I will finish books. I will finish books.

So, one item in my 25 before 25 list is “read and finish 25 books.”

I am the daughter of a  librarian, so I grew up in a house of books. I loved reading before bed and I adored being emotionally moved by novels. Now however, sometimes I am truly terrible at finishing books – mostly the non-fiction selections.

books to read

I am usually too enthralled in fiction to dawdle, but often even in non-fiction books that I’m very interested in, I can just get disinterested, or move on to another title. It’s a lame habit, and I’m writing this list to help break it! (Some of these I have already started – months or even years ago. Pictured below are some I haven’t started at all. And, I’ve changed-up the list since I took these photos so I do apologize for that.)

more books to read

25 before 25 Book List

  1. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
    Not pictured because I just recently bought it, and since then I have not been able to put it down. The concept of story and how to apply it to our real lives is incredible and has hijacked my mind for the past week.
  2. Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
    I got it for Christmas and have adored the first 70 pages.
  3. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
    I started this over a year ago and I’ve really enjoyed the humor and the thoughtful themes, but it’s  been slow goings.
  4. Beyond Belief by  Josh Hamilton
    This is one of my husband’s very favorite books and he continually asks me to start reading it! Hamilton’s story is amazing, and displays God’s power.
  5. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
    I need to take the time to give this book the attention it really calls for. I stopped in Ch. 2 several months ago.
  6. Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst
    I am looking forward to starting this sometime this spring, and thinking through the heart issues that are really behind body issues.
  7. Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider
    This book is just so darn pretty. And her definition of simplicity is great: “Living holistically with your life’s purpose.”
  8. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
    My copy is in the mail and I cannot wait to begin reading it. Her prose is so unique and truly attitude-altering.
  9. Radical by David Platt
    It’s on the list because I’ve heard it will wreck your soul and I’m up for that.
  10. The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
    A few months ago I checked The Golden Vein (a follow-up to The Artists Way) out from the library and it was really interesting. I want to study the day-to-day processes of creativity more, and I think this will be  a great place to start.
  11. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
    Read several chapters of this classic over two years ago. Need to finish it.
  12. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
  13. Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
    Started it over a year ago and enjoyed it, but will have to re-start since A LOT has happened in my brain since then!
  14. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
    We started reading this in premarital counseling and it was great stuff – really meaty Truth about marriage and people and sin.
  15. Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas
    I got distracted from this after the first few chapters, but it was helpful so far.
  16. Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
    Good gravy this is a wonderful book. Breathes life into your weary heart. Points you to Jesus. I’ve been reading it for years (back and forth, back and forth, reviewing chapters, underlining, circling) and really should complete it.
  17. The Shack by William P. Young
    My mother-in-law recommended it and loaned to me, and I remember hearing a lot about it when it came out, so it is on the list.
  18. Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
    I have started this one, and learned a lot from it. Look forward to finishing it.
  19. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
  20. How to be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward
    Randomly picked this novel up in Brenham – so glad I did! It pulled me in so much that I actually finished it before I could finish this post! I’ll write more on it later. Ward is an amazing story teller. But it does have some shady language, just FYI.
  21. Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper
    I read this collection of biographies a few years ago in a summer girls group (thanks to Christine!). It was very encouraging to read real women’s stories and I want to re-read it now that I’m married and have a different role/perspective.
  22. The Artist in the Office by Summer Pierre
    Y’all. (Even though I don’t consider myself a legit artist,) I am stoked about reading this. According to the description, it “encourages small acts of creativity and a simple shift of perspective to help readers bring their artistic selves into the workplace and thrive in all aspects of their lives.” Ordered it just today!
  23. Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper
    Deadline for this one is before next October – in time to plan for the holidays.
  24. Women Doing Excellently: Biblical Women and Their Successors by Paula Clifford
    Another random selection from Half-Price, but I’m really interested to get into it sometime this year. Stories of real women’s lives are helpful to me.
  25. Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
    This is sure to be thought-provoking. Bought it when it came out, never started it.

So, that’s the list. It is what it is mainly because most of these books I already own and I’m realizing that it is silly and wasteful to buy books but not read them. Hopefully, I ‘ll read more than just these. Tentatively, I also really want to: re-read Francine River’s Mark of the Lion series and Redeeming Love (also because I know I’ll crave more fiction than what is in this list); Wild Swans by Jung Chang, which I started over two years ago and will be a long haul, but is SO interesting; and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, because it’s a classic that I already own and, as a former English major, I feel like really should have read by now.

I’m hoping to write review/reflection posts on each of these as I complete them. Yay for blogging as an accountability tool!

What books are you reading right now? Have you read any of these or have any other recommendations?

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10 Responses to I will finish books. I will finish books.

  1. Sydney says:

    “I’ve heard it will wreck your soul and I’m up for that.” love that!

    You should check out “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristoff & Sheryl WuDunn

    • Thanks, Syd! I wish that I was closer to where you are and we could just swap paperbacks! Hope you are enjoying your vaca! Yeah, I’ve thought about picking up Half the Sky before. I take it you enjoyed it? I read Kristoff’s NYT articles occasionally and they’re always interesting and moving.

  2. Elora says:

    Irresistible Revolution changed my life. Radical is also a life-altering book – both get you back to thinking about what is truly important. I love Francis Chan as well.

    I’m reading Made to Crave & 1000 Gifts right now.

    Have you ever read East of Eden? My word it’s a fantastic book. One of my all time favorites.

  3. marylyn says:

    1 oh donald miller i love you…and i haven’t read this one. thanks for the recommendation!

    2 i’m reading bittersweet for the second time. tahni’s rubbed off on me…mainly because shauna speaks to my soul.

    3 🙂 i give you credit for sticking it out with john irving.

    5 i haven’t read crazy love but i have read forgotten God & enjoyed it immensely. that & john made me start to understand the holy spirit.

    12 i love this book. a lot. it’s funny & heartbreaking & makes you want to get off your bum & love people, all really great things.

    16 the best books are the ones you can’t finish because you just need to digest each part.

    17 i read it after the hype & was glad i didn’t read it in the midst of the hype. it was an enjoyable read…and displayed that no matter what horror we go through, Father is the only one who can heal.

    19 my favorite book by piper, mainly because it’s short. that sounds really derogatory & i don’t mean it to be. he’s a much more effective writer when he keeps it short.

    21 i read this book on a plane on my way back to cstat i think after going to the imb interview & BAWLED. love this book.

    with jane eyre….the first 12 chapters are monotonous, but if you can get past those it’s a beautiful story.

    i have added 1, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 20 to my list.

    ps…these are my favorite blogs….mainly because it’s like pandora for books. thanks friend.

    • MLK. You’re awesome. Seriously – A Million Miles was incredibly thought provoking. With Bittersweet, so far the chapter that has “gotten me” the most was “things I don’t do,” since I tend to want to do too many things. Shockingly. In the middle of the chapter I said to Garret – “You’re gonna wanna make me read this over and over again, just FYI.” (And, the “Alemeda” chapter makes me want to come see you ASAP! Me and Garret are hope-hope-hoping to make a DC trip sometime in the near-ish future.)
      When I finish Owen Meany, you’ll be the first to know! And, thank you for the advice about Jane Eyre, sister!

  4. Erin says:

    i love your description of radical. and i agree. i could totally read again and again and always be moved to tears.

    same kind of different as me is also a good one. the fact that it’s a true story and i’ve met the authors made the situations they handle together so much more real. awesome.

    inspired by your 25 by 25 list. just wanted to say. i haven’t quite decided if i can commit to that. maybe i just need to. sigh.

    thanks for your post!

    • Hi, friend! Thanks for the kind words! Yeah, I haven’t even started Radical yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.
      With the 25 list, I’m definitely starting with the little things first!! And taking baaaaaby steps towards the rest! Even just accomplishing the little things is confidence boosting. To me, the list was easier to realistically commit to than new years resolutions. I’m not very good with those! I say do whatever works 🙂

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