December 18, 2018

As a book lover, christmas elf, and list maker, I can’t not show some love to a few books I read this year for you to consider for your eyeballs to gaze upon and possibly a christmas list addition. Up top I give a blurb to my five favorites. Then a list of all the books I read that were good enough to make a “recommend” status.

There’s so many good books in the world and I have so little time before I die so I rarely read something unless I feel I know it will be at least 8/10.


First, my favorites! Not in order because I can’t.

  • Why Bother with the Church? by Sam Allberry: More great stuff by Sam Alberry. When we hold together both the human and spiritual view of the church we can be both realistic and ambitious.
  • Freedom and Boundaries by Kevin DeYoung: I think this is my favorite Kevin DeYoung book. Not even completely for the topic of the role of women in the church (which he covers excellently and I like his pace). But because while doing this he demonstrates how he disagrees with other christians peacefully, while still settling on conclusions to theological matters. Of which he is a master and to be learned from.
  • Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married? And Other Useful Comments by Nancy Wilson: I loved this book from the first paragraph. It would be helpful for someone of any marital status to read to better live in the covenant community. And because all of the author’s wise tidbits on accessory topics are worth more than the price of the book. I’ll continue to read anything by Nancy I can get my hands on.
  • Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tada: A well written telling of a beautiful life. Remembering this book as I write this makes my heart happy.
  • Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss: I read in 2013 and now again in 2018. I look forward to the third read. I think you can get more and different things out of this book every time.

Ugh, this part always pains me because it’s not like I am NOT putting The Pilgrim’s Progress and John Owen’s Mortification of Sin in a top five ranking. I don’t know what the ranking means. Go by the blurb!!

The Duties of Parents by J.C. Ryle: A power boost for parents that takes not long to read and is what like $4 on Amazon? Writing so crisp. Chooses just the right word. Straight to your heart.

Classical Me, Classical Thee: Squander Not Thine Education by Rebekah Merkle: Warm, perceptive. Would winningly helps students, dare I say, love their schooling!

Learning Contentment by Nancy Wilson: Never read a bad Nancy Wilson book

Choosing Gratitude by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Warm, light, sweet. I was helped by it. Thankfulness is an essential piece of how to handle suffering.

For A Glory and A Covering by Douglas Wilson: Lots of good thoughts. My favorite chapter was “Exchanged Authority.”

The Mortification of Sin by John Owen: I’m not bold enough to leave a review for a classic!

Luther and His Katie by Dolina MacCuish: I liked the length and level of detail for a little book to learn about this dear couple. Dolina’s feminine spirit and wisdom shined in the writing. A treat!

Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry: Very well done. Made me want to read more by Sam Allberry

True Feelings by Carolyn Mahaney: I’ve always like Carolyn’s careful writing. I would quote them when they describe the book as “a small ladle – a teaspoon really – dipped into the clear stream of God’s Word on emotions”

The Pilgrim’s Progress: From This World to That Which is To Come by John Bunyan: What a blessing to the church. The last chapter is a treasure.

How to Think by Alan Jacobs: Some good stuff

Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney: A re-read for the purpose of a book group with some girlfriends

The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson: Affected my view of God and definition of legalism

The Scars That Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Rendall Risner: Seems like a real sweet gal and had some helpful thoughts. The chapters “Talking Myself Through Suffering,” “Ever on Display,” and “Sustaining Grace” stood out.

Here is my 2017 post too!

My New Cookbook


Leave a Comment


  • Jeannine

    Lovely blog just found via search for cooked bananas recipe! Nice to see your book selections, will look into them. I can highly recommend thin easy to read profound books by French priest lecturer Jacques Philippe, translated into many lang incl English. He’s awesome, makes deep pts w some Bible quotes and one of his favorites, St Terese of Liseaux, the Little Flower. Look forward to perusing your blog more, I like today’s kitchen island made from Ikea cabinets!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Jeannine!

  • Stacey

    I always love to know what someone else is reading!! (Note to self to check out Nancy Wilson.) Did you read any fiction this year? Do you read fiction?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Not very often but not on purpose, just kind of what I gravitate too. Yeah, I guess Stepping Heavenward was the only fiction this year. Well, and lots of picture books :P

  • Lori Murphree

    Thanks for the recommendations. Some books here that I have not come across before that sound timely for me.

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