5 Books That Will Make You Laugh, Cry and Inspire You

What books did you enjoy in 2017? Here are five of my favorite books that I read last year. Not all of these books were published last year, some of them have been in my to be read pile and I just got around to reading them in 2017. I read different genres so on this list you will find both fiction and non-fiction. Maybe you will find a book you would like to read in 2018.

A Book That Will Make You Laugh

I don’t know about you, but I always judge a book by it’s cover. I originally picked up Melanie Shankle’s book Church of the Small Things because of it’s cover, but I enjoyed it for more reasons than the cover. This book made me laugh out loud. Melanie has a way of writing that is easy to read and easy to relate to. Over and over I found myself laughing because I could relate to what she said.

My favorite part of this book was chapter 13, To Exercise or Not to Exercise? That’s Not a Real Question. I thought this chapter was so funny that I read it out loud to my mom and sister. It is even funnier read out loud, so get some of your girlfriends together and read this chapter out loud.

This book will make you laugh, but it will also help you appreciate the small things in your life.

A Book That Will Make You Cry

I don’t cry very often when reading a book. Watching a movie or hearing a great story and I can cry at the drop of a hat, but when reading I don’t often cry. While reading A Man Named Ove, I laughed and I cried. This book by Fredrik Bachman was one of my favorite fiction books last year.

It is the story of a cranky, depressed man who rediscovers a reason to live. I loved the eccentric characters in this book who come alongside Ove and help him rediscover a purpose for living.

The Swedish movie version of this book is out and Tom Hanks is going to make an American version, but remember the movie is never as good as the book.

A Book That Will Inspire You

Several years ago I watched an E60 story on ESPN about the sports broadcaster Ernie Johnson. After seeing that special I thought he needed to write a book. In 2017 that book, Unscripted, was released.

Ernie and his wife Cheryl have six children, four of whom are adopted and one of his sons has special needs. It is his relationship with that son and how he cares for him that caught my attention in the E60 special. In the book, Ernie talks about his career as a sports broadcaster, his relationship with his father, his relationship with his wife and children, and his battle with cancer. This book will inspire you to persevere even in those Unscripted moments in life.

A Book That Will Give Insight

When I read this book my first thought was that every woman over the age of 40 needs to read this book. I picked up this book to for research about women and friendships in midlife. What I found was a book that brought insight to so many areas in my life. Life Reimagined: The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty was probably the most insightful book I read this year.

In this book, Hagerty discusses happiness, purpose, friendship as well as memory and what happens to our brains in midlife. Hagerty approaches the topic of midlife like an investigative reporter and the research on Alzheimer’s disease is fascinating. I don’t read many books a second time, but I will read this book again. My recommendation still stands, if you are over the age of 40 you need to read this book.

A Book That Will Bring You Closer to God

It doesn’t take long to look around this world and see a lot of suffering. Whether it is terrorism, a shooting in a small church in Texas, disease and cancer, broken relationships or mental illness, there is a lot of suffering in this world. What Does the Bible Say About Suffering by Brian Han Gregg was one of the most important books I read in 2017.

In this book Gregg looks at 12 Biblical approaches to suffering. There is not a simple answer to the many questions we have about suffering and Gregg does not suggest a simple answer.
Most of us have questions about suffering and this book goes a long way to answering those questions. This book is worth reading on your own, with a group or in a Bible class.

I hope you find some time in 2018 to read some really good books and maybe this list will help you decide what to read.

What books did you enjoy in 2017?
Which of these look interesting to you?