Inside: I love a good book list! Here you’ll find my favorite reads from 2019. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience, at no additional cost to you. Full disclosure, I read a handful of these courtesy of my local library and I recommend you do as well. Enjoy!
Wow! This year has certainly been one for the books. So much change, so much growth and so much good. It’s funny to think that just three years ago, not only was my home a hot, cluttered mess of chaos, but I also had no idea what a website plug-in or email sequence was. A lot can change in a relatively short amount of time if you let it, and in my experience, if you’re willing to put yourself out there and be bad at something new.
Now don’t worry, I’m not announcing a career change into web design. I swear half of my website is still held together with hot glue. I’m just feeling nostalgic as I share my final blog post for 2019.
At the end of each year, I like to share the best books I read during the last twelve months. (Mostly because I’ll hope you’ll return the favor in the comments. I love a good book recommendation.) If you haven’t read these, I’d encourage you to consider adding a few of these incredible books to your list of must reads for 2020.
My 10 Favorite Reads of 2019
Simple Happy Families, by Denaye Barahona Ph.D.
This book is both beautiful and insightful. Denaye’s approach to parenting has helped me to let go of the unrealistic expectations I had for both my children and myself. Her book covers a wide variety of information from decluttering with kids and choosing the best toys, to creating a capsule wardrobe and simplifying meal planning.
The Minimalist Way, by Erica Layne
You know I love a good book about minimalism, but this one is exceptional. I couldn’t put it down. Erica’s approach to minimalism revolves around identifying your core values and leaning into them. She’ll walk you through identifying exactly what they are and then assist you in simplifying your life and home so those core values can get the attention they deserve.
Atomic Habits, by James Clear
If you only read one book this year, let this be the one. You guys…you guys…it’s so good! I’m planning to read it again next year as well. There is a lot of information out there about forming good habits and routines. But what I love about Atomic Habits is that you walk away with practical strategies for making small course changes today. It can often feel as though a new habit has to be big, grand and perfectly executed. Clear approaches it through small, atom sized changes that lead to big results, with mindset shifts rooted in who you are rather than where you’re going.
The Minimalist Home, by Joshua Becker
The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker is a comprehensive deep dive into how to become a minimalist. He shares practical application steps for each area of your home and the whys behind each of those steps. This book is also peppered with stories from real people who have taken the necessary steps to get uncluttered.
If you’re looking for more information on becoming a minimalist, this book is a great companion to his 12 week course, Uncluttered opening for enrollment on January 2nd. I joined along last spring and highly recommend it. Learn more here.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcom Gladwell
I read most of this book while sitting on the beach of Tamariu, Spain. That’s really not relevant to my description of the book, but that may have played a small part in making me treasure this one so much. This book is remarkable. You’ll read story after story of how the under dog, the wounded and the underestimated, grow up to make some of the greatest impacts in history.
Live in Grace, Walk in Love, by Bob Goff
I’m not quite done with this one, but anything Bob Goff is writing, I’m for sure reading. This daily devotional is fun and engaging, as typical of Goff’s writing style. It would make a great last minute gift if you must.
You Are the Girl for the Job, by Jess Connolly
I just finished this one for a book club. Loved it! Such an encouraging read if you’re stuck in the place between calling and feeling unqualified. This book is a relatable and authentic easy read.
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
If you’ve never read this book, I’m jealous! I wish I could read it for the first time again. It’s so, so good. I seriously could not put this book down. Like up in the middle of the night, reading by the light of my iPhone screen, kind of obsessed.
The Nightingale book takes place during the Nazi invasion of France and centers around the stories of two sisters, both who are very different. I don’t want to give anything away. I had to wait two months to get this book from the library because there were a number of readers in line ahead of me. That says a lot. Trust me, just get this book.
The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom
While waiting for The Nightingale, I read The Kitchen House. It’s the story of a young indentured servant on a tobacco farm in 1800. I loved it!
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
If you glance not all that closely at the photo of this book, you’ll see I accidentally destroyed the book cover. Thank goodness for tape. On top of that, it was actually a library book I had to then purchase from them. If you’ve ever found yourself paying the library for a book, then you know it’s the single most expensive way to add a book to your own personal library. Eh, what are you going to do?
Fortunately though, it was this book and I’ll likely read it one hundred times over. If you’re a writer this book is a must read. I just wish it didn’t take me so long to finally get around to reading it.
Books to Look For Next Year
Project 333, by Courtney Carver
This book is now available for pre order and I just ordered mine! I’ve got to be honest, when I first read about the movement, Project 333, I thought it was insanity. Wearing only thirty-three clothing items seemed like way too few! However, last fall I went for it and I can’t imagine ever going back. Project 333 helped me clear the clutter from my closet with clarity and I can’t wait to dive deeper into this incredible fashion challenge.
52 Mondays: Winter Mindfulness Journal, by Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui
This fall my friend Krista, writer at A Life In Progress and author of this beautiful journal, lost her son Jairus. I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around the great depths of pain her and her family have endured. To honor him, Krista has started an art scholarship in his name. All proceeds from her winter journal fund that scholarship. If you’re looking for a thoughtfully crafted mindfulness journal or simply want to support a beautiful cause, you can order a copy here.
For more book recommendations from Abundant Life With Less, read 12 Best Books to Encourage a More Abundant Life from 2018.
Do you have any book recommendations for 2020?
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