December 18, 2018

Ermagherd, Berks!!! (Books I Read - The 2018 Edition)

Hey Sweet Readers! 

Here we are at the end of another year!  Many of you know that 2018 was full of unexpected twists and turns for our little family and as much as we enjoy reading those in a Story... we don't always love living them so much in our own story, right?  Between all the changes and challenges, I also found myself grounded at home without the ability to strain (read: use!) my eyes for months at a time -- so these things all kept me off my reading game! Still,  you also know how I love me some books... (or 'berks!' as in, "Ermagherd! Berks!")

So this is the post where I take time to reflect back over the year and revisit some of my favorites! 

Honestly, I thought this list would be shorter but I did seem to up my reading during the months I was able to! And after a couple of surgeries in January, I hope to get back on track on reading all the things!

Here is a random list of books I read and loved this year! 

As much as these really are random...
I will start with my Top Five Reads of the Year:

1. The Road Back to You by Ian Cron & Suzanne Stabile 

So... listen!  I know... I do. I know that talk of the Enneagram has been everywhere and I was super late to the party but reading this book helped me to not only understand myself (and My Honey!) better, but it also helped me to understand some of the Hard things that we were walking through at the time! It's not just a personality test... It reveals your core motivations and it is amazingly insightful!

It truly does help you know yourself better, and it also helps you give a bit more grace to others who are not wired like you (read: your number) and who react to things/people/circumstances in a completely different way!

After reading this book, I listened to the podcast (which was created pre-launching of the book! Brilliant!) and then went on to listen to Typology as well! 

I highly recommend all of them --the book, as well as the podcasts!

For more info on the book, click here

2. Begin Again by Leeana Tankersley

This is another book that literally showed up on my doorstep at exactly the right time. I don't remember ordering it at all, but however it got to me --it got to me, ya know?

Leeana writes beautifully and powerfully - raw and open, honest and inspiring! 
This is a #MeToo book in all the best ways! I mean, who among us hasn't felt stuck, restless, shut down, or shelved? Who among us hasn't wondered if we were banished to the dark, unable --ungifted, unfit to start over?  

From her honest personal stories to great quotes and Scriptures, Leeana guides us along a firm foundation as we go from grasping in the dark to moving towards the Light.  She welcomes us to embrace dawn... and the every day invitation to Begin Again.

For more info, click here

3. The Eternal Current by Aaron Niequist

This is another book that sat in my lap, as I read what my heart had been longing to find the words to say! Yes... yes to this pull to be in the eternal current and to let Him take us where He wants us. Yes... yes to digging deep wells and rediscovering the rich truth of practicing His Presence more than checking off church.  As I read Aarons' words, I was reminded exactly why it was that we said that crazy Yes to starting a church in the first place! Both my husband and I loved this book!

For more info, click here

4. The Ministry of Ordinary Places by Shannan Martin (Book Launch Team) 

There are a few writers that it really won't matter what they write about --I'm gonna hold their words in my hands and my heart, knowing full well that they will both bless and challenge me! Shannan is one of those writers!

The Ministry of Ordinary Places is exactly what you both hope and fear it to be: a call to actually - as in, for real! - love your neighbors as yourself! I know? It's revolutionary --well, it can be if we will actually do it! (And oh how I hope we will!)

For more info, click here

5. Remember God by Annie F. Downs

As far as I remember, there was no official Launch Team for this release. I'm pretty sure that is accurate because I was on all the other launch teams for Annie's books.

Here are just some of the things that Sound Fun about Annie... (If you know her, then you know what I just did there!) Annie is the real deal... she is authentic and open and so much fun and she loves Jesus and she loves people... she loves to laugh and she's ready and willing to cry! She is the most obvious Enneagram 7 around and oh my goodness, how this girl can go deep!

I listened to this book on audible before I could get my hands on it in real life, and then once it arrived I dug right in again! 

Annies' voice is one of the best ones in my head and I'm better for it!

For more info or to purchase, click here.


...And Now: 
The rest of my loved reads, in no particular order:

Everybody Always by Bob Goff (Book Launch Team) 

This book is the LONG (read: long, long, LONG!) awaited follow up to Love Does. Man, speaking of Enneagram 7's! Bob is a 7 with a 7 wing! (OK... I know... I'll stop with all the Enneagram speak!) Everybody, Always will both inspire and scare you... because it's simple and it makes sense and yet it's near impossible sometimes and goes against all logic. What it comes down to though is the reminder that we are called to love like Jesus while we are learning to love Jesus.  We are called to represent Him while we are learning to be present with Him.  Much like The Ministry of Ordinary Places, this book encourages us to just do one thing: Love everybody, always. 

See? Easy Peasy!

Much like his first book, Love Does, this is a collection of real-life stories and they will make you laugh and make you cry and make you wish Bob and sweet Maria were your neighbors and, in the end, it will make you want to love like they do... because they have figured out (and are honest about still needing to learn how to figure it out some days!) how to love like Jesus!  One day at a time... everybody, always!

For more info, click here

The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L. Heuertz 

I ordered this book while I was about halfway through the above mentioned Enneagram book because it had been a recommended follow up if I wanted to learn more!  

I'm so glad I started with The Road Back to You... but it was super helpful and insightful to keep going and learn more through Christopher Heuertz as he unpacked the Enneagram with a bit more depth, getting deeper into the Wings and Shadows and such. Much of my copy is underlined and highlighted and I'm sure I will reference back to it time and time again!

For more info, click here

The Jubilee by John D. Blase

I had the honor of sitting in on a Spoken Word workshop taught by Amena Brown Owen and for some insane reason that class size was tiny... and (no pressure!) one of my fellow 'students' was John Blase.  Amazing... to write poetry on the spot and then share it out loud and learn from these masters! Later that afternoon, I sat in on his workshop, "The Burden of Nouns" and from that day forward, I was a fan!

The Jubilee is a small collection of poetry that should not be scarfed down, but feasted on slowly, letting the words sink in deep! I forced myself to take a while to read through this collection, even though I could have easily read through it in a single sitting! It's one I have paged through again several times throughout the year!

For more info, click here

It's All Under Control by Jennifer Dukes Lee (Book Launch Team) 

I adore Jennifer Dukes Lee and I've been honored to be on each of her Book Launch Teams.  This book happened to come out right at the beginning of some of my eye problems so I didn't really feel like I got to promote it the way I should have. (Then again... given the theme of the book, I decided to give myself grace!) I took my time reading through this one --longer than I normally take to drink in her words.  But I can assure you that her words are always a gift and we can all find hope and healing in remembering that it truly IS all under control!

For more info, click here

Love Does for Kids by Bob Goff & Lindsey Goff Viducich  (Book Launch Team) 

This is such a great retelling of many of the stories found in Love Does rewritten with Lindsey, Bob's daughter, along with colorful illustrations to be read to your kids!  I can't wait to be able to dig into these stories with our Grand... but we'll have to wait a few years! Still - the stories are full of adventure and fun and faith... just like Bob!

For more info, click here

Dream of You by Jo Saxton (Book Launch Team) 

This book is full of Jo's personal journey... full of ups and downs and testimonies of how He came through but also testimonies of how she got through in the in-between times!

As expected, she draws from the Bible and unpacks Scripture and familiar stories in a way that gives you a different perspective, --or at least a refresher that shows you that there are a lot of kindred wanderers and wounded warriors in the Word. A reminder that truly, we are not alone... and whatever we are facing, there is a purpose in it and through it and even the hard, dark parts (maybe especially those!) He will use!

I loved that while reading her words, I could 'hear' her voice... sometimes reading with an accent (because - of course!) and sometimes reading in a slightly shouty font because of the excitement!

I also loved the combination of Letters to the reader, with Scripture/Bible teaching, testimony, and space to write and to answer some great leading questions to help us discover (or re-discover) the parts of us that may have gotten lost or broken along the way, too!

For more info, click here. 

Battle Ready by Kelly Balarie 
(Book Launch Team) 

Again... this book is one I need to go back (post eye-surgery!) and read again! I read it earlier in the year and loved it -but I read it on my kindle, so no underlining or dog-eared pages to reference back to! And yet --much like with JDL, whenever Kelly pours her heart out onto a page... well, you know God is going to speak to you through it! In this book, Kelly gives us 12 mindsets that will help us to be Battle Ready and come out victorious!

To order your own copy, click here. 

Love Lives Here by Maria Goff

This is one of my Audible books while I was grounded to lots of laying down with no stress to my eyes! If you love Bob Goff, then you pretty much already love Sweet Maria! I loved hearing her share stories and insight into the whole Goff approach to Love!

To get your own copy, click here. 

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

This book... this woman... and again with the timing, you guys! (And yes... this too was listened to while laying down... #ImnotcryingYourecrying!) 
“The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.” ~Brene Brown

For more info, click here

Barking to the Choir by Gregory Boyle

Father Gregory Boyle came to speak in my small town and I had to miss it due to health issues, but I listened to his message over and over and over. I had heard of him and Homeboy Ministries before... and I had heard about his first book Tattoos on the Heart and had not gotten to reading it yet. But after the time he poured out into our community leaders, I got my hands on both books and found myself laughing and crying -often on the same page, as he recounted stories from his own life and ministry and, man... are you noticing a theme in these books? Love your neighbor... for real. This book will help you want to do it... and it will help you remember that it's not as hard as we make it out to be!

For more info, click here

31 Days of Praying Psalm 91 by Susan Shipe 

Praying through Scripture is so powerful and praying through Ps91 is always a great idea! My friend, Susan Shipe is a prolific writer and this is a great devotional that can be done during your quiet time to kickstart your new day!

For more info, click here

Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

I love all things Gilmore Girls and when my girlie asked for BOOKS for a gift, this was a no-brainer! We both devoured it and laughed all the way through it! Lauren is real and shares her life story - with all its twists and turns, with humor and honesty. It was refreshing and fun and made us love her even more!

To order your own copy, click here

In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It by Lauren Graham

This is a tiny little book made up mostly of the Commencement speech Lauren gave --full of great advice for all of us!

To order your own copy, click here


Fiction books!

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

I re-read this classic in preparation for the movie --which I have yet to see because I heard they changed so much of the story! Still... I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one! I actually need to read the rest of her works now!

To order your own copy, click here

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

This book made me want to head back to the Carolinas so much! I don't read much (--or, enough?) Fiction - but this one was a page turner and so powerful and wonderfully written! The characters came alive and when I got to the end I didn't want the story to be over!

To order your own copy, click here

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 

This was another book on Audio that I listened to while resting my eyes... oh my! (Again... I now need to read/listen to the rest of his work!)

To order your own copy, click here

And my stack of Currently Reading is:

I Think You're Wrong, But I'm Listening by Sarah Stewart Holland & Beth Silvers (Book Launch Team) 

  This is a book on politics... well -it's actually more a book on how to talk politics (without losing your ever-loving minds!)

Once We Were Strangers by Shawn Smucker

  Shawn is a gifted writer and this is a powerful telling of his friendship with a Syrian refugee. I'm really enjoying it so far!

Made Like Martha by Katie M. Reid

  Katie sent me a copy of her book and I was so excited to dive into it, and then my second round of 'no straining' my eyes kicked off, so I am saving this one for after my surgeries!


I battled several months (at the beginning and the end of 2018) with eye issues and the inability to read much --or DO much, actually! So my wish list of books is stacked higher than at the end of previous years... and still, like a broken record, I am stating yet again my desire to add in a bit more fiction in 2019!

And for a little added fun:


(Non-affiliate links below:)
Glorious Weakness by Alia Joy
True You by Michelle DeRusha
Placemaker by Christie Purifoy
Irresistible Faith by Scott Sauls
When God Becomes Real by Brian Johnson
Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard
Open-Door Living by Jen Schmidt

I'm sure there are more... but that should get your list started for the new year!  (Do you have any that I should add to my list?)

Also - did you read something (new or old) in 2018 that really stuck with you?  If so, I'd love to know that, too!

Let me know in the comments below!

(Amazon Affiliate Links used for books read above.)

I'm also linking up with
Kate Motaung for
Books I Read in 2018
so come on over and
check out all the lists
of all the books!


  1. Nice post.Keep sharing. Thanks

  2. I'm not sure if I enjoyed this post more because I saw some of my favorite reads also listed here or because I found some new to me reads to add to my list :) Wonderful post! May you & yours have a blessed 2019!

    1. Yay on both accounts, Joanne! Merry Christmas, and blessings to you in the New Year as well!

  3. A Man Called Ove is on my list of books I enjoyed this year. It is fun looking through the list of books that others enjoy.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Beth! Have you read his other works? I've heard some mixed reviews on some other books but I am hoping to get to a few more of his stories in the new year!

  4. Be still my heart. I made it to your "ermagherd berks" list? I've arrived. By Jove, I've arrived. xoxo

    1. Oh, friend! You made it a long, long time ago! You are always on my list! ;)

  5. Such a great list, Karrilee! I'm always impressed by how many books you manage to read in a year. Thanks so much for sharing and for linking up!

    1. I was impressed with this year, given all my vision problems --but a handful were listened to on Audible! ;) Is that cheating? LOL!

  6. Love this list! Your description of Annie is so spot on. And I want you to endorse my book! ;) So many books being added to my "to read" list. And Everybody Always will be one of my first reads of 2019. It's been sitting on that pile for way too long. And I'm also excited to read Braving the Wilderness.

    1. LOL! Thanks for noticing I nailed it with Annie! You will love BOTH of those books! Thanks so much for stopping by!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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