Favorite Books of 2015

When I make up my list of books read for the year, I aim to choose about ten favorites, but I give myself permission to go higher or lower, depending on the books. 🙂 Here are my favorite books of the 68 read this year (but not published this year); each title links back to my review of it. They are favorites for different reasons. I may not have agreed with every point in every book, but each book greatly informed, helped, encouraged, touched, or convicted me in a big way.

Running Scared

Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Edward T. Welch. This would be my #1, top favorite, most helpful book read this year.

Far Country

Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope by Christopher and Angela Yuan. This would probably be #2. So astounding the way God brought both mother and son to Himself.

The rest of the books are in no particular order.


Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst was not necessarily about getting more out of your Bible reading, though that’s discussed: it’s more about “to move Bible study from our to-do list and just acquiring knowledge, to living out what God is teaching us, to enjoy a deeper connection with God.”

Being Mortal

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In the End by Atul Gawand. As I said in my review, if you plan on getting old or dying or helping parents as they age, you need to read this book. The author and I look at life from different worldviews, so I didn’t agree with every single point, but I so appreciated his honest look at aging and death and the multitudes of facets of it to think about.

Atomic City

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan was a fascinating look at the then-secret complex involved in processing uranium for the first atomic bomb – only most of the employees had no idea what that’s what they were doing until after the bomb was dropped.

I Dared to Call Him Father

I Dared to Call Him Father: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman’s Encounter with God by Bilquis Sheikh. Bilquis was a Pakistani Muslim woman who began studying both the Bible and the Quran, searching for truth. Understanding that the Bible portrayed God as a loving Father was pivotal in turning her to faith in Jesus Christ.

Knowing God

Knowing God by J. I. Packer. I don’t know how I missed it all these years, but it definitely deserves its place as a Christian classic.



I Deserve a Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat) and Taste For Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study by Barb Raveling. I appreciate Barb’s straightforward style and the truths she brought out of her studies of the Bible. I need to reread them again already.

Walking With God

Walking With God in the Season of Motherhood by Melissa B. Kruger. I first read this because of a link I saw to a post on Melissa’s blog in order to see if I could recommend it to you moms and became convicted and instructed myself.


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry started out really odd to me, but as the themes began to emerge and the layers unfolded, I loved it.



The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is about a young boy who adopts a pet fawn, but on another level it’s about his own growing up. Loved this on many levels.

Butterfy and the Violin

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron is about the search for the story behind a painting of a young woman with piercing eyes, a shaved head, and a number tattooed on her wrist holding a violin. A gripping, fascinating, heart-breaking, yet beautiful story.

Swan House

The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser has several threads, but it’s mainly about a teen-age girl from a wealthy family in Atlanta in the 1960s facing family tragedy, becoming aware that her mother may have a more serious problem than an artistic temperament, becoming aware of the black community, and developing her faith. I love the two Musser books I have read and need to read the others.


Taken by Dee Henderson tells about a long-missing kidnap victim who escapes and then helps an investigator find and capture the people involved, who are part of a large network of abductors. Dee’s books are always fascinating to me, both in the story and in the characters journey of faith.


The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. This is another classic I just got to this year. Lewis’s cleverness as a writer and thinker shines here, and his way of expressing truth from the Enemy’s point of view really makes one think.

Most of the books I read this year affected me for the better in some way, but these stood out above the rest.

What were your favorite books read this year?

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13 thoughts on “Favorite Books of 2015

  1. A very interesting assortment of books! I do like “I Deserve a Donut”. I like it better than the Bible study I bought from that author.

  2. Love your list. I will have to get some of them—Running Scared and I Dared to Call Him Father in particular. My favorite books this year were:
    Go and Tell (Bertha Smith to China)
    Second Mile People (Isobel Kuhn)
    A Life for the Congo (Althea Brown Emiston/Africa)
    Ten Fingers for God (Wilson) and 3 other Books about the Brands and India
    Lies Young Women Believe (Demoss)
    A Chance to Die (Elisabeth Elliot) life of Amy Carmichael
    Village India (Pittman)
    A light in the Window (Jan Karon)
    At Home in Mitford (Jan Karon)
    The Wakefield Dynasty (Gilbert Morris) Books 2 and 3

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Valorie! I read Ten Fingers For God some years ago and recently bought a used copy to read it again, but haven’t yet. A Chance to Die is another I would like to reread. Somehow I have never gotten to Lies Women Believe and I should – I’ve enjoyed what I have read of DeMoss. Second Mile People and Jan Karon’s books are favorites. The two books you mentioned from my list are available for the Kindle app if you have that – I think I got both of them through Kindle sales.

  3. Ooh, so many good books here! I have scheduled Running Scared in my to-read list for 2016 so I hopefully will actually get around to reading it. Thanks for compiling this list. I’ll return to it when I’m looking for more book suggestions.

  4. Wonderful list! I’ve read several of them and enjoyed them all. Especially ‘Out of a Far Country,’ ‘I Dare to Call Him Father’ and ‘Knowing God.’ I’ve never heard of ‘Running Scared’ I will have to look into that one and add it to my reading list. Thanks for sharing your favorites. You can see my 2015 favorites on my blog. Happy New Year! : )

  5. Very interesting picks for 2015. You’ve got me interested in a couple of new ones now — The Girls of Atomic City and The Butterfly and the Violin. Both look fascinating!

  6. Pingback: Friday’s Fave Five | Stray Thoughts

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