Jeremiah 30:2 – “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.’”

Gratitude 684

Have I ever shared with you how much I love books?

Seriously. They are one of my favorite things.

I have shelves of books that I have read. A long, long list of books and audio books that I have checked out from the library. (Yes, the local library knows me by name.) And a whole bunch of books that I have read and owned but no longer do. They have found new homes.

I am still a little old-fashioned. When I want to learn about something, I often begin by searching for a book that will educate me. While much of the world turns to Google, I turn to an online site that will help me find book options about the topic. So, I guess, I’m searching online? But it’s for a book.

Anyways, I am also a HUGE proponent of giving books. In fact, I often have a little stash of books hanging around, ready to give to someone. I have been known to read a book, think of someone who would enjoy it and bought them a copy of the book. Just because.

All this is to say that it should be no surprise that I LOVE to give books at Christmas. I enjoy finding the right book for someone and sharing it with them. Yes, I have bought the same book and shared it with more than one person; probably because I simply thought the book was this good.

There are lots of people providing shopping suggestions this Christmas. My list is a little different: it’s all about books (plus one little extra.) I’m making suggestions in a variety of different genres, as I realize not everyone likes the same kind of books.

A sidenote – I am sharing an affiliate Amazon links to these books. You can go and read more about the book before you make a purchasing decision. I completely support you purchasing a book locally; especially from a local bookstore. I  share these links more as a convenience than anything. You can order from these links as well.

Fiction Book – The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

Have I shared with you how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book?

I read it last winter and fell in love with this author. Since then, I have read many of her books. But The Nightingale remains my favorite.

It’s a historical fiction book set during World War II in France. The story is about two sisters and their different paths of how they survived in a German occupied territory. You will cry. You will laugh. Your heart will sink. And at the end, you may even wonder if there is any bit of truth to this story. You may not want the story to end. I didn’t.

Personal Growth – Growing Slow by Jennifer Dukes Lee

I am still reading this book, but I am going to recommend it anyway.

Jennifer takes the approach that life is NOT about going faster, harder or filling our lives with more. It’s about slowing down and adjusting our attitudes. Taking lessons that she has learned as the wife of an Iowa farmer, Jennifer weaves in antidotes from rural America that many of us can relate to.

I am such of fan of this topic. It’s the struggle that I have lived with, well, basically, my entire life. I see too much of myself in what Jennifer writes in her book. There is a study guide with the book. Anyone interested in joining in with an online study of this book after the New Year? I would LOVE to lead one virtually. Please let me know if you are interested!

Spiritual Growth Book – Forgiving What You Can’t Forget by Lysa Terkeurst

Forgiveness is a topic that many Christians struggle with. We find it easy to point out and think that others need forgiveness in their lives more than we do.

Lysa speaks from her personal need for forgiveness, based on situations that happened in her life. She digs into scripture and uses Biblical guidance help steer the discussion about forgiveness.

When you give this book, the recipient may think you are trying to say something about their spiritual life. Assure them that you are not because you purchased the book for yourself as well. Better yet? Read the book together with your friend and discuss it together.

For the Young Adult on Your List – Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad

I found this book intriguing for a couple different reasons. First, the author went through cancer, and I was interested in learning about her experience of this. Second, the author is a couple generations younger than me. She’s in her 20-30’s which means that she thinks very differently from me. I have wanted to specifically read some books written by people in this age range so I would begin to understand how this generation thinks and feels.

Let me be clear: Suleika is very honest in this book. There is language, ideas and topics that may make you feel uncomfortable. This happened to me. However, discovering a different perspective is exactly why I wanted to read this book. This book may or may not be one you want to read. I share it as a suggestion for the young adults on your list. They may respond very differently to this book than you would.

Suleika shares very openly about her cancer journey, which is followed by discovering a way to re-enter life.

Culturally Relevant Book – Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison

I am a white, middle-aged, middle class American woman. As I have watched the race challenges in our country the last 18 months, I realized that I have very little understanding of what it means to be a minority in America. Because my learning style is to read books, I have intentionally read several books to learn more about what it means to be live as a black person in America.

I found this book very captivating and helpful. Latasha shares very personal examples of how non-black people have responded to her in a variety of situations. As I read these accounts, my heart sank. I realized how sheltered I am.

Latasha weaves biblical references into her story that she uses to help tell her story. I found this very helpful. While she is dealing with a challenging topic, she allows readers to discover for themselves how they feel about the topics she covers.

After I read this book, I invited two friends to read it and then, we discussed it. As we finished the book, I asked if they would recommend this book. They both highly endorsed the book. We were all surprised how much we learned from this book. If you know someone who is socially minded and looking to learn more about race relations, this is book for them.

Children’s Book – Twirl by Emily Lex

I do not know Emily personally, but I have followed her blog and social media account for years. She seems simply like the nicest, sweetest person. I wish I could call her my friend.

The story is about a little girl who wants to twirl. In self-disclosure, Emily says the little girl is based roughly on her daughter. But I wonder if there is a little Emily in this girl as well. Emily painted the precious watercolors throughout the book. For the young girl in your life, buy them Twirl.

Now, if you are looking for a specific suggestion not covered here, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I would be happy to make a recommendation! Just contact me at and I’ll do my best to help you find a great book for your loved one.

BONUS SUGGESTION: My favorite pen

When I read a book, I always have a pen with me. If it is my book, I often underline or circle something that speaks to me. I usually have a journal handy as well, where I write down thoughts that I want to remember and refer back to later.

And this is the pen I prefer to use while doing this. I know it sounds silly have to have a favorite pen. It feels like a first-world problem. But, I just really like the grip of this pen, that it is available in fine point (my personal favorite) and is so smooth when it writes. I buy them in bulk because I like them so much.

I am constantly trying to figure out how I can best give presents that are meaningful, personal and special for the few people we have on our Christmas shopping list. A book is always a great option. I hope there is one or two suggestions here that will ease your shopping anxiety this holiday season.

For inspiration from the written word, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – Thank you for blessing many people with the gift of capturing words in unique and special ways. I give you thanks for those you have inspired to write meaningful and special books. As we think of those who we want to share a special gift with this year, may we discover a book of special words and stories that will touch their lives. Amen.

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