Lifestyle - February 20, 2019

8 of My Favorite Books and Why I Keep Coming Back to Them

reading book in bed top knot

If y’all can’t tell, one of my themes for February on BTD has been books. It’s nothing new (I freaking LOVE to read), but I’ve realized I need to do a better job at sharing books with y’all. Because like you might have noticed from this Instagram comment section and then this blog post, y’all seem to like books as much as me! I’m trying to think of a smart way to do a book club or something similar, but for now, I really wanted to get more of my favorite books in front of y’all.

I probably read 2-3 new books each month on average, but there are a handful of books that I circle back to over and over. I might not re-read them again from start to finish, but I do pick them up to read sections or even skim when I want to. I try to keep post-its in my favorite books of areas that really impacted me at one point – basically my own CliffNotes. I even take notes while reading sometimes if I want to get really intense, and then I keep those notes tucked in the book to read again. You’ll notice that these books are either faith-based or self-development, so you could say I have a type! Mainly I like to learn.

I’m sure y’all have those favorite books that you come back to as well and I hope you share them below! For now, though, the 8 books that have had a SERIOUS impact on my life…

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Warning: this book is kinda boring. I can actually only read like 20 pages MAX at a time, but the principles he discusses are just SO good and definitely stand the test of time. They’re obvious but then again not at the same time. The 7 habits he talks about, to give you a little overview, are the following: the importance of being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand – then to be understood, synergise, and finally sharpening the saw.

This book has been around for decades yet the principles and lessons of life and efficiency remain true, which is pretty cool. This is definitely one of those books where I have a lot of areas highlighted and that I’ve taken notes on. SO MUCH GOOD INFO!

Prayer by Timothy Keller

If y’all have been hanging with me for a while (like on Stories…), you know I love me some Tim Keller. (Also no, we’re not related.) He can simplify and breakdown complex and often overwhelming topics – like prayer – in such a unique and approachable way. I’ve had so many different experiences with prayer throughout my life and this book always makes me LEARN and THINK, two things I like doing! I love how he gives a summary of what people who have come before him said about prayer. He gives some very helpful background on why prayer is so important but also some very applicable tips that you can immediately apply to your own life. Can’t recommend this one enough!

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Another faith staple for me! I refer to this one often when I get discouraged or find myself swimming in doubts or discouragement (often!).  Lewis has a way of reminding me of things I know deep down but have forgotten or lost my burning conviction. I always walk away from reading this book feeling renewed and reminded of truth.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Of all the books on simplifying your life, this has been the most impactful for me. As someone who has her hands in 17 buckets at all times, I need the reminder that it’s better to focus on fewer things at once and get those things done rather than exerting my energies in all those directions.

I have a lot of takeaways from this book but I think the two that stand out to me the most (when compared to other books on this subject) is the way that he explained tradeoffs. As someone who does try to do it all and often believes that I can (although that’s a lie), McCowan reminded me that with every decision we make, there is a tradeoff. With every YES, there is a NO and that even when we stall on making a decision (because making decisions is hard!), we are making a decision in not making a decision. I also love what he said about the importance of PLAY and recreation and how our brains literally need a break from work or anything really in order to function properly. It is in this time, that we are breaking or playing, that we are able to connect the dots and our thoughts are able to solidify.

SO GOOD. It actually inspired this blog post (among so many, honestly).

The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

The way Brennan explains the grace of God, and the gospel in general, was a game changer for me. Finally, I felt like the way in which he explained it was different – it just felt more real and relatable to me.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

I HATE the name of this book, but I do like a lot of things Mark Manson has to say; and there are some good lessons in it.  It’s essentially about caring less about things that don’t matter while focusing on things that do. It’s similar to Essentialism in the fact that it clearly awakens certain things in you – and teaches you how to prioritize. Honestly, one of the main reasons it’s a favorite book is because it taught me the ‘Do Something Principle’ which you can read about here. It’s probably one of the best simple productivity tips I’ve ever learned, and I’m so grateful for that.

What’s Best Next by Matt Perman

Y’all know I love learning more about getting things done. And as someone who struggles to pay attention or FOCUS, I’m always looking for tips to help with that and productivity. I love how this book looks at things from a gospel-centered perspective. There are a lot of books out there on time management and setting goals but I appreciate the lengths to which this one goes to show that being productive is a good thing because ultimately when we are able to be more effective, we are able to better serve others. This book is unique and I like that!

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

I haven’t looked back on this one in a good bit, but I remember it being an amazing one for me. The basis of the book is, “you can’t be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature” which I LOVE.

I need to read through it again honestly because I’m sure I could learn more based on where I’m at in life now. But I’ve read it 2x and highlighted so much of it! I think everyone should read it – kind of like the Covey book above.

*

K that was fun! It definitely made me want to pull out all 8 of these right now. Let me know if you’ve read any of these 8 and if y’all have questions on them. If you want to read any, I’ll put them all right here: