Books - December 8, 2022

Books I Read in 2022

If you’ve been following me for more than a year, you might remember that I set a goal for myself last December to read a minimum of 3 books each month. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but it’s been a challenge for me to sit down and get through a book. I also have a habit of only reading self-development books, so I really wanted to start incorporating some fun fiction stories as well.

In order for me to make progress toward this goal, I knew I’d have to listen to a lot of the books on audiobook. With a toddler running around, it’s just not feasible for me to sit down to read, but I can always have something playing in my Airpod while we’re playing or running errands.

I’m proud that I made it through May with this goal. After that, I had to shift my focus toward preparing for baby no. 2. But for the first five months of the year, I met my goal. For a couple of months, I read more than 3 and in April, I only hit one — but I am alllll about progress over perfection, so I’m deeming this a success.

Each month, I wrote a thorough review of each book I read (see below). But I wanted to offer a super quick recap of everything here so you can see it at a glance. I really enjoyed everything y’all recommended to me throughout the year, so please keep your recs coming! I’m hoping to start reading again soon now that baby girl is getting bigger.

See my full book reviews by month: January // February // March // April // May

Books I Read in 2022

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This book by Anne Lamott is one of the first I read in 2022. It has a heavy focus on writing and Lamott includes several parallels to her own life. My main takeaway from this book was that we tend to focus on the next big milestone instead of being satisfied along the way. The author encourages the reader to focus on their accomplishments and embrace the journey along the way.

Pray by Val Marie

This book felt just like talking to an old friend. It was so comforting, encouraging, and relatable! If you’re looking for a devotional to use every day, this would be a great option (although it’s not “technically” a devotional). It was really educational and a quick and easy read all about prayer.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

I can’t recommend this book enough for anyone who struggles with feeling busy. I actually think it would be a great read as you head into the new year! The thing that really stood out to me with this book was the way the author tied his point back to the Bible. It helped me understand the gravity of what he was trying to say and I appreciated his focus on incorporating a Sabbath.

Take Back Your Family by Jefferson Bethke

I’m glad I read this before having a second child. While it wasn’t necessarily my favorite book I read this year, it did offer some great insights into parenting and how the ideals of being a family have shifted over time. The author shares a lot of tangible ways to bring your family back to the ideals you want.

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

This book is all about leadership. While it doesn’t apply completely to my life, I thought there were a lot of nuggets that I gleaned from this that were applicable. I especially appreciated Brené discussing how you don’t need to have all the answers to lead others. Whether it’s from a business or faith perspective, I think that’s something we should all keep top of mind.

Find Your People by Jennie Allen

This was one of my favorite books I read this year. Being in a season of life with young kids, I find myself developing new relationships — but I still want to hold onto those already in my life. Motherhood can feel really lonely at times, so it’s important to find the people in your life who can support you and know what you’re going through. It’s an interesting balance, but the author of this book does a great job sharing how you can “make new friends, but keep the old” (anyone else remember that song from camp?!).

Don’t Mom Alone by Heather MacFadyen

Another book that felt super timely for the season of life I’m in is Don’t Mom Alone. It really dives into the importance of finding your support system and community of other moms. This book felt really conversational to me… like I was sitting at coffee with the author. If you’re in this same season or planning to be soon, I think it’s a great read to help prepare you for the ways you can build your tribe.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

This book was a bit less “fluffy” than I’m used to reading, but it still had some really great information about the shift toward everything digital, including our addiction to smartphones. Cal, the author of this book, dives deep into human psychology to discover why we lack control over our devices. As someone who’s constantly fighting the battle against technology, I thought the research part of this book was really helpful. I refer back to it often!

The Common Rule by Justin Whitmel Earley

If you have to choose one book to kick off 2023, I highly recommend The Common Rule. It dives into our everyday routines and what we can do to improve them. Like Digital Minimalism, the author of this book also touches on the way our devices have shaped how we live. I really liked reading about the habits he adopted to shift his life in the direction he wanted to go.

Choosing Marriage by Debra Fileta

Whether you’re recently married, have been married 50 years, or are single and hoping to get married one day, this book is a great reminder of our role as a spouse. This book is full of a lot of information, so I found myself reading it in chunks (like 10 pages at a time).

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

This was a really popular book in 2022, so I had to give it a read. I’ll admit, it was kind of a tough read (it took me longer than I thought it would), but the content was really great. If you’re looking for a way to re-focus your finances in 2023, this is a great place to start your journey.

Gentle and Lowly by Dane C. Ortlund

I read this book back in April, and it ended up taking me the entire month to get through it. The best way to describe this book is that it offers a real look into the heart of Christ. Truly, it’s helped shaped my daily with Him in ways I couldn’t have imagined. This is a great resource to strengthen your faith going into the new year.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

This book surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, but it was a real encouragement to me during the tough days of pregnancy. The author sets this book up in a way that offers realistic action items for the times in your life when you need a little mental motivation. The way Amy shares her story is super inspiring too. Highly recommend this!

Embrace Your Almost by Jordan Lee Dooley

I’m someone who struggles with contentment. For whatever reason, I’m constantly trying to be more or do more. This book focuses on embracing the messy middle between where you were and where you want to go. Right now, I feel like my life is the messy middle. Things will get easier, but they’re chaotic right now. And that’s OKAY – I’m learning to embrace and love it!

Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

I’ve never considered myself an overly anxious person, but this book really opened my eyes. It showed me that anxiety and contentment are very closely related… and I definitely struggle with being content. I’m always telling myself if we just moved to this neighborhood or I had more time to work on my business, everything would be different. Instead, I’m learning to be content with where I’m at now and look at it from a positive perspective instead of wanting more.