Time to wrap up this series! I’m not traditionally a big non-fiction reader, but thanks to listening to a lot of audiobooks as I exercise, I’ve broadened my horizons quite a bit in the last year. 😀 And since we all know those people who only read non-fiction–or just those who enjoy it in addition to fiction–of course we need some ideas on books to buy for them too!

Love Does and Everybody Always
by Bob Goff
Love Lives Here
by Maria Goff

I’m listing all three of these together because I love the full picture they give you together. I read the first two of these last year, but I didn’t get around to listening to Love Lives Here until this year. All three are high on my list of recommended reading! The Goffs have done some amazing work, and more, they have an amazing outlook on what it really means to walk in Christ’s love. I’d call them life-changing for sure. They’re all written with wit and humor, but they convey some of the most series messages we’ll ever hear–that loving others as Christ loves us isn’t optional, and when we do it, we change the world…one life at a time. READ THESE BOOKS. And they make fabulous gifts!
Love Does
Everybody Always
 Big Magic
by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is not a Christian book. Just stating that upfront. There’s some language in it, and some of the ideas are decided not Christian. That said–it’s an amazing look at creativity, and one I’d recommend for artists of any sort. The title comes from the idea that there’s something she calls literally-magical about ideas–the way they move from person to person, insisting on finding an outlet at a given time. Ever notice how people have similar book ideas, even though they’ve never talked? Or movies? Yeah, that’s the “big magic” she’s talking about. I left this book with some new takes on the creative process and its place in the world that I know are going to stick with me. Really great read (or listen).

All these^ non-fiction books by C. S. Lewis

How’s that for a title? LOL. Seriously, we bought this box set of C. S. Lewis’s non-fiction that includes The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, A Grief Observed, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, Abolition of Man, and The Four Loves. I’ve read about half of them thus far and am fully convinced that Lewis was one of the most brilliant thinkers of the last century (not that this is news to anyone, of course…). This box set, available from various retailers in the $25-40 range, would make a fabulous gift for anyone who enjoys theology/philosophy books in general, but they’re also super approachable for people like me who usually prefer fiction! Lewis has a very accessible writing style and is clearly talking to everyday people, not seminary students. Highly, highly, highly recommended.

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War
by Joseph Loconte

Fans of J. R. R. Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, and history in general will enjoy this look at how these two men were not only shaped by their experiences in World War One, but how they, unlike most of their contemporaries, took those experiences and let God use them to draw them closer to Him and end up shaping generations of people through their books. I loved learning more about how these two became friends and encouraged one another, and also to see how faith played a role in their lives. I’d never really examined the backdrop of their writing–a world that had gone cold to religion after the horrors of the Great War–but this book painted it for me in vivid light. I read it primarily as research for the world in which my books are set, and also because I admire both men as writers. It was a fascinating read.

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science 
of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
by Rory Sutherland 

My husband had heard about this book as a great one for studying marketing, and he enjoyed it so much that I listened to our audio version too–and loved it. If you’re involved in any sort of business, this is a fantastic read about thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing and promotion. It’s full of practical advice and tons of real-world examples and, best of all, filled me with ideas as I was listening to it. And that’s the sure sign of a good book on this subject! I really enjoyed listening to the audio version, read by the author, as his personality and dry English humor come shining through. I am SO a fan of that, LOL. Definitely a fun one for anyone looking for some fresh ways to bridge the gap between consumer and seller!

How to Win Friends and Influence People
by Dale Carnegie

This is my most recent read (or listen, as the case may be) in non-fiction, and I find myself thinking of its precepts ALL THE TIME. The idea of this book is to revolutionize the way we interact–specifically in the workplace, but it applies to family life, church life, and pretty much every other place we find ourselves dealing with other people too. This is an old book, originally published in the 1920s, but it’s been updated a bit here and there with some added modern examples. I absolutely loved every minute of it and plan to read it out loud to my kids in the next year, because it’s full of life-lessons that just can’t be beat. I find myself thinking constantly now about how I can change my approach to people to better communicate with them. This is really a must-read for everyone!

Rachel’s Picks

The Brave Art of Motherhood: Fight Fear, Gain Confidence, and Find Yourself Again

by Rachel Marie Martin

I am not a huge fan of nonfiction typically. But this book really got me. SO many important and incredible insights, encouragement, and truths. Definitely recommend it to all moms!

Memory Making Mom
by Jessica Smartt
This book is INCREDIBLE! I love LOVE traditions and making my home and family come together and make memories together. And I really appreciate that Jessica emphasizes that we don’t need to do EVERYTHING suggested…but to try 1 or 2 things and go from there. check it out! Because it’s incredible!
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