Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2011 in Books

My "2011 in Books" post is long overdue, I know.  To be honest, I've been having a hard time remembering the books I read this past year.  Here's the list that I could come up with.
  • Praying, by Packer.  I have to confess I was slightly disappointed by this book.  It has good content, but sometimes it is slow going and I wish they had been a little more ruthless in the editing process.  But overall I did learn some things about prayer, which is the reason I read it in the first place.
  • Surprised by hope, by N.T. Wright.  This is one of the more influential books I have read recently.  By influential, I mean influential on my spiritual life and thinking.  I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to seriously answer the question - what is the central Christian hope?  I have already written 4 posts on this book.  See them here
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by Rowling.  Yet another booksale purchase.  To answer your questions - no, I haven't read any of the others in the series (odd as this may seem).  I plan to read the rest of the series soon!
  • The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year, by Kiberlee Ireton.  This short book is one of my resources for my posting on the topic of the Church calendar.  
  • The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard.  A re-read, read with a young adult small group I am a part of.  See my posts on Willard's books here.
  • Taliesin and Merlin, both books in the Pendragon Cycle, by Stephen Lawhead.
  • Davita's Harp, by Chaim Potok Intense and well written, as most of his books are I think.  Slightly disturbing.  I liked the other books I've read by Potok better.
  • Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan  I can't believe it took me this long to get around to reading it! (I read an abridge version when I was younger but that doesn't really count.) This is a must-read classic, as many people will tell you.  There are a few strange points of theology, but still so much to learn from.  I will probably re-read it again next year.
  • Living the Resurrection, by Eugene Peterson.  This is the first book (other than the Message paraphrase) which I have read by Peterson.  He focuses on three ways of living out the reality of the resurrection: Sabbath, Mealtime, and Baptism.  He expands each of these three to include not just the usual definition, but to encompass every part of our lives.  For example, in the third section (baptism) he speaks of how the resurrection reality is experienced in the company of friends.  He argues that we cannot really experience the fullness of resurrection living in isolation, but that we are designed to experience it with other people (in the church).  His writing style didn't grab me like some other authors, but this is still a good book and has some things to say that are definitely worth thinking about.  Here are some posts relating to this book.

Any recommendations for 2012?


  1. haha yes; I love that bench too :) Actually probably that whole street.