Christian Books To Read For The New Year

Christian Books To Read For The New Year

This coming Tuesday is the 1st of January. I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by.

With that, it’s the most popular time of the year for people to set resolutions. There are so many amazing books out there that will help you with achieving your goals. Such as creating a simpler life, living a minimalist life, making time for yourself, etc.

Here are 10 books I recommend to help achieve your new years goals!:

Restoration Year by John Eldredge

This 365-day devotional is comprised of short readings that guide you on a year-long journey of restoration. Each devotion features a Bible verse, a devotion, and a closing prayer or inspiring challenge that will equip you to pursue lasting transformation in your life and relationships.

Packaged to appeal to both men and women, the devotional will cover a variety of topics, including relating to God, understanding who God really is, sustaining friendships, deepening relationships with family members, understanding the future God has planned for us, and more.

All Things New by John Eldredge

This revolutionary book about our future is based on the simple idea that, according to the Bible, heaven is not our eternal home--the New Earth is. As Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew, the next chapter of our story begins with "the renewal of all things," by which he means the earth we love in all its beauty, our own selves, and the things that make for a rich life: music, art, food, laughter and all that we hold dear. Everything shall be renewed "when the world is made new."

More than anything else, how you envision your future shapes your current experience. If you knew that God was going to restore your life and everything you love any day; if you believed a great and glorious goodness was coming to you--not in a vague heaven but right here on this earth--you would have a hope to see you through anything, an anchor for your soul, "an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God" (Hebrews 6:19).

Most Christians (most people for that matter) fail to look forward to their future because their view of heaven is vague, religious, and frankly boring. Hope begins when we understand that for the believer nothing is lost. Heaven is not a life in the clouds; it is not endless harp-strumming or worship-singing. Rather, the life we long for, the paradise Adam and Eve knew, is precisely the life that is coming to us. And that life is coming soon.

Meet The New You by Elisa Pulliam

As women, we are constantly evaluating ourselves. Am I enough? Why can’t I change this certain thing about myself? Should I be doing more? 
 
We long for real, deep, lasting change—but we don’t know how to begin. In Meet the New You, Elisa Pulliam empowers women to take charge of their own life transformation by engaging in a meaningful relationship with God and His Word. Each chapter gives practical and interactive ways to address some of the biggest obstacles that stand in the way of permanent change. Through stories, biblical application, personality assessments, thought-provoking questions, and life-coaching principles, Meet the New You helps women:
·         understand who they are
·         cultivate a vision for who they want to become
·         recognize what holds them back
·         determine the steps necessary to  put new, practical habits into action
 
It’s time to discover who you really are and how you can live life differently. It’s time to meet the new you!

Cultivate by Lara Casey

Women often feel like they have to have it all together in order to live a meaningful life. Instead they feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and exhausted as they to figure out how to do it all. Author, business owner, and mom to three Lara Casey offers sound and grace-filled advice: “We can’t do it all, and do it well. But, we can choose to cultivate what matters.”

Welcome to the journey of getting messy in the rich soil of possibility—embracing imperfect, grace-filled progress to grow a life of joy.

Written as part encouragement anthem and part practical guide, Cultivate offers wisdom from God’s Word alongside lessons Lara has learned in her garden. Woven throughout is her personal story that helps release readers from the pressure to achieve and gives them freedom to move from planning to planting a meaningful legacy. “It’s in the imperfect—the mess of the dirt--that good things grow,” Casey reminds readers. “Peonies grow through the dirt, and so do we.” Readers will learn to embrace the season they’re in, finding balance as they interact in fresh ways with their current life scenarios, with God, and in the communities where they are planted.

Special features include

  • Actionable Cultivate It prompts throughout the book

  • A ten-week Cultivate Together discussion guide with questions for small groups

  • “Grace from the Garden” vignettes provide encouragement and inspiration

Find the joy and the freedom that comes in cultivating what matters, little by little, with God’s transforming grace.

Hello Mornings by Kat Lee

Don't worry; you don’t have to be a morning person to start each new day well. Join Kat Lee and thousands of women from countries around the world who have learned to maximize their mornings. In Hello Mornings, Kat introduces a simple yet powerful three-minute morning routine that integrates Bible study, planning, and fitness into a foundational morning habit that fits into every schedule. She then helps you build each of these core habits for life-long growth.

Everyone can find three minutes. And instead of adding one more thing to the list, Hello Mornings lifts the weight off women by revealing a grace-filled way to establish a powerful morning routine that offers

  • a simple way to incorporate the most-sought-after daily habits into a simple morning routine: God. Plan. Move.

  • the latest research on habit formation and development

  • practical tools to help readers develop and grow their own personalized, adaptable plan for mornings

  • stories of transformed mornings from women in every season and stage of life

Hello Mornings helps readers renovate their mornings to establish and grow a powerful daily routine—a long-term, Jesus-centered habit to anchor them in every season. Each morning can then become a launch pad into God’s amazing plan for their lives.

Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

More Style, Less Stuff

Cozy Minimalism isn’t about going without or achieving a particular new, modern style. Nope. It’s simply a mindset that helps you get whatever style YOU LOVE with the fewest possible items.

You want a warm, cozy, inviting home, without using more resources, money, and stuff than needed. Why use more if you don't have to?

In Cozy Minimalist Home, accidental stylist and bestselling author Myquillyn Smith guides you step by step on making purposeful design decisions for your home. You'll have the tools to transform your home starting with what you already have, and using just enough of the right furniture and decor to create a home you're proud of in a way that honors your personal priorities, budget, and style. No more fretting when it comes to decorating your house! 

In Cozy Minimalist Home, Myquillyn Smith helps you

  • Realize your role as the curator of your home who makes smart, style-impacting design choices

  • Finally know what to focus on, and what not to worry about when it comes to your home

  • Discover the real secret to finding your unique style—it has nothing to do with those style quizzes

  • Understand how to find a sofa you won't hate tomorrow

  • Deconstruct each room and then re-create it step by step with a fail proof process

  • Create a pretty home with more style and less stuff—resulting in backwards decluttering!

  • Finish your home and have it looking the way you've always hoped so you can use it the way you've always dreamed 

A Simplified Life by Emily Ley

Do you long to simplify the demands on your time, energy, and resources? Have complicated responsibilities, overwhelming to-do lists, and endless clutter left you feeling overwhelmed?

Busy wife, mom, entrepreneur, and bestselling author Emily Ley knows how you feel. With a growing family, increased work demands, and more, she understands the struggle it is to keep the plates spinning.

In A Simplified Life, you’ll find Emily’s strategies, systems, and methods for permanently clearing the clutter, organizing your priorities, and living intentionally in 10 key areas—from your home and meal planning, to style and finances, parenting, faith life, and more. Emily will show you how to truly make the most of your days with realistic, achievable, and tactical tools.

Walk alongside Emily through each page of the book, working through her simple strategies toward your own goals as you simplify and make space for what matters most.

Sacred Rest by Saundra Dalton-Smith

How can you keep your energy, happiness, creativity, and relationships fresh and thriving in the midst of never-ending family demands, career pressures, and the stress of everyday life? In SACRED REST, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, reveals why rest can no longer remain optional.

Dr. Dalton-Smith shares seven types of rest she has found lacking in the lives of those she encounters in her clinical practice and research-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social, creative-and why a deficiency in any one of these types of rest can have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity. SACRED REST combines the science of rest, the spirituality of rest, the gifts of rest, and the resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest as something sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.

By combining scientific research with personal stories, spiritual insight, and practical next steps, SACRED REST gives the weary permission to embrace rest, set boundaries, and seek sanctuary without any guilt, shame, or fear.

Finding Selah by Kristen Kill

The Psalms call it selah—the pause, rest, or interlude between the notes in a song. More than merely an empty space, selah is a chance to stop and resync with the story and song of God. For all the ways life keeps you running, this word and practice offers a way to re-center yourself on the One who holds all things together and makes all things beautiful.

Stretched beyond her capacity in caring for a large family in the middle of Manhattan, Kristen Kill was exhausted, depressed, and desperate for a change. Then something sparked within her when she read the Psalms, and found that often all that stood between the psalmist’s cries for help and celebrations of praise was this simple word, selah.

Join Kristen in Finding Selah for a journey that will transform the way you think about work, rest, and the little spaces in between that make all the difference. This book will show you how to tune your ear to the song God is singing over you, embrace the “selah moments” able to transform your daily rhythms, and most of all, encounter the ultimate Selah in Christ, who stands in the gap between heaven and your most hectic of days. There is hope for the dissonance you feel. Finding Selah will show you not only how to sing a new song, but to live a new way.

Habits of the Heart by Katherine Butler

Are you “out of shape” spiritually? Do you long for a life that is fully and deeply engaged with the Creator? Does your heart ache to be transformed by God? Real change happens only when we train ourselves to be in the habit of exercising our hearts in the practice of godliness. The Bible says that training the body is of some value, but the most important thing we can do is to train our spirit. Habits of the Heart will help you develop practices that draw you into a deeper and lasting relationship with God. Each day of the year, this simple guide will help you focus on one essential aspect of your walk with God and show you how to make it a habit.

Yay, you made it through! I hope this has helped you find some new books to help you with your new years resolutions.

What are your new years resolutions or do you not do them? Share in the comments!

the caffeinated bibliophile

P.S. TODAY is the LAST DAY to enter my Christmas giveaway! All details and giveaway form are —-> HERE

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Book Review: Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

Alaskan Holiday Debbie Macomber Book Review

Synopsis:

Before beginning her dream job as sous chef in one of Seattle's hottest new restaurants, Josie Avery takes a summer position cooking at a lakeside lodge in the remote Alaskan town of Ponder. Josie falls for the rustic charms of the local community--including Jack Corcoran, the crotchety keeper of Ponder's famed sourdough starter, and, in particular, the quiet and intense Palmer Saxon, a famed master swordsmith.

Josie and Palmer become close during the long Alaskan summer days, but Josie knows that, come fall, she'll be returning to reality and the career she's worked so hard for. Palmer, on the other hand, would like nothing better than to make Josie his wife and to keep her in Ponder. But Josie can't imagine abandoning her mother back in the Emerald City and sacrificing her career to stay in this isolated town--not even for a man she's quickly coming to love.

Fate has other plans. Josie misses the last boat out of town before winter sets in, stranding her in Ponder and putting her dream job at risk. As the holidays approach, Josie and Palmer must grapple with the complications that arise when dreams confront reality, and the Christmas magic that can happen when they put their faith in love.

  • Genre: Christmas Fiction

  • Pages: 256

  • Publisher: Ballantine Books

  • Published: 10/2018

  • Goodreads Rating: 3.63

Heidi's Rating_ (76).png

Why I Chose This Book

I love Debbie’s books! They always make me smile. They are so charming and sweet. So of course I had to read this one!

First Initial Thoughts

Josie is a young woman who is interning as a chef in Alaska during the last 6 months in Alaska. She is originally from Seattle and is not use to being away from her mother so long. She then gets the opportunity to work for a Chef in Seattle. But she meets a man named Palmer and they form a relationship over those 6 mos. I didn’t really know what to think of Josie at first. She was really focused on her career so I kind of felt for Palmer when she rejected his proposal.

Palmer is a sword maker in Alaska and doesn’t see himself living anywhere else. He decides to propose to Josie so that she stays in Alaska. He can’t imagine her leaving! I found it kind of sweet but a little too soon. I don’t see why they could have done a long distance relationship for a little while. But I also could understand that Palmer would never want to live in Seattle, and Josie doesn’t have a desire to live in such a small town.

Setting

Alaska- the one state that I really want to visit one day. It just sounds and looks so beautiful! Debbie definitely does a good job portraying Alaska and how desolate it can be out there during the winter. I also can’t imagine living in a place that has 22 hours of sunlight in the summer!

Final Thoughts

This would be such a sweet Hallmark movie! There was also a lot of food in this book. I mean… a lot! It made me hungry multiple times. I also want to know how to be a chef and still be slim! ha

I liked Josie but she kind of got on my nerves. She was always focused on her career and didn’t give Palmer a chance at first. I kind of felt for him because she spent all that time and didn’t want to make the relationship work. She was like well- I need to go back to Seattle now, the relationship is over. I kind of felt like that was a little too cold.

The one thing that really bothered me was that Debbie included a three years later chapter at the end. I didn’t really think it was necessary as I found that it just repeated what happened in the book and afterwards. Sometimes I just like a book ending and making the reader imagine what would happen after.

Even though this story was kind of predictable (as most of these kind of stores are) it was still an enjoyable to read. It wasn’t as developed or well written as Debbie’s others Christmas stories, but it was a fun read nevertheless.

Would I Recommend?

Yes, most definitely. I think anyone who loves a cute Christmas story will enjoy this one.


You can purchase the book —> HERE

Are you also a fan of Debbie’s books? Have you read Alaskan Holiday? If so, share your thoughts!

the caffeinated bibliophile
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Book Review: Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

mind games nancy mehl book review

Synopsis:

Kaely Quinn's talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she's demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, the reporter's ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem's predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else--including Kaely herself--is killed.

  • Genre: Christian Suspense

  • Published: 12/4/2018

  • Pages: 336

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishing

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.46

mind games nancy mehl book review
It was time. Let the mind games begin.
— "The Killer"

Why I Chose This Book

I love a good crime thriller. They keep you on the edge of your seat until your at the very end. I was thrilled to see that Bethany House Publishing chose this book as their book of the month to review.

First Initial Thoughts

Kaely is a young woman who has a constant reminder of her past on her shoulder. Her father was a serial killer and was caught when she was very young. She struggled with the fact that yet she loved her father she never really knew him. She joined the FBI in hopes to escape her past and catch bad guys like her father. I felt for Kaely because she always kept people at distant. She was always deep in her work. I think it was due to the fact that she never got over her past.

The “killer” in this book, is introduced in the beginning. He is angry for Kaely knowing about her father and not doing anything about it. Did Kaely really know her father was a serial killer before being caught?

Acosta, a reporter has been pestering Kaely for a while. Mostly for an interview - being a daughter of a serial killer. He gets a letter in the mail from the “killer” stating that he is planning to kill 6 people including Kaely for what she has done. I found him to be kind of a slime ball reporter. Although deep down I think he just wanted a break in his career- and was willing to do whatever to achieve that.

FBI agent Noah Hunter and Kaely start working on the case to figure out who this mastermind killer is. I liked Noah though he was kind of flat in the beginning. I think this is done on purpose in the beginning.

Setting

What I liked about the setting is that it took place in Missouri. I haven’t read too many crime novels that took place in Missouri. Also, the atmosphere really reminded me of the first season of True Detective for some reason. It had a very eerie and haunting feel to it.

Some wounds are too deep to heal, or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, many memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying ‘time heals all wounds’ is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Final Thoughts

I am kind of picky with crime novels. I often find that either the author doesn’t do her research on law enforcement and the story line just seems unrealistic; or the author does do her research but the story line can be kind of “dry”. Nancy definitely did do her research -especially with Kaely’s career and what it entails. However, there are some mishaps in the story that wouldn’t really fly in the law enforcement field but hey, it’s a story.

I thought Nancy was very creative with the story and the murder plot. It reminded me of all the crime shows that I use to watch (CSI, Bones, etc.) back when they were popular. I also don’t think the story line was too creepy. Though there were some scary/creepy parts I wouldn’t put them on the level of some crime TV shows out there.

I was also surprised by who the murderer was. I won’t spoil anything but the clues were there from the start. I like it when stories do that. You find out who the killer is at the end- and then realize all the little details throughout the book that point to that.

I also really liked Noah and Kaely working together. I thought they were a good team. I found Kaely to be an interesting character. She was very bright - that is for sure. She could read someone almost instantly. She also had to learn that what her father did was not her fault and her past doesn’t define her.

I also think she had to learn why God allows bad things to happen. Why are there serial killers on this earth? It’s a question that we still try to answer today. But I think Kaely and like the rest of us have to understand what God has in store for us. And it’s not always going to be sunshine and roses. But God will always be in the forefront. Ready to help you heal and move on.

Usually in crime novels - you get some romance thrown in. Though in this one, even though there was an attraction it wasn’t the main focus. This book is the first one in the series, so maybe Kaely and Noah’s relationship develops more.

Would I Recommend?

Yes. While I didn’t absolutely love it, it was an enjoyable read. I could definitely see someone that is more interested in Crime novels would enjoy it.

You can purchase the book —-> HERE

Are you a fan of psychological/crime novels? If so, share your favorites below in the comments!

I also wanted to let you know there will be only one blog post next week on Thursday (the 27th) due to the holidays. There will be one more post this week before the holidays!

the caffeinated bibliophile

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book to review by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Christmas giveaway! I am giving away bookish items and two of my favorite books from this year! Check it out now and enter —> HERE

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Christmas Giveaway: Books, Coffee, Tea & More!

Christmas giveaway The Masterpiece Where The Crawdads Sing Starbucks

This year I wanted to do a big giveaway for all of my readers! I want to express my appreciation and gratitude to those that subscribe and follow my blog. This is such a fun hobby of mine, and I can’t believe how this little blog has grown over the year. I absolutely love and enjoy reviewing Christian Fiction. Reading all your responses and comments to my reviews and recommendations just make me smile! It’s truly a pleasure inspiring you all to read more!

Giveaway - christmas The Masterpiece Francine Rivers Where The Crawdads Sing Delia Owens

In this giveaway I am giving away two of my favorite books of the year. Everyone, this was sooo hard to choose! I had so many favorites. However, these two stuck out to me the most. And those two are… The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers and Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I couldn’t stop thinking about these books and I STILL think about these books well after reading them.

You can read my review of The Masterpiece —-> HERE

You can read my review of Where The Crawdads Sing —-> HERE

I will be having a quick Facebook live this evening (probably around 7ish PM EST) to show all the items in detail. You can find my page —-> HERE

In this giveaway you have a chance to win the following:

  • A copy of Masterpiece and Where The Crawdads Sing

  • A set of coffee/donut bookmarks

  • Starbucks Tumbler W/Coffee

  • Celestial Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Herbal Tea

Rules:

  • Must be 18 years or older

  • Reside within the U.S. (sorry to those internationally - due to the cost of shipping).

  • Giveaway runs from 12/13 - 27th 11:59 PM EST

  • Please enter using the Gleam form below.

Thank you so much for stopping by and good luck if you entered! And please do share with your friends and family. :)

the caffeinated bibliophile

Note: This giveaway is not sponsored in any way. I am spending my own money to host this giveaway. :)