The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
A fiction book takes the top spot on my list this year. This was a recommendation, and it truly was a great book. Greene is a wonderful writer, who weaves a complex story with memorable characters that struggle with deep issues. I’m looking forward to reading more of his work.
I intentionally tried not to read too many popular level Christian-ese books published this year (however, I acquired quite a few free offerings on my Kindle), but these were a few that I thought were worth the time.
This book is patterned after The Shepherd Leader, a book written for church leadership, of which I also read. Witmer did a good job adapting the same premise for the home. It’s a solidly structured book that is very beneficial in working through how one should shepherd their home in each realm of family life.
The Death of a Guru, Rabi Maharaj
This book was fascinating, as I’m about to be immersed in this culture that I don’t know much about. But more than the cultural and religious introduction it offered, it was an awesome look at the power of the Word and they way that God is working to draw all people to himself. I am convinced that we should read more books like this in order to open our eyes beyond our circles.
This is probably the area that I expanded my reading the most this year, and for good reason. It captivates me. I love the thought world of the imagination. Not as a place to live, but as a way to expand my mind and my imagination. I think there are huge implications for this in our life of faith.
The Book of the Dun Cow, Walter Wangerin
This made Kevin DeYoung’s “best of” list a few years ago and I ordered it then but just got around to reading it. I really enjoyed it. It’s a vividly told tale exploring themes of good and evil.
Phantastes, George MacDonald
Probably still my favorite author of all time. This is another wonderful book exploring a fantasy world that only MacDonald could create. His seemingly endless creativity draws me in over and over to the places he creates.
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
My first read of this one. I’m not sure what I thought this book was like, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was surprised and pleased by what I encountered. It was more of a modern scientific children’s adventure, but has many themes woven in throught.
The Princess and Curdie, George MacDonald
The second MacDonald book on the list. It’s the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin that I read last year. Just great storytelling. It’s a fun tale and a fitting ending.
The Last of the Doughboys, Richard Rubin
Overall this was an interesting book. I loved hearing the stories of the WWI vets who were all over 100 years old. I loved their memories of the war, and the things that stuck out to them that were worth being remembered. However, Rubin added a lot to this book outside the interviews. He is apparently a big music fan, and introduced many chapters of material that didn’t seem to flow, or fit his main goal.
River of Doubt, Candice Millard
I really enjoyed this book, though, I have the same critique of this one as I did of Rubin’s. Millard seemed to go on “evolutionist” rants throughout the book. I’m not sure how it related to Roosevelt’s journey, but she seemed to think it important. Definitely author’s prerogative, but I didn’t feel it added to the otherwise suspenseful adventure of chartering down and unknown Amazonian river.
Studies in Matthew, Dale Allison
The Sermon on the Mount, Dale Allison
Allison was a surprise read for me. A highly technical scholar, most famous for his ICC commentary on Matthew with Davies, I found him very engaging and not overly difficult to read. There was something simple about his interpretation that is very convincing. I found myself agreeing, or rather, being persuaded by his arguments on many levels.
Gospel and Kingdom, Graeme Goldsworthy
I just had to order this when I saw it was back in print a single volume. It’s been highly recommended many times and is a very good sketch on the Kingdom. Very helpful.