Out of the books I read in 2021, here are 15 of my favorite books I recommend for women (and book clubs!) who want to grow in their personal and spiritual lives.
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MY FAVORITE BOOKS FOR WOMEN
Each year I set a goal to read a certain amount of books. Last year I read 31, but my record is 45! If you love to read, make sure to check out Goodreads.com.
I read a few guilty pleasures like Sophie Kinsella’s latest novel and Will Smith’s autobiography, but here I want to highlight the books that inspired me to grow in 2021. I love hearing other books that women are reading or the best books in your women’s book club, so make sure to comment what you loved last year!
1. Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies by J.B. West
This was my very first book of the year and one of my favorites! Written by the Chief Usher who served 6 First Ladies, I learned so much about the intricacies of the housekeeping side of running the White House. He tells stories of serving the wives of Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. I loved hearing about what each woman valued, and how they used their leadership position. Highly recommend!
2. Didn’t See that Coming: Putting Your Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart by Rachel Hollis
Unfortunately, I kinda saw her divorce coming…If you read the last two books by Rachel, you know that her past is messy and her marriage wasn’t perfect. But if you want true, honest writing, this is the girl for you. She walks you through her own personal growth, and while I may disagree on some of her philosophies, I can appreciate the model of vulnerability she shows in her writing as she makes her best impact on the world.
3. My Life So Far by Jane Fonda
I’ve been fascinated by Jane Fonda since I watched 9 to 5 as a girl. I’ve heard about her ties to communism and her activism during Vietnam, so I was curious to find out what her life was like. Born the daughter of Henry Fonda (from the Grapes of Wrath), Jane is a woman who stands firm in her beliefs and fights hard for those without a voice. I also disagree with her on many things, but I admire the passion and action she takes visiting, serving and helping those in poverty.
4. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron
This past year I decided to finally take the Enneagram test that everyone was taking about a few years ago. I wasn’t sure about my results so I found this book to dig in deeper, which explained and confirmed that I am a 9. Have no idea what I’m talking about? The Enneagram is simply a personality test and this book approaches it from a Christian perspective in how you can use the information you learn about yourself in your spiritual journey.
5. The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I started this book as a little girl, but when I homeschooled my kids for 7 months last year during the pandemic, I pulled these out and we read a few of them together. Such a great series to teach children about what life was like in the 1800s and encouraging to see this family’s faith in hard times. Great teachable moments for kids!
6. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This book was a top winner on Goodreads so of course I had to grab it! The main character dies at the beginning (reminded me of Soul on Disney+) and is taken to a giant library filled with alternative versions of their life. They get to play out any that they would like. Very insightful and reflective on our own life choices.
7. Navigating Motherhood by Becky Brooks
This book is one I recommend to Christian mothers all the time. Written as a daily devotional, the author shares stories of her parenting successes and failures, pointing you back to God’s truth about the role of mothers. Especially encouraging for struggling mom and the best for women’s book clubs or Bible study!
8. No Pain, No Gaines: The Good Stuff Doesn’t Come Easy by Chip Gaines
I’ve read all three of the Magnolia books and this one was about networking–partly for business, but mostly for life relationships. Chip explains how he approaches people and jumps in, fears aside to truly listen and serve others. I could see the gospel all over this one.
9. Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life by Lara Casey
I read this on my beach vacation last year and it takes you on one woman’s journey through a struggling marriage and infertility issues. Running a thriving business, she realizes the purpose of slowing down and being intentional with each moment you are given. She finds her therapy in the garden, that she once killed and is now learning to bring back to life. Inspired me to become a better gardener as well as reflecting on my own spiritual growth while doing so. Another of my favorite books for women!
10. She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World that’s Passing Away by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams
Written by the two creators of the mega-successful She Reads Truth company, they share their own struggles and testimonies in growing as women in the Word.
11. Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie
I love TOMS shoes. So when I found out a motivational book was written by the founder, I had to check it out. Blake jumped from one entrepreneurial idea to the next, but they didn’t quite take off until he visited Argentina and realized the immense need for kids’ shoes. He loved the South America design of the alpargata shoe and so he created a similar idea that he could market to Americans. His mission was simple: ONE FOR ONE. One pairs of shoes bought, means one pair given to someone in need. And with that, TOMS was born.
12. Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by LaTasha Morrison
LaTasha spoke at the women’s conference at our church this past fall and I was fortunate to have read her book prior to, so her speaking was even more powerful. She is a leader in the racial reconciliation movement from a Christian perspective and while her ideas can be divisive, I was inspired by her courage and strength.
Growing up, I went to school with many different ethnicities. Ironically, it was when I moved to a Christian college in Texas, that I experienced racism for the first time. We still have a long way to go before people are treated equally, so this book inspired me to acknowledge my part in my own circle of influence. One of the best books for your women’s book club!
13. Ready to Rise: Own Your Voice, Gather Your Community, Step Into Your Influence by Jo Saxton
Another of my favorite books for women, Jo is a speaker and author of Ready to Rise, a book about women in Christian leadership. She guides us on and how to find our own talents and use them in a way that honors and glorifies the Lord according to his Word instead of what the world says we’re allowed to do.
14. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
I loved the simplicity of this book, the idea that we need to get super-focused on the next thing we need to do in order to move forward in our goals. Great for helping you map out your personal, business, financial and spiritual goals.
15. Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
This biography of the wife of C.S. Lewis is written as a novel from her perspective. A woman married to another atheist, begins to write to a professor at Oxford about his conversion to Christianity. An innocent friendship is born, but her abusive husband makes it harder to stay. I was completely unaware of this history and loved every minute of this beautiful novel!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
I hope you found a book you’d like to read in 2022! Please share any in the comments that you recommend and I’ll look into those too!
For more posts on my favorite books for women or to find the best book for your book club, check out:
- “Cultivate” by Lara Casey
- “Imperfect Courage” by Jessica Honegger
- “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron
- “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders
- “Meditation and Mindfulness” by Andy Puddicombe
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