I had to put a list together of the best books of 2017 that I read and why they quickly became my favorites.
I hope you enjoy, purchase a copy that stands out to you, and feel free to share below in the comments or on social media your best books of last year.
The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp (Best Christian Inspiration Book)
This was the first book I read in 2017. I truly appreciate how Ann Voskamp took her time to write her sophomore release because it is packed full of so much wisdom.
From the publisher, “New York Times best-selling author of One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp sits at the edge of her life and all of her own unspoken brokenness and asks: What if you really want to live abundantly before it’s too late? What do you do if you really want to know abundant wholeness? This is the one begging question that’s behind every single aspect of our lives – and one that The Broken Way – also a New York Times bestseller – rises up to explore in the most unexpected ways.
This one’s for the lovers and the sufferers. For those whose hopes and dreams and love grew so large it broke their willing hearts. This one’s for the busted ones who are ready to bust free, the ones ready to break molds, break chains, break measuring sticks, and break all this bad brokenness with an unlikely good brokenness. You could be one of the Beloved who is broken – and still lets yourself be loved.”
Single Column ESV Journaling Bible (Best Bible Journal)
I have been using the Single Column ESV Journaling Bible since 2016, and I still love it. Last year I read through the entire Bible while journaling, painting, and scrapbooking my way through.
It was a blast to spend another year combing through its creative and color-filled pages this year while I date stamped every single one of the 365+ #DoNotFear posts.
I wonder what I’ll end up using in 2018…
This Bible is very high quality. ESV is a wonderful translation and a must-have for any library. Because of its imitation leather, it’s bendable unlike some of the other single column journal Bibles that came in hardcover.
The Prayer PartnerTM by Thumblepress (Best Prayer Journal)
I loved adding this prayer journal to my quiet times as a place to write down inspirational quotes or Bible Verses, how I feel, praise & thanksgiving, answered prayers, confessions, prayers for myself and prayers for others.
From the publisher, “Introducing The Prayer Partner! The Prayer Partner is meant to be a companion to your prayers; a way to track and see the Lord working in your life. Even if you only have five minutes in your day, the spaces are simple and an easy way to connect to Him in our crazy hustle & bustle lives. The Prayer Partner, full of 188 pages, is a place for just you to express your thoughts, feelings, desires, and prayers on that specific day. Each page offers a space for inspirational quotes or a bible verse, confessions, answered prayers, praise and thanksgiving, prayers for myself, prayers for others and more! Included in the 188 pages, are 20 pages of art prints designed and illustrated by artist/owner, Kristen Ley. Easy access to cut out and frame as a new art print! We hope The Prayer Partner becomes the perfect companion to your faith and prayer life!”
Cultivate by Lara Casey (Best Christian Inspiration Book)
My love for this book might have had a little something to do with the fact that my #oneword for 2017 was “cultivate.” I learned so much from this thoughtful book by Lara Casey.
From the publisher, “A flourishing life is possible—no perfection required!
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…Find the joy and the freedom that comes in cultivating what matters, little by little, with God’s transforming grace.”
Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray (Best Soul Care Book)
A lot can happen in 40 days. A new rhythm. A new heart. A renewed faith.
Transform your life as you take the journey to say yes to God, embrace your true identity, rediscover your dreams, and begin your healing. Dare to enjoy each day fully and celebrate your calling as the beloved.”
Flourish by Dr. Catherine Hart Weber (Best Soul Care Book)
My life coach sent me a copy of “Flourish” and told me to read it! She knew I had briefly read it before, but because it is more like a soul care manual – I hadn’t really taken the time to dive in. When I read it for the second time, it was as if everything was fresh and perfectly timed. For anyone who is seeking help to flourish in the New Year – this book is a must read!
From the publisher, “Many Christian women feel like they are languishing rather than flourishing. They face days full of busyness and stress that can lead to anxiety and depression. Dr. Catherine Hart Weber integrates the best in positive psychology with biblical wisdom to show readers how to develop healthy mental states. She demonstrates that cultivating positive emotions like joy, gratitude, and hope will foster spiritual growth, a deeper intimacy with God, and strong relationships. Not only will these traits of the Spirit lead to a more fulfilling and abundant life, but they will help readers cope with daily pressures. Flourish shows how women can partner with God to nurture healthy emotions and virtues to live life at its best.”
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Best Fiction Book)
I am not normally a fiction reader so when I saw that Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended this book I was curious because it was along the same lines/theme as my #oneword for 2017 #cultivate. What I found instead, was one of the most heartwarming stories of love and heartbreak that had me furiously turning pages until the very last sentence. I even went as far as buying it for my library after finding it for free at my local library.
From the publisher, “NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.”
Almost There by Bekah DiFelice (Best Travel Book)
I love reading books by fellow hope*writers, especially when it’s about moving a bunch of times. Marc and I have moved 7 times in 7 years, but most recently we moved 5 times in under 3 years. When I say that I resonated with this book IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. I also love that Bekah and I are fellow NavPress authors!!
From the publisher, “Sometimes God leads people out of familiar territory so he can tell them who they are. That moment you depart, you experience reinvention, renewal, and freedom. You get a redo on the adjectives associated with your name.
Almost There is for those on the move and those who feel restless right where they are. It’s for those who struggle with not belonging, with feeling unsettled, with believing that home is out of their reach, at least for the moment. And Almost There is for those who find themselves in a transient lifestyle they didn’t expect―say, moving across the country for a new job or the military or an opportunity to begin again.
With imaginative storytelling and witty, relatable prose, Bekah DiFelice offers wisdom for those struggling to belong in a world where home is constantly shifting. When our hope of home is rooted in an unchangeable God, we are not uprooted, lost, or made homeless by change. We become found ones on the move.”
Gideon by Priscilla Shirer (Best Women’s Bible Study)
By far, this was the best surprise read of 2017. Marc and I had been praying for over six months to get connected to our church, and when my new massage therapist said that her sister went to the same church as us – we met for brunch the next day. She invited me to join her women’s Bible Study that were already half-way through Gideon. This study changed my life, and I ended up finishing the rest of it on my own!
From the publisher, “Gideon: Your weakness. God’s strength. is a 7 session women’s Bible study by Priscilla Shirer. When we hear the name Gideon, most of us think about his 300 soldiers or the fleece he laid out under the evening sky. But Gideon’s story is so much bigger than that—bigger than any one man and his mark on Israel’s history. Like everything else in the Bible, this is a story about God and His people. His love for them, as well as His strength operating in spite of their weakness—even through their weakness. And because God’s people includes you and me, Gideon’s story is also about us—our lives, our doubts, our struggles, and our possibilities as believers. From a state of fear, weakness, and insecurity, Gideon emerged as Israel’s hero, filled with God’s presence and His passion for deliverance. This study will encourage you to recognize your weakness as the key that the Lord gives you to unlock the full experience of His strength in your life. In what ways do you feel insufficient? Those places create the greatest opportunity to experience the sufficiency of God. Instead of ignoring, neglecting, or trying to escape your weaknesses, see them as the gifts that they are, given specifically and strategically by God to unlock the door of God’s strength.”
BONUS: eSword (Best Free Bible Study for the PC/Mac)
This is the first year that I went through the ENTIRE Bible looking up verses in the Interlinear Bible thanks to the eSword so that I could learn the original Hebrew and Greek words. Thanks to my husband, Marc, for telling me about this FREE tool called eSword, I downloaded on my iMac, MacBook Air, and iPhone so that I can look up verses on my computer or on the go.
It has completely transformed the way I read the Bible, and I am so grateful that I had this tool while going through the #DoNotFear posts. The sky is the limit now as I read and study the Bible in 2018.
What were the best books of 2017 you read and why? What tools do you use to study the Bible? What have you found to be most helpful?
I hope you enjoy and share below in the comments or on social media your best books of last year.
*Disclaimer: Renee Fisher & Co. uses affiliate links for things Renee has bought and/or used personally. If you click through her referral link, at no additional cost to you, she earns a commission if you make a purchase.