Create Your Best Book List With These Four Genres


I collected this pile of books from a couple of areas in our family room–the coffee table shelf and the table by the fireplace.  This is where I do my reading, and at any given point I usually have around five books that I am working through–which is sometimes feels like digging into a bowl of candy, and other times like swimming upstream in jello.

Right now I have this particularly inspiring group of paperbacks and hardcovers that I’m hanging out with.  I want to share a little bit about each of them and the four genres I recommend always having on hand.

The Four Genres

PERSONAL GROWTH   Personal growth is a category that can include so many different topics.  What area of your character or life do you want to experience personal change?  Search a book on this topic and put it on your list.

Telling Yourself the Truth by Backus and Chapain was actually a required reading for a class I am taking, but it is incredible.  The author teaches about the defeating words we speak to ourselves (that we don’t even realize) that hold us back from finding true joy.  When we speak the truth to ourselves, God’s truth, we can literally change our lives and relationships.

I am also reading Living Well Spending Zero by Ruth Sokup as part of my personal growth in managing our finances, an area we have focused on for the past year.  This is the second book I’ve read of hers.  Find an author you like and soak up their wisdom.

PARENTING/MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIPS  I usually have one or more  of this genre on my current book list.  I never feel like I have these areas mastered in my life, and I feel encouraged and strengthened by gleaning the wisdom of others.  Strong and Kind by Korie Roberston is an easy read as she shares a framework for developing character in our children.

DEVOTIONAL/BIBLE STUDY    Because faith is the foundation of my life, I strive to be continually growing spiritually.   For me, the discipline of doing a regular bible study keeps me reading the Bible and learning about spiritual maturity.  As part of my morning routine, I work on my bible study paired with reading a devotional that encourages my heart.

The Life Application Bible is one of my favorite bibles (make sure you have reading glasses if you are over 40!) because I not only read the scripture but the detailed commentary below which is incredibly helpful with context and meaning.  Right now our Monday night bible study is working through Pricilla Shrier’s The Armor Of God…whew…it’s intense and challenging.  Jesus Lives is a devotional I love–helps to keep life in perspective!

INSTRUCTIONAL  Finally, I recommend having an instructional book–this is a book that will teach you a new skill, hone a current one, or grow you professionally.  Since I am writing quite a bit, I am reading The Book on Writing by Paula LaRouqe.  What new skill do you want to learn?  What can help you professionally?  Amazon is a great resource.

These four genres are personal for me, you may have other ones and I would love to hear what yours would be in the comments below! if you are not a person of faith, genre three may not resonate with you, but I’m sure something else does. Please also share some of your favorite current reads!

Learning and growing through reading is one of the most important things that helps me live life to the full.  Speaking of reading, thanks for reading this blog…my next post will be on making mistakes, and not letting them define us.



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