Best Books I Read in 2013 by Category

So, this year I read just over 130 books.  Since I got my first Kindle four years ago, I find I read a lot more fiction. But I still devour quite a few nonfiction books every year. I was going to make a list of my top ten books … but then I decided to share a favorite from a few different categories. So, without further adieu, here are the best books I read in 2013 by category.

best books I read in 2013 by category ||

Christian Living — Let Hope In.
I absolutely loved this book! In fact, I honestly believe if you only read one book for the rest of your life, this one should be it. I have no doubt this book will be one I gift time and again. It is both encouraging and challenging. I love the way Pete Wilson writes — he has the ability to connect with the reader, as if you are sitting at your favorite coffee shop sharing life with a good friend. {review}

Memoir — A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet
This summer I proclaimed A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet the best book of 2013. And it remains one of my very favorites. If you’ve ever lived in the South or you’ve ever wondered what makes the South so special, this book is for you. Sophie Hudson shares the stories of her family’s faith and food in a way that makes you feel as though you’ve been invited to a Sunday dinner at her mom’s house and are listening in to the all the favorite family stories. {review}

Fiction — The Book Thief
Oh. My. Word. After reading this book in anticipation of seeing the movie, I texted my fellow book addict Sandra Peoples and said, “You have to read The Book Thief.” This is definitely one of the very best fiction books I have ever read. The story is gripping and, I admit, I cried as I was reading. I loved this book so much I still haven’t seen the movie because I am terrified they’ll mess it all up.

Children’s — The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook
Since half the children in my church have iPads, I’ve been afraid they would never learn to love reading a “real” book. But The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook might just be the answer! Each of the stories in this book has an icon which works with a free app from B&H Publishing to bring the story to life. My daughter {who is 13!} and I had the best time playing with the app and watching the stories on the page come to life. Definitely a great Bible storybook. {review}

Marriage — Love to Stay: Sex, Grace, and Commitment
I’ve added this book to my “must read” list for all married couples. It is fabulous and was a real eye-opener to me. With a great blend of biblical truth, real life stories, and statistical data, Love to Stay is a compelling read on both the state of marriage today and the reality of what makes a marriage last. {review}

Sabbath — 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life
The amazing Kristin Schell sent this book to me in January. I loved it … every. single. word. My quest for understanding and practicing Sabbath has been going on for the past several years and this book, written by an MD, brought a new dimension to my understanding. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is feeling the draw to a slower, more intentional life.

Devotional — Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement
I first used this book last year and loved it again this year. Kris Camealy invites us to do the hard work of Lent — embracing our desperate need for God and His powerful love for us. This is not an easy read but it is a powerful one. In 2014 Kris will be releasing a workbook to go with the book as well has hosting the first Refine {the retreat} at which I will be speaking. {review}

Parenting — The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir
Sandra sent me this book in early 2013 and I absolutely loved it. I underlined and starred and wrote in the margins. As I read the author’s stories of her teenage boys and how she was managing the changes they were facing as a family, I felt as though I’d made a new friend.

If you’d like to purchase any of these books through the links below, I would greatly appreciate it.  They are affiliate links and I do receive a small commission {at no additional cost to you} for every purchase. Thank you!!

What was the best book you read in 2013?

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. First of all…I just finished reading The Book Thief last night. Um, wow. That one’s going to stick with me for a long time.

    Secondly…I was celebrating last night because I had just finished my 15th book of the year. Pales in comparison to your 130ish! I’m still celebrating though because it’s way more than I’ve read the last few years combined. 🙂

    I think I have 24/6 on my Kindle and I’m hoping to read Sophie Hudson’s book in the coming year. I read several memoirs this year and decided it is my new favorite genre. Looking forward to checking out some of these others on your list!

  2. Nice list! I think *yes, leaving a little room so I don’t totally have to commit* my favorites this year were Sparkly Green Earrings and One-Way Love. I also loved No More Perfect Moms and Beyond Ordinary.

  3. Best book last year: Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose. Hannah recommends it to everyone and has insisted that her sister read it. Compelling, heartbreaking, and humbling. An amazing display of God’s hand moving in the midst of unspeakable horror.


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