Books, a 2013 Review

Books I read in 2013 (though not in this order), rated:

  • Say Nice Things About Detroit, by Scott Lasser. Fiction. Not my usual fare, but it was intriguing and made me almost want to go to Detroit. Or at least look at my own hometown in a new way. * * *
  • Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster. Nonfiction. One of the greatest classics for Christians of the 20th century, hands down, and beyond. Original, insightful, and yet built on a few thousand years of transformative spiritual practices. Going through one chapter per month this year for some intentional spiritual growth.  * * * * *
  • When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert. Nonfiction. The subtitle is a summary: “how to help alleviate poverty without hurting the poor…or yourself.” A thorough, mind-altering primer on what poverty really does and doesn’t mean, and how to minister in holistic, sustaining ways. Changed my thinking on many, many approaches to ministry. * * * * *
  • The Meeting of the Waters, by Fritz Kling. Nonfiction. Another self-explanatory subtitle: “7 global currents that will propel the future church.” Insightful, lots of juicy anecdotes, nice extended use of the metaphor. Probably spot-on in his predictions, but only time will tell. A very good read for the mission-minded. * * * *
  • Down and Out in Bugtussle, by Stephanie McAfee. Fiction. Cute light read. Only sort of my usual fare. Good for the beach or the mountain cabin. Have to admit I enjoyed all the 80s allusions. * * *
  • The Madonna on the Moon, by Rolf Bauerdick. Fiction. Picked this novel up out of curiosity: it’s written by a preeminent German journalist. Learned a lot about Communist Romania in its birth and downfall, through the vantage point of a teenager with some eccentric relatives and Gypsy friends. A little slow at some points, but overall interesting, enjoyable. * * *
  • The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin, by Chris Ewan. Fiction. Been a long time since I’ve read a whodunit, and one set in Berlin and told by a “good” thief – well, it was quite entertaining. Another good beach/mountain cabin read. Apparently this is a series; I’ll check out some more I’m sure. * * * *
  • The Best American Travel Writing of 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert. Nonfiction (compilation). I didn’t read Gilbert’s runaway bestseller (Eat Pray Love) and don’t really want to, but she did a fine job culling these travel articles. The writing is as excellent as the topics are varied (from the running of the bulls to “the 1,900 miles I didn’t walk” to the gold mines of Peru). Very enjoyable. * * * *
  • Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. Nonfiction. Again a helpful subtitle: “how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead.” Who knew a book about “wholehearted living” by a “shame researcher” would be so mind-altering? Scholarly, well-written, accessible, and I had to put the book down every two or three pages just to absorb the nuggets. Yet another confirmation that the way of Jesus is the best way. Outstanding read. * * * * *
  • Quiet, by Susan Cain. Nonfiction. Subtitle: “the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.” Hallelujah! The introverts get their day, and long overdue and undervalued it is. Finally, someone understands, and isn’t asking me to change, but to walk it out. The manifesto is magneted to my refrigerator right now. Excellent read. * * * * *
  • Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. Nonfiction. I know, I know, it’s a surprise – and an embarrassment – that I haven’t read this already. Read it this year as part of a small group study, and will definitely return to it in the near future for a slower, more appreciative read. The definitive classic apologetic by the Oxford don who also wrote those wondrous Chronicles of Narnia. A book that deserves a long and honest look. * * * * *
  • Love & War, by John & Stasi Eldredge. Nonfiction. Nice subtitle: “find your way to something beautiful in your marriage.” Those Eldredges have done it again – this time focusing their “ransomed heart” worldview on marriage. Marriage is hard; marriage is worth it. Very good read. * * * *
  • And you??? Please share!
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Published in: on January 9, 2014 at 2:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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