Amy’s Top 10 Christmas Books For Women 2008 Edition

I got an earlier start on this last year, I know, but I thought I’d try to get you a Christmas list before it was too late to order from Amazon.  Plus, people have been asking me for my gift recommendations, and it’s easier to give a link in response.  I’m lazy that way.

This year, I went with a few brand new books, a couple oldies but goodies, some Christian, some mainstream, and all for women.  But I’m sure there are some men who might like a few of these as well.  If you’d like to see last year’s recommendations, please check them out here.

In no particular order, here are my gift suggestions for this year.

how-people-changeHow People Change by Timothy S. Lane and David Paul Tripp.

In simple terms, this book addresses Christ’s work in our lives to transform us into new creations.  It gives hope to those of us struggling with habitual sins about how Jesus can help us bear good fruit in place of that old, bad fruit.  This is a great gift for a friend struggling to break free from sin’s hold or for someone who is in a ministry that supports people who need this kind of message.   An exciting new way to talk about the gospel.


Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

I’ve written another review of this book elsewhere, which you can read here, so I won’t go into detail now.  But this is a great book for the person who has a heart for serving the world in practical ways.  It’s the story of one ordinary man who makes a difference in war torn Afghanistan, by educating girls.

americastestkitchenfamiliycookbookThe America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

I admit, I’m a big fan of this PBS show, hosted by a Vermonter.  It features recipes that have been tested by expert chefs then tried out on taste testers until they find the best recipe.  There are great cooking skill tips and even some hints about what sort of gadgets to buy for your kitchen. And yes, a cookbook is a book, so it counts.  Don’t be snobby.

homeHome by Marilynne Robinson

If you haven’t read anything by Marilynne Robinson, you’d better start now, and Home is a good place.  It’s great holiday reading, since it’s on the topic of homecoming and family.  I’ve reviewed this book before, so I’ll provide you with that link, should you desire more information.

maryheartmarthaworldHaving a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

I listened to this woman talk about her book on the Midday Connection radio show, and I was greatly impressed by her wisdom.  I’ve since read portions of the book and think it speaks to an epidemic problem we have today of busyness.  But, the Mary and Martha story demonstrates that it isn’t just a problem for today. It’s been going on for awhile.

thepracticeofthepresenceofgodThe Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

A classic, written by a monk who learned to serve and worship Jesus even in the middle of the most tedious tasks of life.  We all could learn a lot from his perspective.  It’s very short.

theotherqueenThe Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

This is Gregory’s latest book, in her series of books on the wives of Henry VIII.  You don’t have to read any of the others before you read this one, but I highly suggest The Other Boleyn GirlI also reviewed this one awhile back.  For the woman who loves romance, history, and inspiring women.

esv-study-bibleThe ESV Study Bible

Just out this fall, this Bible is an incredible resource.  It has an amazing amount of useful footnotes, charts, and maps. It takes your daily Bible study to a whole new level.  Plus, it’s in the ESV version, which is my personal favorite.

woman-of-moderationA Woman of Moderation by Dee Brestin

Be very careful about giving this book as a present.  I have it in mind for a very good friend with whom you hope to commit to studying it, because in all other circumstances, it could really backfire on you.  Since it’s technically a study on dieting and your relationship with food, a husband is asking for trouble if he gives this to his wife.  But Dee Brestin writes incredible studies, and this one in particular spoke to me more than any other Christian book on the topic of food and eating.

pilgrims-progressThe Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

Did you see this one coming?  With all the continuing hype of The Shack, I want to encourage you to provide a theologically sound alternative that has stood the test of time.  Wrap it up and package it as the “anti-Shack” if you’d like.  Feel free to print up and include a copy of my Shack review and the counter proposal for the Pilgrim’s Progress, if you think that would make the gift complete.


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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You have been tagged.

    AL: hehe. fun times. I’m not going to devote an entire blog post to it, but I’ll give it a shot here.

    “Can I still play Barbies with Stacie? I promised her.”
    “You did, did you.”

    That’s from the 2007 collection of the Best American Short Stories, and it’s a very disturbing story called “Man and Wife” by Katie Chase about child brides. A book I’m reading to find contemporary fiction for my upcoming survey of Fiction course this Summer.

  2. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World is very good. We used it for a weekly ladies Bible Study not too long ago and it had a lot of good things to think about.

    AL: Ooooh, thanks for sharing that. I thought it would be an excellent women’s study. Maybe I’ll be able to study it with a group someday too.

  3. Thanks for all the book lists in your recent posts. I’ve just got the ESV Study Bible too and find its commentaries and background info exhaustive, a very substantial collaboration from Bible scholars.
    Also, my recent read is an unlikely book for the Christmas Season, but I find it very relevant just the same. C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed…I’ve just written a post on it.
    Another book I’m reading is Fleming Rutledge’s The Bible and the New York Times, which is also excellent particularly during this time of the year… just may share it in a future post.
    Again, I’ve enjoyed your ‘book talk’!

    AL: Thanks for your input on the Study Bible. It’s not exactly a book that’s easy to pack around since it’s huge, so “exhaustive” is a great term for it! Lewis is always a good bet. I’m trying to think of perhaps a more uplifting one of his books for the holidays, and I’m coming up short right now, but maybe others have good ideas. Thanks for the Rutledge recommendation. Will look into that one.

  4. Hi Amy, just wanted to let you know I am reading Pilgrim’s Progress (slowly but surely is my motto!). I think of you every time I open it. I have felt a bit ashamed that as an English lit major I never read the whole thing through . . .

    AL: Awesome! I’m so glad you’re reading it. I’d love to discuss it with you sometime after you’ve finished, maybe over coffee…and I want to meet baby Ian!!!. Hope you and the family are have a great Christmas with your precious new addition.

  5. I normally don’t read much fiction (I hope that statement doesn’t get me banned from this blog :)) but I’m intrigued by the Marilynne Robinson book you mentioned above. I see that my local library has ordered it, so I might add it to my list. Thanks for the tip 🙂

    AL: Good choice. If you haven’t already, I’d also suggest Gilead, which actually might be the best place to start, since there’s a few places in the book she refers to characters she’s developed in the other book. Not necessary though. They are stand alone books. Gilead is the one she won the Pulitzer for. This one has gotten its fair shair of attention, as a finalist for the national book award this year.

  6. The Saturday Review of Books at semicolon this Saturday, the 3rd, is dedicated to book lists. You’re welcome to add a link to yours on Saturday.

    AL: Thanks for the heads up and the invitation!

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