The Best of My 2022 Goodreads Book List Challenge

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

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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.


For more posts on my favorite books, check out:

Happy Reading!


10 of My Favorite Books on Personal Development

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to ourselves. Check out this list of my favorite books on personal development.

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure page for more information.

What is personal development


I wish I was born a punctual person. People who are late all the time don’t bug me because I understand them. I am a recovering late-arriver.

My entire childhood was spent looking for a shoe.

My teenage years were spent waking up to my dad bouncing his foot on the end of my bed to shake-wake me up. When my grandma visited, she would wake me up vacuuming. There wasn’t too much at stake when I was young, but come college, I was late constantly. More than once, I went down an entire letter grade simply based on tardies.

On tardies!

What is personal development


Even as a working adult, I remember showing up 30 minutes late one time because my alarm went off when I should have been pulling into work.

I’m pretty sure I did a cart wheel out of bed. I threw on the only clean pair of pants I had, and a “Second Grade Rocks” T-shirt that had shrunk in the dryer. It was so tight on my neck I was choking.

I don’t even know if I let myself go to the bathroom.

I called a co-worker and she said she would pick up my kids and keep them in her room until I got there.

The whole drive over, I’m trying to figure out a plan to not get caught. It would be obvious if I walked in with my purse, so I stuffed my pockets full of whatever I could fit and grabbed a newspaper I had on the car floor. By the time I arrived, the bell had rung, and my boss was standing in the middle of the hallway kicking parents out.

After taking a breath, I chatted with a few people, had a few forced laughs and then stared deep into the newspaper—pointing, analyzing, flipping the pages over, even talking out loud.

I headed to the copy machine, made a few copies to look busy and ducked out to my friend’s classroom, no one the wiser. It was a successful day…not in the sense that I accomplished anything…no, I spent the rest of the day figuring out how to cover up my bad breath, make my outfit look a little less homely and borrowing mascara from a friend. I was like a ninja.

What is personal development


Once I had kids, it was like my life made sense again. There was no rush to get anywhere on time! I wasn’t working anymore and could blame everything on the baby. Having a newborn was like a get out of jail free card.

Oh I can’t believe you made it out of the house! Look at you! Are you getting any sleep? You must be exhausted!

My first kid slept through the night at three months. Me being late everywhere had nothing to do with that kid. He was an awesome sleeper. (Insane projectile-vomit barfer, but great sleeper.) So I was late and smelled like barf and people congratulated me for showing up. It was awesome.

And then…Kindergarten started. Tardy bells. The worst. I tried to blame it on my son, I tried to hide it, but it was me. When you become a parent, it’s like every bad habit you have is highlighted, because you see it reflected in your children.

I knew I needed to change, I simply hadn’t had the desire to until I saw the impact I was having on my kids.

Did I really want to teach them to be late everywhere, manipulate situations and flake out on others?

I had some work to do.

What is personal development


So here I am, 5 years later and I’m not the late mom anymore! It took discipline, planning and a little maturity on my part, but I did it!

But in all reality, you won’t make any changes in your life unless you truly want to. I suggest you don’t follow my lead in waiting until it’s negatively impacting your children or your health.

You can improve at any stage in your life, you just have to be internally motivated to do so.

I know punctuality sounds silly, but it was a big milestone in my life to be the first one in the car, ready to go. Over the years, I’ve read several books that have challenged me in multiple ares of my life. I learned to be more confident, pursue a small business, grow as a leader in my community and challenge myself to deeper spiritual development.

So what needs to be addressed in your own personal development?

Here are 10 books on personal development I’ve read and applied to my life that I’d love to recommend to you:


1. “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

This book has sold over 25 million copies so I had to check it out. Whether you want to be a leader or a better parent, this book applies to you. Covey covers 7 areas for personal development that anyone can use to put their priorities in place, and minds in perspective. Great action-taking book!

2. “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron

This book is a walk-through of the popular Enneagram from the viewpoint as a Christian. The Enneagram is more than a personality test. It identifies your strengths and weaknesses, while analyzing the best way for you to adapt to situations throughout your life. I enjoyed this book because it finally helped me understand how I am wired and also was a great insight into my husband’s mind as well!

Personal development

3. “Ready to Rise” by Jo Saxton

This book helps guide the person seeking more out of their life and directs them into what possible leadership roles that may be available to them in their life. I have seen Jo speak three times and have left feeling encouraged and empowered to pursue big things!

Personal development

4. “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis

This book is for women who struggle with insecurity and need help getting past the fears that hold them back from moving forward. Rachel’s words inspired me to start my blog and dream bigger about what it could be. Inspirational story of a girl with a traumatic childhood, no college education, who creates a multi-million dollar business.

Personal development

5. “The Power of a Praying Woman” by Stormie Omartian

For anyone wanting to grow spiritually as well as personally, you’ve got to start with prayer. Stormie takes the formality out of our “church” prayers and helps us discover our own voice and cultivate a deeper relationship with God.

6. “The Longing in Me” by Sheila Walsh

Sheila walks us through her own muddy past an helps us understand that a lifetime of wishing things would slow down, hurry up, or just be different is keeping us captive in a life of discontent. This longing that we have for change or peace comes from a place of holiness and hope and we need to recognize it in order to stop being controlled by the things that are out of our control.

7. “Meditation and Mindfulness” by Andy Puddicombe

For anyone feeling anxiety or unrest lately, this book tops my list. Andy helps us understand the way our minds work and how we create unhealthy habits of thinking and trains us to think about thinking in more helpful ways. Through personal stories and sample practices, Andy takes the weirdness out of meditation and teaches us how to implement it in our daily lives.

8. “The Power Project” by Brandi Voth

This book is a quick read that encourages you to want to grow as a person in order to become who God created you to be. Written by a friend, I love her honesty and vulnerability she models and how we can use those to find our own stories and purpose in our lives.

9. “The One Thing” by Gary Keller

This book focuses on priorities and helps you understand what you need to get rid of in your life and how to become more productive on what matters. Great for work, personal, family and spiritual growth.

10. “Cultivate” by Lara Casey

A memoir and self-help book written by the creator of, Lara helps us understand what it means to live with intention. She emphasizes the importance of progress over perfection and giving yourself grace. Pointing our growth to the analogy of flowers growing in a garden, I was inspired to create my own actual garden and find myself reflecting on my own personal growth in the process.


What books on personal development have you read? Come share your favorites in my Facebook Group!

For more posts about books on personal development I love, check out:

Happy Reading!

What is personal development
What is personal development


How to Create a Daily Schedule That Helps You Reach Your Goals

You have big goals, but how do you make time for them? Learn how to create a schedule that integrates them into your daily routine for success!

Creating routines


So you’ve set big goals, you’ve broken them down into manageable steps, but you can’t seem to make time for implementing them.

There’s work and school and dinner to be made. You have bills to pay, errands to run and events to attend. How do people have time for themselves?

By creating a routine, you can identify your nonnegotiables and be flexible with the rest. You can pinpoint what habits bring you energy and which ones are time-wasters.

Creating routines


The key is not to add to your schedule, but to simplify it. Use these tips to create a routine that helps you reach your goals.

1. Write down your set-time essentials.

For example: wake and bed times, work/school start and end times, meal times.

Creating routines

2. Write down your flexible essentials.

For example: chores, errands, reply to emails.

Creating routines

3. Choose one goal to add to your schedule.

Referring to your goal list you made, choose ONE goal and find a free time for it in your schedule each day. For example: go to the gym, quiet Bible study time, play a game with the kids

Creating routines

4. Update your goals as you reach them.

Reaching your goals will be measured by your own standards. Do you want to do the same thing 21 days in a row? Three times a week for a month? Set your specifics and reward your milestones. Then build on what you’ve accomplished.

As you reach your goals, you may need to take them off the chart and replace them with a new goal. Other times, you may want to build on that goal by keeping your first goal in place and finding another chunk of time to work on your second goal.

Creating routines

Your routine should basically stay the same from day to day, with minor adjustments as you go throughout the year. The key to reaching goals is consistency, so try not to rock the routine too much, otherwise it won’t set in and become automatic.

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Want a little more guidance on where to start in your goal setting? Then check out this Goal Setting Workbook I created just for you! You can find it in my shop here:

For more posts on goal setting, read:

Here’s to a more organized YOU!