2018 Gift Guide for Christian Readers
Merry Christmas, friends!
Last year, I produced my first Gift Guide for Christian Readers, and it was a hit!
So this year, I decided to do an update with an ALL NEW list of book recommendations!
Giving a book is like giving glasses that show a new world, a new perspective. It's thoughtful and meaningful and the right book can change the trajectory of someone’s life! That’s why I love creating this list. I get to relive how these books changed my life, and then pay it forward to you.
I've linked each book below. Just click the pic, and it will take you directly to Amazon's website to purchase it, which means you could have all of your Christmas shopping done from the comfort of your seat! I’m an Amazon affiliate* and will receive a commission based on your purchase, with no fee to you. I worked hard on this, and I hope it is VERY helpful!! I appreciate you using my links to purchase these recommendations.
The perfect book for...
ANY WOMAN. Rachel Hollis is taking over the world, and rightly so! Her message is powerful: Each of us has dreams that are worth pursuing, but the lies in our heads are holding us back. Time to strip off those lies and know who we are in God. Do you know someone who needs to read this book? Buy it for them using the link below!
THE FRIEND WHO DOESN’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN. The Finishing School is a book like none other. It’s a starting point for anyone who desires to make changes in their life, but due to the overwhelming desire to change EVERYTHING, they maybe haven’t changed ANYTHING. With the colossal vortex of info all around us, it’s easy to allow the need to become fit & educated & nicer & a good earth citizen & generous & ALL THAT …to paralyze us from knowing where to start. This book will guide you to other books specifically focused on each challenge area.
THE DREAMER. You Are A Badass is worth reading in its entirety, but especially for the section “How To Get Over Your B.S. Already”. This section is such a kick in the butt that a lot of us dreamers are sorely missing. Buy this for your friend with big dreams who needs some motivation.
THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO KNOW SHE’S NOT ALONE. We’ve all sinned, right? But we typically don’t talk about our worst sins in gory detail. Jamie Ivey does — and she published it! If You Only Knew is real, raw, and hopeful. By taking us through her lowest lows (sleeping around, a miscarriage) and revealing her current life (redeemed + restored), Jamie shows God’s redemption in her life. A book like this can connect with someone who feels the heavy shame of sin and help free them from trudging with shame for years to come.
The perfect book for...
THE FRIEND WHO QUOTES SEX AND THE CITY FOR RELATIONSHIP ADVICE. Let’s be honest… Most of us learned about sex from friends in middle school, then “Health Education” from a P.E. coach, and of course “the talk” from our parent(s) telling us to just say no, and finally through movies and TV (fake characters on fake multi-million dollar productions). None of them explained WHY GOD INVENTED SEX! We enter the dating world and eventually marriages thinking sex is to fulfill our animalistic instincts. Mo Isom will teach you God’s purpose for sex and how faithful God is to forgive, redeem and restore anyone from any sexual sin. Buy it for a friend, but also buy it for you.
THE FRIEND WHO IS DEBATING IF CHRISTIANS CAN BE FEMINISTS. Jesus Feminist resolved my inner conflict over anti-feminist misinterpretations of the Bible that have been taught as truth for far too long. I’ve always known God called me into writing for Him, but I couldn’t reconcile that with the infamous “Women ought to be silent in church” passage… Luckily, we have Sarah Bessey to guide the way as we read Scriptures, examining them with the Spirit of God enlightening our eyes to God’s plan for women.
You should read this book & pray about whether your perception of female roles are due to cultural norms (in the church and in the Republican South) or due to true revelation of God’s purposes for women. This is another book to buy for a friend and buy another for you! ;)
THE FRIEND WHO IS DEBATING IF CHRISTIANS CAN BE HOMOSEXUAL. This book is insanely rich! Jackie presents the Gospel truth about sexuality and how God transformed her from sinful to pure and redeemed every pain she went through trying to find God through it all. Sexual sin, whether homosexuality or pornography or sleeping around, lures you in with a promise that it will make you happy. But at the end of the day, the happiness fades, and you’re left lonely, confused and empty. Without understanding why and how God created sexuality, we can’t possibly understand why we all struggle with sexual sin and how difficult it is to repent. Read this book to grow compassion and create better conversations around sexuality.
ANY POST-COLLEGE WOMAN. If you ever wonder where your sisterhood of the traveling pants are… If you ever wonder why friends feel more like acquaintances these days… If you ever wonder why Christian friendships look no different than non-Christians… Messy Beautiful Friendship is the book for you! Christine uses her personal stories to talk about the issues we all deal with when it comes to friendships: seeking our BFFs, broken expectations, preferring isolation over drama. And she explains the biblical purpose for friendship: Iron sharpening iron.
I’m personally gifting this book to 3 sweet friends with whom I want to grow deeper bonds next year. Pick up a copy for your friends using the link below!
Creatives + Entrepreneurs
The perfect book for...
THE CREATIVE. ERMAHGAWSH if you know any creatives, they will CHERISH this book! Elizabeth shares her own creative walk, including the paralyzing anxiety that overcame her following her mega-hit book Eat, Pray Love. My biggest takeaway was this:
“What you produce is not necessarily always sacred… What is sacred is the time that you spend working on the project, and what that time does to expand your imagination, and what that expanded imagination does to transform your life.”
That is one of the most freeing statements for creatives to know! That each work doesn’t have to be the Sistine Chapel or a Jay-Z lyric. Buy this book for the creative person in your life: writer, artist, DIY-er, interior designer, musician, etc.!
THE ENTREPRENEUR. Donald Miller is one of my favorite authors, and in Building a Storybrand, he quickly shatters the illusion that a great product and hard work produces success. WRONG! Any take-off product has a good story that customers are magnetized to. This simple formula has helped me to rewrite blog posts, reposition my website, and become more vulnerable in my social media posts. The story formula is something I refer to on a monthly basis.
THE CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR. This is my favorite of the 3 in this category! Jordan provides insight into God’s creative side and why we, as His creation, feel compelled to create as well. In Called to Create, Jordan aptly points out that Jesus spent the first 3 decades of His life being a creative entrepreneur (as a carpenter) before ever beginning his short ministry years. What does that tell us about our businesses? That through business, we see how God uniquely gifted & positioned us to change the world. Called to Create will inspire your creative friends — use the link below to gift it this Christmas.
The perfect book for...
THE PRAYER WARRIOR IN YOUR LIFE. I first read this book a decade ago, and I recently went back to look for one certain passage in it…and ended up re-reading the whole thing! Red Moon Rising is about the 24/7 prayer movement globally. You may or may not have heard of it, but I know you’ve heard of Cory Asbury, right? The “Reckless Love” guy. I started listening to his music a decade ago when he was at a 24/7 prayer church (IHOP…not the pancake shop…but International House of Prayer).
These stories are so rich with God’s Spirit! Gift this to your friend who loves to pray.
THE BRAINIAC. Russell & I have been diving into quantum physics the last few months and how the metaphysical realm connects to the physical realm. Dr. Leaf has been a leading cognitive neuroscientist for 3 decades!! Her words aren’t just, “Try this because it worked for me”, but are backed by decades of research. She combines science with Scripture, and it’s powerful.
Warning: This is a meaty book. Gift it to someone with some learning stamina! :)
THE WEARY ONE. I had the unique privilege of reading the first 3 chapters of It’s Not Supposed to be This Way a month before it’s release, and it instantly hooked me. Lysa is so brave to share her story of battling breast cancer while trying to repair a marriage broken by infidelity. As an acclaimed Christian author and President of her large ministry, she truly knows: “It’s not supposed to be this way”. I believe this book will help relate to anyone going through something so difficult and deeply painful that thoughts & prayers don’t even scratch the surface. Gift this book to the friend who needs to know she’s not alone…from someone who’s been there. Let Lysa minister through her personal experiences to your weary friend.
THE MAN’S MAN. We got to hear Tim Tebow speak this past week, and what a fun, heartwarming presence he has! I’ve read his other 2 books, and I can tell you he comes across the same way through his written stories. Buy this book for that special guy in your life. Even if he’s a Tiger or any other SEC team fan, he’ll enjoy it!
ANYONE. LITERALLY ANYONE. Love Does was gifted to me, and after I read it (within a week), I bought 5 more to gift to other people. It's so easy to read! You can pick up and read any chapter in about 5 minutes. They're short, encouraging, inspiring stories that will warm your heart. Or your mom's heart. Or your colleague's heart. Basically, anyone's heart.
The perfect Bible for...
THE NOTE-TAKER OR THE DOODLER. This is the Bible I use, and I LOVE it! This Bible provides half of each page for notes and doodling. I’m not the “pretty Bible journaler” that you might see on Insta (ahem @ShePaintsScripture). I’m the messy, tear-stained, searching for revelation note-scribbler, and I’m glad I have plenty of space to write all my notes in this one.
Happy studying! :)
If you’d like to look at last year’s book recommendations, I’m linking it here:
If you’re looking for my list of book recs for Love & Marriage, here’s the link:
If you’re looking for my Gift Guide to support female entrepreneurs, click here:
If you have any other people on your list that I could recommend a book for, please leave a description in the comments section below, and I’ll try to recommend something pertinent!
Lastly, if this was helpful to you, please SHARE IT ON FACEBOOK using the button below!
*Disclosure: Priska Jordan is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.