One of my favorite parts of December is reading everyone's best-books-of-the-year lists. Sure, I love the lists by authors, theologians, and friends I respect, but full disclosure: I'll read pretty much anybody's list. (Probably because I'm nosy and like to know what people are reading...)
In that tradition, I want to share my own top 5 list.
1. These aren't all books that were published in 2018, just ones that I read this year.
2. Some of the books on this list are geared toward 16-and-up. They have some language and mature themes. I believe that in these books those instances are for the most part justified and not gratuitous. But I would strongly encourage teenagers to exercise personal discernment and run any book they’re unsure about by their parents.
With that out of the way, let's dive in!
5. Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane — This was the year of reading relationship books. It was the year I started dating and it was the year I got engaged. So in classic Jaquelle fashion, I read to learn and process. More than 10% of the books I read were relationship-related, and this was the best one. It offered so many profound insights for all relationships (not just romantic ones). A must-read for sure.
4. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson — Erik Larson is so good. He writes brilliant, creative non-fiction, and it’s always hard to put his books down. This book was not always an easy read but it was a phenomenal one.
3. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath — For anyone who wants to improve their communication skills, you need to read this book. I devoured it and still consider it often. Fantastically-written and thought-provoking, this is a timely book for anyone with a message to share.
2. The Apostles’ Creed by Ben Myers — This was a marvellous little book full of meditations on the Apostles’ Creed. It’s lovely, worshipful, and theological. You can see my full review on TGC.
1. New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp — This has to be the best devotional I’ve ever read. The daily devotions are convicting, rich, and oozing with biblical insight. If you pick up one devotional in 2019, make it this one.