The Next 5 Books on My “To Read” List

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I’m happy to report that I emerged from the icy tentacles of this winter storm relatively unscathed.

Tonight, I picked up my mail for the first time in…maybe a week? And as I pulled out all the Christmas mailers and Black Friday advertisements, I realized that my postal worker probably daily curses my name. And he/she knows where I live. Now, that’s a thought that’s going to fester…

IMG_3850Today was a really exciting day at work. Our early ship copies of the adult coloring book Whatever Is Lovely: A Coloring Book for Worship and Reflection arrived in the office. I’ve never been so happy to lug 7 heavy boxes of books to my desk. This project has been incredibly amazing and a journey of creativity from start to finish. There are few books that I can say I was a part of it from the beginning to the very end, but with this book I can say that. And I’m kind of in love with it. I know that might seem biased, but it’s really true.

When my four colleagues and I started the coloring book project, we didn’t just want to make a “Christian” version of a trend. We wanted to thoughtfully consider what value a book like this could bring to people. So, we put in a variety of artist’s work and wanted to make the pictures manageable to color—for most designs you can finish them in a matter of an hour or two rather than a week or two in books like The Secret Garden and others. We wanted to include verses, inspirational quotes, and hymn lyrics that could be meditated on and later hung as a reminders of truth. We all picked words that held great meaning for us.

And now it’s a real thing. I held it in my hands today and I was so happy.

So, that update brings us to current time. And when I’m not furiously coloring and re-sharpening my colored pencils, I’ll be reading.

I’ve read a lot of books this year, folks! Goodreads almost didn’t recognize me. I had a goal of 25 books and when I met it in September, I upped my goal to 30. I’ve now read 32 and I’m going strong!

Sometimes I really feel panicked about how many books are out there and how few of them I’m able to read. But then I look back at all the worlds I’ve entered and things I’ve learned from books and I feel like everything might be okay.

A reading list is so personal. Recommended books by trusted friends are so cherished. And not knowing what’s on the other side of a book cover is thrilling.!

Because my to-read list is never ending (seriously, it’s like the song that will not end, it just goes on and on my friendsssss…), I narrowed this down to the next five books on my “to read” list. I’d love to hear about books you’ve read and or ones you can’t wait to pick up, too!


  1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. This one is a book club pick. The description says that the author will “…[discuss] the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.” I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this one, so it will be an adventure for sure! Plus the cover is bee-you-ti-ful.
  2. Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. I’ve not really been interested in reading the author’s other books. From blog posts I’ve read from her, it just felt like she was so angry and bitter about everything. It’s so easy to fall down those holes without any help at all, that I didn’t want to take a step in that direction. But this book seems like it’s a much more subdued and thoughtful narrative. I know there’s a lot of controversy around the author, but I’m interested to read her story. This one came highly recommended from a good friend of mine, so we shall see what its pages have to offer!
  3. Yes, My Accent Is Real by Kunal Nayyar. This year has kind of been the year of the humor books for me. I read Mindy Kaling’s newest, Why Not Me? and Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Loved Mindy’s, didn’t so much love Tina’s (though many of my friends do), and was warned off of Amy Poehler’s book by many good-hearted reading friends. I’m a fan of The Big Bang Theory, so I’m going to see what Kunal has to say for himself. Hopefully, I’ll hear his accent while I read. Fingers crossed!
  4. Ready Player One by Ernest Kline. I know not that much about this book. I know it is set in a video game (I think) and that people are raving about it. There’s a movie in the works, so I’m always about reading the book before seeing the movie. I was never really drawn in by the cover, but the same could be said about The Hunger Games trilogy, and I enjoyed those heartily because of a friend’s recommendation.
  5. A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman. Several months back, I read this article from Fast Company and I was completely hooked. I’m so curious (see what I did there?!) to get Brian’s perspective of success. So far, his approach really resonates with me.

I should say, this list does not include books I’m already reading (The Bronte Plot by Katharine Reay; Influencer by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler) or manuscripts that I’m reading (a dear friend’s book and a book I’m super excited about marketing next year called Rooted by Banning Liebscher).

I’m being pretty intentional to read widely this year and expand my view of the world through the voices of different people. It’s been an interesting path to walk and, for the most part, I’m glad I did it. But now I’ve set the bar REALLY high for next year. #facepalm

Happy Reading! XOXO,



3 thoughts on “The Next 5 Books on My “To Read” List

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