Book Gift Giving Guide (and a giveaway!)

My Favorite Reads from 2015

My absolute favorite gift to give, and to receive, is a thought-provoking book. I’ve got lists and lists of favorite books I recommend over and over. Just in time for your gift giving pleasure, the following are My Favorite Reads from 2015. (Most were released this year while a few are a little older and finally made it into my hands this year.)

AND I have 5 copies of one of my favorites to give away to YOU! Keep reading for details…

I hope this book gift giving guide simplifies your shopping and brings great joy to those you care about!

*Note: None of the authors mentioned below paid me to recommend their books. This post does include affiliate links with Amazon. (Which means if you click on the link and purchase, Amazon will pay me a small “thank you” referral fee which does not affect the cost of your purchase.) 

Lead Reads

 Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game by Mark Miller. Written by the VP of Leadership Development at Chick-fil-A, this easy-to-read parable focuses on a proactive versus reactive approach to leadership. After reading this book, I went back to Amazon and purchased a whole Mark Miller leadership library. (And went out for a chicken sandwich with waffle fries.)

 Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’’t by Simon Sinek. First, SIMON SINEK. Second, this book put into words a whole perspective shift on leadership, teams, and culture that I believe with every bit of my being. (How’s that for an endorsement?)

 The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength by Jenni Catron. This fresh leadership voice has given us another powerful read for our teams. I can’t say enough good things about Jenni and am so excited her latest book is finally here!

Soul Care

NIV Bible for Women: Fresh Insights for Thriving in Today’s World edited by Angela Scheff. When I was in college, I received a treasured women’s devotional Bible for Christmas. All these years later, I had the privilege of contributing devotions to a new collection for women. You can imagine how I felt when I received this beautifully designed Bible in my hands: humbled and grateful. I’m excited to give away 5 copies of this Bible thanks to Zondervan! See the end of this post for details.

Bible study product_thumbnailChoosing a Life that Matters: a Bible study on the life of Moses by Jodie Niznik. Take one of the most legendary leaders of all time (Moses) plus practical how-to guides to everyday spiritual practices plus insights from a dear pastor friend (Jodie). Choosing a Life that Matters has become hands-down my favorite Bible study to date.


Live Loved: An Adult Coloring Book by Margaret Feinberg. This beautiful book is a colorful spiritual companion bringing both creativity and contemplation to our prayer lives. (And it’s a great excuse to color like a kid again!)


Brave Enough: Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free by Nicole Unice. Because fears, flaws, and failures are exactly what trip me up and keep me from free living and fierce leading.


I read more fiction than usual this year and had a few far-and-away favorites. I was captivated by these challenging novels with commanding and complicated female characters:

 The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell



 The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd



 Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas


Miscellaneous Goodness

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz. Perfect for the dog-lover in your life, this was one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. Written by an animal behavior scientist and dog enthusiast, the author gave me new perspective on my sweet lab, Sully.

Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent by Ellise Pierce. I read this cookbook after returning from Paris and wanted to eat every page. The images were lovely, the recipes simple yet delicious, and the stories engaging.


Evertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell. This was the highly anticipated after-dinner read aloud at the Pierce house this year. Filled with adventure, fun accents, and a picky eater, this was a book our whole family enjoyed.


NIV Bible for Women Giveaway Details 

Two Ways to Enter:

  1. Leave a comment below sharing your favorite read of 2015.
  2. Share this post on Twitter mentioning @julie_pierce

Winners will be chosen at random at 12pm CST on Monday, December 7! This giveaway is now closed.

Congrats to the following winners: Sarah Conner, Sherene Joseph, Judy, Avalyn Hermond, and Tracy Smith! Woohoo!!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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13 thoughts on “Book Gift Giving Guide (and a giveaway!)

  1. My favorite book this year was The Best Yes by Lyda Terkeurst !

    It absolutely changed the way I thought and how I managed my time in order to give God the best of me and maintain margin in my life . If I gave the best of me to someone or something else and the worst of me to the Lord then I’m not living a life that’s very honoring of Him .

  2. I love reading book recommendations! I enjoyed The Invention of Wings too this year, and I can’t wait to read Jenni Catron’s latest. This year, my favorite fiction read was probably All the Light We Cannot See, and a couple of my favorite non-fiction books were (SO hard to pick) Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and In the Name of Jesus.

  3. My favorite read of 2015 was Talk Now and Later by Brian Dollar. I lead in Kids Ministry so like tools I can use as well as recommend for parents.

  4. I started reading Andy Andrews this year. “The Traveler’s Gift” reminded me that how I live the life God gave to me is up to me. He has given me everything I need – I just have to use it!

  5. My favorite book this year was Love Does by Bob Goff!

    My second favorite book was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I have had people telling me for YEARS to read this book, but I resisted because I don’t like historical fiction and it just seemed sappy to me. But, whoa nelly! it was amazing! I bought it on Audible, so I listened to it rather than reading it, and I think that made it so much better for me.

    • The same thing happened to me Allison! Friends had recommended it for years and I resisted because of the historical fiction piece – and it knocked my socks off. I felt the same way about Prayers for Sale. Thanks for sharing!