If you’ve known me for any amount of time then you know I love books. I usually have a minimum of two books started at one time and have known to be working on up to six simultaneously. This year I haven’t been posting a monthly review of what I’ve been reading and I miss it a little. I’ve read some great books and, since Christmas is coming, I thought I’d create a little book gift idea guide in case you’d like to send some quality reading material to a loved one. Enjoy!
Megan’s Holiday Book Gift Guide
A book for someone who wants to accomplish their goals
This was a humorous, quick read that contained a lot of helpful tips to overcome the obstacles that keep us from completing our goals. Jon reminds us that perfection is the enemy of finished. I used this book to put some fun and motivation into writing a book proposal and was very pleased with the results.
A heart-pounding thriller that will give parents a panic attack
In this book a mother and her four-year-old son are ending their day at the zoo when the mom hears gun shots and sees people falling near the entrance. Can she keep her son safe, distracted, and quiet for as long as it takes for the police to resolve the situation?
A quick-read daily devotional for busy moms and professionals
This 365-day devotional is one that can be completed in five minutes but also provides scripture references at the end for those who want to dig a little deeper. Although it’s short, it’s very impactful and will get you thinking and remind you that God is with you each day.
A devotional to give you more courage in following Jesus
This is a 40-day devotional containing scriptural truth, personal stories, and thought-provoking questions that encourage you to put your hope and trust in God and step out courageously in faith to pursue those things God is inviting you to do. The book walks through six aspects of being brave: boldness, resilience, authenticity, vulnerability, engagement, and empowerment by the Holy Spirit.
A book you must read before the movie comes out
Ove lives alone in government housing in Sweden and is fairly grumpy and standoffish with his neighbors. As the book progresses, we get glimpses into his early life and what has brought him to where he is as well as reluctantly forged connections with his neighbors. Tom Hanks will play Ove in the movie version.
A book for laughter, encouragement, inspiration, and a few recipes
This book might be even better than the previous one, For the Love. It is very encouraging for women and cheers them on in whatever stage of life they find themselves currently in. Jen encourages us to embrace the mess of life because that’s where we find our moxie to overcome and push forward. You will also thoroughly enjoy the humorous “How To” instructions scattered throughout.
A book that encourages you to unplug from your phone and reengage with your family
Almost all of us have smart phones these days. I know how easily it can be to get distracted by activity on social media and then realize I’ve wasted an hour. I also know the shame and guilt of realizing your kids have been trying to get your attention and you’ve been too focused on your phone. This book offers strategies on how to use social media more mindfully in a way that doesn’t take away from your family.
A love story that acknowledges that not all of them have fairy tale endings
Lily meets a handsome neurosurgeon named Ryle Kinkaid on a roof late one night. Ryle is not a relationship guy, but is drawn to Lily. Once in a relationship with Ryle, Lily’s old friend Atlas reenters her life. A very engaging read that touches on the heart-wrenching topic of domestic violence.
A great book to help grow and deepen relationships
This book is filled with a lot of research about relationships, how they work and grow, and steps you can take to improve your own relationships. After reading it I felt empowered to deepen some relationships and also knowledgeable on reasonable expectations in relationships.
A book that helps us to notice the special moments of our imperfect lives
Katie Brenner has high hopes for her life. Her Instagram feed shows a great life, one Katie doesn’t have but wishes for. She finds a position at a great firm but the office politics are pretty fierce. She learns that not everything is as it seems as she tries to find her way in life. An engaging read that reminds us that not everything we see online is the truth.
Two books to remind you that you have been purposefully created
We often try to find security and identity in the roles we have in life. This book reminds us that we are God’s image bearers, tells us what that means for our lives, and shows us that we can live out our unique calling in our everyday lives.
This book addresses the issues we all face of existence, significance, and purpose. I read it many years ago when it first came out and read it again recently. It is full of encouragement, truth, and poignant reminders of our identities and roles as Christ followers. If you’ve been floundering in how to serve God with your abilities, this can help.
Books for Kids
Fun books for babies and toddlers
Both of my kids loved these books as babies. They were ones I enjoyed reading to them as well. Baby Baby Baby is a fun book talking about all of the people in a baby’s life. Pat the Bunny is a classic book to engage bodily senses. Do Crocks Kiss? is a lift-the-flap book about animal sounds. Sandra Boynton has many wonderful board books. Another favorite of mine is But Not the Hippopotamus.
Books for preschoolers
These are all fun to read. Dragons Love Tacos has a new sequel out. Anna Dewdney has many other Llama Llama books and several other cute ones. Mo Willems is one of the masters of fun and funny preschool books. In addition to his Pigeon books, he has an Elephant & Piggie series, Knuffle Bunny, and one of my personal favorites, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. The Book With No Pictures is a silly book that helps serve as an introduction to chapter books and shows kids that books without pictures are enjoyable.
Book series’ for early readers
Barbara Parks’ Junie B. Jones and Junie B., First Grader series’ are wonderful and entertaining for both kids and adults. I was disappointed when my daughter decided that she could read them on her own and didn’t need my help. My daughter also devoured the Magic Tree House series. It seems like a great one for boys and girls alike.
I would love to hear your favorite children’s books as well as your favorite reads this year. What book have you read that you can’t stop recommending to others?