As I’ve mentioned, I plan to work through Challies 2016 Reading Challenge. I’ll update my list here as I complete each category.
A book about Christian living: Be Still, My Soul (25 Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Problem of Pain). I started this one last year and finished it on New Year’s Day.
I recommend this collection of essays from noted theologians like J.I. Packer, Joni Eareckson Tada, Martin Luther, and John Piper. My favorite essay was from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
A biography: Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More, Poet, Abolitionist, Reformer by Karen Swallows Prior
This is a fascinating read that I will be thinking about long after today. I hope to share more soon.
A self-improvement book: The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon
We’re going through this book at work. It’s a quick read, so I finished it in just a few days.
A classic novel: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
How in the world did I miss this book all these years? It was a page-turner, and I loved its depths. I’ll be thinking about it for a long time. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait!
A book about productivity: Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies
This was another good read. I’m planning to set aside some time this coming weekend to set up the system he recommends. I appreciated how he reminds the reader why we should strive to be productive.
A book about theology: Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds by Jen Wilkin
This is a really good resource for women who want to know God’s Word better. It is both practical and encouraging, and I’ll be referring to it again, I’m sure.
A book about joy or happiness: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I didn’t love this one. Part of the problem may have been the format; I listened to the book on my commute via Audible, and I don’t think it’s a book that works that way. The author read it, and I found her voice distracting. Also, she would periodically read excerpts from emails or blog comments, and I had trouble distinguishing when she was referring to herself or reading something someone else wrote. I suspect I would have taken more away from the book if I’d actually read it. There are a few ideas that have stuck with me, however. One was an idea she repeated: being heavy is easy, but being light-hearted is hard. It takes effort. Also, she talked about the idea of enthusiasm as a form of social courage. I’ve thought about that one a good bit, too. If you’re looking for a book on happiness, I think Happiness Is a Serious Problem by Dennis Prager is a better choice.
A book that won a ECPA Christian Book award: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas I’ve owned this one on Kindle for a long time, and countless people have recommended it to me but for some reason I’ve only just now gotten to it. It’s very good. I really appreciate good biographies as a way to learn more history, and although I’d heard and read a bit about Bonhoeffer through the years, I’d never known the full story in the context of Nazi Germany. I wish I’d been able to read this before I visited Berlin a few years ago. Anyway, if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it.
A book with a one-word title: Feed by M.T. Anderson Yuck. I really, really didn’t like this book, but I have this compulsion to see a book all the way through, hoping that surely it gets better. It didn’t.
A book with the word “gospel” in the title or subtitle: Gossip and the Gospel: Understanding the Harmful Effects of Gossip in the Church – Timothy Williams I was disappointed in this one. There’s some good stuff here – some painful conviction and some guidance on handling gossip, slander, etc. But there are also verses out of context and some condemnation that lacks the Gospel.
A memoir: The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son by Pat Conroy I’ve wanted to read this one for a while now, but it moved up in the queue upon the author’s recent passing. Pat Conroy was a master of the English language, and as a southerner I especially appreciate his love of the south. Even though he made peace with his father, his story is still a very sad one. “In families, there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.”
A mystery or detective novel: The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly I enjoy Connelly’s stories, but this one wasn’t my favorite. It got better about 3/4 of the way in, but just wasn’t a stand out.
A book you own but have never read: A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken This one has been on my shelf for years, and many folks have recommended it. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations after all of the rave reviews.
A book by a female author: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert I really cannot recommend this one at all. I really enjoyed the first part, but then it took a strange, slow, ultimately boring turn. I didn’t like any of the characters, either. Very disappointing.
A novel set in a country that is not your own: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway This one is good. I visited Sarajevo a few years ago, so I could picture the scenes as I read. I’ve put more of his books on my to-read list.
A book with an ugly cover: Blood Defense (Samantha Brinkmann Book 1) by Marcia Clark This one was free on Kindle recently, so I gave it a try. It was a decent thriller, and I read the whole thing hearing Maria Clark’s voice the whole time.
A book someone tells you “changed my life”:
A commentary on a book of the Bible:
A book your pastor recommends:
A book more than 100 years old:
A book for children:
A book published in 2016:
A book about a current issue:
A book written by a Puritan:
A book recommended by a family member:
A book by or about a missionary:
A novel that won the Pulitzer Prize:
A book written by an Anglican:
A book with at least 400 pages:
A book by C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien:
A book that has a fruit of the Spirit in the title:
A book with a great cover:
A book on the current New York Times list of best sellers:
A book about church history:
A graphic novel:
A book of poetry:
A book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with:
A book written by an author with initials in his/her name:
A book about worldview:
A play by William Shakespeare:
A humorous book:
A book based on a true story:
A book written by Jane Austen:
A book by or about Martin Luther:
A book with 100 pages or fewer:
A book about money or finance:
A book about music:
A book whose title comes from a Bible verse:
A book you have started but never finished:
A book by David McCullough:
A book about abortion:
A book targeted at the other gender:
A book by a speaker at a conference you have attended:
A book written by someone of a different ethnicity:
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