Books, Movies, and Music,  Personal

All the Books I Read in 2018

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I have to admit, this was not my best year for reading. I had high aspirations for reading more, since I had more free time this year than in the past 5+ years. But while it wasn’t my best year for reading, I did manage to average about 1 book a month, so these are the books I read in 2018.

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler & Lois Tverberg

I read this book in the Spring along with a PWOC bible study group on base, and it was sooo good. The book helped me to understand the New Testament in light of the Old, and not in spite of it. Highly recommend this book for those who are wanting a deeper understanding of the Bible and are wanting to learn how to approach Bible study differently.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

I borrowed this book from a friend and finally read it after years of reading about it, taking the quiz, and countless discussions with friends/family about love languages. It turned out to be pretty much what I expected, so no surprises on that front. But it did give a lot of real-life examples, which helped to illustrate all of the love languages, and especially helped me to understand the perspective of people who have love languages on the opposite end of the spectrum as me.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This was the second time I had read The Help, but this time I read it along with my virtual book club, which is made up of a few long-distance friends. I think knowing I would have to discuss it with others made me reflect on it a little more, rather than just enjoy the story for the story’s sake. And it is a great story about segregation, family, and truth. Although it’s fiction, it delves into some deep questions and a part of history that would be easier to forget.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Quereshi

Another book club read that I really enjoyed. I wrote a little about it in my blog post 7 Essential Biographies.

This autobiography goes into great detail about how and why Nabeel Quereshi converted from Islam to Christianity. It is filled with apologetics from both religions and gives insight into the faith of a devout Muslim. This book helped me to put myself in the shoes of someone outside of the Christian faith. As a result, I think I did gain a new perspective on Islam. Nabeel’s story is so inspiring and is a great resource, both for Christians and for those wanting to learn more about the distinct differences between Christianity and Islam.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I was not a big fan of this one. I know, I know, it’s super beautiful and deep and blah blah blah. But I just really didn’t enjoy the style it was written in. It was convoluted, the timeline was super confusing, and I just wanted to tell the author to just spit it out! The story was really interesting, and if you like prose, I’m sure you’d like this book. I however, do not enjoy prose. I just want the author to get to the dang point #sorrynotsorry

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

This was a book that my book club picked solely based on the cover. It was just so cute. And the story was pretty cute as well. The main character is super prickly and totally unrelatable, but it makes it interesting to read how she reacts to the crazy situations life throws at her. And there are a few unexpected plot twists (and some predictable ones) towards the end of the book. It’s not a book I would typically read, but it was a pleasant change.

Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan

I had read this book yeeears ago, and it totally changed the way I thought about missions and evangelism. So when I found it was free to listen to on my podcast app, I was excited to revisit it. If you listen to the audiobook, it’s read by the author which makes it feel super personal. It’s a short read (or listen) but super worthwhile.

Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

I also wrote about this one in my 7 Essential Biographies, so you already know I enjoyed it.

It is long and incredibly detailed. The book follows the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor and theologian in Germany during the Nazi’s ascent to power. He was outspokenly against the Nazi regime from the beginning and eventually became involved in an assassination plot against Hitler.

The book includes quotes, personal letters, and writings from Bonhoeffer, as well as some from his family and friends which helps to paint a holistic picture of his life. It is well worth the read for the history, theology, and philosophy that it provides.

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

I already knew the premise of this book before reading it, so I knew the subject matter was something I was interested in. But TBH, I felt like I got more out of a summary of it than actually reading it. The whole thing was a little, er, sleep-inducing. It was another one of those books where I just wanted to tell C.S. Lewis “I like what you have to say and all, but just SPIT IT OUT ALREADY!” That being said, it was actually pretty short…but could have been more concise while still getting the point across. 

If We Survive by Andrew Klavan

Andrew Klavan is the host of a popular political podcast that I listen to fairly frequently, but he’s actually much more well-known as a fiction/screenplay writer. Since I’d listened to the podcast for a while, I thought it would be nice to see what he’s actually famous for and pick up one of his books. This was the only available one at my library, so it was the winner. It is not a genre I typically read, more of an action/suspense book, but I still enjoyed it. He’s undoubtedly a good writer, so for the next book I switched over to a genre I enjoy more and read his autobiography….

The Great Good Thing by Andrew Klavan

Like I said, autobiographies have been my preferred genre lately. This one was exceptionally well-written. I think that because he is typically a fiction writer, he has developed such a great method of storytelling. The way he weaves his life story together is incredibly cohesive and beautiful. I also think I particularly enjoyed it since I’d already been listening to his podcast for a while, so I was familiar with him. Even though I don’t agree with him on everything politically or spiritually, he has a lot of insightful things to say on both subjects. He’s the kind of author/speaker that makes you think. And I like to think.

Seamless by Angie Smith

I’d been hearing people rave about this bible study for a long time, so I was interested to see what the hype was about. I actually started it with a group, but only ended up going to the first day of class, due to subsequent morning sickness, traveling, and moving. BUT I did finish the study on my own, partially because I don’t like to leave things unfinished, but mostly because it was super good. I really liked the homework setup, because I’m a nerd.

I felt like I already had a good grasp on the timeline of the Bible as a whole, so I wasn’t sure if I would learn much from such a big picture overview of the Bible. But I thought the author wrote in a way that was extremely engaging. She was able to apply big picture concepts really well. Also, the book was super pretty. And we’ve already established that I judge books by their cover, so I’ll just throw that out there.

Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie

This is another story I read as part of my virtual book club. We wanted to read something short and festive, and this definitely fit the bill. I actually listened to a dramatised version of it on Christmas Eve. It was a fun, festive, quick listen and I think I’ve gained a new appreciation for short stories.

All the Books I Read in 2018 | Julia Auburn | #readinglist #books #christianbooks #reading #bookclub #recommendedreading #goals #christianblog #christianblogger #faithinspired #christianliving #christianfaith #christianwomen

All the Books I Read in 2018 | Julia Auburn | #readinglist #books #christianbooks #reading #bookclub #recommendedreading #goals #christianblog #christianblogger #faithinspired #christianliving #christianfaith #christianwomen


I feel like this list is a little underwhelming – which is why I want to prioritize reading more in 2019. That being said, feel free to send me your recommendations.

A sweet friend sent me What to Expect When You’re Expecting, so my pregnancy/parenting reading is already underway for the year. I would love to hear what you other mamas are reading. Especially if you have recommendations in the Christian parenting and babyhood genres. I hope to read things that are both purposeful and practical this year so that I can continue to cultivate myself through reading.


  • Emily Fagan

    Thank you for sharing this list! I’ve been looking for some good books to read and I’ll have to check a few of these out. I’m definitely interested in Seamless. Have you read Becoming Baby Wise? I just finished it and found it super informative and helpful. It teaches about baby sleep schedules and feeding times, etc. You should check it out!

    • juliaauburn

      Thanks! The movie is great – it deviates a little from the book, but I think they do an excellent job of making it into a very compelling movie.

  • Aimee

    My favorite babyhood book is called And Baby Makes Three by John Gottman. It’s about how adding a baby affects a marriage, and it’s full of great tips on how to help your relationship thrive during the transition to parenthood.

  • Erin

    I’m super intrigued about “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”. My best friend from back home is Muslim, who attended a Christian school, yet still practices the Islamic faith. I would love to learn what changed his perspectives. Also, Dusty read Boenhoffer while I was in the hospital having Harper! I remember that cover lol.

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