Here we are, seeing a wave of books that were all written during the pandemic. There are certainly many that were rushed through and published throughout the second half of 2021, but I’ve been paying special attention to the ‘theme’ of early 2022 releases. Book deals are generally signed 1.5-2 years prior to when a book is available for purchase, which means everything you see coming out this year was written after the word pandemic was added into our daily vocabulary.
There are 35 other titles I considered for this list, and I’ll share several on social media as they release and with email subscribers in my regular Thursday Things emails . . . but the ones below I feel comfortable vouching for ahead of time. I’ve either read an early copy of the manuscript, have read (and loved) other books from the author, or they come highly recommended from friends I trust.
The nonfiction books below are listed in order of release date and include a blurb pulled from Amazon descriptions. Pin to Pinterest if you want to come back later while adding to your To Be Read list, or share on Facebook if you think your friends might be interested!
If a book grabs your attention I’d suggest preordering now! Retailers typically don’t charge until the book releases and Amazon offers a lowest-price guarantee. Say you preorder in January when it’s $17.00, then it drops to $13.00 mid-March and it’s listed as $16.00 when it releases in April . . . you would end up paying $13.00 because you locked in the lowest price by pre-ordering. Because preorders matter so much, many authors offer freebies/incentives on their website as a thank-you. Be sure to check after you preorder!
P.S. Email subscribers, if the book covers appear small, click here to read the post online.
15 Books I’m Looking Forward to This Spring . . .
Work. Family. Church. Exercise. Sleep. The list of demands on our time seems to be never ending. It can leave you feeling a little guilty―like you should always be doing one more thing.
Rather than sharing better time-management tips to squeeze more hours out of the day, Kelly Kapic takes a different approach in You’re Only Human. He offers a better way to make peace with the fact that God didn’t create us to do it all. Kapic explores the theology behind seeing our human limitations as a gift rather than a deficiency. He lays out a path to holistic living with healthy self-understanding, life-giving relationships, and meaningful contributions to the world. He frees us from confusing our limitations with sin and instead invites us to rest in the joy and relief of knowing that God can use our limitations to foster freedom, joy, growth, and community. Readers will emerge better equipped to cultivate a life that fosters gratitude, rest, and faithful service to God.
I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants): Finding Unfiltered, Real-Life Friendships in This Crazy, Chaotic World :: Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston
Is it just me? Am I the only one who’s lonely? Am I the only one without friends? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston are raising their hands to say, “Yeah, us too.” And they want to encourage, equip, and reassure you that you have what it takes to build the kind of friendships you want.
I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) provides you with the how of cultivating deep relationships in this messy, chaotic, beautiful life. Through Amy and Jess’s wisdom, humor, and confessional stories about the ups and downs of sisterhood, you’ll learn how to dismantle the lies you’ve believed about friendship, be a good friend even though you can’t be a perfect one, and heal from a friend breakup—and find the courage to try again. Let’s start making friendships a priority—together.
Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms :: Ryan Whitaker Smith and Dan Wilt
Sheltering Mercy helps us rediscover the rich treasures of Psalms 1-75—through free-verse prayer renderings of poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.
The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. While each prayer corresponds to a particular psalm and touches on its themes and ideas, it is not a new translation of the Psalms or an attempt to modernize or contextualize their content or language. Rather, the prayers are responses to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life. This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and beautiful hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.
Peace Is a Practice: An Invitation to Breathe Deep and Find a New Rhythm for Life :: Morgan Harper Nichols
If you feel overwhelmed with anxiety about the future, you’re far from alone. For many of us, when we’re not worrying about what is to come, we find ourselves wrestling with things from the past. Where does that leave us today? Morgan Harper Nichols has examined stories from her own life and the lives of people around the world and noticed a common thread: we all long for peace.
Peace Is a Practice invites you to become a peacemaker in your own life, starting right where you are, and in some of the most unexpected places. As these words and images inspire you to take daily steps toward peace, you’ll uncover the key to embracing the beauty of the present, letting go of regret of the past and fear of the future, approaching life’s challenges with faith and a calm confidence, and feeling peace even in the midst of uncertainty or difficult times. In every moment, there is something as deep and boundless as a winding river waiting to be found—a true peace that flows, beckoning you to rest . . . and be still.
Find Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World :: Jennie Allen
In a world that’s both more connected and more isolating than ever before, we’re often tempted to do life alone, whether because we’re so busy or because relationships feel risky and hard. But science confirms that consistent, meaningful connection with others has a powerful impact on our well-being. We are meant to live known and loved. But so many are hiding behind emotional walls that we’re experiencing an epidemic of loneliness.
In Find Your People, Jennie Allen draws on insights from science and history, timeless biblical truth, and vulnerable stories from her own life to help you overcome the barriers to making new friends and learn to initiate with easy-to-follow steps, find simple ways to press through awkward to get to authentic in conversations, understand how conflict can strengthen relationships rather than destroy them, and learn the five practical ingredients you need to have the type of friends you’ve always longed for. You’ll discover how to dive into the deep end and experience the full wonder of community.
This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us :: Cole Arthur Riley
In her stunning debut, Cole Arthur Riley weaves stories from three generations of her family alongside contemplative reflections to discover the “necessary rituals” that connect us with our belonging, dignity, and liberation. Writing memorably of her own childhood, Arthur Riley boldly explores some of the most urgent questions of life and faith: How do we honor, lament, and heal from the stories we inherit? How can we find peace in a world overtaken with dislocation, noise, and unrest?
In this unforgettable book of stories and reflections on discovering the sacred in her skin, Arthur Riley invites us to descend into our own stories, examine our capacity to rest, wonder, joy, rage, and repair, and find that our humanity is not an enemy to faith but evidence of it. At once a compelling spiritual meditation, a powerful intergenerational account, and a tender coming-of-age narrative, This Here Flesh speaks potently to anyone who suspects that our stories might have something to say to us.
Heartache, grief, suffering, obstacles, they all come in waves. There’s no controlling life’s storms; there’s only learning the way to walk through the waves. In WayMaker, Ann Voskamp writes of how God is present in the totality of our lives, making a way for the marriage that seems impossible, for the woman who longs for a child of her own, for the parents who ache for the return of their prodigal, for the sojourner caught between a rock and a hard place, and for the wayfarer who feels as though there is no way through to her dreams.
In a disorienting world with obstacle after obstacle, and the landscape of our lives shifting in ways we never expected, we can trust that as we look to our Maker, the WayMaker, our road will lead us to arrive exactly where we always hoped it would, though maybe not at all in the way we imagined. We can encounter the WayMaker in surprising ways and begin to see Him not only making poetry out of pain but working in every miraculous detail of our lives. Even now, the Way is making the way to walk through waves and into a life more deeply fulfilling than our wildest dreams.
Ordinary on Purpose: Surrendering Perfect and Discovering Beauty amid the Rubble :: Mikala Albertson, MD
The world is shouting at us to be more. Strive. Achieve. Overachieve. Never stop pushing. As a family practice doctor, wife, and mother, Mikala Albertson appeared to be living a “perfect” life, but really her whole world was falling apart. Married seven years to an alcohol and drug addict while raising two young children and finishing residency, Mikala eventually reached a breaking point. In sifting through the shattered pieces of her life, she realized she had been chasing something that doesn’t exist. Perfect is pretend and what she desperately needed to embrace was ordinary. A good, hard, messy, gritty, lovely, ordinary life.
In Ordinary on Purpose, Mikala invites you to lay down your own endless chase for perfection and embrace this beautiful, messy life exactly as it is with our perfect, loving God right by your side. What would it look like to stop pretending to be “perfect” and be ordinary? Instead of always feeling overwhelmed and alone, you might discover the beauty of a good, hard life grounded in the radiant hope of God’s unending love. Life happens in the ordinary, after all.
Do you ever walk into your kitchen and feel the urge to turn around and walk right back out? Maybe you get hives when you hear the phrases “meal planning” and “food prep,” or you feel as though you just cram stuff in cabinets and hope for the best.
Learn to love your kitchen with this practical guidebook from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lazy Genius Way. Using proven Lazy Genius principles—embracing what matters and ditching what doesn’t—Kendra Adachi helps you feed your people with efficiency and ease. You’ll learn to apply her simple, actionable five-step process to multiple areas of your kitchen so you can equip and enjoy it in ways you’ve always wanted, no matter your life stage or skill set. This is a guidebook, not a cookbook, about kitchen organization, meal planning, grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up. Straightforward, strategic, soulful, and a little sassy, The Lazy Genius Kitchen might just change everything in your hardest-working room.
The world needs real men, real bad. And there are all sorts of conflicting ideas and messages about what a “real man” is (and is not). Is a real man one who hunts, loves sports, grills meat, fixes cars, and climbs mountains? Sure, sometimes. But that’s not really the point of being a man and it’s not the purpose for which men were made.
Into our cultural infusion, and with wisdom and his signature humor, Brant Hansen paints a refreshingly specific, compelling picture of what men are made to be: “Keepers of the Garden.” Protectors and defenders. He calls for men of all interests and backgrounds (including “avid indoorsmen” like himself) to be ambitious about the right things and to see themselves as defenders of the vulnerable, with whatever resources they have.
Prayers of REST: Daily Prompts to Slow Down and Hear God’s Voice :: Asheritah Ciuciu
Let’s face it: we all know we should be praying more. And we genuinely try to make it happen! But before we know it, the day’s worries and demands often distract us from conversation with God, and we’re left wondering why we don’t hear from Him. It happens to all of us.
In Prayers of REST: Daily Prompts to Hear God’s Voice, Asheritah Ciuciu offers you a respite from your spiritual to-do list. She provides guided prayers that will focus your mind and heart on Scripture. Using a memorable acronym and daily Bible verses, this prayer devotional will guide you through worship, confession, stillness, and surrender. You’ll learn to Recite God’s goodness, Express your neediness, Seek His stillness, and Trust His faithfulness. Don’t let distractions pull you away from God. When the duties of life begin to weigh on your mind . . . that’s exactly when you need to REST in the Lord.
Why must everything be so black and white? Like many of us, Derwin Gray is weary of the racial divide in our society. He longs to see hurts healed, wrongs corrected, and trust replace distrust. s founding pastor of Transformation Church, a multiethnic church located in the Charlotte metro area, Derwin knows firsthand the hurdles and challenges to the reconciliation that Scripture commands.
The good news is that the Bible has a lot to say about how to heal our persistent racial divides. In How to Heal Our Racial Divide, Bible teacher Derwin Gray walks us through Scripture, showing us how God from the beginning envisioned a reconciled multiethnic family in loving community, reflecting his beauty and healing presence in the world. This message is central to the gospel itself.
You’ve felt it—the underlying anxiety that you’re missing out on the good life. So you zone out, swipe up, slim down, work hard, and spin in circles trying to get it. Anjuli Paschall calls it carpe diem syndrome—the fear of not living life to the fullest. But the full life isn’t found by chasing it. It’s found by coming awake to it. As she puts it: “I want to be awake. I don’t want to nervously navigate my life one to-do list, email, and espresso shot at a time. When my life comes to a slow halt, I want to know I savored the small moments and watched the sky change color. I want to know I didn’t rush through life but received it. I want to know I came to peace with my weaknesses, loved people fearlessly, and walked with God faithfully. I hope I gave in to the audacious belief that I was loved and, miraculously, even liked.”
The invitation might be as gentle as a song—or as abrupt as a rooster’s crow—but God is always waking you up. You can have the life you really want, and you don’t have to lose your soul trying to get it. Breathe in. Breathe out. Full life is right here.
Just after her fortieth birthday, Shauna Niequist found herself in a season of chaos, change, and loss unlike anything she’d ever experienced. After trying—and failing—to pull herself back up using the same old tools, she realized she required new ones: courage, curiosity, compassion, and self-compassion. She discovered the way through was more about questions than answers, more about forgiveness than force, more about tenderness than trying hard.
I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet is a journey of unlearning what is no longer helpful, embracing curiosity, and accepting the unknowns of midlife, heartbreak, and chronic pain. Niequist writes with characteristic candor and grace about the challenges and delights of a move from the Midwest to Manhattan, and also the challenges and delights of releasing our expectations for how we thought our lives would look. Follow Niequist on her journey to understand grief, reshape her faith, practice courage when all she wanted to do was hide, and learn how to trust God’s goodness in a deeper way.
What do you do when you are suddenly navigating a life you didn’t sign up for? You never saw this pain coming, and you’re facing a future you’d pass up if you could. Lisa Appelo understands deeply. She has experienced the raw emotions and uncertainty that come when everything falls apart. Lisa went to bed married and woke up a widow and single mom to seven children. She wrestled with impossible questions about her future—and then found life-changing answers that gave her the strength to move forward with true joy.
With compassion and rich biblical insight, Lisa will help you find your footing when circumstances bring massive change, process hard emotions with the God who welcomes them, overcome paralyzing fear with three scriptural steps, and anchor your faith when your hope seems threadbare. Your unexpected future may feel like Plan B, but it’s God’s purposeful Chapter Two for you as He reshapes your shattered heart. With each tender, intentional step, you’ll see you will not merely survive this, but that life can be good again.
Stay Tuned . . .
If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss the next list when it’s live, click on the image below to subscribe. (P.S. Check your email―you’ll receive gifts right after subscribing!)
Affiliate links have been used in this post.