My Top Ten Favorite Books

December 29, 2016

My Top Ten Favorite Books

I love books!

I have, to be honest – I buy more books than I will ever be able to read during my lifetime.

Do you do that too?

Today, I want to share ten of my favorite books with you. I have included a short description from Amazon about each book.   I would enjoy hearing your comments about your chosen top ten books.

Since I love reading so much, it was not an easy task to limit my book list to ten. I invite you to check out my additional resource pages where I have more books listed. I am constantly updating those pages.


Favorite Books

Favorite Mental Health Books & Resources

My Top Ten Favorite Books

The Best Yes

Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul? 

Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:

  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today


Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

An invitation for every woman who feels she isn’t godly enough…isn’t loving enough…isn’t doing enough. The life of a woman today isn’t really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord’s feet…but the daily demands of a busy world just won’t leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus and really want to serve him…yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy.

Then comes Jesus, right into the midst of your busy Mary/Martha life-and he extends the same invitation he issued long ago to the two sisters of Bethany. Tenderly he invites you to choose “the better part”-a joyful life of “living-room” intimacy with him that flows naturally into “kitchen service” for him.

How can you make that choice? With her fresh approach to the familiar Bible story and its creative, practical strategies, Joanna shows how all of us -Marys and Marthas alike- can draw closer to our Lord, deepening our devotion, strengthening our service, and doing both with less stress and greater joy.

The Will of God as a Way of Life

Practical help for understanding and following God’s will for your life “God has a plan for our lives,” but what does that mean in practical terms? How do we know God’s will for important life decisions, like who to marry, what job to take, what church to join? How can we be free if God has a perfect plan for us? Does suffering mean we are off track? How exactly does God speak? Author Jerry Sittser explores these questions and offers a biblically based approach that is truly liberating. No matter what decisions we’ve already made, he points out that it is still possible to live out God’s perfect will―even if we think we’ve married the wrong person, chosen the wrong career, or landed in some kind of serious trouble. This new edition includes study questions designed to help individuals or groups who are faced with decisions―large or small.



a Grace Disguised

An expanded edition of this classic book on grief and loss―with a new preface and epilogue Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter. While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss in our lifetime, all of us will taste it. And we can, if we choose, know as well the grace that transforms it. A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of sorrow, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love. The circumstances are not important; what we do with those circumstances is. In coming to the end of ourselves, we can come to the beginning of a new life―one marked by spiritual depth, joy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of simple blessings.



A Sudden Glory

Do you long for something more in your relationship with God?

The good news is that “something more” does not mean “doing more.” God is not waiting for you to get your spiritual life “right.” He wants to be with you right where you are.

The real question is not “What does God want from you?” but “What does God want for you?”
Sharon Jaynes understands what it’s like to have a “glory ache”—a longing to experience God’s presence on a daily basis. She also knows how easily working for God can get in the way of intimacy with God. And she’s discovered that we tend to make our faith journey much too hard.

In A Sudden Glory, Sharon uses Scripture and story to help you erase the line between your “spiritual life” and your “daily life” as you enter the sanctuary of God’s presence even in the middle of your busy, messy day. Here you will find your eyes opened to moments of sudden glory in which the Creator assures you of His love as you live and move and have your being in Him. Here you will discover true freedom—the freedom of experiencing God in a deeper and more intimate way than ever before.

Becoming a Woman Why Listens to God

Women are busy. Whether their energy is expended at home or at the office, women find themselves overwhelmed with the to-do lists in their life, and they long for time away from it all so they can really hear God’s still small voice. “But when I pored over the pages of Scripture,” says author Sharon Jaynes, “I discovered that some of God’s most memorable messages were not delivered while men and women were away on a spiritual retreat, but right in the middle of everyday life. He spoke to Gideon while he was threshing wheat and to shepherds while they were watching their flocks by night.”

Using biblical wisdom and practical insights from her own life, Sharon invites readers to explore answers to the heart cry, “How can I hear the voice of God?”


the life-changing magic of tidying up

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

get off your knees and pray

Having trouble talking to God?  You’re not alone.

We know we can talk to God, but it just sounds so important, so intimidating, so religious. We assume that only the very spiritual talk to him or hear from him directly. But author Sheila Walsh says, “Every sound we utter, every thank you we say, every tear we cry in God’s presence is prayer.”

Get Off Your Knees and Pray is a real woman’s guide to real prayer?from understanding the biblical basis for prayer to cultivating a vital personal relationship with God. It is the perfect blend of practical advice, personal stories, and biblical truth to encourage and help you achieve greater intimacy with God through prayer. Prayer is not just a few sentences we say while on our knees. It is living out our ongoing, every-moment commitment to God.

A New Kind of Normal

Carol Kent has lived every parent’s nightmare. After her only son was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Carol’s life took a permanent detour. She and her husband, Gene, have been adjusting ever since, moving to Florida to be near the prison, starting a new ministry for prison inmates and their families, and sharing the faithfulness of God with anyone who will listen.

A New Kind of Normal begins with the story of that horrible night when Carol and Gene learned their son had been arrested, but it doesn’t end there. In fact, Carol knows what it means to live with an unthinkable circumstance that will never change-and to still make hope-filled choices. Through the eight chapters in this book, Carol will use their own story, the story of Mary mother of Jesus, and stories of women who have experienced their own “new normal” to share how God has led them to choose life, gratitude, vulnerability, involvement, forgiveness, trust, and action.


Life Appication Study Bible

Last but not Least – One of today’s bestselling study Bibles, the NIV Life Application Study Bible has over 10,000 application notes to help you understand the message of Scripture and apply it to your life in practical ways. Character sketches allow you to learn from the lives of key Bible personalities while charts, time lines, and a concordance enhance your study experience. This unique Bible is full of study directives to help you discover how God’s Word applies to your life today. Features: • The most popular modern English Bible—the New International Version (NIV) • Over 10,000 in-text application notes • Over 100 character profiles • Charts, time lines, concordance, and other study helps.



When I mention a book, you can always click the picture icon to purchase via Amazon.


  1. Reply

    Becky Hastings

    What a great list! I’ve only read two of the books listed…The Best Yes (which I also love and recommend all the time!) and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which inspired, but didn’t quite change my life! LOL).

    My all time favorite novel is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. So good. And The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. Stunning.

    This year I’m trying to read more of those books already on my shelf that you talked about. I won’t be so bold as to say I won’t read anything new or from the library, but I’m putting my focus on those gems I have, but haven’t quite explored!

    Glad to visit from #Coffeeforyourheart

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Becky – Thank you for your recommendation. I keep hearing that Redeeming Love is amazing.

      I must confess I read, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but my home is not all nice and tidy. I am so glad you can’t see it right now. I did find it helpful as I no longer buy things just because they are on sale. I find I purchase a lot less and I get rid of more things.

      I too have a stack of books on my shelf to read.

  2. Reply

    Maree Dee

    I am so sorry; it sounds like you are in a difficult place right now. Praying things improve quickly.

    I have yet to read, “Redeeming Love” but I have heard it is fantastic. I think I will add it to my list of books I want to read this year. Thank you for sharing it.

    Thank you for your continued encouragement. It is so sweet doing life together with the community we are building here at “Embracing the Unexpected.”

  3. Reply


    Wow…”In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” sounds like a book I could use about now! Please pray for peace & strength for me…as that pretty much sums up my situation right now ;(

    One of my favorite books (that I gave to my loved one with BPD, but she has yet to read it) is “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It’s a wonderful love story, based on the Biblical account of Gomer and Hosea.

    Thanks again for your blog, prayers, words of wisdom and encouragement, Maree!

    Happy New Year!

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