
  12. 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue by Deborah Smith Pegues – Could be used as a daily devotional. Had so many different big and subtle ways we can sin with our tongues, as well as Scripture and suggestions on how to have self-control in those areas (and WHY it’s important)!
  13. The Sister Circle by Vonette Bright and Nancy Moser – I think I got this one for free but I loved it. At the moment I’m writing it the Kindle edition is only $3.99. It was a heartwarming and sweet story about a group of different women learning to love each other despite their differences, and also being faced with the ways they needed to change. I loved the characters and the whole book!
  14. Save Me from Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story by Brian Welch – Just WOW. What a powerful testimony! Intense but amazing! It was such an honor to read about his journey and his radical change in Christ. I had heard of him before but really enjoyed getting to know his actual story, with all the good, bad, and ugly that came with it, and ultimately is redemption in Christ! Highly recommend! (I read this one for free with a free trial of Kindle Unlimited).
  15. Happy Gut by Vincent Pedre – This one was also free through Kindle Unlimited. Gut health is something that’s important to me, so I thought this would be an interesting read. I definitely learned a few things from this book. If you’re interested in learning more about gut health, my friend Sam has a WEALTH of knowledge on the subject! Check out her website here! And seriously, contact her if you have questions because she is extremely helpful.
  16. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis – (Currently listening to through Hoopla – a really cool free app where you can “borrow” ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music and more through your local library. You have to see if your library participates in this.) Okay, so I finally caved with this one. It feels like everyone and their moms have read this book! Hahaha. I’ve heard mixed things about it. From the Christian perspective, I can see how it comes across as a bit too focused on ourselves and what WE need to do to fix things. But I must say that she is an amazing, very entertaining and inspiring author and it’s a good read.

Guys! I’m totally going to meet my goal of 20 books before the end of the year! I’m so happy!!!

Reading Resources

Are you interested in reading more this year, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are a few resources:

> Jami Balmet put together a 2019 Christian Reading Challenge/Book List for both men and women. You can choose to aim for either 13 books or 26 books in a year. Or you can use her recommendations to find your next read, because she has many books she and her husband personally recommend, in several different categories.

> The reason I was able to so quickly knock my first book out was because I was reading it for free through Amazon Prime (on my free Kindle app)! I am currently on their 30-day free trial, so it’s motivating me to read as much as I can before the trial is up!

> I am also currently using Audible to “read” (more like “listen to”) some of the books on my list. Both Jon Acuff (one of the authors I’m listening to) and Jami Balmet have given me permission to use audiobooks to reach my reading goal, so I’m running with it! Why not, right?

> You can get a free 30-day trial and try four Christian audiobooks through ChristianAudio. The great part is that even if you don’t keep paying for the membership, you still get one free audiobook download every month. They choose the book though, not you. This month (January) it’s a great Charles Spurgeon devotional: Morning and Evening.

> I have gotten many free e-books through Christianbook.com. If the free e-books link doesn’t take you to the right page, just find the e-books category, click all products (or refine your search), and then sort from low to high price. All the free books should come up first!

> Also, if you don’t already have the app Goodreads, I would highly recommend you get it! On there you can browse books, create lists of books you’re interested in reading, see what your friends have read or are reading, update what you are currently reading, and keep a list of books you’ve finished. You can also create a 2019 reading goal right in the app. The great part is that if you’re reading Amazon kindle e-books, they can sync directly to your app and your goal will be updated automatically! Click here to go to my Goodreads profile, where you can add me as a friend!

>Hoopla – a really cool free app where you can “borrow” ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music and more through your local library. You have to see if your library participates in this. There are other similar apps such as OverDrive.

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6 Comments

  1. WOOHOO!! So glad you are doing the challenge 😀 And great job so far, you are TOTALLY gonna read more than 20 books this year! 😉

  2. I Have challenged myself to read 100 books in 2019. I have never counted how many I read in a year. So far I am on 25 books read already in 2019. Your reading list for guys is among those I choose to read. I added a lot to the list and then there are novels that I want to ready for nothing more than enjoyment. I read more than anyone I know. I don’t watch tv or such very much and even if I do I watch it between pages of a book. I use kindle prime, unlimited, books, and pdf to get to my goals. I buy those titles that I simply can’t find. I had a deather in my family or I would be passed 30 books by now. I just thought I would drop you a line here and maybe inspire someone to keep reaching for the ceiling. Then once you get there, blow it up and keep going.

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