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The new year gives me a fresh opportunity to ask one of my favorite questions: What books are you hoping to read this year? 

I'd love to hear what books you hope to read in 2018 (and how you heard about them). I look forward to adding your suggestions to my Amazon wishlist (how I keep track of books, though my list is getting long) and also scouring the library. I'd also love to start some book discussions here on The Network! 

I'll get us started by sharing a few books I hope to read in the comments below.


The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathak. I heard about this one from an incredibly hospitable friend who will be leading a Bible study on this book. 

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg. I enjoyed Sheryl Sandberg's first book and am interested in hearing more about her response to the unexpected and tragic loss of her husband. 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I did this out of order (saw the movie before reading the book) but want to read the book to learn more about Auggie's story and the simple and powerful impact he had on those around him. 

Thanks for posing this question, Staci. Let's do some book swapping to help me get to my one book/month goal for 2018... not the most ambitious monthly goal, but it's a start.

I'm starting Tattoos on the Heart by Father Gregory Boyle this month.

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker is on the docket for February (or sooner if I am faster than I imagine with the first book).

Maybe my March book can come from some suggestions here :)


I love your goal! I might borrow it from you =) I had not heard of Tattoos on the Heart but the description looks really interesting (lots of real life wisdom to be shared). Added to my list!

I just finished Of Mess and Moxie last month and per the usual, loved Jen's unique blend of wit and honesty in both the boring and serious moments of life. I love how she makes Jesus so approachable. 

Have you listened to the series of podcasts she did to go along with the book? I've listened to the first few and they're delightful... no surprise. The very first one with Jen and Shauna Niequist and is absolute gold. I highly recommend it.

I'd never heard of "Of Mess and Moxie", but I just read the synopsis and I think it's exactly what I need right now! Thank-you for suggesting it. Life feels very hard right now, so I really need to know I'm not alone and have value - this book sounds great! Just ordered it from my library - can't wait to get it :)

Absolutely! I'm so guilty of picking up a book with the best intentions and then getting halfway through it and just trailing off. By the time I stumble across it again, I have forgotten what I read months ago and just let it fall by the wayside. I've always been one to do well with rules & deadlines, so this is my challenge for 2018 :)

A good question.  I hope to finish reading Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila, then go on to Dark Night of the Soul by St John of the Cross and later The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila. 

What about telling others about a book I really like? I reviewed the production "manuscript" for The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah's Flood Explain the Grand Canyon? and was very impressed with it. If you like rocks and landscape scenery, along with the rest of the creation, this will give you something to think and sing about.

Thanks, Ken! I made it to the Grand Canyon for the first time just last year and was blown away. I'd love to read this book. Sounds like a balanced and well researched book that points people to God (especially cool since it can be a controversial topic). 

You could check my "From Cairo to Christ."  It tells the story of my fellow Calvin Sem. grad who converted from Islam 40 years ago, and has been working as an evangelist to Muslims every since.  IVP 2017

I'd like to read that one. I taught English as a second language to Arab immigrants, mostly Muslims, for about a decade, and am still on the board of the organization. One of my alumni, who has had some exposure to Christianity beyond our school and is now in the U.S. military, might appreciate it, but I should check it out first. Thanks for the "heads up"!

A couple books on my list: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. This book was recommended on a podcast I recently started listening to. Also, The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. It was featured in a magazine I was reading and when National Geographic refers to it as the greatest adventure book of all time, it gets my attention.

The last few years I have been going through a string of books that I know God has put on my path. They are connected and altogether have helped me grow as a Christ disciple.  So the books I mention are more about where I am going than a recommendation for anyone, it may be that a title is something for your journey.  So I thank you for this question and God does knows what good will come from it.  Right now I am reading an very insightful Reversed Thunder by Eugene Peterson, which I picked up in a used book store.  I am going to order Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology by James K.A. Smith, which is the last of a trilogy on faith formation and how we live out our faith.  While driving around I listen to audio books and have been enjoying the rich language of Nathaniel Hawthorn's The House of the Seven Gables.

Thank you, Frank, for this thoughtful response. It is truly amazing how God puts certain books on our path during different seasons of our lives and I appreciate you giving a glimpse of the books on your journey. I love Eugene Peterson and have not yet read Reversed Thunder (but would like to). The House of Seven Gables might not be a book I'd normally grab but I think the writing style alone could be interesting. Thanks again for sharing! 

Here's my January list as I focus on mercy and healing the effects of brokenness.

Dream with Me, John Perkins

Place Matters, Bill Krispin

​​​​​​​Shame and Grace, Lewis Smedes

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