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My Top 10 Reads From 2015

My Top 10 Reads of 2015

I read 74 books in 2015. And two weeks ago, I went through the list of books I had read and chose my Top 10 Reads from that list.

Each of these books that made the top 10 list was either a book that deeply impacted me in some profound way, a book that I just fell in love with the storyline, or a book that taught me something that will probably stick with me the rest of my life.

In no particular order, here are my Top 10 Reads from 2015:

My Top 10 Books From 2015

Rising Strong

It’s too hard to sum up how this book impacted me in just a paragraph. But let’s just say the impact was deep, wide, and profound. You can read my posts on Stop Feeling Guilty About Asking for Help and Failure is Hard. The End. for a small taste of how this book messed with me.

My Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I thought I was a minimalist. Then I read this book. Although some of the parts were weird and repetitive, the question, “Does it spark joy?” has changed how I approach so much of life — from things I own to personal commitments and calendar clutter. Read more of my thoughts on this book here.


My Top 10 Reads of 2015

Parenting the Wholehearted Child

I typically steer clear of parenting books because I just don’t feel like there’s a method or 1-2-3 plan for raising kids. Every child and every family is different and there are no one-size-fits-all plans. So I almost didn’t read this book, but I’m so glad that I because it really challenged my heart and approach in loving and nurturing relationships with my kids.

My Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2015


This book is the story of Kayla Aimee’s daughter being born as a micro-preemie and the pain and heartache and struggle that she walked through while fighting for her daughter’s life. It’s funny AND heart-wrenching at the same time — which is a mark of a talented author, in my opinion. (I always say that I consider a highly talented author to be someone whose writing makes me laugh and tear up in the same page.)

This book resonated with me at a very personal level because my husband was born at 27 weeks. His mom died when he was young and I never got the chance to meet her — which has always been hard for me because I wish so much that I could ask her all about what Jesse’s birth and long hospital stay was like for her. Kayla’s book is giving me a glimpse into some of the emotions and heartache and fears Jesse’s mom must have experienced and it feels like such a gift to understand more of what that was like from her perspective. My Top 10 Reads from 2015

Dear Mr. Knightley

The book starts out slowly, but once I got to about page 40, I couldn’t put it down. It delves into some deeper issues of how past hurts and rejection can wound people so deeply that they hide their real self for fear of further pain and rejection. It’s a beautiful story of healing and redemption and of how to love and reach out to hurting people.

Ever read a book that you just don’t want to end and when you finish it, you want to meet the characters in real-life? That was this book for me.

My Top 10 Reads of 2015

Hands Free Life

This book spoke to me at a deep, heart level. It challenged me to stop hurrying through life, quit worrying about what other people think, and start savoring the ordinary, everyday moments. I smiled through parts, cried through other sections, and came away from the book with fresh resolve to make each day count — not in more efficient productivity but in more meaningful relationships with others. Highly, highly recommended!

My Top 10 Reads of 2015

What Alice Forgot

I really enjoyed this book and it has stayed with me for months after reading it. While it wasn’t written from a Christian perspective and had some swear words in it, the book was well-written and really caused me to step back and examine my own marriage and relationships to see if I’m making small choices that would, over time, have devastating consequences.

My Top 10 Reads of 2015

For the Love

This book is laugh-out-loud funny, but packed with many, many thought-provoking nuggets. You probably won’t agree with everything in it (I didn’t either!), but I think it will really make you think and re-examine relationships. And I’m almost positive it will make you laugh!

Note: I enjoyed the first half of the book better than the second half. I’m not exactly sure that I can pin-point why, but just thought I should put it out there. Also, the book is a little all over the place and the chapters feel more like essays or blog posts on different topics, not a cohesive compilation that builds upon itself and needs each chapter to make the whole book what it is.

My Top 10 Reads of 2015

Breaking Busy

I loved this book! It’s chock-full of all kinds of helpful advice, tips, and inspiration on living life more slowly with purpose.

One of the quotes that especially jumped out at me was this:

“Our lives have gotten so cluttered with things we think we should do, that we can’t figure out what we were meant to do. Let your life be about what you were meant to do, not full of what you think you should do. This starts with your daily decisions about how you spend your time.”

My Top 10 Reads of 2015

The Art of Losing Yourself

If you like Christian fiction that tackles real-life brokenness and doesn’t have Hallmark endings, I’d highly recommend this book. I loved the character development and it reminded me that everyone has hard burdens they are carrying, and that hurting people need our love not our judgment, ostracizing, or criticism. Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker for the recommendation!

My Top 10 Reads of 2015

Bonus: Just Show Up

I just had to include this one! While I think this book could have used stronger writing and better editing, I gleaned so much from it. If you have a friend who is going through trauma or heartbreak, this book gives very practical and wise advice on how to walk through suffering and hard times while being a blessing, not an annoyance or causing more hurt.

What were your favorite reads from 2015? Tell us in the comments!

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  • Wow! 74 books?! My reading list for this year consists of a measly 12! I’m working on getting back in the habit of reading regularly. I love to read and am a happier person when I read books on a regular basis!

    In 2015, I loved these books:

    The Happiness Project
    The Nesting Place
    Girl on a Train
    Where’d You Go, Bernadette

    In 2016, I plan to read (among others):
    Hands Free Mama
    Hands Free Life
    Happier at Home
    YOUR BOOK – Money Making Mom


  • Jody says:

    I loved Anchored. One of my favorites of the year.

    I’m slowly make my way through it but I’m really enjoying reading snippets here and there of Simply Tuesday. I started it waaay back when you scoped about it and still enjoying and savoring it 🙂

    Books I devoured this year:

    all of T.I. Lowe’s books with Goodbye and Second Chances being my favorite.

    The Chop, Chop series by LN Cronk. It’s an eight book series although the first one can be a stand alone. I got really attached to the characters and really enjoyed all the books!

    Thanks for putting this together every year Crystal! I always love seeing what yours and others favorites are and getting new ideas.

    I know you recently read Reedeeming Love, I wanted to suggest the Mark of the Lion Series. It’s my favorite by Francine Rivers. It’s really rich historically and when your girls are teenagers it may be a great read with them as a character discussion on the two main characters and the choices they make, what they pursue, and what they attract into their lives as a result.

    I always talk about my son but realized I don’t think I’ve mentioned I have a 20 month old daughter too and Mark of The Lion is on my list of books to read with her when she’s of course way older :). Thanks so much again for this list. I’m excited to check out everyone’s suggestions!

    • Jody says:

      Ahh sorry one more ? The ESV Daily Reading Bible! This has revolutionized me being able to consistently read the Bible daily.

      I saw someone ask about a good Bible study/ plan for busy moms on your scope today and wanted to mention it as another option.

      Every day there’s a reading from beg Old Testament, beg New Testament, middle Old Testament, middle New Testament and it’s all laid out by day in that order for you (but the sections go in order so by the time you’re done you’ve read the whole Bible. It’s based on the Mcheynne bible reading plan but instead of having to flip through a regular Bible to each reading in the plan the Bible is already set up according to the plan and you just read straight through).

      It’s designed to read in a year but it will probably take me two as I read usually just two of the sections per day.

      Anyway that’s one of my favorite 2015 book finds as its been life changing for me as I’ve been able to cultivate and solidify the habit of daily Bible reading.

      I also ordered The Daily Light at your suggestion and am looking forward to reading that when I need a pick me up throughout the day!

    • Leeann Cronk says:

      Well, this just made my day! 🙂 Thank you, Jody!! Many blessings for the new year!

      • Jody says:

        Oh wow! How awesome you saw this! Thank you for writing such wonderful books! I am eagerly looking forward to The One I Trust! Many blessings to you in the New Year as well!

    • Joy says:

      I just finished the Mark of the Lion series. I’m a huge Francine Rivers fan so I’m not sure how I had missed it before. It was excellent

  • Deborah says:

    I loved Dear Mr. Knightly! Thanks to you!

    I liked Lizzy and Jane the best. I’m still reading The Bronte Plot. I like it, but the other two would rate over it. 🙂

  • Tana Henry says:

    What Alice Forgot looks really good! I read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty last year, and found her writing to be really interesting. Just Show Up looks like it’ll be a great one for my bible study group to work through. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Gretchen says:

    How do you keep track of the books you’ve read?

  • Amy says:

    Thank you so much for your list (and for all the comments!). This year I had hoped to read 30 books (I can’t imagine how you fit in so many!). I am not likely to meet that goal, despite a good start to the year. I think I’m going to prioritize some of the ones you’ve mentioned though! Thanks to everyone.

  • Janelle says:

    I like your bible I seen amongst the books! May I ask where and what bible you use ? 🙂

  • Loved your list wrote them down I already have a list a miles long and I will read them this year, because I love to read and you I learn more and more from learning. My current read is your book! Money Saving Mom! I love it buy it ladies! Thank you for the list Crystal! Blessings to you and your family! Vicky

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