A whole year without blog posts? Yikes.

2020 was a crazy year and I won’t get into it because you and I both know there’s a lot to unpack there. While last year was certainly one we’ll never forget, there was a lot of good that came out of last year. I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and I grew deeper in my faith.

I also read a lot of books. Over 20, actually. With so much free time, trips cancelled, and social distancing, I had plenty of time to curl up with great books. I’m recapping my top five favorite books that I read last year. 

#1 Dream Big by Bob Goff

This is actually my favorite book that I read in 2020. A common theme for the books I chose in 2020 was about personal growth and cultivating creativity. I picked this one up because I love Bob Goff and I’m a sucker for a self-help book that’s rooted in scripture. Something that I felt I lacked in 2020 was the drive to create and be imaginative. At work, one of my strengths is my creativity. Stay-at-home orders threw me off my groove and I definitely felt my creativity taking the back burner.

What I really loved about this book was Goff’s ability to capture the simplicity of creating and put it in terms of God’s purpose for our lives. But it wasn’t full of fluff or jargon like some self help books are. There are actions and steps you can implement to unlock your passions. 10/10, will probably read this one again this year.

#2 Beach Read by Emily Henry

I read this book early spring, right around the start of stay-at-home and I read it in one weekend. It’s the perfect sappy book that you want to read on the beach or on a rainy summer afternoon. It’s not like a typical, predictable rom-com either. It’s basically about two authors switching genres to write and they kinda despise each other. There’s depth and I cried a few times not even going to lie. I recommend bringing this one on your next vacation.

#3 Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen

I just recently wrapped this one up right before I left for Christmas. I had it on my list for a couple months and finally ordered it when I got bogged down with anxiety and nerves. I’m so happy that I read it towards the end of this year because my anxiety was getting worse. This book is wonderful and impactful because it combines actual science (how your brain works) with powerful scripture (how you allow God to help you) to take back control of your thoughts. If you are feeling anxious, uncertain, down, lonely, or in a funk, I highly recommend this one. It shifts your perspective and equips you to work through anxious and negative thoughts.

#4 Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt

I read this book for work, but lowkey was excited about it because it’s all about organization and using your time wisely. I’m a sucker for planning and organizing so I knew I was going to love this one. While I thought I would take away helpful tips for work, I didn’t realize this book would also help me in my personal life. From creating my ideal week to discovering which “zones” I operate best in, I can maximize my time without depleting my health or relationships. If you want to get organized or struggle with time management, this would be a great book to kick off your year with.

#5 The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry

Okay, so technically I read this book in 2019, but reread it this year for work. It’s so good that I included it on this list. As mentioned with Dream Big, cultivating creativity has been a struggle for me this year. This book was great the first time I read through it, but even more timely when I picked it up again this summer. It’s easy-to-read with super good applications to implement. While not everything in this book is something that I’ll follow through with, I came away with really great tools that I continue to use to this day. This leans more on the work-side, but still a great read.

2021 Reading Challenge

While I read more books than this last year, I’m ready for another year of impactful books, especially the ones I can’t put down. My goal this year is to read 30 books and I’m already diving into a few this month. Leave a comment below if you read one of these books or have recommendations of what I should read in 2021!