A Book List of 100 Books Across Several Genres

Your complete book list of 100+ books.

I’ve been waiting all year for this post and I’m so excited to share some of the most incredibly influential and shaping books I read in 2020. A few things to note, many of these books I listened as audiobooks. When you hover over the titles, the link will light up for you to click to.

Wondering how I read 100 books in a year? Refer to this post.

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My favorite ways to listen:

  • Scribd – For $9.99 a month, you have unlimited access to books, audiobooks, magazines, and podcasts. You can read/listen to as many books as you like for one price. You are able to save books to your library and read/listen as you are able. My only complaint is that sometimes books in your saved library will be taken out for a 30 day period due to license issues. But they do pop back in and Scibd leaves you a little note on the date they will show back up in your saved library. Use my link to join and your first 60 days are free. If you don’t like it, cancel! It’s super easy.
  • Audible – $14.95 a month memberships
    Membership gives you access to:
    • One monthly credit to buy any title from our entire premium selection to keep
    • Exchange titles if you don’t love them
    • Exclusive deals and discounts
    • The Plus Catalog—a selection of thousands of Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts including exclusive series.
  • Overdrive – A library app I use on occasion. You only have fourteen days to complete a book, so I use this less frequently. But it is free!

*This post contains affiliate links. I truly appreciate when you all use my links to purchase based on my recommendations. It covers the costs associated with hosting and running my website, so I’m grateful to you!

** Side note: Some books I may have categorized in the wrong genre. I placed based on where I saw them fitting rather than actual genre listings.

Scroll past the images for favorites (and least favorites) across many genres!


Favorite Genre: Historical Fiction

My favorite in the historical fiction genre goes to Saving Amalie by Cathy Gohlke. What a gripping read. I could barely put this book down and it gave a look into the history of eugenics (which in my opinion is still happening today). I have no least favorite.

Historical Fiction

The Winter Garden – by Kristin Hannah. I don’t love all her books, but among my favorites are The Winter Garden and The Nightingale. I also don’t often listen to audiobooks for fiction, but The Winter Garden on Audible was incredible. The accents, the narration, was captivating!!

Though Waters Roar –  by Lynn Austin. She is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. I’ve yet to read a book of hers I didn’t love. Each is so different and her writing draws you into the story instantly. She writes with a pace perfect for me who likes a book to keep me coming back.

Redeeming Love – by Francine Rivers. This was my second time reading and I enjoyed it more this time. If you haven’t read this one, please put it on the top of your list. I even managed to influence Steve to read it. He loved it as well.

Veiled in Smoke – by Jocelyn Green. I discovered her books a few years ago and read each one she releases. I rank her with my favorites such as Lynn Austin and Cathy Golhke.

Any book by Cathy Gohlke. Once I read Saving Amalie, I began reading anything I could get my hands on written by this author.


Favorite: To Kill a Mockingbird. What a book!! Both of my teens are reading it this year for American Lit. It’s one I will go back to again.

Least favorite: The Great Gatsby. I struggled painfully through this book. I’m sure I missed something because it’s a favorite of many people!

Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I read in high school and loved this book. But reading as an adult, especially as a christian, was another experience completely. No way can a teenager grasp the depth of this story. Such layers and symbolism. I actually highlighted much in this book.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Well it made my favorite of this genre. I could write much about this book. But instead just go read it if you haven’t yet.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

Not my favorite. But definitely a boy book.

The Great Gatsby  F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Again not my favorite. I really forced myself to finish only because one of my high schoolers is reading it this year. I would’ve quit otherwise.

Animal Farm George Orwell

Dystopian is not my favorite, but I read because it was free on Audible and I was curious. Another read that paired with 2020 left me disturbed. At the same time, I feel reading books that show the nature of communism and socialism is more important now than ever. Too many young people don’t understand why our Republic is unique and to be protected and cherished.

1984 George Orwell

I read this in high school but only remembered Big Brother. Reading in 2020 was quite disturbing honestly. This is not a feel good read. I tend to dislike dystopian novels because they leave you with a sense of hopeless despair. However, I do believe it’s a book to be read by everyone.

A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens.

I adored! I’ve seen many movie adaptations of this classic but never read the actual book. As always the book is better. I listened to this on Audible and highly recommend the version I listened to which I’ve linked here. Andrew and I listened to this together and both loved it so much.



In the entire year I only read one parenting book. It was my second time reading and still holds the place in my heart as the greatest parenting book I’ve ever read. I’m a fan of anything written by Paul David Tripp. This should be read by every christian parent no matter the stage of parenting. It’ll change your perspective for sure.

Parenting : 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

Childrens’ Literature/Classics

Remember I said earlier some books may be listed in technically improper genres. This is where I place them.

Favorite Childrens Classic: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A childhood favorite of mine that still holds the favorite spot in my heart. Also the 2019 movie is perfection. If you followed my reading journey on social media you already know that while this book has always been my favorite, I had no idea that as a child I only read part one! Literally went over 40 some odd years wondering what happened next. Turns out some books printed only one part while others included the entire book. Be sure to read the entire book. LOL.

Favorite children’s fiction: Resistance by Jennifer Nielsen.

Wow this book. I became a huge fan of this author when I read A Night Divided which remains one of my all time favorites I read aloud to all my boys. Resistance is a WWII story full of courage and heroism and strength.

Least Favorite: Amos Fortune Free Man.

I’ve read it a couple of times. It’s a great overall story I’d rather someone tell me about. The actual reading was not fantastic for me. But it won a Newberry so there’s that???

Little Women

see above

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

All the books in this series are fantastic. Read them all, especially to your kids!

The Horse and His Boy.

same as above.

Anne of Green Gables 

What a sweet, quirky read.

Hardy Boys.

Andrew and I fell in love with these not scary but suspenseful mysteries. It’s fun to try to solve the cases as we read.

Helen keller

Read aloud to Andrew. Interesting story of her life. I think reading true stories to our kids is important to show the human spirit that overcomes obstacles hard to fathom.


see above

Because of Winn Dixie 

Any book by Kate DiCamillo is fabulous. Andrew and I listened to this quick read via Audible. Loved it.

Snow Treasure.

Another WWII story I read aloud to Andrew. Highly recommend! He never wanted me to put it down.

Hardy Boys – The Tower Treasure

Stuart Little

Andrew and I read this and watched the movie. So good!

The Golden Goblet

Excellent read! Historical fiction set in ancient Egypt. Jacob loved this in 6th grade so Andrew and I listened via Audible. Another book my middle grade reader didn’t want to end.

The Secret Garden

Wow! I’ve missed out on this surprisingly fantastic book. I’m a judge a book by the cover gal and this never appealed to me. I only read it because one of my teens told me I would like it and that he actually really enjoyed it when he read it for his required reading in school. Andrew and I listened via Audible to the copy I linked (This book, like many I read this year, is free with an Audible subscription). Oh how delightful. We ADORED it!!! The accents were superb. Like watching a movie.

The One and Only Ivan

I read this years ago to my boys. Andrew and I listened to this together again A sweet, short read.

Amos Fortune Free Man

See above. I hate giving poor reviews of anything. Just a personal preference issue.

The Best Christmas Pageant

second time reading as enjoyable as the first. Super short and sweet read.

The Holly Tree Inn

I’m now a Charles Dickens fan. Super enjoyable book to listen to as I consumed all I could during the Christmas season.


Young Adult

A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry.

I actually read this as a young adult and read again as a 44 year old. It is a sad read. I love Lois Lowry and wanted to see if I still liked this book as an adult. I did.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

Did you read this in high school? It was another book I remembered really loving as a teen. I did enjoy it as an adult as well, but it’s sad. So be prepared.

The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Again, I’m a Lowry fan. Each book is so unique from the other. I find it appealing to read authors who can write this way. My favorite Lowry book is Number the Stars. I absolutely loved The Giver though. It was definitely thought-provoking. Another book that read in 2020 seemed right on time.

General Fiction

Favorite: Well, shoot. This is hard. If I must choose, it is Gilead. Ya’ll this book surprised the daylights out of me. I don’t know that it would be loved and appreciated by everyone. It’s NOT a page turner. It’s a slow, methodical, eloquent story that I found myself absolutely immersed in. It is the first book I read by Marilynne Robinson and led me to begin reading others.

Least Favorite: Again, I don’t really have a “least” in this category as I enjoyed each of them. I quit fiction I don’t like so I rarely end up with fiction that fits the least category. If I must, it would be The Christmas Train by David Baldacci.

The Summons by John Grisham.

Man! It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Grisham novel. Loved this one! My favorites are his early books, but this one held up well. I attempted reading another of his books but quit on it. Highly recommend this one.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

See above. 

When Crickets Cry Charles Martin.

I will read every single book he writes. He writes beautiful  clean, heartwarming stories that move at a fabulous pace. Each one is different from the one before, which I love. 

Home by Marilynne Robinson.

Yes, so good. Second to Gilead of her books for me so far. Again, not for everyone. These are slower reads. Some would say no real strong plot, but beautiful writing, which I appreciate. 

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans.

He is another author I read every single of his books. Read this twice.

The Noel Letters by Richard Paul Evans.

I flew through this book. I bought it in hardback because I’m confident I will love his books and return to them. This may be one of my favorites he has written.

The Snow Angel by Glenn Beck.

Did you know he’s an author across genres? From political thrillers, to sweet heartwarming tales, to children’s books, he has talent. I’ve read this book twice. 

Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble.

I enjoyed a good, clean suspense murder mystery. My only complaint is I felt the character development lacked something. But again, she’s a bestselling author, so who am I to criticize? Just felt characters jumped from hating each other to loving each other with little in between. 

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci.

I watched this on Hallmark or Lifetime then picked the book up for a quarter at a thrift store. 



Favorite: Hitler, God, & the Bible by Ray Comfort. This book was incredibly engaging and full of information I’ve never learned. I highly recommend putting at the top of your non-fiction list.

Least favorite: Defeating Darwinism. Written for teens, but absolutely too complex in sentence structure and word choice to read with ease. The author is brilliant but can’t write down to his audience.

The Pumpkin Plan 

did not enjoy. Tired of reading it quickly, but I did finish.

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown.

I’m a cautious fan of hers. My beliefs don’t always line up with hers on many political and social issues and I only know this because in 2020 everyone began speaking out about everything. But this book was great! Lots of nuggets in here to take away.

168 Hours – You have more time than you think by Laura Vanderkam.

The subtitle says it all and the book delivered well. If you enjoy time management, it’s a good read. 

Defeating Darwinism 

I painfully read this book twice. I’ve read several evolution books that are FAR better than this one. On the cover it says it’s an easy to understand guide. That is not true. This is one of the hardest to understand books I read this year. Two of my teens had to read it for Classical Conversations. They should really change to something easier to finish. My boys disliked as much as I did.

The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse.

I became a Sasse fan after I read this book. Add it to your list. 

Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke.

Holy timing! I began listening to this book the day I began a social media fast. I knew nothing about this book, but it was divinely timed. Right in the middle of the 2020 media created and fueled chaos. It was exactly what I needed to read to refocus on Jesus and quit giving my outrage to what the media suggested.

If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty by Eric Metaxas.

Wow! Another timely book. America is beyond unique and in our current culture the fight to keep our liberty is becoming more evident. Metaxas lays out clearly what is at stake.

Miracles by CS Lewis.

The title and the author. Need I say more?

Hitler, God, & the Bible by Ray Comfort.

One of my favorite books of the year. I learned so much!! Listened to the audible version (free with membership). 

My Dyslexia by Philip Schultz.

If you have a child or loved one with dyslexia, it’s a must read. If you are a teacher, it’s a must read. (free with audible membership)

The Art of War 

Interesting. I read out of curiosity.

Eat That Frog 

I read to help my procrastinating teenager. Picked up some useful tips. 

True Story/Memoirs

Favorite: The Only Plane in the Sky

Least Favorite: Miracle on 10th Street

Night by Elie Wiesel

This book rocked me. Unbelievably moving. A teenager who survived Nazi death camps. Wow.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

This is the second time I’ve read this book. It is on the list of my top ten all time favorite books.

Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp.

I actually watched the movie first because I didn’t know a book existed. I loved the movie and as always the book was even better!! I sobbed, but please read this one!!!

Escape from Camp 14 

I discovered this book while reading Ben Sasse’s book mentioned earlier. Absolutely unbelievable look into life in a communist prison camp. Born in the camp. One of the very few to ever escape to freedom from a North Korean camp. It was an amazing story.

The Diary of Anne Frank

I remember reading this in the fifth grade and locking myself in the bathroom when I read the last page doubled over by sobs. Reading these real accounts is crucial for humanity to appreciate and understand history and the sacrifice so many made.

Born Again by Charles Colson

This was a detailed book that followed Watergate and the eventual imprisonment and conversion to Christianity by Charles Colson. Great story, but lots of political details.

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

A child of slavery who rose up and overcame. Remarkable story of the drive and will of the human spirit.

Filthy Rich by James Patterson

The true story of Jeffrey Epstein. More evil exists in this world than we can understand or handle. This book takes a peek behind the curtain of the dark evil of sex slaves and human trafficking.

The Only Plane in the Sky – An oral history of 9/11.

This was likely the most impactful book I read this year. I listened via audible and couldn’t stop. I cried through these real accounts. This world, while filled with evil, is also filled with heroes and those willing to give their lives for the sake of another.

7 Women by Eric Metaxas.

Such a great insight into 7 women who significantly impacted the world. Loved it.

Where the Light Gets In by Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Remember Father of the Bride? This is the true story of losing her mom. 

Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot.

This one was a bit harder for me to finish sadly. Incredible life journey though.

Miracle on 10th Street by Madeleine L’Engle.

Very average in my opinion. Or simply not even good. I’ve come to realize I’m really not a fan of her writing. 


Christian Living/Non-Fiction

Favorite: The God-Shaped Brain

Least Favorite: Own Your Life

Seasons of God by Richard Blackaby

Recommend for being reminded of the ebbs and flows of life and seeing the good in each season.

The Next Right Thing  by Emily Freeman

as good as all her books.

Moving Mountains by John Eldredge

I walked away from this book wanting to start it over immediately! A book about praying effective prayers. 

The Art of Neighboring 

This was such a great book about connecting in real life with the people right next door. It was inspiring to get offline and into real lives.

Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.

Any book by Ravi is worth the read. I particularly loved this book because I feel in our screened to death world, we have lost our wonder. This book inspired me to seek more awe and wonder in the real world.

The Beauty of Broken by Elisa Morgan

Though I feel we’ve tired the word “broken” I thoroughly enjoyed and needed this book. I came from a broken family which created in me a desire to create the perfect family, which of course doesn’t exist. This book explores that while pointing beautifully to our awesome God.

I Isaac Take Thee Rebekah by Ravi Zacharias

Beautiful book of God’s design for marriage. Highly suggest for teenagers in particular.

Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
The Story of Jesus 

A dramatized version of the Bible. I’ve listened to this in the car with my kids many times. It’s a way to get the Bible in them.

You Can Understand the Book of Revelation by Skip Heitzig

Truly the title lives up to the name. First time Revelation made perfect sense to me.

All Things New by John Eldredge

This book paints a picture of eternity that makes you truly excited to live with an eternal mindset.

Devoted by Tim Challies
Alien Encounters – The Secret Behind the UFO Phenomenon by Chuck Missler

Ok, this book sounds out there and I’ve never read anything on this topic nor had any interest at all. I found it when I believe God dropped in my mind the phrase “as in the days of Noah.” I googled it and found this book from Chuck Missler’s conference. I only listened to this book because I trust the teaching of Chuck Missler. All I can say, is Whoa! The deception is real.

You Are Not Enough (and that’s ok) by Allie Beth Stuckey

I actually pre-ordered this book for two reasons: I love Allie B. Stuckey and I dislike the phrase “you are enough” because without Jesus we are not enough. Great book!!

God is Able by Priscilla Shirer.

A good reminder type of book.

Prayers to Break Negative Soul Ties 

I had no idea about this topic. Very interesting!!

The Last Christian Generation by Josh McDowell

A lot to consider and a call to invest in the next generation.

The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz.

Awesome book! I also led the Bible study based on the book. 

Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado

Love every one of his books. This one was no different. If you deal with worry, this one is for you. 

In His Image by Jen Wilkin

A look at the character of God. We need more books like these. Less about us, more about Him. Jen Wilkin always delivers this.

Taveling Light by Max Lucado

I read this as a devotional. Each morning one chapter. Loved every second of it.

Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson

Honestly, it felt like a familiar book. Just not the book for me at the time I read it.

The Blessing of Humility by Jerry Bridges.

I read this as a devotion, focusing on a chapter each morning. Fabulous. A much needed book.

Mere Christianity by CS Lewis.

Another must read. Wish I’d read it years ago.

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

Another good one. Why God is God and we are not.

Sit Stand Walk by Watchman Nee

What a small but mighty book. More like a pamphlet, but more powerful than many 300 page books. It packs a much needed punch.

Cosmic Christmas by Max Lucado

Andrew and I listened to this together. Listening to a dramatization of spiritual warfare is right up a boy’s alley!

The Christmas Child by Max Lucado
The God Shaped Brain Timothy Jennings

This book was one of the most interesting reads this year. Story after story about what we think about God and how we think impacts our lives and futures. Some of the stories I’ll remember forever. It was so good!

Get Your Life Back John Eldredge

I read this book at the perfect time. Right when God directed me off social media this book confirmed why. It’s time to get my life back. It was the perfect book to conclude a year of reading. I highly recommend to everyone!!