Sunday, December 25

The Books I Chewed on in 2011

A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer
was the first thing I picked up January 1.
Starting the year with Parker is my little
tradition that helps me truly expand to
greet the new year.
I've read 48 books this year.  Words have encircled me.  Thoughts have inspired me.  The lives of others have been my example to continue to move beyond myself, to live with purpose that builds the kingdom of God, to become more me as I become more his.  It's been a good year.  These are all the books that I took on this year. The ones I've emboldened are the top 5 that made me think, stretched me and made me want to share its wisdom with others.
  • A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer
  • This is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes by Marilyn Berger
  • The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison
  • Great Expectations: Interactive Guide to the 1st Year of Marriage by Toben and JoAnne Heim
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where you Are by Ann Voskamp
      One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
      One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
      was the one book that I wanted to drink
      in quickly and then just as quickly stopped
      reading simply because I didn't want it to
      be over.  After leading women in a book
      group through it and seeing the ripple
      effect it has had in their lives, I'm certain
      it's one to re-read over and over.
  • Introverts in the Church by Adam McHugh
  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Don Miller 
  • Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff
  • The Rock that is Higher by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
  • The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg
  • After the Leaves Fall by Nicole Baart
  • Sheet Music by Kevin Lehman
  • Let Nothing Disturb You - St. Teresa of Avila
  • Sacred Companions by David Benner
  • 58: Fast Living - How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty by Scott Todd
  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan
  • Churched by Matthew Paul Turner
  • Bittersweet:  Thoughts on Change Grace and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
I resonated with the loss of ministry, the
confusion of God's call, and the heartache.
of all of it.  Thank you, Shauna, for putting
words to the pain and showing the side
that no one usually gets to see.
  • The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
  • Mark for Everyone by N.T. Wright
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling 
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • Love Wins by Rob Bell
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  • The DiVinci Code by Dan Brown
  • The Shack by William Paul Young
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  • Wild at Heart by John Eldridge
  • Between Women of God by Donna Otto
  • One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (again!)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • Becoming a Woman of Influence by Carol Kent
  • The Way They Learn by Cynthia Tobias
  • Can You Drink the Cup? by Henri Nouwen
  • The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules
    This gem was snatched up for free on Kindle
    during the year.  It was serendipitous that
    my Bible study decided to study Ruth 
    and so I began this in conjunction.  It fed
    my soul as a woman seeking to follow
    hard after God.  I couldn't wait to get 
    into it every week.  
  • The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules by Carolyn Custis James
  • The Faith of Leap by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch
  • Braided Streams by Marjory Zoet Bankson
  • Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James
  • Esther by Charles Swindoll
  • The On-Purpose Person by Kevin McCarthy
  • Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Discipleship by Alan & Debra Hirsch
  • NIV Application Commentary/Esther by Karen Jobes
  • Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen
  • Simply Christian by N.T. Wright
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This summer's reading theme was "What's all the Fuss About?"  It was some of the most fun I've had 
reading in a while.  Had I not done that I would have only
 read 2 fiction books.  It's intriguing to me how much non-fiction
has taken such a front seat over the years.
Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship (Shapevine)
Untamed by Alan and Debra Hirsch
As I think more intently about mentoring
this book challenged me to create
relationships that are wholistic.  In short,
it came at a very good time.

I attempted a few books that I just had to set aside.  As interesting as they were, I just couldn't push through Malcom Gladwell's The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Kathryn Schultz's On Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, Alexandra Robbins' The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, and David Brooks' The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement.   I'd love to read them one day, but these are the kinds of works that I think I grasp better and get excited about in the form of a TED talk. 

What were your most inspiring reads this year?


  1. A few I really loved last year were
    Life Together | Bonhoeffer
    Nurture Shock | Bronson + Merryman
    Peace Like a River | Enger
    My Life with the Saints | Martin
    The Return of the Prodigal Son | Nouwen
    Winter Light | Smith

    FYI, I used your geocaching idea for a round-up of Epiphany ideas :)

  2. Thanks, Kristen! I've now added a couple of those to my amazon wishlist. (Trying hard to keep that thing below 100 titles). Have you read Tim Keller's Prodigal God? It's also a fantastic interpretation of the story Nouwen was expressing.

  3. I loved Prodigal God. I am a big Keller fan, looking forward to reading his book on marriage this year :)


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