We’re winding down with only a few shopping days left before Christmas.  In my opinion, one of the best gifts we can give to someone is a great book to read.  Just this week I gave each of RiverTree’s Elders three of my favorite reads of the year:  Barefoot Church by Brandon Hatmaker, 7 by Jen Hatmaker and The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.

So, if you’re still searching for that perfect gift or simply want to pick up a great read for yourself . . . here are a few I recommend.

Calico Joe by John Grisham.  Grisham remains one of my favorite authors–I read everything he puts out.  Calico Joe is a heartwarming story with a wonderfully redemptive conclusion.  Sports fans will love it.  Give it to fathers or sons.

Barefoot Church by Brandon Hatmaker.  Brandon offers practical advice about what it means to “be the church” in a culture that is decidedly post-Christian.  It you are wanting to live your life “on mission” for Jesus then don’t skip this book.  Give it to any friend who really wants to live an exciting Jesus journey.

The Education Of Little Tree by Forrest Carter.  This book has been around for awhile.  A guy I met while on vacation this past summer said it was a must read.  He was right.  Little Tree is a historical account of the struggles of one native American Indian family.  It is a deeply moving, very readable story.  This book should be read by every adult and is a perfect gift for young readers.

Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  This is Mark’s best book since In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day (read it if you haven’t).  In Circle Maker Mark recounts his real life experiences of how God answers prayer and how to implement powerful prayer into our own lives.  He moves further with how we can set the trajectory of our own personal lives, our families and specifically our children.  Give this gift to yourself and anyone else who wants to take the next step on their spiritual journey.

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani.  Against my better judgment I read this book–it sounded like a “chick book” from the title (sorry ladies).  I loved it!  Trigiani weaves a wonderful tale of historical fiction that involves life, war, love and the power of the human spirit.  Everyone will enjoy this (and gain a bit of education on the side).  Definitely give it to your lady friends (but men will love it to).

7 by Jen Hatmaker.  This book rocked my world.  Jen writes about fasting with a style that is humorous and compelling.  She challenges each of us to give up, give away and get over the stuff with which we fill our lives that keeps us from a deeper relationship with God and fully impacting the world around us.  This is a great gift for someone who already has enough stuff (that would be most of us).

The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie.  I’ve written about this book in a previous post.  It has the power to change your Christmas.  Perfect for children of all ages.

And two final entries:  One Of  and Disciples Who Make Disciples, both by Alex Absalom and . . . ME.  The best part is that they’re free!  They’re also important reads for anyone who wants to make a powerful impact for God’s Kingdom with their life.  You can download these by clicking on the icons right here on my blog.