Sunday, December 29

What I Read in 2013

This was a sabbatical year, a teaching year, a traveling year, a shifting year.  This was the year of the guest room, the church plant, the identity shift.  In this year reading pushed me through the hard and in the end I found that I read (even) less fiction, more vision casting words and I discovered Barbara Brown Taylor. 

My List
  1. The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life by Parker J. Palmer
  2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  3. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  4. Love Does by Bob Goff
  5. Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids by Kara Powell and Chap Clark
  6. Hearing Her Voice:  A Case for Women Giving Sermons by John Dickson
  7. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
  8. John for Everyone, Pt. 1 by N.T. Wright
  9. Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the Seven Stages of Spiritual Growth by Thomas Ashbrook
  10. The Crowd, the Critic and the Muse by Michael Gungor
  11. Abundant Simplicity: Discovering the Unhurried Rhythms of Grace by Jan Johnson
  12. Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community by  Enuma Okoro
  13. John for Everyone, Pt. 2 by N.T. Wright
  14. Greater: Dream Bigger, Start Smaller, Ignite God's Vision for Your Life by Steven Furtick
  15. Unexpected Gifts: Discovering the Way of Community by Christopher Heuertz
  16. Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table by Shauna Niequist
  17. Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor
  18. A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver
  19. Undaunted: Daring to Do What God Calls You To Do by Christine Caine
  20. Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God by Margaret Feinberg
  21. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  22. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  23. A Praying Life by Paul Miller
  24. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
  25. The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
  26. Kingdom Journeys: Rediscovering the Lost Spiritual Discipline by Seth Barnes
  27. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
  28. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  29. A Reason for God by Timothy Keller
  30. The Burning Word: A Christian Encounter with Jewish Midrash by Judith Kunst
  31. When God is Silent by Barbara Brown Taylor
  32. Wonderstruck (again) by Margaret Feinberg
  33. The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
  34. The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
  35. UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity and Why it Matters by David Kinnaman
  36. Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life by Henri Nouwen
  37. The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as a Hopeful Practice of Church Communities by S. Christopher Smith
  38. After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters by N.T. Wright
  39. Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition by Christine Pohl
  40. Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism by Carl Medearis
  41. The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith
  42. Signature Sins: Taming our Wayward Hearts by Michael Mangis
  43. Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture by Brandon Hatmaker
  44. Tangible Kingdom: Creating Incarnational Community by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay
  45. The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon 
  46. The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken by Naomi Zacharias
  47. Stitches: A Handbook of Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott
  48. Unexpected Gifts (again) by Christopher Heuertz
  49. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

My favorites

Love Does by Bob Goff:  Seriously, let's stop standing around preaching love and just do it.  This was the most fun I'd had reading a book in a long time.

Abundant Simplicity by Jan Johnson:  A book is good when it inspires me to scour bookseller websites looking for similar reads.  It's the first I've read from Jan Johnson and I enjoy her easy writing.  This is one you read "in the midst" of activity.  Don't read it in preparation for simplicity.  Read it when you most need to make the adjustment.

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist:  Shauna obviously wrote out of who she is in this one.  Insightful and warm run-on sentences -- just the way I like her.  I always love to write after I read her.

Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor: Here's a tip: if you have any of her books abiding on your "to-read" shelves for years like I did, pull them off, sit down and read them.  Don't delay.  You will literally feel your heart grow.

The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard:  He's well respected for a reason.  I'm so glad he lived and gave us such wonderful insight. So honored to have finally read some of it.

The Burning Word by Judith Kunst:  This book was my summer practice, my sabbatical read.  It was with me when everything fell.  It inspired a sermon.  It and its practices was new water for my dying soul.

Compassion by Henri Nouwen:  When I wanted to cease thinking, cease growing, cease loving people I, of course, had to do the opposite. I had to move into the act of "suffering with."  And I had to teach others how to do it. Nouwen held my hand and showed me the way.

Unexpected Gifts by Christopher Heuertz:  I've read it twice now.  Once for me, once for the community we're building that needs to hear this message so we don't make the mistakes that sideswiped us all.  So we can learn to see the unexpected gifts of struggles and dissonance and not force each others hands.  Community really is everything.