2016bestnine: non-fiction edition

I’m sure you’ve probably seen the hashtag #2016bestnine on Instagram. It’s a site/app where you can go and you get a cute collage of your #2016bestnine pictures from Instagram. This has been going on for the last couple of years, and I never manage to actually like all of the pictures in the collage, but I do like the idea. SO, I came up with my own #2016bestnine: 1) non-fiction books, 2) fiction books, 3) places I visited, 4) music, 5) fun faves, 6) experiences/moments, 7) CLT faves, 8) TV shows/movies/YouTube videos, and 9) pictures. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, my 2016bestnine: non-fiction edition:

  1. I Was Blind {Dating}, But Now I See by Stephanie Rische. Rische chronicles her eight awkward blind dates/setups before she meets her husband. In between each of the stories of the dates, she tells what God taught her through that season. SO good. I would definitely recommend this to any woman, single or not.
  2. This is Awkward by Sammy Rhodes. Incredible. Raw. Vulnerable. Rhodes discusses the awkward subjects in life–topics that are rarely discussed–with a refreshing vulnerability and openness. I ugly cried, and I gave this to Kasey, who told me she also ugly cried through it. A good ugly cry, though, and lots of laughs, because Rhodes’ self-deprecating humor is some of the best.
  3. Wild in the Hollow by Amber C. Haines. I became the biggest fan of Amber Haines, and her husband, Seth Haines, this year. Like Sammy Rhodes, they both write with an openness that is just incredibly refreshing. Amber’s book is about her story, and I would recommend reading it before reading her husband’s book. It provides background information that isn’t necessary, but useful to know before reading his. Anyway, this memoir is honest, real, Southern, and one of the best I’ve read in a while.
  4. Coming Clean by Seth Haines. Like I said above, Seth Haines and his wife, Amber, write with a refreshing sense of honesty and vulnerability. Seth’s book is different than Amber’s–he tells his story of becoming sober, journaling for the first 90 days. Whether or not you’ve ever struggled with alcoholism or any other addiction, this book is relatable to everyone who has any kind of struggle (which is, um, everyone in the world).
  5. Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung. I’ve read a couple of DeYoung’s books, and I think this one has to be my favorite. He writes so directly and bluntly, but with a sense of compassion and understanding that is hard to come by these days. His book is about understanding God’s will and living like Christ. It’s small and short, perfect for the non-readers out there.
  6. Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. Oh, man. I’ve always been intrigued by the story of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and the other missionaries who were killed by the Auca Indians in Ecuador in 1956. However, I’ve always read about it from Nate Saint’s point of view/his son’s point of view (the movie End of the Spear is from his son’s POV). Anyway, Elliot is open and honest about what happens to her and her friends as their husbands are killed. It’s incredible. I was also so energized and encouraged to go share the Gospel more. What a privilege those men counted it to lose their life for Christ!
  7. None Like Him by Jen Wilkin. Wilkin is one of the best up and coming female biblical teachers/writers of this day. She is honest. She doesn’t sugarcoat her words with fluff or pretty words. She points you back to Christ time and time again. In her second book, she describes 10 ways why God is different than us and why that’s a good thing. A short read, but a compelling one. Included are discussion questions which make it great for a small group (like mine is currently doing!).
  8. Side by Side by Edward T. Welch. Welch is another no nonsense kind of writer. His book about community is a short read, but it is definitely one I recommend for anyone wanting to get more involved with their local community. He reminds us of ways to love others well like Christ has called us to do. Very encouraging!
  9. Seasons of Waiting by Betsy Childs Howard. Howard’s book is short and to the point. Like Wilkin, she doesn’t beat around the bush. Her book is divided into major things we wait for: a spouse, children, healing, a home. She offers a bigger perspective on how to wait well and how to trust in God while we wait. We’re all waiting for something or someone, so I think anyone in any stage of life would be encouraged by this book.

Honorable Mentions: 

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