It’s that time of year—when Spotify sends us our most played songs, and book bloggers share their favourite reads:)
I’m sharing my top seven reads in this post. However, since I love lists, I ranked the 40+ books I read this year in order from my favourite to least favourite, and you can see that here: 2021 Books Ranked
#7 Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors – This is Katie’s follow-up to her first book, Kisses from Katie. If you haven’t read her first book yet, you really, really need to. Katie moved to Uganda when she was 19, proceeded to start a relief organization, and then ended up adopting 14 little girls and settling down in Uganda as their mother.
While the first book talks about the whirlwind experience of becoming an adoptive mother to 14 girls, Daring to Hope dives into the spiritual lessons Katie learns as a mother and missionary. She describes what it feels like to her home to people dying of aids, to walk with her 14 children as they process their various traumas, and to open her heart to keep loving people even when it hurts.
#6 Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan – Buchanan’s prose is just. So. Good. It’s beautiful, and the way he strings adjectives together to make a point is so poetic. I will be reading more of his books for sure. Aside from his breathtaking prose, the book has a good subject too:) It’s about following Jesus into what Buchanan calls “The Holy Wild,” that place where God is calling us, but we are too often afraid to go because it’s not “safe” or comfortable.
#5 softer God by Carisa Downs (poetry) – Intimacy is the word that comes to mind when I think of this book. Through Carisa’s poetry, the reader gets to glimpse into her times with God and be drawn closer to Him as a result. She writes vulnerably, beautifully, and each poem has unique spiritual lessons. I highly recommend it for any Christian poetry lovers!
#4 Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Updated and Expanded) by Josh & Sean McDowell – This updated version is a heavy, 700-page tome…and I read every word of it! I loved the in-depth study about the origins of Scripture and the reliability of God’s word. I needed this book. My heart has been SO hungry for truth and for searching out answers to all of my biggest questions. This book was highly researched, and it presented the evidence with excellence. I loved that it was well-rounded, demonstrating both the evidence for and against their claims. It’s not an easy read by any means, and it’s not actually meant to be read cover to cover, but instead as a reference book for specific questions. However, I had ALL the questions, so I read ALL the book, haha. I am very, very grateful to these authors for taking the time to address the evidence with integrity.
#3 Emma by Jane Austen – This year, I re-read “Emma” for the THIRD time…I may be a slight Jane Austen fan 😏 It’s funnier than I remember it; Jane Austen is always great at witty dialogue! This time around, what stood out to me is how Knightley’s confrontation is so good for Emma. In relationships, we sometimes need to confront each other about the problems or bad habits we see. It’s not healthy to always be confrontational, but a well-timed confrontation can be life-changing and help you grow!
#2 That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis – This is the third instalment in C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy, and it was my favourite one of the three. I think I liked it best because it had incredibly likeable yet flawed characters, and Lewis shows the growth of each of them throughout the story. The novel is slightly dystopian, kind of creepy, and a bit random at parts. I laughed out loud several times throughout this book since Lewis’ wit and commentary are just incredible (as always!). The moral and spiritual lessons were also so deep and pertinent for our time. It cautions against separating your heart/morality from intellect. The villains excuse their actions because they believe feelings, morality, and spirituality are all chemicals in the brain and not real. They get lost in their philosophies and debates until they lose a sense of anything real, human, or moral.
#1 The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling So…it took me this long, but I finally read them! Andrew and I listened to the audiobooks together on our rides to work. Of course, I loved them, and now I can finally understand what all the hype was about! My favourite book was number three (The Prisoner of Azkaban), but I loved the whole series. It was a pleasure to savour each aspect of Rowling’s genius story-telling, from the character development, realistic dialogue, world-building, humour, the magic and rules for the magic she invented, and the incredibly well-done reveals. If for some reason you haven’t read these books yet (such as not being allowed to read them as a kid like me, lol), I highly recommend them!
So that’s my top seven reads of the year, and you can see my complete list ranked in order here: 2021 Books Ranked
What were your favourite reads of 2021?