Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Best of?

It seems like I always forget that the New Year holiday always brings with it everyone's "best of" lists and other assorted lists. Of course once again I was reminded over the past week, several times over mind you, that this is the case. So, not to be left out...

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a best of , but here's a list of some books I read this past year that stood out.

Glittering Images by Susan Howatch
I ended up reading 4 or 5 Howatch books this year as she quickly became a favorite of mine. Glittering Images is the first I read and my favorite. It is the story that explores the struggle of identity, sin, and inner conflict told through the eyes of a young theologian. Couldn't put it down.

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
Lewis, best known for his book Moneyball (which is a very interesting read) has written a book that is fascinating on many levels, from the impact of Lawrence Taylor on of the status of the left tackle in the NFL, to the struggles of children abandoned by their parents, to poverty, faith, politics of NCAA football, and so on. This one really does have something for everyone, not just sports junkies.

The Last Word and the Word After That by Brian McLaren
This one might belong in the 2005 list, but it's so good, I'll mention it here.

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
This one might belong in the 2005 list too, but see above. If you listen to him on a regular basis there's not much that will be unfamiliar, but it's still worth the read. I suspect Sex God will be similar in that regard.

A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren
Read through this one again with a group of friends. Very thought provoking, as you'd expect from McLaren.

Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller
Well, I finally got around to this one. I liked Searching For God Knows What better, but this was still an enjoyable read.

Contemplative Youth Ministry by Mark Yaconelli
I've commented on this one in other posts. Check it out.

Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale by Frederick Buechner
This is one I had to read for a class. Short, but quite good.

Girls: A Novel by Frederick Busch
A disturbing, but compelling story. A friend recommended it to me and I'm glad I read it, though I can't say I loved it.

The Hidden Power of the Electronic Culture by Shane Hipps
Also commented briefly on this one in the blog. Well worth reading.

Letters From a Skeptic by Greg and Edward Boyd
The correspondence between a skeptic and his Christ following son. Another book assigned for a class, but one that is worth reading. File it under apologetics, but it doesn't read like a typical dry apologetics book.

You may wonder how McLaren's The Secret Message of Jesus failed to make the list. Well, it's only because I had to read it really fast (due to scheduling and library due dates) that I can't say I really read it, though I will get back to it. I liked what I did read though.

Speaking of libraries, just a reminder that libraries are a valuable tool. We don't have to buy every book we'd like to read.


Blogger JayAreJr said...

Wow, Brian that's a nice list. Can't say I've read enought to make a list of the best I read.

The folks at Urbana were nice enough to give me a little book by James Emery White called A mind for God. I read about half of it on the jet ride home.

It is a call to develop a disciplined Christian mind ready to do the work of 2 Cor 10:5.

I'll pass it on to you when I finish if you'd like.

9:39 PM  

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