Top Reads for 2021 (So far!)

July 21, 2021 ยท by Jennifer Smith

At the beginning of this year, my husband and I made a goal to each read two books a month. 

With our schedule and all the little kids we have running around, this seemed like quite an ambitious goal! =) So I was pleasantly surprised when I started pulling way ahead. (So far, we're both ahead of our goal.) 

I've read over 20 books this year, and though I've lost momentum during the busyness of the summer, my new goal is to hit 40 by the end of December...We shall see!

Because I love a great book recommendation, I'm sharing some of my favorite reads from this year for all my fellow book-lovers out there. Feel free to drop the best books you've read lately in the comments on social media!

For 2020's book list, click here. 


Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? by Gary Thomas

I actually read these first two books last fall, but I wanted to include them since I read them after making my 2020 list. They're both so good that I've already mentioned them in another article I wrote about love and marriage (see it here)

Of all the marriage books I've ever read, Sacred Marriage is probably my #1 favorite! In my opinion, it should be required reading for all engaged couples. 

Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

If Sacred Marriage is #1, Love and Respect is #2 where marriage books are concerned. I truly believe that the concepts in this book will revolutionize a marriage, especially when both spouses are really trying. 

Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson

This was my second time around to read this book. Boy moms (and dads): I 100% recommend!

How To Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life by Catherine Price

Ah, the love-hate relationship we all have with our phones! This book is so good if you're serious about healthier screen habits.

Glow Kids by Nicholas Kardaras

In the same vein as How to Break Up with Your Phone, this book highlights the crisis of kids (and adults!) addicted to their screens. It's long and gets technical, but I think it's a super-important read for parents.

Murder, Motherhood, and Miraculous Grace: A True Story by Debra Moerke

A captivating true story that'll touch your heart and is also a good look into today's fostering system.

So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It by Lisa Whelchel

I've been homeschooling for four years, but this year I got the itch to radically change up our system. This book (that I only paid $1 for in the bargain books at Mardel) was extremely helpful to me in envisioning what I wanted our new homeschool experience to look like.

The Power of Moments by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

This is one of my husband's books, and I picked it up not really knowing what it was about. I found it to be an engaging read, and I think it's an excellent choice for leaders, managers, business owners, teachers -- and really, the list goes on and on! Basically, it's a book about how to make the moments of your life and the lives of others more memorable, effective, and meaningful. 

Though this book covers many points, a few, in particular, stood out to me in such a way that they've actually had an impact on my life.

After the Cheering Stops by Cyndy Feasel

This was a pretty random book for me to pick up -- again, one I found in the bargain section at Mardel -- but I couldn't put it down once I started reading. A sobering, thought-provoking, true story that made me think about what all we're willing to sacrifice for worldly fame, fortune, and prestige. 

The Grammar Devotional by Mignon Fogarty

For writing nerds such as myself! :) (You're supposed to read an entry a day to make it last a year, but I read it over the course of a few weeks.)

Driven by Eternity by John Bevere

Wow...Such a sobering but powerful read. Though I don't agree with everything John Bevere believes, I've found his books to be incredibly impactful and absolutely life-changing. This book was no exception. 

Outward Holiness by Carla Burton

A simple, very quick read that briefly explains what outward holiness is and why it matters.

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken

This. Book. Wow! My hope is that anyone who reads this will never again take for granted the beautiful privilege we (mostly) have in this country to worship God without being harassed. Amazing, powerful stories...This one's hard to put down.

For Women Who Are Called By Women Who Have Answered by Kim Haney

Thank God for women like Sis. Kim Haney who hear from God and speak the message! I've read this book twice; as a matter of fact, it was on my book list from 2019. It was powerful the first time, and I think it may have been even more powerful this second time around. I feel NO call into any kind of preaching ministry, but I still found this book to be life-changing and relevant.

You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes: And Other Great Advice from an Unlikely Preacher's Wife by Lisa McKay

A fun read for preacher's wives. <3


So there you have it! These books are listed in no particular order; there's no way I'd be able to rank them from my most favorite down. 

I'm looking forward to many more great reads this year; don't forget to leave me your book recommendations in the comments on Instagram or Facebook!

Jennifer Smith

About Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith was the editor of Dainty Jewell's' blog from January 2018 through July 2021. She lives in the beautiful Texas hill country where her husband pastors The Sanctuary Marble Falls. Jennifer is a mom of three miracle babies, is in charge of her church's music and ladies ministries, and assists her husband in his duties as SCTX Youth President. She is FOREVER amazed by God. Follow Jennifer on Instagram at @josh.and.jen.smith