Out of the 30 books I read in 2022, here are 15 of my favorite books I read for the Goodreads Book List Challenge.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclaimer for details.


I’ve been on Goodreads since 2011 and have found that it’s the best way to keep track of the books I’m reading. I love recommending and hearing what other people are reading. My genres this past year varied from Fiction, Memoir, Health and Wellness, Christian Living, Goal Setting, Young Adult, Self Help, Art Workbooks and Daily Devotionals.

Last year I set my goal for 30 books and reached it so for 2023 I’m aiming for 40. Want to join me in creating your own Goodreads Book List Challenge? Let’s be friends here and get a whole bunch of inspiration and ideas from each other:

Here are the books I read last year that I think you should add to your book list challenge this year!


1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read for setting and achieving goals! It is a quick, easy read with practical applications even my counselor refers to! If you need some easy and practical guidance for creating better habits in your life, grab this New York Times Bestseller.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis

I have to say I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the entire series, but there were a few I loved. The Magician’s Nephew was fun because it was an allegory about creation. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was referring to Jesus’ death and resurrection. I could see Biblical themes throughout, but the text was pretty dated and not enough action for me in the other books in the series.

3. Quiet by Susan Cain

This book deeply resonated with me. It discussed how our world caters more toward extroverted people and how it even affects the workplace and churches. This is something that’s always bothered me but I couldn’t really identify what it was.

For example, many offices are going to open space concepts and personal offices are starting to become a thing of the past. I am the type of person who feels drained after being around others and is energized by solitude.

This book affirms that most people perform better at work when they’re given space. In addition, it helped me realize this need I have for quiet and solitude is absolutely normal. Feeling overwhelmed with the pressure to perform? Check this one out.

4. Creativity Takes Courage by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst

This adorable book is like a motivational speaker for creativity. I love everything these two create because of their unique style. I especially love their positive attitude toward self care and exploring different mediums of being creative. Plus this book comes with special paper goodies that you can remove and start on right away!

5. Healthy in the Hustle Wellness Journal by Candace Cameron Bure

This guided journal addresses 10 areas for spiritual growth. They are based on Biblical principles of how we can best take care of our body, mind and spirit. It was so refreshing to find a Christian self-care and wellness journal that was actually applicable! 

Each week, Candace introduces 1 habit for you to implement for 7 days based on several Bible verses. Because you reflect on your progress when you wake and before you sleep, it creates a form of accountability that is sustainable.

6. The City of Ember Series by Jeanne DuPrau

My son was reading this in school and kept coming home and telling me about it. Since leaving elementary school, his love of books has dwindled so I was excited to hear that he was enjoying them again!

I listened to it on Audible with him for a few chapters and read the sequel when I was done. It reminded me of a tame version of the Hunger Games for younger children and was a creative read!

7. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

This was a Christian Living book that really challenged me personally and has resonated with my readers. Scazzero outlines 10 areas where we as Christians can be lacking in emotional maturity which in turns affect our spiritual maturity.

I found myself relating to more than I was comfortable with. In turn, it challenged me to set some spiritual goals for myself. This book was also my motivation to get counseling to allow for accountability in my spiritual growth.

8. Think Away Your Pain by David Schechter

I deal with chronic pain from late-stage Lyme disease and have noticed a pattern in how my body reacts to stress over the past few years. While I do have medical issues that are being addressed with medication, I’ve found that when I am practicing self care habits and taking time to intentionally lower my stress levels, my chronic pain improves as well.

This is the third book I’ve read that addresses the idea that our thoughts and emotions can actually cause physical pain and how to deal with it. Highly recommend if you’re needing some encouragement or more tools in dealing with your own chronic pain. *I am not a doctor, this is purely a personal opinion.

9. Forgotten God by Francis Chan

This book addresses the importance of acknowledging the Holy Spirit, something many churches aren’t sure how to talk about. It was a powerful reminder that Jesus told us it was better for him to leave us so that he could give us the Holy Spirit. I have tried to implement Chan’s practices in my daily life and challenge you to read his book as well!

10. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

This memoir is written by Michelle, a Korean American woman who grew up trying to blend in with the rest of the kids in her school. Years later, her mother is diagnosed with cancer. Michelle desperately realizes she wants to know everything about her culture and embrace.

She works her way through different Korean meals, buying ingredients in the local H Mart (a Korean grocery store) taking care of her dying mother. A sweet book of finding confidence in who you are.

11. The Boys by Ron and Clint Howard

As a fan of the Andy Griffith show, I was excited to see that Ron Howard had written a memoir! It covers growing up with his brother in Old Hollywood.

It was refreshing to see the intro written by his actress daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard (whom I also love!,) shocking readers that there were no terrible events or trauma in their childhoods.

Imagine that–they actually survived Hollywood and kept their family intact. Interesting read on the inner workings of being a child actor and director.

12. Make it Happen by Lara Casey

From the creator of my favorite Write the Word Journals and the author of Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life, Lara challenges the reader to “live on purpose”.

A lot what her books have to say echo what I write about here at Intentional Living, so it was good to be encouraged in what I am creating on my site. Must read if you have something on your heart, but you’re hesitant to start!

13. The Mom Group by Jennifer Jones

My friend Jennifer released her first book last year and it was such a surprisingly fun debut novel! This book is about a lonely mother that isn’t sure what to do now that her children (and husband) don’t seem to need her anymore.

She decides to join an online group to meet other women and what she finds is a lot of judgment and gossip. So instead of leaving, she finds a way to get a little revenge…

I love that Jennifer draws you in with multiple problems without any of the disturbing details most mystery books use these days. Laugh out loud funny at times, kept me guessing until the end!

14. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

I don’t usually read mysteries, but after enjoying Jennifer’s book, I dove into a few and enjoyed this one the most. I think I finished this one in 24 hours on a cozy Saturday.

The premise is that when Hannah’s husband goes missing, he leaves a note behind that simply reads, “Protect her” talking about her stepdaughter who has not been the easiest to live with.

Hannah spends the rest of the book tracking down her husband, trying to figure out the mystery of why he’s running from the FBI.

15. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

I chose this book because it was number 1 on Goodreads for awhile. It is an historical fiction read (a genre I love!) about a secret apothecary shop in 18th century London. It’s told through two viewpoints, a woman in the past running the shop, and a woman in the present uncovering the shop.

The apothecary is secret because it only caters to women in precarious situations where they want to poison dangerous men in their lives. Interesting to hear about medicinal practices from centuries ago and very different from anything I’ve ever read.


Ready to take on your own book list challenge? Check out:

Happy Reading!