My Favorite Books Of 2023

I always feel terrible when I write about my favorite books. I've read so many books this year, and it feels like I'm telling the other dozens that they're not as good. But they were! They'll just have to understand, I suppose.

The most exciting thing I learned in 2023 was that I love history. I've never even liked history. All through school, I felt like I had to learn names and dates about a bunch of made-up events. History didn't seem real, even after our eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C. It just wasn't interesting, so I didn't care. Until this year. I've read so many history books in the past 12 months, probably more than I've read since high school. And a large section of my TBR bookshelf is about history topics, so get ready!

My favorite history book of the year was Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. It's written as a novel, keeping with the historical timeline of those days in April 1865. It is filled with details I don't ever remember hearing before, and they're presented in story form in such a riveting way. I think it took me only two or three days to read this one because I couldn't put it down.

On the opposite end of the historical spectrum, the humorous Dave Barry Slept Here, A Sort of History of the United States is absolutely hysterical. I'm a huge Dave Barry fan - The Book of Bad Songs is an all-time personal favorite - and this history "text" didn't disappoint. Instead of remembering all those dates, everything happens on October 8, and the discussion questions at the end of each chapter set up some great jokes of their own. I may have to read this one every year just to get a good laugh.

I've really wanted to grow in my professional and leadership skills, and there are so many good books about cultivating your work life. Two of my favorites this year were John C. Maxwell's Leadership: Promises for Every Day (a devotional that I'm still reading through into 2024), and Captain D. Michael Abrashoff's It's Your Ship (yes, this Army wife read a Navy book, but it's ok). I readily admit that I have so much to learn about succeeding in business and leading others, so I soaked up these books like sponges. When God wants to accomplish something, he calls up leaders devoted to Him, and I'm so blessed to be chosen for something powerful in our community.

Two more books that I loved this year, but am also still finishing, are Angela Mills' Bless Your Husband and 90 Days to Stress-Free: Renovating the House That Worry Built by Jami Amerine. Each of these devotionals touch on areas of my life that I would love to grow in - strengthening our marriage and taking care of my home. I only have a few days left of each, but I wanted to include them here so you can add them to your own TBR pile for 2024. All of these books stand out in my mind because I learned something, they changed my way of thinking, or they drew me closer to the Lord. And what better reasons are there than those to read a new book?

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