A Reading List for Your New Year

Inside: I like to close out the year with a solid book list. This year is no exception. Here you’ll find my favorite reads from this year as well as three I can’t wait to release next year. Don’t miss the best books of 2020. *For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links at no additional cost to you.


best books 2020

I’ve heard  it said that you’re not really supposed to read books while also trying writing one, or perhaps you just typically loses the capacity for such activities. Regardless, I found the opposite to be true. Thanks to this pandemic forcing the need to mentally escape the chaos of the world around me + the added pressure of meeting  my own looming book deadline, I dove headfirst into more books this year than ever before.

In no particular order, (except for number one. Number one is my all time favorite read from 2020), here are my favorite reads from this year, plus 3 I can’t  wait to be released next year.

1. Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson

I loved this book. Loved, in like a mind blown kind of way. Just Mercy is not only an incredible book, packed with powerful true stories, but it was hands down the most important book I read this year. It left me truly changed. Please read this book.

The  movie is good, but you miss so many important stories if you don’t also read the book.

best books of 2020

2. The Road Back to You, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

If you’re unfamiliar with the enneagram, it’s a personality typing system that is made up of  nine different personality types. The Road Back to You is a practical, easy to digest, yet  in depth explanation of the enneagram and all nine personality typings.

Understanding my enneagram type, which is a six, has been a major catalyst in my own personal growth. It’s given me a better understanding who I am, how I’m wired, my strengths as well as the areas in life that trip me up. I can not recommend this book enough. It was  incredibly helpful in helping me both narrow down my own typing and understand more about how and why I respond to the world the way that I do.

Best books of 2020

If you enjoy learning more about the enneagram I recommend reading my recent article titled, How Understanding Your Enneagram Number Can Help You Live Clutter Free.

3. We Were the Lucky Ones, by Georgia Hunter

I couldn’t put this  book down. We Were the Lucky Ones is the incredible true story of a Polish family separated during World War 2. If you read and loved The Nightingale, then I think you’ll love this one as well.

best books of 2020

4. Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rawling

I know, I know, I’m a little late to the game. I’ve heard these books are amazing for years, but it wasn’t until my son specifically asked me to read them that I picked up the first book of the series back in April. Since then I’ve read books one through five. Gearing up to start number six soon.

Our copies are tattered, well-loved and the currently in the hands of my daughter.  One of the biggest challenges of 2020 in our home has been keeping our children from accidentally spoiling the saga for me and each other. Reading these books along with my kid has helped us connect around reading and I’m totally here for it.

5. Project 333, by Courtney  Carver

This book by Courtney Carver, is a deep dive into the Project 333 fashion challenge. Project 333  helped me deeply prune my closet and create a simple, easily tidied  wardrobe. If you’re hoping to simplify the clothing situation in your home, this book will help.

best books 2020

6. Get Out of Your Head, by Jennie Allen

As a chronic over-thinker, I find myself stuck in my own head all…the…time. I loved this book. Allen shares her own story of feeling stuck and strategies to help set you free.

best books of 2020

7. Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer

I listened to this audio book on my Hoopla library app. It’s a book about finding purpose. Palmer walks you through his life, work and experience  with depression and leads you on a journey to help you begin to discover what it is you were made to do.

8. Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

In my opinion, this book lives up to the hype. I loved this book. It’s a murder mystery, which isn’t normally my thing, but it’s also a coming of age story about a young girl living as an outsider in her community. It’s just. So. Good

Best books of 2020

9. The Legacy Journey, by Dave Ramsey

I just finished listening to this book on my Hoopla library app. We’ve been fans of Dave Ramsey’s financial principles for a long time. In The Legacy Journey, Ramsey discusses saving, spending, generosity, contentment, and passing on wealth to our kids.

10. 12 Tiny Things, by Heidi Barr and Ellie Roscher

12 Tiny Things releases January 5th, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early reader copy. In this book, authors Barr and Roscher walk us through 12 essential areas such as space, work, spirituality, nature and creativity, encouraging us to take tiny steps in order to grow. It’s a  refreshing and important read as we exit a chaotic and overwhelming year.

Books to Watch for in 2021

The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living with Less, by Christine Platt

I love Christine Platt’s take on minimalism. It’s refreshing and inviting. She focuses on creating a home that fits your own personal style and a minimalism that works bests for you. I’ve been following Christine on Instagram, @afrominimalist, for a while and I’m so excited for her book releasing June 2021. Don’t miss it.

best books 2020

Effortless: Make it Easy to Do What  Matters, by Greg McKeown

If you haven’t read McKeown’s book, Essentialism,  it’s a must read. I can’t  recommend it enough. I’d place it at the top of my list of favorite books to inspire simplicity, minimalism and doing less for the sake of more. Which is why I can’t wait for his newest book to release April 27th.

best books 2020

Messy Minimalism, by Rachelle Crawford

I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that the book I’m most looking forward to releasing next year was my own. Messy Minimalism, releases late fall 2021, (which feels like an eternity away).

I wrote this book to make minimalism doable. Often times the benefits of living with less are swallowed up by its seemingly unattainability. It can feel out of reach to the very people who need it most. Messy Minimalism shares a grace-based approach to minimalism, one that is very much doable. Follow @abundantlifewithless on Instagram and by email for all things Messy Minimalism related.

Me signing my book contract back in January, 2020.

I’d love to hear, what books you loved reading this year?


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6 thoughts on “A Reading List for Your New Year

  1. Thanks for today’s blog (12/30/20). I learned more about you and what you think today. Now you seem like a real person and not just some anonymous minimalism blogger. Getting a better understanding leads me to respect your opinions and advice more. As a result, I will be paying greater attention to your blog. I’ve been imperfectly practicing minimalism for quite some time but am always searching to improve my efforts.

  2. I’m currently reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. I find it is quite an enjoyable and easy book to read.

    On another note, I’m trying to signup for the Unstuck mini course but I’m not getting a confirmation email.

  3. I am listening to and loving Starhawk’s “The Fifth Sacred Thing”… wildly was written decades ago and is so on time.
    “Fumbling towards Repair” a workbook for community accountability by Mariame Kaba and Shira Hassan. Had a study buddy for this one, being in restorative/transformative justice as we dream and work to abolish the P.I.C.
    “The Smell of Rain on Dust” Grief and Praise, by Martín Prechtel. whew I don’t have words but the feeelings yes.
    “cuffed, tied, and satisfied” a kinky guide to the best sex ever by Jaiya. It brought up a lot.
    I’m about to get into “undrowned” Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Looking forward to *diving in* lol.

  4. I added a couple of yours to my list for next year–thanks! Some of my reads for 2020; Austin Channing Brown’s I’m Still Here-Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness (very humbling), Becoming by Michelle Obama (liked a lot), Open Book by Jessica Simpson (surprised me that I would even read it, much less like it) , Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris (captivating). I went on a bender of Amish books this fall but I will spare you from those–lol!

  5. Thank you for your book suggestions, I did enjoy the Nightingale and will request some of these suggestions from our library! You do get to know a bit more of someone with the types of books they like, and since I appreciate what you share on your blog-it is nice to know a bit more about you! My suggestions would be Advent reading: Come let us Adore Him, by Paul David Tripp, The Cadence of Grace Series, by Joanne Bischof, The Masterpiece, by Francine Rivers and Sophie’s Heart, by Lori Wick to name a few! God bless your 2021 as you seek His will and serve Him with your life and writings! Keep on keeping on! Stand firm in your faith!

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