New Year’s Resolution Reads: 3 Books to Help Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet
Michael Rowe

Want to have your best 2016? Check out these titles from a trio of triumphant women.

1. Resolution: To overcome a health challenge

The Book: Hope Beyond Fibroids: Stories of Miracle Babies & the Journey to Motherhood by Gessie J. Thompson
Why You Need This Book: In 2016 Thompson shared her deeply personal account in the pages of this magazine about her ten-year struggle to become a mother. The article received an enthusiastic response, and I, for one, was amazed at the candor with which Thompson laid out her story as she charted one myomectomy after another and another, as well as her failed attempt at IVF (in vitro fertilization). But she never gave up, and at 40, thanks to an IVF, Thompson gave birth to a daughter. Her baby was severely underweight, yet with faith and fortitude she took her daughter home a month later and now has the family she always wanted. Thompson knows that she’s not alone in her medical and emotional ordeal. You might have had a successful pregnancy or have no desire to start a family, but there could be someone in your life who has challenges conceiving because of fibroids. The other 15 stories in this collection are heartbreakingly real as well. You will feel as if you were eaves- dropping on a conversation of women friends at The Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Chang’s—the anecdotes will definitely connect and strike a chord with anyone who has known about the complications of building a family.

2. Resolution: To find your purpose

The Book: Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today by Lisa Nichols and Janet Switzer
Why You Need This Book: Nichols brought down the house at the 2014 Essence Festival as she gave her tes- timony of going from a single mother on public assistance to a woman who made her dreams come true. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house on that memorable Saturday. If you missed her standing-room-only appearance, you’re in luck. In Abundance Now, Nichols reveals her secret formula to happiness, or the 4 E’s: Enrichment, Enchantment, Engagement, Endowment. This is not one of those books that will leave you wanting for more by early February. Abundance Now, chock-full of actionable plans and real-life case studies, will get and keep you going on your journey without ever losing steam or your stride.

3. Resolution: To deepen your spiritual faith walk

The Book: Dear Mary: Lessons From the Mother of Jesus for the Modern Mom by Sarah Jakes
Why You Need This Book: “I am learning that many of the rights and wrongs of mother- hood come down to what we believe to be true,” writes Jakes in her third book. “If we are wise, we will build children with only the bricks God hands us, not the rocks life has thrown at us.” As she proved with her 2014 offerings—her memoir, Lost & Found (Bethany House), and Colliding With Destiny (Bethany House)—Jakes has a deep under- standing of biblical text and a gift for discerning the emotional from the practical. In this epistolary narrative, Jakes communes with Mary, the mother of Jesus, who we know experienced great triumphs and unimaginable loss in her son’s lifetime. But it was her faith that held her up, which Jakes knows all too well.

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