Top Books I Read In 2018

Top Books I Read In 2018

In 2018 I set a reading challenge of 30 books, and I just finished the 30th book about two days ago. *Dance party* Since that happens to be quite a few and I wasn’t able to write a separate review for each of them, I wanted to give you a recap on some of my favorites.

Here is a quick list that reveals my top favorite books that I read in 2018, arranged in the order that I read them during the past year (not in order of preference):

Killing Kryptonite by John Bevere (Finished February 24th, 2018)

Discovering/destroying the source of what steals your strength. I have yet to find a John Bevere book that doesn’t teach me and challenge me to raise my standards of what following Christ really looks like. Killing Kryptonite about the seriousness of idolatry and repetitive sin, as well as the lengths we should go to in order to identify that in our lives and remove it as fast as possible because sin keeps us from living in the power and strength we are promised. Challenging and eye-opening. Get your notebook out for this one and a few really good pens.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Kryptonite-Destroy-Steals-Strength/dp/1613759762

Killing Kryptonite: Destroy What Steals Your Strength by John Bevere

Everybody, Always by Bob Goff (Finished May 3rd, 2018)

The long awaited second book by Bob Goff after his first book Love Does finally released in April of this year and Everybody, Always is just as good, if not better, and well worth the wait. Everybody, Always is about “becoming love in a world full of setbacks and difficult people” and Bob Goff tells stories about how he’s been doing just that. He tells us what he’s learned about the character of God and practical ways to love people like Jesus did regardless of how difficult people can be. I fully intend to reread this book since it is FULL of wisdom and joy, and when I do I will post a full review dedicated to it.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Always-Becoming-Setbacks-Difficult/dp/0718078136

 

Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff

Come Matter Here by Hannah Brencher (Finished July 1st, 2018)

This is another book I suggest getting a notebook out for. Pretty much every 20-something I meet is going to get this book recommendation from me. Hannah Brencher just knows what it feels like to be in your 20s and not have everything miraculously figured out yet. About all the transitions and ruts we can get stuck in if our perspective isn’t right. It’s relevant and powerful, and her writing style is refreshing. I can’t recommend this book enough. For more quotes and details, check out the book review that I wrote for Come Matter Here earlier this year: Come Matter Here by Hannah Brencher

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Come-Matter-Here-Invitation-Getting/dp/0310350840/

Come Matter Here: Your Invitation To Be Here in a Getting There World by Hannah Brencher

The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp (Finished July 20th, 2018)

Ann Voskamp’s book The Broken Way is beautiful to the very core. It’s the first book I have read by her and I love it because not only does she deliver such powerful truths on tough subjects like suffering and loss, but she writes so elegantly it sounds like poetry. How do we approach and live with suffering? There is no easy answer. But Ann Voskamp takes her readers with her as she wrestles with it, and by the end the burden is somewhat lighter, and it feels as though she has reached through the pages and given many reassuring hugs.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Way-Daring-Path-Abundant/dp/1531832172

The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into Abundant Life by Ann Voskamp

Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire (Finished August 4th, 2018)

Speaking of sounding like poetry, Ken Gire’s book Windows of the Soul made the list for that reason too. It’s not a poetry book by any means, but his book is about spotting meaningful moments that surround us everyday that give us a deeper glimpse at what truly matters most. Reading his book is like sitting at the feet of a very wise teacher who slowly reveals one glittering lesson after another over many savored cups of coffee. I wish the book was ten times longer. It’s beautifully written and he talks about the writing process in relatable ways I haven’t come across before.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Windows-Soul-Hearing-Everyday-Moments/dp/0310352274

Windows of the Soul: Experiencing God in New Ways by Ken Gire

All Things New by John Eldredge (Finished October 3rd, 2018)

This is a book that reminds us to hope. But not just any hope. John Eldredge teaches us that there are levels of hope and points us to where our greatest, ultimate hope should be placed: The Great Restoration when all is made new. He tells us nothing good is lost, for they are only shadows of what we who believe in Christ are promised to inherit. He reminds us about the Kingdom. About the joy awaiting us that is greater than we could imagine. But imagine he does. In each chapter John Eldredge brings the reader into a wild guess at what The Great Restoration could possibly be like, and leaves us expectant and excited for the day our Lord returns. For more information about this book, I’ve written a separate review in more detail earlier this year here: All Things New by John Eldredge

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/All-Things-New-Restoration-Everything/dp/1400207525/

All Things New: Heaven, Earth, and the Restoration of Everything You Love by John Eldredge

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (Finished November 5th, 2018)

If you’ve followed along with this blog for even a little while, you will know that I love Markus Zusak’s books The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, so the release of Bridge of Clay finally was on my most-eagerly-anticipated list for this year. It didn’t disappoint. I love all the stories he managed to weave together while he told us about Clay. His imagery is still stunning, and his characters make themselves at home in your heart as you read through their narratives of love, victory, grief, and family. I could happily babble all day about this book, but I already wrote more about Bridge of Clay in a review here if you want to check it out: Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Clay-Signed-Markus-Zusak/dp/0375845593

bridge-of-clay-zusak-1

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Finished November 30th, 2018)

Another young adult fiction book that made the list is Six of Crows. Honestly, I had more fun reading this book than I’ve had in ages. A group of 6 gathers to attempt an insane heist, and I loved every single one of them. The characters are developed so well, and you get to switch between different perspectives as the book goes along. It’s an adventure from the very first page, and I guarantee you will have a hard time putting it down once you begin. As I write this, I am currently in the middle of reading the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds for Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Six-Crows-Leigh-Bardugo/dp/125007696X/

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Remember God by Annie F. Downs (Finished December 5th, 2018)

The honesty and bravery and transparency of this book is what got it on the list. I have loved everything by Annie F. Downs ever since I discovered her amazing podcast called That Sounds Fun, so I had to pick up Remember God the second I spotted it in the store. She wrestles with the question: Is God Really Kind? Because sometimes it’s easy to say that in your mind, but when your life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, or when things haven’t fallen into place the way you wished they would by now, what then? Is God still as kind as He claims? Does that ever change? Remember God takes you through her journey to discover the answer. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I LOVED it. The realness of it. Because that is how life really goes. This is a gem. You will learn so much from this one.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Remember-God-Annie-F-Downs/dp/1433646897

Remember God by Annie F. Downs

+++

Did you read any of the same books that I did this year? Did any of the ones you haven’t read before sound interesting enough to investigate or read? If so, I really hope you will enjoy them as much as I did if you take the time to read them in 2019.

Happy reading!

Thanks For Stopping By The Salt Compass: Madeleine Hagan

Top Books of 2018 on The Salt Compass

Bob Goff Quote from Everybody Always

“I’m Too Busy” and Other Excuses I’m Ditching

“I’m Too Busy” and Other Excuses I’m Ditching

Every New Year’s Eve, or perhaps even just December in general, lots of people come up with these things called resolutions. Things they want to change in the upcoming year. While I don’t really feel the need to call them resolutions, I love the idea of reflecting back on things that went really wrong and not settling for keeping those around another year. Continue reading

Note to Self: Wringing Out the Words When Writing is Hardest

Note to Self: Wringing Out the Words When Writing is Hardest

It’s one of those days. The words aren’t coming easy. You’re trying to find them, but they are falling into flat, pasty sentences that taste like cardboard and translate poorly. You can’t see them mattering.

You’re wondering, “Why bother?”

You have read so many stories from so many talented writers. You’ve soaked up their words with all the awe and wonder that comes with, “Aha! See?! I’m not alone. Someone knows what that felt like.” Continue reading

Measuring My Life In Coffee Spoons

Measuring My Life In Coffee Spoons

Why do I think about and gravitate toward coffee shops so much? I write in them and about them constantly. I’m always on the lookout for additional favorites. What’s the magnetic draw? Does it touch a piece of heaven, or eternity, that just draws me in? Maybe it’s the coffee. It’s a bunch of people who hang out there because the coffee is there. They want to drink some and then, when their drink is done but they don’t want to go yet, they stay so they can at least smell it still. There’s a humming. A gathering (peaceful) around a well-loved centerpiece. Continue reading

Returning to Your College Town (There and Back Again: Part 1)

Returning to Your College Town (There and Back Again: Part 1)

It’s strange to walk the streets of a place/city you’ve once lived in, grown in, cried in, and thrived in. It’s strange because you remember exactly what it felt like, what the routine of sounds and sights consisted of, and how familiar it all became during your time there. You remember the exact shade of yellow all the license plates were, and you remember the old smell of the library and the chiming tone of the elevator in your best friend’s halls when the doors opened. You remember how wobbly the buses were and exactly what the raindrops felt like while you waited for that bus to arrive. Continue reading

Exploring Oxford For A Few Days

Exploring Oxford For A Few Days

Exploring Oxford

I got to revisit Oxford after over a year and loved it just as much the second time. I was primarily in Oxford because I was attending a Fusion conference called Firebrands from Thursday to Saturday, but since I remembered loving the city last time, I purposefully arrived a day early to walk around a little bit with some friends of mine. Continue reading

Coffee Shop Tourist: Sheffield

Coffee Shop Tourist: Sheffield

During the time I spent in Sheffield a week or so ago, I got to visit three different coffee shops. For those of you who have been reading along for a while now, you know that I am absolutely enamored by cozy and cute coffee shops, and I am always up for discovering new ones to add to my coffee shop tourist collection. Continue reading

Day Trip To York

Day Trip To York

This past week I arrived back in the UK (woot woot!) and got to visit a few places for the first time before I made my way back to Portsmouth including Sheffield and York! There’s a coffee shop tourist post in the works for Sheffield, but first I wanted to share a few photos from the day trip that Viki and I took to York. Continue reading

To Settle or Not to Settle (Interrupting Inconvenience: Part 1)

To Settle or Not to Settle (Interrupting Inconvenience: Part 1)

There’s a difference between settling for less and settling in.

I feel like I should say it one more time for the people in the back.

There is a difference between settling for less and settling in.

One is lowering your standards, the other is sticking around even when the magic wears off. Continue reading