Here we go, book-loving friends! The ever-popular list of can’t-miss books coming in 2020 is here.
With so many great releases over the course of the year, I split this list into three posts. In the past, I’ve always kept it to 15 books or less. There are 50+ titles bookmarked on my computer―for January-April alone!―so you’re welcome for only listing 15. This has been the hardest one to narrow down yet!
If you want to skim previous lists, here are the 2019 editions: January-April, May-August, September-December.
The books below are listed in order of release date and include a blurb pulled from Amazon descriptions. At the end, you’ll see a bonus section with children’s books, devotionals, and a cookbook I think you’ll want to know about.
If you’d be so kind, would you consider sharing this list on Facebook or pinning to Pinterest? And I’d love to hear what book(s) you’re most looking forward to in the comments!
If a book grabs your attention―for yourself or a friend―you might want to preorder a copy.
Why I love preordering through Amazon: First, you won’t be charged until the book releases. Second, you’re guaranteed to pay the lowest price advertised. For example, if you preorder on January 15th when it’s $16.00, then it drops to $10.00 mid-March and is $14.00 when it releases on April 7th, you’ll only pay $10.00. Third, most authors offer freebies to anyone who preorders. If you’re going to buy the book anyway, you might as well preorder, submit your receipt, and receive the extra gifts.
15 Can’t-Miss Books Coming January-April of 2020
Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode–and into a Life of Connection and Joy :: Aundi Kolber
In a world that preaches a “try harder” gospel―just keep going, keep hustling, keep pretending we’re all fine―we’re left exhausted, overwhelmed, and so numb to our lives. If we’re honest, we’ve been overfunctioning for so long, we can’t even imagine another way. How else will things get done? How else will we survive?
It doesn’t have to be this way. Kolber believes that we don’t have to white-knuckle our way through life. In her debut book she’ll show us how God specifically designed our bodies and minds to work together to process our stories and work through obstacles.
In Try Softer, you’ll learn how to know and set emotional and relational boundaries, move through emotions rather than get stuck by them, grow in self-compassion and talk back to your inner critic.
For All Who Wander: Why Knowing God Is Better than Knowing It All :: Robin Dance
“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Her circumstances might not have been as dramatic as the father begging Jesus for a miracle, but Robin felt just as desperate in her faith. Feeling lost in a spiritual desert, this was the most honest prayer she could offer. Can you relate to struggling in your faith but longing to believe?
Faith is tidy and neat for some, never unwavering and always so sure. And maybe that’s how you used to feel, but now your once-sure beliefs are less certain, the prescribed faith of your youth no longer enough.
Perhaps life isn’t turning out like you thought it would. Heartbreak and challenges stir doubt. Sunday school answers fall short. God seems distant. Inviting you to find hope and healing in your own story within the pages of hers, in For All Who Wander, Robin Dance will help you abandon the guilt and shame attached to your questions or doubts, and release hostage-holding lies to enable you to embrace your identity, hope, and value in Christ. Sometimes wandering is the path that leads you back to God.
All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living :: Morgan Harper Nichols
A celebration of hope. An encounter with grace. A restoration of the heart. A healing of wounds. An anthem of freedom. All Along You Were Blooming is the ultimate love letter from the pen of popular Instagram poet Morgan Harper Nichols to your mind, to your heart, to your soul, and to your body.
Morgan Harper Nichols delivers a striking collection of illustrated poetry and prose, inviting you to “stumble into the sunlight” and delight in the wild and boundless grace you’ve been given. There is a purpose in every season, and no matter how you want to race through this day or run away from this place, rest assured that you are invited to live fully—right here, right now.
Light will always find you, and even when the sun sets and you sit awaiting the dawn, know you are still blooming in the way you were meant to. And in each small moment, whether in the light or the dark, you can make room for becoming, for breathing, for stumbling, and for simply being—for there is Grace, today and every day.
Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts :: Jennie Allen
Speaker and Bible teacher Jennie Allen hears all the time from women who feel stuck in patterns of frustration and defeat. In her search for a solution, she’s learned that the greatest spiritual battle of our generation is taking place between our ears.
How we think shapes how we live. So it’s crucial that we learn how to stop our spinning thoughts and refuse to fall prey to toxic thinking patterns like victimhood, anxiety, and distraction. In this book she draws on biblical truth and recent discoveries in neuroscience to show exactly how we can fight the enemies of the mind with the truth of who God is and who He calls us to be.
Allen, the visionary behind the million-strong IF:Gathering, challenges Christian women to transform their outlook and their lives by interrupting their spiraling thoughts and realizing their God-given power to think differently.
Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life :: Beth Moore
Join bestselling author Beth Moore in her life-changing quest of vine-chasing―and learn how everything changes when you discover the true meaning of a fruitful, God-pleasing, meaning-filled life.
God wants us to flourish. In fact, He delights in our flourishing. Life isn’t always fun, but in Christ it can always be fruitful.
In Chasing Vines, Beth shows us from Scripture how all of life’s concerns—the delights and the trials—matter to God. He uses all of it to help us flourish and be fruitful. Looking through the lens of Christ’s transforming teaching in John 15, Beth gives us a panoramic view of biblical teachings on the Vine, vineyards, vine-dressing, and fruitfulness. Along the way you’ll discover why fruitfulness is so important to God—and how He can use anything that happens to us for His glory and our flourishing. Nothing is for nothing.
Handle with Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry :: Lore Ferguson Wilbert
Whether it’s fearful side hugs on one side or sexual abuse on the other, both the culture and the church aren’t doing very well with touch. Singles are staying single longer, dating is wrought with angst over purity, and marriages struggle to not interpret all forms of touch as sexual. Even the Bible seems to have endless rules about not touching things. There is simply no place where touch doesn’t seem threatened or threatening.
But a curious thing happens when Jesus comes into His ministry: He touches. Jesus touches the sick and the outcast, the bleeding and the unclean.
What could it mean for families, singles, marriages, churches, communities, and the world to have healthy, pure, faithful, ministering touch? Somewhere in the mess of our assumptions and fears about touch, there is something beautiful and good and God-given. As Jesus can show us, there is ministry in touching.
Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything :: Katherine and Jay Wolf
Is it possible to embrace suffering as a privilege, rather than a punishment? Katherine and Jay Wolf offer readers the bold invitation to trust a known God with an unknown future, as well as practical insights into surviving anything by redefining how we think about everything.
After miraculously surviving a near-fatal brainstem stroke at age 26, life for Katherine and Jay Wolf changed forever―and so did the way they viewed God, the world, and themselves in it. There was no going back to normal after such a tragedy. Yet Katherine and Jay learned that suffering is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new story.
In Suffer Strong, they invite us into this new story as they share universal lessons and helpful practices that will help us to transform our unmet expectations into brave anticipations, rewrite the narrative of hard circumstances by turning our definitions of suffering into declarations of strength, and thrive even in the lives we never imagined living.
Loving Well in a Broken World: Discover the Hidden Power of Empathy :: Lauren Casper
Author and blogger Lauren Casper shares the key to loving our neighbors well in today’s world marked by fear and division: embracing the power of empathy.
Christians are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, but we often don’t know how, especially today. How do we love our neighbors when we’re afraid of stepping on toes or don’t know how to connect? Lauren has found that the effective path to loving others is through the lost art of empathy.
In Loving Well in a Broken World, Casper helps us tear down our pride and overcome our fear to choose empathy over apathy and judgement. Through storytelling and vulnerability, she empowers us to discover the surprising and beautiful places empathy might lead us. Whether in the pews, on twitter, in the hospital waiting room, around our dinner tables, or in the corners of our neighborhoods, discover how empathy can be our guide as we seek to love our neighbors well.
On the Bright Side: Stories about Friendship, Love, and Being True to Yourself :: Melanie Shankle
These days, so many voices tell us what to do, what to think, and what kind of parent or friend or spouse to be that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Somewhere in the midst of online arguments and crazy politics and the ups and downs of life, we’ve lost sight of the gifts that are all around us: kindness, love, mercy, and joy.
In On the Bright Side, Melanie Shankle reminds us of the unchanging principles we can count on in a changing world. These are lessons that Melanie has learned along the way about how to find all the joy that life has to offer―and why encouragement is never something to keep to ourselves. Exploring topics such as dealing with comparisons, when life doesn’t turn out like we expected, and how to find your people, Melanie invites us to lead with love in all areas of our lives.
This delightful memoir highlights the joys of life told in Melanie’s down to earth, relatable, and totally enjoyable style. On the Bright Side is a how-to guide to knowing―and living―what matters most.
Made to Move Mountains: How God Uses Our Dreams and Disasters to Accomplish the Impossible :: Kristen Welch
Life is an incredible journey with ups and downs. We soar, struggle, scale and stumble, and often stand at the edge of cliffs, afraid to step into the unknown, unsure of where we will land. But instead of running away, we are called by God to stand firm, muster up what faith we can, and take a step. Because we were made to move mountains.
In this inspiring book, Kristen Welch calls you to step out in faith and climb the mountain in front of you―not because you are good enough or adequate or able, but because God makes a way where there is no way. With heartbreaking and hopeful personal stories, Scripture, and questions for contemplation, she draws you out of fear and into a holy confidence, showing you that the mountain in your path was put there on purpose, so that you could exercise―and grow―your faith.
Jesus Over Everything: Uncomplicating the Daily Struggle to Put Jesus First :: Lisa Whittle
As Christian women, we desire to put Jesus first. We want to prioritize Him above all, knowing instinctively that when we do, everything else in our lives will fall into alignment. Yet life feels complicated, and the demands of our daily lives leave our priorities out of order and our hearts longing for more.
Author, speaker, and Bible teacher Lisa Whittle is passionate about helping people pursue Jesus for life, grow deep roots of faith, and walk strong in a world that so often seems to have gone crazy. In Jesus Over Everything, Lisa shares eight statements of choice to help us grow in our understanding of what it means to put Jesus first amid the craziness our days bring, including choices such as commitment over mood, steady over hype, service over spotlight and more.
Jesus Over Everything is a practical, compelling picture of what we crave yet struggle to define as we seek to give God His rightful place in our everyday lives.
Stay: Discovering Grace, Freedom, and Wholeness Where You Never Imagined Looking :: Anjuli Paschall
As women, we are exhausted. Our hearts are being wrung out to dry―squeezed and yanked in every direction. We take care of everyone but ourselves. We’ve gotten lost in bedtime routines and our Costco lists. We have lost our voices in the storm of everyday life. We need to be reminded to reach inward and heed the quiet voice whispering, Stay.
This book is for anyone who longs for a connection with God and His people but can’t seem to escape the haunting feelings of guilt, shame, loneliness, and fear. Through raw, authentic stories, Anjuli Paschall invites you to stop running from your pain and to recognize that the deep end of your story is the way to intimacy with Christ. Alongside Anjuli, you will encounter a loving God who invites you to stay with Him at the table of your soul, where you are free to spill the milk, to fumble through your words, to embrace the awkwardness and the joy, and to taste and see that He is good.
Adore: A Simple Practice for Experiencing God in the Middle Minutes of Your Day :: Sara Hagerty
For anyone who longs to experience God in the thick of life’s demands, Sara Hagerty’s Adore offers a simple, soul-nourishing practice for engaging with God in the middle minutes of your day.
Adoration is the simple practice Sara discovered for starting where you are, and letting the grit of your day greet the beauty of God’s presence. Adoration is for the woman who feels frenzied and fearful in the middle minutes of her day. It is a simple practice for 7:37am when the children are waking and the dryer is already humming but also for the 12:17pm lunch break and for 5:53pm while stuck in traffic.
Join Sara in this soul-stirring journey through thirty attributes of God which you can walk through at your own pace. Learn how the simple habit of adoration―in the middle minutes of your day―can help you see God with fresh eyes and talk to Him right there. Experience a new way of engaging with God in your everyday. Adore will show you how.
Ready to Rise: Own Your Voice, Gather Your Community, Step into Your Influence :: Jo Saxton
In this particular cultural moment, where the momentum of #MeToo meets raised voices over injustice in wage equality and minority representation, popular speaker and podcaster Jo Saxton wants to move women beyond disempowerment. Instead, she draws women together to grow their grit and to establish new partnerships that will have a powerful chain effect.
Ready to Rise tackles the real-life issues women face–workplace harassment, sexism, low self-esteem, financial woes, power battles, and old wounds―while providing meaningful wisdom from Jo’s own journey to leadership. Added to this personal reflection are stories of empowered women from the Bible. Jo then calls on readers to invest in the next generation of women and build new communities where diverse female leadership can flourish.
Ready to Rise pulls together Jo’s best practices in both listening to the hearts of women and empowering them to change the landscape.
The Truth about Us: The Very Good News about How Very Bad We Are :: Brant Hansen
What would happen if you admitted you weren’t a good person? It’s a seemingly crazy question. From priests to prisoners, nearly everyone thinks they’re morally better than average. Why change our minds? Why admit the truth about ourselves?
In his conversational, fun-to-read, and delightfully self-effacing style, Brant Hansen shows us why we should fight our drive to be self-righteous: it’s breathtakingly freeing. What’s more, just admitting that we’re profoundly biased toward ourselves and want desperately to preserve our “rightness” at all costs helps us think better, make better decisions, be better listeners, and improve our relationships with God and others.
Hansen draws from biblical insight and the work of everyone from esteemed social psychologists to comedians to make his point: the sooner we get over ourselves, give up the “I’m good” internal dialogue, and admit the truth, the sooner we can live a more lighthearted, fruitful, fun-loving life. This book is about the freedom of childlike humility. After all, as Hansen writes, the humble life is truly your best one.
Bonus: children’s books, a cookbook, and devotionals . . .
When God Made the World :: Matthew Paul Turner
Piper and Mabel: Two Very Wild but Very Good Dogs :: Melanie Shankle
Don’t Forget to Remember :: Ellie Holcomb
Magnolia Table, Volume 2: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering :: Joanna Gaines
Uncovering the Love of Jesus: A Lent Devotional :: Asheritah Ciuciu
Journey to the Cross: Forty Days to Prepare Your Heart For Easter :: Mary Carver and (in)courage
Take It Too Far: Abundant Life, Boundless Love, Unending Grace :: Jess Connolly
Strong: Devotions to Live a Powerful and Passionate Life :: Lisa Bevere
Stay tuned . . .
I already have 20 titles bookmarked for the May-August list. I’ll share more in a few months but for now, let’s just say there are several amazing books coming soon from Kaitlin B. Curtis, K.J. Ramsey, Sophie Hudson and many more.
If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss the list when it’s live, click on the image below to subscribe. (I promise not to add to the noise or fill your inbox. You can expect 2-3 emails from me each month.)
P.S. As mentioned, I bookmarked several other upcoming releases that are not on this list. When narrowing it down, I chose titles from authors I personally know and trust or have read before, or first-time authors who come highly recommended by people I trust. There will be many releases that top the charts over these four months (ask me in person and I’ll give you my book-launch-manager predictions), but these 15 are books I’m confident will contain encouraging, inspiring, honest, and powerful words within.
6 Ways to Read More Books Every Month :: Find out HERE
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Hi Kaitlyn! Thanks for this fabulous list! The reading pile continues to grow. I’ll look forward to the next round you’ll recommend! Though which one of them is your favorites and the least? Thanks!
Hi Alice, I’m glad you enjoyed the list! To answer your question, I’d point you to the note at the bottom of the post. Dozens of titles were considered and are not on this list for various reasons, so if they’re on here then I’d suggest checking them out.
Thank you so much for including Loving Well in a Broken World! (I’m very excited about the other books, too!)
Absolutely! Thank you for writing it. :)
So many of these sound wonderful! I’m currently reading Stay. And I didn’t know Brant Hansen has a new book coming out. I’ve loved his last two books SO much. Thanks for sharing this list.
What a fabulous list! The reading pile continues to grow. I’ll look forward to the next round.
Thank you for this great list of books to come! I love to know what is out there with write-ups that nudge me toward them.
What a great list! Doesnt Annie Downs have a new book coming out too? Im sooo excited for the 2nd edition of Magnolia Table. I love the 1st edition!! Ooh and another Matthew Paul Turner children’s book. I always love these posts from you!!
Annie’s new one (with new content) isn’t coming Jan-Apr 2020. It’ll be a while longer!
Great list! I can not wait to order some of these.
I’m excited about the Morgan Harper Nichols book and pre-ordered it today! Looking forward to the other lists.
What a terrific list! I’m excited about several of these too, and can’t wait for your spring list! :)
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you Deborah! :)