For the fourth year in a row, I share my top ten list from the books I read over the last year. This year I read more fiction than normal and loved it! What were your top books of the year?
Kris Rocke and Joel Van Dyke, Geography of Grace
The authors believe grace like water flows downhill. Through testimonies and reflection, including stories from the community of La Limonada, they share how God is at work in some of the poorest and most marginalized communities. The practical implications are huge.
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
An incredible novel about a young boy whose father left several messages from one of the towers before dying in the September 11 attacks. Traumatized and depressed, he begins a quest to explore the boroughs and find the lock that fits a key left by his dad. Tender, emotional, and intriguing. I was lost to the story the entire book.
Steven Garber, Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good
Filled with thought provoking questions, this book causes each of us to think deeply about the implications of our vocations. And through examples of faithful believers who have begun to answer these questions in their spheres. “When we take the wounds of the world into our hearts – not just for a day, but for a life – we long to see the work of our hands as somehow, strangely, part of the work of God in the world, integral to the Missio Dei, not incidental to it.”
Thomas McKenzie, The Anglican Way: A Guidebook
Having newly joined the Anglican communion, this book served as a wonderful tool of introduction. A primer to understanding the richness, historical context, framework, and meaning behind many of the details. While not a comprehensive treatise on what drew us to Anglicanism, it certainly is a great place to start.
Paula Huston, A Land Without Sin
This novel takes you on a journey through Central America. A quick, fun read that will make you feel like you had climbed through the jungle and into ancient Mayan ruins.
Ron Hall, Same Kind of Different As Me
After working for a homeless shelter and facing another round of cancer with my mom, this book impacted me pretty deeply. It is about commitment, deep relationship, learning to love well, and obedience.
Richard Mouw, When the Kings Come Marching in: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem
A deep exploration of Isaiah 60 – and the implications on how we view culture making here and now. “Human culture will someday be transformed. We are called to await the coming transformation. But we should wait actively, not passively. We must seek the City which is to come.”
M. Robert Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation
This is a wonderful primer for spiritual formation. While I didn’t find myself agreeing with everything said, I was refreshed and challenged to go deeper into “the process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.” And of course, how could I not be drawn to a book that analyzes how the Myers-Briggs personality type can impact how you engage with God and others?
Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview
A primer on the grand narrative of Scripture and how it should inform all of life. Once again, my husband reviewed it best here. And I agree with his statement: the biggest contribution Creation Regained makes is the chapter on discerning the difference between “structure” and “direction.”
Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns
I love all of Khaled’s writing. He tugs at every emotion and creates such a full story that so completely transports you to Afghanistan and into the lives of complex characters. I always get completely lost in his stories – even one as heartbreaking as this.