Here we go! The final book list of the year. As always, I bookmarked and read early copies of way more titles than will fit on this list. (Oops?) I’ve narrowed it down from 43 books to 13 and over the coming months, I’ll share other releases in my Thursday Things emails (you can sign up here) . . . but if you’re looking for a new fall read, there are many to get you started below!
It always amazes and intrigues me when a theme emerges for a specific season, and this time was no different. Generally, book deals are signed 1-2 years prior to when the book is available. Authors and publishers couldn’t have known all of the titles that would release over the next few months, but if you’re looking for a new book on hope and beauty in the midst of heartbreak and grief, or finding and pursuing community in the middle of loss, loneliness or division, there are several great options for you below.
I’ve either read an early copy of the manuscript, have read (and loved) other books from the author, or the titles below come highly recommended from friends I trust. The books 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 Goodreads/To Be Read list, or share on Facebook if you think your friends might be interested!
Tip: If a book grabs your attention, pre-order today! Most retailers don’t charge you until the book releases and Amazon offers a lowest-price guarantee. Say you preorder in September when the book is $17.99, then it drops to $13.00 mid-October and it’s listed as $15.49 when it releases in November . . . you would pay $13.00 because you locked in the lowest price by pre-ordering
P.s. Email subscribers, if the book covers appear small, click here for a better view.
P.p.s. I limited the list to nonfiction because otherwise this would be crazy long, but if you want one fiction recommendation? I pre-ordered All the Lost Places on March 7th and have been excitedly counting down the days.
13 New Books I’m Looking Forward to This Fall . . .
The God Who Stays: Life Looks Different with Him by Your Side :: Matthew West
Have you ever felt adrift and alone after losing a job, a dream, a loved one, or your sense of purpose in life? In The God Who Stays, Matthew West uses stories and Scripture to encourage you that wherever you are and whatever you’re going through, God is right by your side—and nothing can separate you from His love and grace.
Whenever our plans, hopes, and dreams are put on hold—or worse, lost forever—we feel discouraged, lost, and isolated, and desperately praying, “God, where are You?” The God Who Stays is an engaging and thoughtful exploration, balanced with wit and humor, that helps us reconnect to the biblical truth of Immanuel—“God with us”—a personal Savior who never leaves our side and who always answers when we cry out for help.
Voices of Lament: Reflections on Brokenness and Hope in a World Longing for Justice :: Edited by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson
Our culture rewards those who smile through the pain, pretend everything’s fine, compartmentalize grief and get on with life. But everything’s not fine and God doesn’t expect us to pretend it is. He wants all of us—including our pain. Perhaps nowhere in Scripture do we get as full a picture of the heights and depths of the human experience as in the Psalms. The outpourings of emotion never shy away from the darkest moments of life, and yet they also point toward the light—toward the God in whom we place our hope.
Inspired by Psalm 37, Voices of Lament is a powerful collection of reflections from Christian Women of Color on themes of injustice, heartache, and deep suffering. Their essays, prayers, poems, and liturgies lay bare the experiences of the oppressed even as they draw us into deeper intimacy with God and a more fulsome understanding of each other. For anyone who longs to better express and understand the beauty of lament held in holy tension with hope and love, this extraordinary collection presents both well-known and new voices from various ethnic and people groups and different generations, putting God’s faithfulness on full and glorious display.
Nearly all of us deal with the struggle of comparison and finding ourselves lacking, but there’s a way to break free from internal and external messages communicating a lack of self-worth. Throughout her life and in her career—including as an executive for the world’s largest social media company—Pastor Nona Jones discovered that despite professional success, true confidence can only be achieved by defeating toxic comparison and securing our identity to God’s approval alone.
Killing Comparison provides a fresh, biblically rooted perspective on an age-old human dilemma that the era of social media has exacerbated and heightened. This timely and necessary guide will help you determine your true source of self-worth, develop practical ways to conquer daily comparison, learn how to control social media instead of letting it control you, discover how to accomplish your dreams without comparing yourself at every turn, and identify the root cause leading you to compare your life to others.
Let There Be Art: The Pleasure and Purpose of Unleashing the Creativity within You :: Rachel Marie Kang
Perhaps in no other way do we more vibrantly reflect our creator than with our creativity. Whether through music, writing, baking, painting, posting on social media, dancing, or any other form of artistic expression within our grasp, we were created to create. Yet, there are times we may be unsure about our art, times when our creating and making doesn’t feel possible or purposeful or practical.
Rachel Marie Kang wants you to know that your art is not peripheral to life—it is at the very heart of why you exist and what you have to offer to yourself and to the world. In Let There Be Art, she gives you permission to embrace the peace, pleasure, and purpose inherent in your art and in the process of making it. This passionate, creative, and cathartic journey invites you to create truthfully out of the broken and beautiful pieces of your life, as well as offer your heart and your art in hopes of helping a hurting world.
Start with Hello: (And Other Simple Ways to Live as Neighbors) :: Shannan Martin
You want more. You want to belong to a community that looks out for each other. You believe in your bones we don’t have to live detached, distracted, and divided. The question is, How? Shannan Martin invites you into deeper connection through simple resets, such as:
· Open Door > Perfect Décor. We invite others in seeking to connect, not impress.
· Familiar > Fussy. We serve tacos and pizza like the feasts they are, because fancy is overrated.
· Tender > Tough. We greet the world with our hearts exposed and our guards down.
Packed with street-level practices and real-talk storytelling, Start with Hello is your field guide for a life of security, camaraderie, and joy. There is no step too small.
What Cannot Be Lost: How Jesus Holds Us Together When Life Is Falling Apart :: Melissa Zaldivar
In What Cannot Be Lost, Melissa Zaldivar talks honestly about losing everything that once defined her and how God used unexpected opportunities, like working at Orchard House where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women, to spark a journey of working through her grief and encountering the all-sufficient love of Christ.
Weaving inspiring passages of Scripture and insights from Little Women into her personal story, Melissa encourages readers with her discovery that it’s when we have nothing left to offer that we can receive God’s love the most. And that’s something that can never be lost. Readers will be reassured that God will meet them in the midst of their mess and urged to look to him for help, comfort and strength.
Where Is God in This?: Looking for God’s Goodness in Our Struggles :: Landra Young Hughes
Life is unfair. Bad things happen to good people. Not all dreams come true. We lose people. We fail people. And when we encounter the inevitable struggles of life, we may be tempted to ask God Why me? as we try to reconcile our pain with God’s promises. But a far more helpful and life-enriching question to ask God is What are You trying to teach me in this?
Tackling ten common struggles, such as isolation, fear, rejection, failure, insecurity, temptation, and more, Landra Young Hughes shows you how to have peace even when life doesn’t make sense. Speaking with great empathy born from her own losses and years in ministry, Hughes doesn’t suggest you “get over” your hard times. Instead, she helps you recognize that, while you will always live in a broken world this side of heaven, your pain has much to teach you about God and yourself. With her empathetic help, you’ll discover how to grow through grief and thrive despite adversity.
Doing Nothing Is No Longer an Option: One Woman’s Journey into Everyday Antiracism :: Jenny Booth Potter
During a bus ride with a group of fellow college students, Jenny Booth Potter came to a life-changing realization. She decided that racism in all its forms―in policies and systems, in organizations and churches, in neighborhoods and families–could no longer be tolerated. And even though Jenny didn’t know what to do about racism, she was certain of one thing: doing nothing is no longer an option. That declaration Jenny made to her peers was more than seven words uttered on a bus. It was a vow, a lifetime commitment to seek racial justice.
With candor and humility, Jenny shares her very imperfect but relentless journey of growing in awareness of racism, of reckoning with her own white privilege, and of learning how to be an antiracism advocate alongside her young family. If you’re anything like Jenny was on that bus―overwhelmed by the enormity of racism and compelled to do something, but uncertain if you can actually make any difference―then this book is for you. Join Jenny and see for yourself what everyday antiracism looks like.
Being human is hard. Being in relationships with other humans is even harder. People are complex and relationships are messy, but loving one another well is possible. Whether navigating political or religious differences, dealing with toxic people or our own unforgiveness, this book tackles the struggles no one really wants to talk about. But there is hope! We can actually grow closer to God and others through the circumstances we’d rather run from.
In Come Sit with Me, 26 (in)courage writers help you navigate tough relational tensions by revealing their own hard-fought, grace-filled learning moments. They show you how to delight in your differences, honor and value others even when you disagree, connect before you correct, trust that God is working even when people disappoint you, and live and love like Jesus by serving others. Whether you’re in the middle of a conflict without resolution or wondering how to enter into a friend’s pain, this book will serve as a gentle guide. Discover how God can work through your disagreements, differences, and discomfort in ways you might never expect.
Many of us feel the pressure to be perfect, but what we really want is the freedom to be broken. We long to hear that our brokenness doesn’t discount us, and we want a way out of the pain that threatens to overwhelm us.
Brave Enough to Be Broken is a biblical road map you can use to heal from the pain, the shame, and the regrets that have tried to steal your joy, so you can rest in the unconditional love, healing, and hope of Jesus. You’ll learn how to recognize the harmful effects of trauma and toxic relationships on your mental health, embrace your brokenness so you can help others do the same, hear the voice of Jesus saying “you ARE worthy” when you don’t feel it, and accept the unconditional love of Jesus when you surrender your brokenness. Brave Enough to Be Broken will guide you to the hope that is found in pain and the beauty that exists in brokenness. It’s an invitation to reclaim the wholeness and freedom waiting for you in the fullness of God’s purpose for your life.
Liturgies for Hope: Sixty Prayers for the Highs, the Lows, and Everything in Between :: Audrey Elledge and Elizabeth Moore
Remind us, Jesus, that You lay sleeping in the boat, in the middle of the storm at sea. You are neither surprised nor distressed by the mounting chaos. You are not a God who panics.
When writers Audrey Elledge and Elizabeth Moore were inspired to create an anchor of hope for their own local community, they moved forward by turning to the past, to a time when Christians looked at the collapsing world around them and resolved to offer something beautiful—something true—through poetic prayers. The stunning result is Liturgies for Hope, an original collection of sixty modern liturgies reminiscent of past generations of faith. The entries in this gentle guide explore experiences such as feeling burned-out and soul-weary, embracing the mystery of faith, receiving the kindness of others, struggling with secret shame, and bursting with thanksgiving. With Scripture references for every prayer, Liturgies for Hope is both timeless and ideal for this moment, offering words to express our longings, shore up our prayers, and reorient our souls.
The Stories We Tell: Every Piece of Your Story Matters :: Joanna Gaines
In her first solo memoir, New York Times bestselling author Joanna Gaines invites us on an authentic and deeply vulnerable journey into her story. This book is an invitation to a kind of life where you know how to hold what you believe with gracious and open hands. To see your story as greater than any past or future thing, but for all the beauty and joy and hope it holds today. It’s an invitation to take stock of the chapters you’ve lived—the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. Let it slow your feet and steady your life-in-motion so you can see where you stand today from a new point of view. No longer through weary or uncertain eyes, but a lens brimming with hope.
“Our story may crack us open, but it also pieces us back together. We all have a story to tell. This happens to be mine—every chapter a window into who I am, the journey I’m on, and the season I’m in right now. Whatever we have in common and whatever differences lie between us, I only hope my story can help shine a light on the beauty of yours. And that by the time you get to the end of my story, you’re also holding the beautiful beginnings of your own. A story only you can tell. And I hope that you will.”
Is it unloving or selfish to set a boundary? Are Christians ever called to walk away from a relationship that’s no longer safe or sustainable?
Good Boundaries and Goodbyes help you understand the five factors to remember when implementing healthy boundaries, determine the appropriate amount of personal and emotional access someone has to you, and stop being misled and emotionally paralyzed by wrongly interpreted or weaponized scriptures that perpetuate unhealthy dynamics in difficult relationships. Within these pages, Lysa will gives you tools to overcome the frustrating cycle of ineffective boundary-setting with realistic scripts and practical strategies to help you communicate, keep, and implement healthier patterns. As you understand more about setting healthy boundaries, you’ll be relieved to learn that boundaries aren’t just a good idea, they’re a God idea.
For more books and previous 2022 lists . . .
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