2018 has been jam-packed with incredible books releasing, and this final list is no exception. For the first time, I’ve split the Can’t-Miss List into three posts: January-April, May-August, and September-December — because there were just too many books to narrow it down to a dozen or so.
Every time I curate a new list, I’m amazed at the number of shares, pins, comments and personal emails letting me know what books you’re most looking forward to. Your excitement makes all the behind-the-scenes work totally worth it!
The books below are listed in order of release date and include a blurb pulled from Amazon descriptions.
At the end, I’ve listed a devotional, Bible, and cookbook I think you’ll want to know about, as well as a special “stay tuned” section. Consider it a small sneak peak of what I’m already bookmarking for the 2019 can’t-miss list that I’ll share in late 2018!
Please feel free to share this list on Facebook or pin to Pinterest! I’d love to hear what book(s) you’re most looking forward to! And ps, a helpful tip: if a book grabs your attention — for yourself or a friend — you might want to consider preordering.
Why I love preordering through Amazon: First, you’re guaranteed to pay the lowest price advertised. (For example, if you preorder in September when it’s $13.00, then it drops to $10.00 in October and is $15.00 when it releases in November, you’ll only pay $10.00). Second, you aren’t charged until the book releases. Third, if you’re going to buy the book anyway, you might as well preorder it so you can submit your receipt and receive free gifts (most authors now offer freebies on their website to anyone who preorders).
15 Can’t-Miss Books Coming September-December of 2018
For so many people, reading isn’t just a hobby or a way to pass the time―it’s a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can’t imagine life without them.
I’d Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone’s life, I’d Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover.
It’s time to get our control under control. Jennifer Dukes Lee never thought she struggled with control. As long as everything went exactly the way she wanted it to, she was totally flexible.
But then she discovered what happens when you try to wrap your arms around everything, thinking it’s all on you: You get burned out on hustle. You’re so busy―caring, serving, working, and trying so hard―that you can’t hear God’s voice anymore.
It’s All Under Control is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic. Join Jennifer on the journey of learning how to overcome the anxieties and worries that burden your heart, prioritize your busy life so you can make choices that align with God’s best for you, and let go of what God has not asked you to do so you can shine at what He has.
Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive :: Jessica N. Turner
Working mothers constantly battle the pull to do all the things well. From managing work and home responsibilities to being impacted by a lack of self-care and time for deep friendships, the struggle is real. At the end of each day, many working moms are exhausted and stretched too thin. But this does not have to be the norm.
In her latest practical and inspiring book, Jessica shows the working mom how to work and parent guilt-free, establish clear work boundaries, discover more flexibility, prioritize self-care, cultivate deeper friendships, and feel like a good mom―even while working. Full of compassion and encouragement, Stretched Too Thin will empower women with useful insights and tools to thrive as working moms.
Remember God :: Annie F. Downs
I know God is loving; I know He is good; I believe He is big and powerful. But sometimes I wonder if He is really kind―really deeply always kind.
For centuries, God’s people have been building altars to Him―to remind themselves and the people around them of His work. His goodness. His kindness. Stacks of stones. Altars. Temples. Cathedrals. Why? Because they believed God and wanted to remember Him.
In the back of my mind, God reminds me that He is the same trustworthy God―the One who always finishes the stories He starts. And this is my story―of wrestling with our God who gives a limp and a blessing. A God who is always kind even when my circumstances feel the opposite. God is who He says He is. He is kinder than you imagine. In a world where it is easy to forget who He is, we will not. We will remember God.
It’s been said that the eighteen inches from head to heart is the soul’s longest journey. Our head knows the good news is true, but our heart struggles to believe it, and it’s in this gap that we battle to believe the promises of God.
Hayley Morgan has wrestled with this tension her whole life. In Preach to Yourself, she tackles it head-on to discover how we can renew our minds to renew our lives. For every woman who struggles with repetitive, negative self-talk, this book will show you how to identify the toxic loops where you get stuck and replace them with the truth of God we can believe with our whole selves.
This is not a “try harder” reprimand, it’s a “believe better” invitation: to take God at His word when He tells you who you are. Come along and learn a simple practice to break free from the lies holding you back, and step forward into the fullness of life God has planned.
The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God’s Goodness Around You :: Shannan Martin
For Christ-followers living in an increasingly complicated world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to live a life of intention and meaning. Where do we even begin?
Shannan Martin offers a surprisingly simple answer: uncover the hidden corners of our cities and neighborhoods and invest deeply in the lives of people around us. She walks us through her own discoveries about the vital importance of paying attention, as well as the hard but rewarding truth about showing up and committing for the long haul, despite the inevitable encounters with brokenness and uncertainty.
With transparency, humor, heart-tugging storytelling, and more than a little personal confession, Shannan shows us that no matter where we live or how much we have, as we learn what it is to be with people as Jesus was, we’ll find our very lives. The details will look quiet and ordinary, and the call will both exhaust and exhilarate us. But it will be the most worth-it adventure we will ever take.
Sacred Holidays: Less Chaos, More Jesus :: Becky Kiser
Do you enter every holiday wanting it to be meaningful, only to find that it feels chaotic with no direction? We set New Year’s goals we can’t keep, struggle to love or be loved on Valentine’s Day, and find it hard to celebrate the risen Jesus when we are searching for the perfect Easter dress. Our summer and back-to-school seasons are whirlwinds and we feel less than grateful at Thanksgiving because it is sometimes full of complicated people. Even Christmas becomes a challenge, as celebrating Jesus gets lost behind twinkling lights and a mountain of gifts.
Holidays are meant to be more than chaos with glimpses of grace; they are meant to draw us closer to God and one another. It’s time to stop trying to survive the holidays or over indulge the whimsy, and instead live in the abundant life God called us to live. Sacred Holidays is part book and part resource: meant to help you avoid what has tripped you up in the past and give you insights, tips, and tools to make your holidays less chaotic and more about loving Jesus and others.
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope :: Anne Lamott
From the bestselling author of Hallelujah Anyway, Bird by Bird, and Help, Thanks, Wow, comes a new book about the place hope holds in our lives.
Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest―when we are, as Lamott puts it, “doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated”―the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. “All truth is paradox,” she writes, “and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change.” That is the time when we must pledge not to give up but “to do what Wendell Berry wrote: ‘Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.'”
In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life’s essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward.
Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff :: Myquillyn Smith
Cozy Minimalism isn’t about going without or achieving a particular new, modern style. Nope. It’s simply a mindset that helps you get the style you love with the fewest possible items.
In Cozy Minimalist Home, Myquillyn Smith helps you know what to focus on (and what not to worry about when it comes to your home), discover the real secret to finding your unique style (it has nothing to do with those style quizzes), deconstruct each room and then re-create it step by step with a fail proof process, and create a pretty home with more style and less stuff.
Written for the hands-on woman who’d rather move her own furniture than hire a designer, this is the guidance she needs to finish every room of her house. With people, priorities and purpose in mind, anyone can create a beautiful home that transcends the trends. A pretty home is nice, but a Cozy Minimalist home goes beyond pretty and sets the stage for connection, relationship, and rest.
More than half of Americans live in the suburbs. Ashley Hales writes that for many Christians, however: “The suburbs are ignored (‘Your place doesn’t matter, we’re all going to heaven anyway’), denigrated and demeaned (‘You’re selfish if you live in a suburb; you only care about your own safety and advancement’), or seen as a cop-out from a faithful Christian life (‘If you really loved God, you’d move to Africa or work in an impoverished area’). In everything from books to Hollywood jokes, the suburbs aren’t supposed to be good for our souls.” What does it look like to live a full Christian life in the suburbs? Suburbs reflect our good, God-given desire for a place to call home. And suburbs also reflect our own brokenness.
Finding Holy in the Suburbs isn’t a guilt trip about suburban life. Nor is it a guilt trip about how much more you should be doing. You don’t need to move across the world or live in the inner city to follow God. This book will show you how to find freedom right at the end of your cul-de-sac.
Whether you recognize it or not, you’re at war with yourself. There’s anxiety. Selfishness. Self-sabotaging tendencies. Narcissism. The black dog of depression. The inability to do the great things you long to do because you spend so many hours mindlessly drifting through the internet.
It is war, but all is not lost. You can win—if you choose to engage. In I Declare War, Levi Lusko identifies four weapons you have at your disposal—thoughts, words, behaviors, and power—and illustrates how to use them to achieve ongoing victory. These practical tools from God’s Word will help you learn to retaliate against your anxiety by filling your heart with truth and making it inhospitable to terror, stop being victimized by your bad behaviors and become the victor you were born to be, overcome self-imposed isolation by learning to think right so you can live right, and spare your family unnecessary heartache by confronting your dysfunction so they don’t have to. It’s time to stop being your own worst enemy. Declare war and become the person, the spouse, the parent, and the leader God intended you to be.
Into the Deep: Diving into a Life of Courageous Faith :: Lauren Gaskill
Following Jesus doesn’t guarantee sunny skies and smooth sailing. In fact, the waters of life are often tumultuous, crashing over us. Sometimes we can feel that we’re drowning in a sea of confusion, division, frustration, complacency, or disillusionment. We need more than a shallow faith to survive these deep waters.
Into the Deep is an invitation to dive headfirst into a life of courageous faith. With endearing warmth and authenticity, Lauren Gaskill shares how she and others have learned to swim with Jesus in the deep waters of life—facing challenges such as anxiety, depression, and chronic illness—only to discover a more authentic, enduring faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances. In addition to examining the character of God and the lives of women and men of the Bible who chose to dive deeper with God, she provides practical examples and tools that help us learn to make decisions by faith alone, control our reactions to overwhelming situations, and live a life rooted in love.
Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave :: Joanna Gaines
In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style.
Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.
What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful? Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.
Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she’s also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
When you hear the phrase pop culture, you likely think reality television, boy bands or Real Housewives of various cities. While these are elements of popular culture, they aren’t all it has to offer. Pop culture may not cure diseases, topple political regimes, or make scientific breakthroughs, but it does play a vital role in the story of humanity.
In The Wondering Years, Knox McCoy, from The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, explores the idea of connecting popular culture to his own experiences. Through hilarious yet poignant stories, he reflects on how pop culture has helped shape his life and carve out the foundation of his faith. While the three cultural tentpoles—the South, the Church, and Sports—defined many aspects of his upbringing, it was pop culture that influenced Knox and his sense of the world at large. Through books, television, music, and movies, he found many of the answers he was searching for about God and the universe and why we are all here.
A Devotional, Bible, and a Cookbook…
I couldn’t help but include these three as an “extra” to the list!
Understanding more of God’s character and how He loves us changed Holley’s life in beautiful, powerful ways. She realized that she didn’t have to settle for “I’m fine” when there was Someone whispering to her in every moment, “You’re mine.” The hope, joy, peace, and purpose she longed for were already there, in the heart of God.
Now in 52 devotional readings, Holley shares with women the answer to the restlessness they feel in their hearts that keeps them hurrying, striving, pushing. She shows them that “the God who scattered stars like diamonds across the velvet of the universe, the keeper of every sparrow, the maker of us all, is inviting us to draw closer to him. He is the place where our hearts can go on the hard days and the happy ones, in the highs and lows, when we are sad or frustrated or downright giddy. He is what we’ve been searching for all along.”
CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible :: (in)courage
The CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible is an invitation for all women to find their stories within the tapestry of the greatest Story ever told—God’s Story of Redemption. Featuring devotions by over one hundred writers of the (in)courage community, the CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible provides resources for women to explore the Bible, dive deep into Scripture, and record their own stories. Readers will experience Scripture in new ways in the company of women willing to “go first” with everyday stories that bear witness to God’s grace to find beauty in brokenness and hope in the hard.
The features include 312 Devotions by 122 (in)courage community writers, 10 distinct thematic Reading Plans, 66 Book Introductions connecting each book of the Bible to the whole biblical narrative, stories of courage from 50 women of the Bible, journaling space, and more.
Beloved food blogger and New York Times best-selling author Danielle Walker is back with 125 recipes for comforting weeknight meals. Featuring hearty dishes to start the day, on-the-go items for lunch, satisfying salads and sides, and healthy re-creations of comfort food classics like fried chicken, shrimp and grits, chicken pot pie, and lasagna, plus family-friendly sweets and treats, this collection of essential, allergen-free recipes will become the most-used cookbook on your shelf. With meal plans and grocery lists, dozens of sheet-pan suppers and one-pot dishes, and an entire chapter devoted to make-ahead and freezer-friendly meals, following a grain-free and paleo diet just got a little easier.
Am I already working on compiling the list and preparing a post of can’t-miss books releasing in 2019? Of course I am. I’ll share more in a few months, but for now… let’s just say there are several amazing books coming from Rachel Hollis, Shauna Letellier, Tiffini Kilgore, Lisa Leonard—and so many more.