i look for books, and books find me.

i look in bookstores, because a bookstore is not just one place, it is many.  within the walls are pages, and within the pages; places, people and practices that you can peek into and possibly take with you.  you can take your escape.  you can start your excavate.  i find this possibility promising.  i also look online, when the looking is late at night.  one click leading to another until the final one that is the promise of a package in your post.  and, then there are others who do the looking for me.  friends that recommend.  and, a mom who still seems to know what is needed to grow.  a grandmother and a father who’s shelves i never pass by.  instead, i study.  i study the shelves crowded with years upon years of wisdom through written word, calling out to me.  just the titles alone are telling.  they tell of growth, of past pain, of purpose, of  personality and of life living.

i’ve listed all the books (that i can remember) that i read last year:


in all of these fashions it amazes me, my findings this year.  of the ones, that although, recommended or reached for on a shelf,  are rather ones that reached for me.  in my own soul searching and growing God knew what words I needed and when.

now a good number of books, where for entertainment or relaxation, an escape.  my method is that i tend to read a few books at a time.  usually a book for growth and one for enjoyment.  however, i enjoy my growth books just as much.


Abiding in Christ / by Andrew Murray.  this book has changed my life.  one of my best friends recommended this book to me, saying she reads it every year.  i didn’t pick it up right away, but rather a few months later. . . which happened to be perfect timing for me.  i won’t be able to do the book justice in a short d description here. but, other than the Bible i cannot think of any other book, at this point in time, that has changed me so much.  this book, published in 1895, talks of the passage in the Bible of the vine and branches.  it taught me that the only way to live is by abiding.  not striving, but rather resting.  resting in the promise that He is keeping me and my work is to just believe + trust him.  i really cannot even beging to do it justice.  it’s broken down into daily chapters and is an easy read, but i would literally spend days one chapter.  i plan to read it yearly, now too.

The Best Yes / last year i had it on my list to be a better decision maker.  and, to find a book on decision making.  there aren’t many out there.  this book, for me, had great answers on how to make decisions.  it focuses on learning what, first to “say yes” to, so that your “no” isn’t so hard.  giving your “yes” to the best things for you.  i wrote a little more about it here.

One Thousand Gifts / more here.

Restless / more here.

Big Little Lies / one of my fave fictions authors for easy reading stories to escape in.

The Alchemist  / this had been on my list for awhile.  i took time to read it at the end of the year and really enjoyed it.  its an allegory of sorts and a magical story that really gets you thinking about life, the heart and following your dreams.

Z / this fiction based on fact book about the life of Zelda Fitzgerald (married to F. Scott). is a good one.  i was obsessed with the Paris Wife and the Hemingways last year so naturally i moved onto the Fitzgeralds.  this certainly messed with my love of the Hemingways.  what i found, si si similarly hough was such talent and such tragedy.  i’m so drawn to this area and these artists.  loved this book.

The Goldfinch / i read this at the beginning of last year and just didn’t fall for it like everyone else.  i wanted to quit, but refused.  i wrote more about it here.

Come Back / i didn’t think i’d be able to emotionally handle this mother daughter memoir when i read the description, after it was recommended to me.  i decided to download the sample and just read a little further.  well, i couldn’t put it down.  it was tragic, beautiful and redemptive.  love that never gives up on a person.

and the books, i admit, i didn’t finish:

This is Where You Leave / woops.  sometimes it’s just like that and i can’t go any further.  i know many that loved this one.

Outlander / i don’t know why i couldn’t quite get into this series.  i watched the tv series over christmas and seemed to connect with the characters better on screen.  who knows maybe i’ll try the second book?

Peter Pan / i vow to finish this.  too much magic to pass up.

A Farewell to Arms / this one goes back on the list again this year.  although i got annoyed with Hemingway after reading Z, i’m still drawn to his writing.

Brain on Fire / i’ve heard this is so good.  i just sometimes get weird about medical things.  so i put it down.  maybe i’ll pick it up again.

here are some more books, i’ve read and recommend.

i’ve started this one,  am finishing up this one, and just started another old book i found on a bookshelf.  i’m also reading the entire new testament over the next 6 weeks.  i’ve never done that before and the version we are reading is in the original order and without chapter or verse….so it feels very story based.  i’m seeing things in such a different light.

tell me what books have you read this past year, reading now or are on your list for the coming year? 




  • Krista
    Commented on January 12th, 2015 at 9:41pm

    This post speaks to me! I just love reading and I find that it eases my mind more than any other kind of stress relief. So far this year I finished The Vacationers and am currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I would absolutely recommend both!

  • Trina
    Commented on January 13th, 2015 at 9:57am

    it such a stress relief for me too! thank you for your recommendations. i always love to hear what others are loving. xo .t

  • Allison
    Commented on January 12th, 2015 at 10:37pm

    Thanks so much for sharing the books you loved and the ones you didn’t. I too am a lover of books and the places they take us or places they touch. Currently I’m reading The Rosie Project for fun. My growth book is Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray. I don’t know if there is any book I have ever read that touched me so deeply. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Trina
    Commented on January 13th, 2015 at 9:56am

    thanks, for sharing allison. i’ve heard about the whitespace book…i’m going to have to check it out! xo . t

  • Jo
    Commented on January 13th, 2015 at 1:49pm

    Is Abiding in Christ by Tozer? I need to look that up. I am reading Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy right now and love it. I am almost finished with The Best Yes. It has been a real blessing. One Thousand Gifts is next on my list. A few that I really enjoyed last year were Glorious Mess by Mike Howerton, Polishing the Mirror by Ram Dass, and Good to Great in God’s Eyes by Chip Ingram. Good to Great was one of those books that I know I will be going back to over and over. It’s a truly insightful and smart guidebook for Christian living. I read Wild, too. It was really good, but I could walk away from it for weeks at a time and then come back. It didn’t engulf me like some books do. I have several others waiting in the wings and I can’t wait to finish some of those that have been hanging around for a while. Long live the printed word!

  • Trina
    Commented on January 20th, 2015 at 10:43am

    hi jo! it’s by Andrew Murray. i read Tozer in high school. i need to read him again. i’m reading another old author right now and finding such richness and depth….thank you for the other recs. and, a “here here,” to long live the printed world! xo. t

  • heather
    Commented on January 14th, 2015 at 11:30am

    thank you for this! i am going to read abiding in christ. i’m just finishing ann voskamp’s one thousand gifts devotional (which i would recommend. not just repeats of the book) and could use this next. thank you for the recommendation. i enjoyed looking through the books i read this year also and my favorite would have to be the artisan soul by e. r. mcmanus. i wrote a bit more about it here, if you’d like to take a look. :)

  • Trina
    Commented on January 20th, 2015 at 10:40am

    you will love it. i cannot say enough good things about it and how it has changed me. thanks for sharing about ann’s devotional…it sounds great. and, thanks for the link …can’t wait to check out your recs. xo. t

  • Simine
    Commented on January 22nd, 2015 at 4:14am


    I struggled with the first of the Outlander series but my sister advised me to persevere. I did and am forever grateful! It gets so much better and then you can’t stop. I have recommended this series to so many people with the same caution that you need to persevere.
    I hope you try again, I think you too will love it.

  • Trina
    Commented on January 22nd, 2015 at 10:49am

    thanks for the encouragement to keep going. i haven’t decided totally give up on it all together. my sister, too, recommended the series and is kind of obsessed. it’s still on my nightstand and i think i will have to give it a go again. thank you! xo . t

  • Sunday Morning Coffee 2.1 - Ember & March
    Commented on February 1st, 2015 at 10:24am

    […] More great books to add to your reading list this […]

  • Jordan
    Commented on February 2nd, 2015 at 6:49am

    I just read “The Vacationers” and really, really enjoyed it. I’m reading “Paper Love” right now and absolutely LOVE it. It got great reviews so I finally picked it up. Plus I now live in Germany so I like the history aspect of it. I really want to read “Brain on Fire” because the author went to my university and I heard it is phenomenal. Glad I came across your blog :)

  • Trina
    Commented on February 2nd, 2015 at 2:24pm

    i haven’t heard of either. i will have to look into them. thank you for recommending. i’ve heard so many people love brain on fire and especially more interesting when you have a connection like that! thanks for sharing! and, enjoy germany! xo .t

  • Trina
    Commented on February 2nd, 2015 at 2:27pm

    oh, i just looked up paper love…. looks so good. i’m always drawn to that era for some reason and anything having to do with letters, family and identity. thank you so much for sharing!

  • Melissa
    Commented on March 2nd, 2015 at 11:58am

    Curious. What version of the new testament – the one that is without chapter or verse -are your reading?

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