I tried to join Goodreads a couple of years ago. I entered all the books I own, divided them into lists, marked the ones I read, and even wrote some reviews. I loved the idea of keeping track of what I’d read. But as with most technological things, I realized I’d rather just put pen to paper. It was just one more thing to keep updated and I lost interest. But now it’s that time of year when everyone shares their reading lists and I wish I kept better track, because I read some great books this year.
And, if you know me at all, you probably know that recommending books might be my love language.
So here were my top ten books I read this year, in no particular order:
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This was recommended by a friend and it was so. good. Hard to read at times, but beautiful and necessary. “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.”
This book wrecked me in all the right ways. I read it shortly after moving and it was a gift of perspective. I’ve come back to Corrie’s illustrations and experiences over and over again. I followed it up with the Amazon series, Man in the High Castle and was shocked by how much commentary both offered on life today.
There were so many things to glean from this memoir. Rosaria is educated and articulate and her insight into Christian culture as an outsider is profound and needed. I read this when we visited Westminster and found it a helpful and hopeful introduction to the Reformed world.
I came across this book on display at my local library. At the time, I wasn’t sure who Katelyn Beaty was but I’ve since become incredibly grateful for her voice. This book looks at the importance of women and work and breathes some freedom into what can be a controversial and frustrating topic for women in the church. Also, I’ve discovered that I love journalistic writing. Shortly before this one, I read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. You should probably read them both. 🙂
One of the most frustrating things to me about Christian books is how much bad writing is tolerated for the sake of teaching a lesson. This book was so. refreshing. because the writing is as beautiful as the content. I highly recommend it, and look forward to reading Jen’s newest book, Keeping Place.
I probably wouldn’t have discovered this one on my own, but my sister recommended it and it turned out to be wonderful. Trevor Noah is hilarious, but as he tells his story he also offers incredible insight on race and class, politics and religion.I highly recommend the audiobook.Warning: there is a fair amount of profanity.
The subtitle of this book is, “Seeking clarity and confidence through a Jesus-centered understanding of Scripture.” I think that’s why I appreciated this book so much. It didn’t necessarily answer every theological question I had, but it gave a helpful framework for how to approach these questions. I’m looking forward to delving into the topic in more detail in a class at Westminster this spring.
I saw this book recommended in multiple places but didn’t really know what it would be like. It’s a memoir, but it’s full of insight and commentary on an overlooked segment of society. “From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.”
This is me trying to group 7 books into 1. 🙂 I was in high school when the Harry Potter books came out and I couldn’t have been less interested. But I started the series a year ago and got sucked in. When my brain stopped functioning in the midst of all the transition and chaos of last year, Harry Potter was basically my friend. I was a little traumatized towards the end, but also was so sad when the books were over. The third one was my favorite.
Okay, I guess I meant 11. I stumbled across Shona’s account of depression and was brought to tears. It’s been a rough stretch here, and it was so comforting to hear someone else express what I’ve been feeling. I’m so grateful for the Murray’s commitment to looking at the whole person, body and soul. This book provided a framework to evaluate my life and consider what changes I need to put into place to be living in a healthy “grace-pace.” I’m using aspects of it as I plan for 2018.
My reading list in 2018 is *slightly* unreasonable, so I won’t set myself up for failure by telling you all 86 books on the list. 😉 Instead I’ll just share what I’m currently reading and what’s on deck:
Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
Learning to Love the Psalms (Robert Godfrey)
A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives (Kelly Brogan & Kristin Loberg)
Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy (Ronald Pierce and Rebecca Groothuis)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)
What were your favorites in 2017? What’s on your 2018 list?