I love to read, and that love grows stronger each year. I “bookend” my days with reading, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for hours. It’s one of the best and quickest ways to learn information, thanks to generous authors who pack their expertise into books that fit in your hand.
This list contains the noteworthy books I read in 2022, in the order I read them. I hope you find them useful or inspiring in some way.
Freely and Lightly – Emily Lex
This book was recommended by my friend, Moon. It’s filled with thoughtful life stories, encouragement, and gorgeous watercolor paintings from artist Emily Lex.
I gave a few copies as gifts, too. A beautiful book.
The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing – Zachary Petit
At the beginning of the year, I was wondering if I’d continue writing after I published The Miracle Farm (and the answer turned out to be yes!). I read a few books on writing including this one, which is the only one that made the list.
The author is hilarious and I laughed out loud while reading. Always a good thing.
Undistracted – Bob Goff
Released in March, this came at the perfect time as I was finishing writing and publishing The Miracle Farm. “Undistracted” was where I wanted to be.
The Masterpiece – Francine Rivers
It’s rare for me to read fiction these days. But at the time, I was curious what it might be like to be a fiction writer. So, I read The Masterpiece as a study of writing. Plus, I was drawn to the storyline, with one of the main characters being an artist. I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it.
(I’ve also concluded that I’ll probably never write fiction. Maybe an obvious answer since I don’t read it. But I had to explore the possibility.)
On Writing – Stephen King
I read a few Stephen King novels, back when I was a teen, read fiction, and horror didn’t phase me. I read On Writing this year, while I was still pondering fiction writing, curious to gain the perspective of a master in his genre. It’s an interesting read about his life and commitment to the craft, where he doesn’t hold much back. I’ll warn you, though, not all content is safe for the whole family.
Steal Like an Artist – Austin Kleon
I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book, since I had already read Show Your Work! by the same author (and this title actually came first).
In fact, I’m “stealing like an artist” in rounding up my reading list, inspired by Austin who has done it for years on his blog.
Show Your Work! – Austin Kleon
After I read Steal Like an Artist, I re-read this one. I love the way these small, square books feel in your hand. I also love Austin’s casual, engaging illustrations, and his creativity in sharing about creativity.
Side note: I just realized I haven’t read Keep Going, the third book in this series. With starting this blog and the new year approaching, I can’t think of a better time to read it. So look for it on my next reading list.
I Know God’s Plan is Perfect – Johannes & Eva-Maria Holmer
Lydia was a pediatric nurse who served with La Casa de mi Padre in 2006, but passed away at a young age due to cancer.
As I was finishing writing The Miracle Farm, which included some of her story, Francisco, my friend at La Casa, let me know that Lydia’s parents had published a book about her life. It reveals Lydia’s personal journal entries, documenting her life of love, her struggle with cancer, and her deep, deep faith.
I’m thankful to have read about her life. Her faith impacted mine.
The Miracle Farm – Christina Steward
Is it weird to include my own book here? If so, I’m rolling with it.
I read the book cover-to-cover once I had the printed copy in my hands. Twice. I wanted to enjoy the reader experience, alongside everyone else.
It was hands-down my favorite read of the year! But not because of my writing (though I don’t think it’s bad). But rather, because of the true stories shared inside. If this is your first time hearing about the book, you can learn more, here.
The Other Side of Hope – Danielle Strickland
I’ve heard Danielle speak in-person a few times, so I was curious when I learned about this book. A chapter titled “Dumpster Wedding” is worth the read alone. But the entire book is thought-provoking and helps you find and recognize hope, even in the most unlikely places.
The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz
I’ve listened to many entrepreneur podcasts over the years, and this book often comes up as recommended reading. “Thinking big” was appealing as I considered the direction of my creative business for 2023.
It’s filled with golden nuggets on thinking positively, taking action, and building confidence. I’m glad I read it.
48 Days to the Work You Love – Dan Miller
I first read this book 19 years ago, when I was still working in the corporate world and yearning for something different. That led to me to join a mastermind group, where I was surrounded by smart people who encouraged me in following this creative path.
Loving your work has always resonated with me, and Dan has been in my ear on and off for all these years. I recently dipped my toe into his Eagles community, and he surprised me by sending a signed copy of the 20th Anniversary edition. I devoured it. Again.
Around the same time, I also read Dan’s latest book titled An Understanding Heart. It’s filled with wisdom on living life well, by focusing on the things that truly matter. Gift worthy.
This is Marketing – Seth Godin
A recommendation from my friend, Jimmy. It had been awhile since I read one of Seth’s books, and I was overdue.
I love the way Seth’s mind works, bringing clarity to what good marketing is and isn’t (hint: it’s important and not gross, when you’re helping others by offering something of real value). I highlighted quite a bit in this book.
The Practice – Seth Godin
I wanted to keep the ball rolling with Seth. This was a compelling read on becoming consistent (i.e. with a “practice”) in doing work that matters, so you can connect with the people you’d like to serve.
This was another timely read, as being consistent is a main goal of mine for next year. I highlighted even more.
Though it’s largely visual instruction, I also read Hand Lettering on the iPad with Procreate by Liz Kohler Brown. It’s an excellent resource on digital lettering. And, this Life Application Study Bible is often at arm’s reach. That one will be assumed on future reading lists.
Well, I think that covers it (no pun intended but I like when that happens). I most often read books that help improve my work and creativity, or grow in other important areas of life.
What about you – what subjects do you gravitate toward? Or maybe certain authors?
In the words of my friends at La Casa de mi Padre:
“Go read a book!”