Every year at this time, people, not everyone, but some people put out lists of the best of things that came out over the past year. I’m not one to do this. Over the year, if I read or watch or listen to something I particularly like I just come out and say it. I’m not a list builder. At least, not that kind of list builder.
But then, this has been a strange year. So, to honor the strange year, I thought I’d list some of the things I particularly liked over the year. Granted, some of these things are “old” (came out pre-2010), but this is my list. If you have some problems with my list, please I encourage you to make your own. And then let me know about it so I can come and nit-pick yours.
I digress. So, here is my listish #1: My Books
I had the chance to read, and re-read quite a bit this year. In no particular order, here are the books I read (re-read) in 2011 that I liked/enjoyed/changed/challenged me the most (I’ve also included links to Amazon so you can read more reviews):
1) The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins: Lord of the Flies, 1984, and the Most Dangerous Games all rolled together and then given a steady supply of crack. And engaging and brutal look at a world that values everything that we value today taken to the nth degree. I could not put this series down, read them all in about two weeks, and worth it.
2) Generous Justice, Timothy Keller: This was a phenomenal little book that probably impacted me the most this year. So much so that I blame it in part for why I’m back in PA! It challenged me to think through what i call my personal faith and give it not just stronger legs, but also a backbone and eyes that see and listen to those around me with different eyes and ears. It encouraged me, and challenged me to encourage my church to be a place of mercy and gratitude.
3) Practicing Affirmation Sam Crabtree: I read this book with two friends of mine and it was a valuable resource for us. We’re all ministry leaders and this book encouraged us and made us re-think what we value in encouraging others. I would encourage this for any parents, too, as it really makes you think through how you talk to your kids.
4) The Trellis and the Vine, Marshall and Payne: I had just started my job and I reached for this book. I was challenged to think through how I view leadership and encouraged me to continue on my course to build disciples, not attenders. Such a good book.
5) God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgement: A Biblical Theology, James M. Hamilton, Jr: This is a thick book, and it is very repetitive. But he’s making a case, and I think he makes a strong one that God’s glory is always revealed in His salvation through the judgement of His people. As Hamilton goes through the Bible, he outlines each book and puts it into this perspective, even in book order and type. It was fascinating for me as I went through the Old Testament. Such a good read. Well worth the read.
What about you? What are the books you read, re-read, this year. Any suggestions for my 2012 reading list?