2016 Reading List

Well this is long overdue but I wanted to share some of the books I’ll be reading based on a quick survey of friends, especially friends who are very different from me socially, politically, geographically or in their general personality and backgrounds. I felt like this year ought to be one where I read a little more broadly than I normally do so hopefully you readers will agree that this is not the normal stuff I’d be choosing.

Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – suggested by two very different people so I am eagerly anticipating it although I know nothing about it.

Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send by J.D. Greear – more like the kind of thing I would normally pick up but the author has a very different philosophy of ministry than I do so I’m hoping to get stretched and strengthened at the same time.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens – A classic I probably was supposed to read in high school or college but never did. I didn’t realize how large it was until Lydia got it for me from the library.

Fear and Trembling by Soren Kirkegaard – Something a friend picked for me precisely because he didn’t think I would like it. I am over half done and happy to report that he was right!

Side by Side by Ed Welch – Author was a seminary prof but his class was on the totally opposite end of the counseling spectrum and he always struck me more as a deep thinker than church body life master so I’m interested to see what he has to say.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – I have wanted to read this since it was published. I don’t read a lot of biography so it will be a change of pace. Several people have told me I won’t be able to put it down, but knowing how much I dislike reading I’m sure that won’t be a problem.

The Smartest Kids in the World and How they Got that Way by Amanda Ripley – Ripley wrote a fascinating book on why some people survive disasters and others don’t that I bought a case of to give out at work and is an extremely talented writer. I vassume from her first book that she is far more secular than me in world view so a book on education will be interesting.

Trinity by Leon Uris – Another big thick book of unknown content and style highly recommended by someone I respect a lot who is coming off a major life adventure himself. I figure if someone who’s just had their horizons broadened recommends it, I ought to take that recommendation seriously.

Fools Talk by Os Guinness – I’ve never read anything by Guinness before but I am consistently reminding myself how much I need to focus on being more winsome in presenting Jesus Christ as the supremely beautiful savior and I’m hoping this helps me.

The Reformers and their Stepchild Verduin – A good friend told me years ago to read the book and he’s never gotten one wrong yet. I’m interested to see how much of the Reformation is really being embraced today.

A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren – Certainly not something I’d normally pick. One of the ironic things to me about watching Bernie Sanders is that he’s actually right about many of the problems but has some kind of disconnect in the solution (IMHO). I’m hoping this will both open my eyes to areas where maybe I am blind and also help me understand people on the left side of the political spectrum a little better.

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado – Max is a popular Christian author who in my opinion is more popular than Christian many times. I hope this will help me understand the “churchianity” subculture a little better.

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren – Basically the same as the Max Lucado book. I feel like I might be the only person in the western Christian church who hasn’t already read this book. From the snippets that I have read and what I already know about Warren, I’m assuming I’m not going to like it but I think it’s important to see what Christians (broadly defined) are reading.

Nothing Like It In The World by Stephen Ambrose – Who wouldn’t want to read a book about the men who built the transcontinental railroad from 1863 – 1869? I mean, everyone wants to hear stories about the Pony Express but why isn’t there more interest in the people  that ended its short life. Not me! Got this book for 25 cents at the Friends of the Library store here in Carrollton so I’m hoping I at least get my money’s worth from this Band of Brothers author.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo – This was the #1 adult book sold on Amazon.com in 2015  and so it may make some sense to see what it says and to see what it says about our culture that so many copies were sold on this topic.