Sitting down with a new book is one of life’s sweetest luxuries, which makes the gift of reading such a joy this time of year. I’ve pored over my Goodreads profile, my Amazon orders, and my library check-out list to share some of my favorite books I read in 2018 that would make excellent gifts for your loved ones–and for yourself too!
Books for Grown-ups
Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light by Rachel Marie Stone
This artfully-crafted memoir about birth, death, and the spaces in between will send tingles down your spine. Listen to the conversation I had with the author on the Kindreds Podcast.
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittany Cooper
Raw and personal, Cooper’s collection of essays about life as a black woman in America is required reading for everyone.
Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by Adrienne Maree Brown
Fans of Octavia Butler’s Afrofuturism will devour Brown’s book–a hybrid of tactics, self-reflection prompts, personal stories, and group exercises aimed at doing the work of changing the world in a truly collaborative fashion.
Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free by Linda Kay Klein
An unapologetic critique of the “purity industry,” Pure dives into the damaging, long-lasting effects of purity culture on the lives and relationships of those who were immersed in it as young people.
Books for Teens
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
What happens when body positivity clashes with beauty pageant standards? It’s impossible not to fall in love the protagonist of this story: the down-to-earth, Dolly Parton-obsessed Willowdean.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Inspired by #BlackLivesMatter, this tragic story will break your heart and inspire you to speak up and use your voice to bring an end to injustice.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Oliver’s novel opens with a deadly car crash that kills Samantha Kingston. Only that’s not the end of the her story–it’s the beginning.
Books for Littles Ones
Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman
Casey loves all of the glitter and shimmer his older sister Jessie wears, but she doesn’t know what to think ofhis interest in sparkle. A book about gender expression, acceptance, and all things glittery.
When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner
A true gift for your little one–an affirmation of being created by God with sacred worth, and not preachy in the slightest.
A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young
When Lucy orders a unicorn for 25 cents, she’s surprised by what shows up instead. A sweet story of friendship and how disappointments can turn into pleasant surprises.
I’d love to hear what some of your favorite books of 2018 were! Feel free to add me as a friend over on Goodreads where I aspire to read 50 books a year. Share your recommendations, and I’ll add them to my 2019 reading list.