We love book lists! Check out what Megan enjoyed reading this year.
I am so excited to join this year in sharing my top five reads of the year. I have loved reading since I have been little and thankfully that love didn’t end when I got older. I love jumping into stories and going new places with people I wouldn’t get to meet outside of a book.
Since I am a student and working, sometimes sitting down to read can feel like a difficult thing to do. After a few years of minimal reading, I’ve discovered that setting a few reading goals for the year can help me read more and enjoy it more! If you love to read and end up never making time for it, I highly encourage setting some reading goals.
This year I started with two specific goals other than my normal numerical goal. I wanted to read a stack of books I had received for free and then I wanted to read more books written by people of color and by women. In this regard, my reading list for the year came up looking a bit strange at times but I ended up reading a lot of great books over a wide array of genres! I chose books that stuck with me and tried to choose things out of different genres so you didn’t end up with a list of just fantasy fiction.
Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle
This book has been on my to-read list for years, eight years to be exact. When I finally ended up getting my hands on it this fall, it was the perfect time. The story is of Father Gregory working with gang members in LA. It was challenging, convicting and heart-breaking at times. If you need encouragement for your ministry and conviction to keep going in the hard times then this book will provide that for you. It helps us all to view everyone as loved by God and made in his image to reflect his glory.
Handle with Care by Lore Ferguson Wilbert
I try and read at least one non-fiction Christian book alongside my fiction books. Since they are not books I tend to pick up and read on my own, a chapter a day is how I roll. This book was one that has stuck with me in many helpful ways. It talks about the importance of touch in our daily walk as Christians. I thought it was a helpful way to think about the positive and holy aspects of touch in the Christian life. So often touch gets talked about negatively in the church and this book is a great reminder of the power that we have to minister to each other through touch. This is made even more impactful in a year when we have had to rethink touch in dramatic ways.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
This book fits best in what I will call the historical fantasy genre. It is the fictional story of a girl who escapes slavery on a literal underground railroad. On her stops along the way to freedom she has a series of harrowing adventures that are based in many real events (like the Tuskegee Trials). I loved the writing and could not put it down. Though hard to read at points because the violence of the era is not watered down, it is an engaging and heartbreaking story well worth the read.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
I am a big consumer of fantasy books and this one was great. It is a departure from the familiar middle ages or middle eastern fantasy and is set in an African context. It is too rare to have a Black heroine in a fantasy novel and I love the depictions and normalization of things like kinky hair. The magic system of the book is based in traditional African religions so that was also very interesting to read since I have lived in a place where similar concepts are still practiced. It gave me a great appreciation for how often fantasy books give us an insight into the culture they are based in.
Written in Verse
Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi
I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but I really enjoyed reading it. It is co-written by one of the Central Park 5 and loosely based on his time in jail while knowing he was innocent. The book vividly makes the reader feel the confinement of prison. The story is well told and really gives light to the idea of freedom, even in a space and body where freedom is not a choice you were given. This reflection on imprisonment and freedom reminded me of the great burden Christ took upon himself in being arrested, tried, and condemned for our sin and the sweet freedom that we have because of his work.
What were your reading goals for 2020? Did you set any intentional categories or genres? Tell us your favorite 2020 reads in the comments!
“The account that inspired Melville’s masterpiece and shook an island’s reputation only told one side of Captain Chase’s story. In this tale, his wife and daughter tell their side for the first time.
Nantucket whaleman Owen Chase is not at home for the birth of most of his children, including his firstborn, Phebe Ann. Owen’s wife, Peggy, works to maintain a sense of security while hoping and praying that Owen is safe. But as Peggy is quietly marveling at Phebe’s development, Owen’s ship, half a world away, is rammed and sunk by an angry whale.
Against all odds—and contrary to preliminary reports—Owen returns home, seemingly well, to his stunned relatives and neighbors. But will life ever be the same for him and anyone who knows and loves him?
Experiential narratives of both Peggy and Phebe span decades of the Chase family’s story to illuminate life at the height of the whaling era and grace for dealing with significant hardships in a timeless, moving way.”
Here’s the schedule for the book:
January 5th: Chapters 1-4
January 12th: Chapters 5-8
January 19th: Chapters 9-12
January 26th: Chapters 13-15 and Postlude