It’s the season of gift giving again! I believe that books are some of the best gifts you can ever give. The sweater my mom gave me when I was twelve? Long gone. The books she bought me? Still on my shelf.
These books have been favorites in our house this year, and we think they might make the perfect gift for someone you know. (Here’s the link to my 2013 list, all of which are still great options for this year too!)
Another great gift option: buy a membership to Audible for a few months for your book lover!
Adventure Bible, NIV
When kids enter elementary school, it’s a great time to gift them with their first full Bible. We picked out a pink one for Little Miss a couple years ago, and a blue one for T-Rex last year. This Bible features full color inserts with explanations of passages,
Dare U 2 Open This Book and Just Sayin’ by Carol McAdams Moore are new devotionals designed for 8-12 year olds. My kids LOVE these books, and they are not your average devotionals. Each of the 90 devotionals includes activities- drawing, writing a poem, cutting, gluing – these devos engage kids’ creativity with practical applications and explanations of the verses. Kids won’t want to do just one at a time! What a fantastic way to encourage kids to engage with the Bible in a relevant and creative way.
Dare U 2 Open This Book: Draw It, Write It, Dare 2 Live It (for 8-12 year-old boys) It’s cool, and it’s filled with boy-oriented activities and applications. He will have fun and learn how the Bible applies to his life at the same time.
Just Sayin’: Write ‘Em, Draw ‘Em, Hide ‘Em in Your Heart (for 8-12 year-old girls) It’s pink! It’s girly! And it’s filled with relevant and practical applications of Scripture. She won’t just read the verses, but she will think about and engage with Scripture creative ways.
Moms. They do it all. Sometimes well, sometimes not, and sometimes with feelings of guilt of all they don’t do. I have a story featured in this book titled, “Why I’ll Never Be Volunteer of the Month.” Moms share their hilarious missteps and heartwarming stories. I have a couple other writer friends with stories in this one too. It’s a great read, and any mom would appreciate the encouragement offered within its pages.
When More is Not Enough – How to Stop Giving Your Kids What They Want and Give Them What They Need by Amy Sullivan
Sullivan writes with warmth and humor. She shares how she and her husband recognized how self-absorbed they had become and how God prompted them to change. This book isn’t about guilt or shame, but encourages us all to take small steps to find ways to serve our communities that fit the unique wiring of each family member. Each chapter includes dinner table conversations, and the appendix includes a note from her husband to dads, and a note from one of her daughters to parents. Practical, encouraging, and inspiring.
For Fiction Lovers:
The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot
Take a journey to the Andersonville prison in the South during the Civil War. Get to know the unlikely friendship between a Yankee and a Confederate soldier. Groot’s writing is superb, and you will get lost in the story.
Yankee in Atlanta (Heroines Behind the Lines) by Jocelyn Green
The third installment in the Heroines Behind the Lines series does not disappoint. Follow the young heroine’s journey into the South as her secret past and connections to the North slowly unfold. If you haven’t read Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Lines), I do recommend reading it first as some of the story lines intertwine. Just pick up the whole series which also includes Widow of Gettysburg and then pre-order Spy of Richmond, which releases March 1, 2015. You can thank me later.
My Mother’s Chamomile by Susie Finkbeiner
Set in a small town in Michigan, Finkbeiner’s sophomore novel shares the story of a family who’ve cared for their entire community in their darkest hours. What happens when this family faces crisis of their own and desperately needs the support of their community? Will their faith sustain them? Beautifully written, and deeply moving, this story will have a lasting impact on you.
Into the Free and its sequel When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell
“In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a “nothing mama,” she struggles to find a place where she really belongs.” This New York Times bestseller, and Cantrell’s debut novel, is a captivating and powerful coming-of-age story. Heart-wrenching, yet uplifting, you’ll find yourself rooting for Millie to overcome, find faith, and choose a new life. When Mountains Move continues Mille’s story into young adulthood and a cross-country move with her new husband. I can’t say too much more, because it would give it away! Both are can’t-put-down reads!
For Your Friends:
ISN’T IT TIME FOR A COFFEE BREAK? by Amelia Rhodes
Shameless plug! 🙂 Yes, this is the book I wrote! Encourage your friends, and let them know how much they mean to you. Gather a group and go through this book together. Dig into how you can serve each other and deepen your friendships. Discover the heart of hospitality (it might not be what you think!), learn what forgiveness is and isn’t, discover the power of unity, and more! It’s time for a coffee break!
For Creatives, Leaders, and Business people:
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
Catmull is one of the founders of Pixar, and this is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. Not only does he share insider stories of Pixar’s movies and how the stories were shaped, but his leadership and management principles were inspiring. The whole story is just intriguing. My favorite line was when he said every Pixar movie starts out as an “ugly baby.”
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink
Sales isn’t just for “sales people” any more. Everyone sells something, and Pink reminds us that it’s a natural human trait we all carry. As a writer, I found his sections on handling rejection and making pitches to be helpful and encouraging.
The Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse by Michael Gungor
This is a fun and quirky book filled with insight on the creative process and how to handle both the external and internal critic. Gungor shares some memorable stories from his years traveling with his band, and it’s a fun, wild ride.
For Spiritual Growth:
Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg
We don’t often talk about our souls. What is our soul even? Ortberg unpacks what our soul is, why it’s so important, and how you can care for your soul. This is an important topic, and a book that I will be referring back to often.
Satisfied: Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption by Jeff Manion
“Why is it so hard to find the contented, satisfied life? What deep hungers drive our purchasing habits, accumulation, and consumer lifestyle?” Satisfied will take you on a journey, not just into your heart, but into your closets, your basement, and places you’ve tried to ignore. You’ll come out the other side feeling free.
Red Hot Faith by Cindy Bultema.
Not technically a book, this DVD driven Bible study will be certain to fire up your faith for 2015. Buy a few participant guides and start the new year going through this inspiring study with a group of friends.
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