I absolutely love reading! Unfortunately I did not get to read for pleasure this year as much as I would have liked to (being an English major, there's a lot of it that's required, which leaves little time for other stuff). However, that's not to say I didn't read at all. Here are some that I would definitely recommend, if you haven't read them already.
In no particular order...
Jesus Calling (Sarah Young)-it's technically a Christian journaling devotional, but it can be read like a book. I started reading it over the summer and felt like I got more out of that than actual attending a regular church service on Sunday. Not to say that books should replace community! Whether you believe in God or not, I would definitely recommend it.
Stories I Only Tell My Friends (Rob Lowe)-I'm a big fan of memoirs, especially those written by celebrities. I feel like it's a good way to find out more about them, other than the sleazy stuff we hear in the grocery gossip magazines. I've seen a few of his brat pack films and watched him on Brothers and Sisters every once in a while, and his life sounded fascinating.
The Best Of Me (Nicholas Sparks)-Definitely not THE best novel he's ever written. The story seemed to follow the same old formula, and the ending was a little predictable. I'd say read Safe Haven and save this one for when you absolutely need something to read.
Through My Eyes (Tim Tebow)-OK, whether you're a fan of his football playing abilities or not, there's no denying that this man is one of a kind. I was in awe (and a little teary eyed) as the book went on, and I think I read it in about two days. Very inspirational!!
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Dr. Maya Angelou)-This was more for a class, but I found it interesting nonetheless. She's definitely someone I can picture sitting on a front porch with and talking all day to.
The Gospel Side Of Elvis (Joe Moscheo)-Celebrities and spirituality are a pretty common theme for me. I love Elvis Presley as a musician, and have always been interested in the way that he viewed God and spiritual manners in general, since he did record a few gospel albums. Beautifully written and a great look at a different side of a legend.
Coming Home (Karen Kingsbury)-The final installment of The Baxter Family Series. If you haven't read any of her work, start with Redemption and go from there. The characters in every book are amazing and well written. But bring the tissues, and a lot of them!
Ehh....(meaning, I put it down halfway through)
Her Daughter's Dream (Francine Rivers)-I liked Her Mother's Hope a lot better; again, it was pretty predictable. A typical child prodigal story set in the 1960's counter-culture of California. And nothing will ever compare to Redeeming Love.
The Power of A Praying Woman (Stormie Martin)- a lot of people in my church really enjoyed this, so I thought I would check it out. I was also struggling with prayer at the time that I picked it up, but it didn't seem to offer a whole lot in terms of how to pray. That's when I started reading Jesus Calling.
Oh No I Didn't.....
Before everybody jumps back in horror, I assure you that I'm not recommending it at all. For the sake of wanting to know what it was about before giving out any criticism (as many faith-based and church groups were doing) I did read the first ten chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey. It was dumb. To each their own, but the whole premise was so damn dumb that I threw it under my bed and didn't pick it up until my Mom wanted to let her friend borrow it. Basing it off of Twilight takes it to a definite negative. The writing is terrible, and I will never understand anyone that says it was the best book they've ever read. Please, go pick something with substance. I would go on about the whole idea of blaming fiction for our culture's views on relationships, but that's for another time.
What were some of your favorites that you read this year? So so? Down right terrible?