Five Best Books I Read in 2020

For the past four years, I have participated in a book challenge where I set the goal of reading 50 books. I have never reached that goal. Until this year. As our lives slowly drifted to being at home more, I found myself not only reading the books that had been sitting on the shelf, but also having time to read chapter books with our five-year-old. Since we were homeschooling, we were also reading every day together. It seems that our lives found their center as we all enjoyed finding new books in our neighborhood’s little free libraries and re-finding books that were nestled onto bookshelves around our house. May this be something we take with us into the new year!

This was book was our summer book study at Garden of Grace and it revealed a lot of the way my privilege impacts the way I see the world. After this book, our conversations as a family and as a church have centered around ways that we can intentionally choose not to participate in unjust, oppressive systems.

This was just amazing! Not only is the story interesting and engaging. It is revelatory about how much we don’t know about the story of Jesus. The people and stories that have been intentionally lost to history, especially the women who were involved and supportive of his ministry. The way this evoked imagination and possibility is something I won’t soon forget.

This one has been on my list for a long time. It reminds me of stories I read as a teacher and stories I heard as a teacher. The story of how words and learning has brought people, especially women to new opportunities and new lives will never lose its impact. This was a difficult one to read because it reminds us of how much work there is still to do.

I loved reading the voice of President Barack Obama before he became President. Before we all knew him, he was a man in search of his roots and his place in the world. This book encapsulates that searching for purpose and history. I hope to read all of his books.

I didn’t know Glennon Doyle as an author until this year. I picked up Untamed and finished it in two days. Then I promptly reserved every single one of her books at the library and read everything she’s ever written. Her voice, her story, and her vulnerability are what I needed as a thread running through this year.

AND a bonus book!

This book has been sitting on my shelf for years. I always wanted to read it, but never found the time to dig in. This year I picked it up thankful that I had bought it and thankful for the story Adichie wrote. There is so much about America that has been questioned and challenged this year. Reading this book helped me to see the possibility of what we can be again.