Books Read (and finished) in 2016

open-booksIn 2016, I read 52 books. Out of those 52 books, 16 of them were read for publishers and reviewed on my blog. 9 of those books were on my 2016 Book Plan (which consisted of a total of 28 books). So, I struggled again to even hit the 50% mark of books that had been on my plan. While that may be discouraging to some people, it’s not so to me. This is not a science and I just see every year as an iteration to work towards making this process more efficient. If I’m not enjoying what I’m reading and having fun with what I read, there’s really no point in doing any of this.

Seeing as I’m a pastor, the bulk of my reading focused on spirituality. I went on a three month sabbatical this past summer. 3 of the books that I read this year were included in my sabbatical plan. These are the books that I read this year that focused on spirituality: 

Michelle Anthony “Spiritual Parenting”

Eugene Cho “Overrated”

Michael Frost “The Road to Missional”

Bob Goff “Love Does”

J.D. Greear “Gaining By Losing”

Craig Groeschel “#struggles”

Abraham Joshua Heschel “The Sabbath”

Kent Julian “99 Thoughts on Leading Volunteers”

Madeline L’Engle “Walking On Water”

C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”

Brennan Manning “The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus”

Russell Moore “Onward”

Steven L. Ogne and Kenneth E. Priddy “The Leadership Ladder”

Eugene Peterson “Five Smooth Stones For Pastoral Work”

Nik Ripken “The Insanity of God”

Bob Roberts, Jr. “The Multiplying Church”

Nelson Searcy “The Renegade Pastor”

John Stott “The Radical Disciple”

Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, and Warren Bird “The Multi-Site Church Revolution”

Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, and Warren Bird “Multi-Site Church Road Trip”

John Van Sloten “The Day Metallica Came to Church”

Ravi Zacharias “I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah” 

Reviewing books for my blog is a big part of my list (about 30% of the total books that I read). I reviewed the following 16 books for my blog in 2016:

George Barna “America at the Crossroads”

Jimmy Evans & Allan Kelsey “Strengths Based Marriage”

Elyse Fitzpatrick “Home”

Brandon Hatmaker “A Mile Wide”

Michael Horton “Core Christianity”

Bryan Loritts “Saving the Saved”

Erwin Lutzer “Rescuing the Gospel”

Albert Mohler, Jr. “We Cannot Be Silent”

Mac Pier “A Disruptive Gospel”

Matt and Beth Redman “Finding God in the Hard Times”

Judah Smith “How’s Your Soul?”

Scotty Smith “Every Season Prayers”

R.C. Sproul “What Is Reformed Theology?”

Chad Veach “Unreasonable Hope”

Jon Weece “Me Too”

Jared C. Wilson “Unparalleled” 

I also read a few biographies/autobiographies (not sure all of these qualify for that category, but if they were on the edge, I put them here):

George W. Bush “41 – A Portrait of My Father”

Alan Chambers “My Exodus: From Fear to Grace”

Martin Dugard “To Be A Runner”

Laura Hillenbrand “Unbroken”

Jennifer Knapp “Facing the Music”

Nabeel Qureshi “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”

Gene Simmons “Kiss and Make Up”

I tried to branch out and read some books that focused on business, marketing, or other leadership principles. Here are those books:

Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”

Jim Collins “Good To Great”

Seth Godin “Tribes”

Patrick Lencioni “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”

I didn’t read many novels this year, just one to be exact, but I did read a few plays by August Wilson after hearing about him over the years. Here are the novels and plays that I read:

Stephen King “11/22/63”

August Wilson “Gem of the Ocean”

August Wilson “Fences”

While the books that I read in 2016 can’t very well be called diverse, I think I had a fairly decent mix of genres this year. I will continue to try to mix things up this year. My Book Plan for 2017 can be seen here.

Postscript:

After the publishing of this post, I started and finished “How Full Is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton. It’s tied into some of what I did on my sabbatical and actually brings my total books read number up to 53 to equal my total in 2015.

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Book Plan for 2017

Library with a book ladder and lampThis is my fourth year of putting together a reading plan. I’ve still not got a good rhythm on it. I think there are far too many unknowns for me and there are far too many good books out there that I am longing to read. So, I’ll keep plugging away and trying.

I’m trying to broaden my horizons a little bit more. I’ve been feeling a pull to more diversity in my plan, so I’m adding some touches here and there. I know that there will be blog books as well, books that I will review for my blog, which is always an unknown. I’m, never quite sure just what kinds of books will be offered, so it’s hard to predict those books. 

My plan for 2017 will be to lessen the number of books in the plan in hopes that I will be able to be more efficient in reading books from this list. It hasn’t gone well in the past when I have tried to read books on my plan when I’ve had an extensive list. Out of the 28 books on my plan for 2016, I only finished 9 of them, but I still managed to read 52 books for the year, one less than 2015, an average of one book per week. 

Maya Angelou “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

Rachel Held Evans “Evolving In Monkey Town”

Victor Frankl “Man’s Search for Meaning”

Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch “ReJesus”

Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon “Resident Aliens’

Howard V. and Edna H. Hong, editors “The Essential Kierkegaard”

Walter Isaacson “Steve Jobs”

Tim Keller “Center Church”

Tim Keller “Preaching”

Stephen Mansfield “The Search for God and Guiness”

Brenda Salter McNeil “Roadmap to Reconciliation”

Matt Mikalatos “My Imaginary Jesus”

Jürgen Moltmann “A Broad Place”

Flannery O’Connor “The Complete Stories”

Andrew Peterson “The Warden and the Wolf King”

David Platt “Counter Culture”

Preston Sprinkle “Living In a Gray World”

Preston Sprinkle “People To Be Loved”

John Steinbeck “Of Mice and Men”

Howard Thurman “Jesus and the Disinherited”

Mark Twain “How To Tell A Story and Other Essays”

N.T. Wright “Simply Jesus”

This is my plan which I know will most likely shift and change a little bit, but if I don’t start out with something, I’ll have a hard time hitting anything.

Would love to hear about some of your favorite books and whether or not you have interacted with any on this list.

Happy reading!

At Just the Right Time

IMG_4276I love to read. It’s not uncommon for me to be in the middle of 3 or 4 books at a time. I have stacks of books that I am waiting to get into. I have a reading plan that I do my best to follow throughout the year (check it out here). I review books here on my blog. People give me books that they recommend.

With all of the books that I have waiting in the wings to be read, I don’t always follow an order or a linear path. I’ll often put aside some books and pick up others that weren’t even on my radar before I pick them up.

I say all this because I am constantly amazed at the countless times in life when I have pulled a book off of my shelf that has sat their idle for months or even years only to have it drip with relevance as soon as I start reading it. It seems that the moment I crack the book open and begin reading was ordained so much that it hits me square between the eyes, speaking to me in the intimacy of my own thoughts and exposing me at the very moment in which I find myself. It’s almost as if I had purposely waited for just that moment to begin reading.

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to a book that had been on my radar for at least a year, Brennan Manning’s “The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus.” My lead pastor and friend had recommended it sometime last year. I ordered it, put it on my shelf, and then promptly forgot about it.

As I journey through the sabbatical that I am on, it seemed incredibly relevant for me to read these words, “Am I getting too serious about life? Have I let my sense of childlike wonder fade? Am I so caught up in preaching, teaching, writing and traveling that I no longer hear the sound of rain on the roof?” As those words jumped off the page at me, I silently snickered as I thought of how apropos these words were for such a time as I am in.

In the middle of a section of the book where he talks about Christmas, I read the above phrase. It struck me as even more relevant because for the past few years, I have worked hard to slow myself down in the midst of one of the busiest times of the year: Christmas. I’ve realized that the four weeks of Advent can too easily be lost to me if I don’t intentionally journey through them.

But these words could hardly be relegated to just the Advent season. Looking at my children, I can see that childlike wonder of which Manning speaks if I simply stop and pay attention. If I look hard enough and silence myself and all that is within me long enough, I can see a living example of wonder right there before my very eyes.

To read this during a sabbatical seemed like so much more than just coincidence. It was as if I was supposed to be reading it at this time and place in my life.

No sooner had I read these words about slowing down and taking things in then I read this, “The early Christians considered themselves supermen not because of superhuman willpower but because of reliance on the supernatural power of the Spirit.” I was pretty sure that I had said something similar in a sermon as one of my “go to” Greek words is the word dunamis which means, “power.”

These two points were incredibly relevant and poignant to read in this season of life. Reminders to not take myself too seriously and to try to keep a childlike wonder about myself, but also a reminder that I’m not nearly as important as I might convince myself and that the power that I have to do things doesn’t originate from me.

As John the Baptist said, “I must decrease and he must increase.” The Apostle Paul spoke of his boasting in his weakness and his boast being in Christ alone. My confidence and strength resides within me, but it does not originate within me, it comes from outside of me, and I can never forget that.

Brennan Manning continues to stretch me and challenge me every time that I engage one of his works. I am not nearly as gracious to myself as I need to be. I far too often find my flaws and flagellate myself with them rather than releasing them or, as Paul did, rejoicing in them. My flaws don’t show my weakness so much as they show Christ’s strength, and that’s an important distinction that I can’t forget.

I know that there will be other books that have been collecting dust on my shelves, waiting for me to pick them up, that will speak to me at the particular and specific moment in which I pick them up. It’s happened far too many times to be considered coincidence. For now, I’ll rest in the lessons that I’ve learned in this reading and do my best to savor them and soak them in.

My 2016 Reading Plan

booksI put together a book plan for 2015 and did not get through the list nearly as well as I would have liked. I only was able to read 11 of the 35 books that I had listed, not a bad percentage if I’m playing baseball, but I’d much rather do better in accomplishing my reading goal. The biggest drawback that I faced was the books that would pop up along the way, books recommended by friends, colleagues, and others, as well as all of the books that I review for my blog, of which there were 19 total last year (approximately 36% of my total books read).

This year, I am shortening my list and including many books that I have started and left unfinished for some time. So, 2016 may be the year of closing up some loose ends. Some of the books are carry overs, books that I missed in 2015.

I’m knocking the number down from 33 books last year to 28. I read 53 books in 2015 and I expect I will read at least as much this year, but I want to make sure that I am leaving room for spontaneity as well as edification, growth, and enjoyment in my reading.

I’ve tried to mix up different genres and go with some books that I may not normally read or gravitate towards. Trying to expand my horizons a bit and see what I can learn along the way. I’ve been trying to read books by people with whom I may not agree in an effort to stretch myself.

Without further ado, here is my list:

Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, M.D. “Younger Next Year”

Martin Dugard “To Be A Runner”

Rachel Held Evans “Evolving In Monkey Town”

Michael Frost “The Road To Missional”

Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch “ReJesus”

Craig Groeschel “#struggles”

Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon “Resident Aliens’

Laura Hillenbrand “Unbroken”

Howard V. and Edna H. Hong, editors “The Essential Kierkegaard”

Tim Keller “Center Church”

Tim Keller “Preaching”

Patrick Lencioni “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”

Madeline L’Engle “Walking On Water”

C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”

C.S. Lewis “Perelandra”

C.S. Lewis “That Hideous Strength”

Brennan Manning “The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus”

George R.R. Martin “A Game of Thrones”

Paul E. Miller “A Praying Life”

R. Albert Mohler, Jr. “We Cannot Be Silent”

Jürgen Moltmann “The Crucified God”

Jürgen Moltmann “A Broad Place”

H. Richard Niebuhr “Christ & Culture”

Flannery O’Connor “The Complete Stories”

Neil Peart “Ghost Rider”

Andrew Peterson “The Warden and the Wolf King”

David Platt “Counter Culture”

N.T. Wright “Simply Jesus”

I would love to hear about some of your favorite books and whether or not you have interacted with any on this list.

Happy reading!

Books I Read In 2015

books to readI read a total of 53 books over the course of 2015. I had written up a plan with titles at the beginning of the year to try to be more structured and intentional about my reading throughout the year. Overall, I did all right with my plan. I didn’t read everything that had been on my list, mostly because my list was much more extensive than I had considered at the beginning of the year.

In 2014, I read 39 books (here’s my post). My original list had 33 books on it but I only read 7 of those 33 books. I began reviewing books for my blog that year and that continued in 2015. So, I thought I would do a little bit better going into 2015. I posted my list and thought I was being more realistic.

My 2015 reading list included 35 books. Of those 35 books, I read 11 of them (marked below with a +). The other 42 books on my list were a compilation of books that I read to review for my blog (marked below with a *, 19 total), books that I read to check out and preview before my son read them (marked below with a ^), and books that just kind of popped up along the way. Some books satisfied multiple categories and are marked as such.

My 2016 plan will be posted later this week and I hope that I’m getting better as I go.

Sam Allberry “Is God Anti-gay?”

The Arbinger Institute “Leadership and Self-Deception”

+* Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III “God Loves Sex”

* Mark Batterson and Richard Foth “A Trip Around the Sun”

Nadia Bolz-Weber “Pastrix”

* Andy Braner “No Fear In Love”

+^ Eoin Colfer “Artemis Fowl”

^ Suzanne Collins “Gregor the Overlander”

+ Suzanne Collins “Mockingjay”

Peter Criss “Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss”

* Rachel Held Evans “Searching For Sunday”

Michael Frost “Surprise the World! The Five Habits of Highly Missional People”

* Andrew Gant “The Carols of Christmas”

* John Greco “Manger King”

* Don C. Harris “Think Red Ink”

* Jen Hatmaker “For the Love”

Gary A. Haugen “Just Courage”

Wesley Hill “Washed and Waiting”

+ Tim Keller “The King’s Cross”

Justin Lee “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-Vs.-Christians Debate”

^ Madeline L’Engle “A Wrinkle In Time”

* Amy Lively “How To Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird”

+ C.S. Lewis “Out of the Silent Planet”

David Lomas “The Truest Thing About You”

+ Brennan Manning “All Is Grace”

* Jonathan McKee “More Than Just the Talk”

* Jonathan McKee “Sex Matters”

* Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson “Mormonism 101”

* Scot McKnight “A Fellowship of Differents”

* Matt Mikalatos “Into the Fray”

* Donald Miller “Scary Close”

* Dr. Linda Mintle “We Need to Talk”

Joseph Myers “Organic Community”

Larry Osborne “Thriving In Babylon”
Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon “The Art of Neighboring”

^ Ridley Pearson “Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark”

^ Ridley Pearson “Kingdom Keepers: Disney At Dawn”

+^ Ridley Pearson “Kingdom Keepers: Disney In Shadow”

Dr. Kara E. Powell, Brad M. Griffin, and Dr. Cheryl A. Crawford “Sticky Faith – Youth Worker Edition”

Kevin Roose “The Unlikely Disciple – A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University”

+ Veronica Roth “Allegiant”

^ J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

^ J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

^ J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

Francis Schaeffer “Art and the Bible”

* Peter Scazzero “The Emotionally Healthy Leader”

* Judah Smith “Life Is _______”

+* Sam Storms “Kept For Jesus”

John R.W. Stott “The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus”

+^ J.R.R. Tolkien “The Hobbit”

* David Vogel “The Truth With Love”

+* Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman “The Daniel Plan”

August Wilson “Seven Guitars”

 

+ 2015 List

* Blog

^ Preview

 

Happy 2016 and happy reading!

Scary Close – A Book Review

scary closeDonald Miller has the ability to seem like one of those friends who you don’t talk to or see frequently, but when you do, it’s as if you just saw them yesterday. He cozies up to you as if he’s never left, as if you’ve been friends your whole life long. You pick up where you left off and sit enthralled as he weaves his latest yarn.

Miller has made a writing career out of telling his stories. Whether it’s about growing up without a father, going on a road trip, living in Portland, Oregon, or something else, he has a knack for telling stories. He’s also made an art form of standing naked and vulnerable in front of people with his words. He has focused his books on the transformations that take place in his life, the ways that he is being made new and different.

“Scary Close” is no different. Miller tells the story of how he had to work through his own mess before he could finally feel fit enough for a long-term relationship. Of course, he didn’t come to the conclusion on his own, he had help from friends who spoke truth into his life. He’s honest about the various ways that he had sabotaged so many relationships with the opposite sex in the past. “Scary Close” is the story of how he finally entered into one of the greatest adventures that life holds: marriage.

Miller’s honesty and candor are refreshing, he never claims expertise. He paints himself as a sojourner, learning from his own mistakes and hoping that others might do the same. From a layman’s perspective, he lays out his own observations of his own mistakes as well as the mistakes that are common among relationships. He identifies some of the characteristics that have stood out as hindrances to his own relationships in the past.

Miller’s work isn’t for everyone. Anyone coming to this book expecting a theological treatise or something deeply theological will be disappointed. There may even be some who would criticize the work for seeming steeped in psycho-babble, but alas, we will all have critics. Miller’s work wasn’t written for scholars but for the common man or woman. Through his unfolding story, he gives hope to the average man or woman who might stumble onto his work and find comfort and solace in the fact that there are other people out there who feel inadequate and fall short of their own expectations of themselves. Through his story, he encourages others who may have found themselves traveling down a similar road to the one which he was on.

“Scary Close” is a quick and enjoyable read. While there were no major “aha” moments or deep takeaways, the book had lots of insights and nuggets that will be a helpful reference as I consider the idea of intimacy and why it seems to elusive to so many.

(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Harper Collins Publishing. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)

Experiencing the Loss of a Family Member – A Book Review

Experiencing the Loss of a Family MemberIf we live on this earth, we will all experience loss. Sometimes we wade into the losses that we experience while other times, we dive right in, experiencing the loss of family members or friends who are close to us. When we experience loss and dive into a time of grief, how do we appropriately wade through it? How do we venture through grief, especially when our society seems to want to push past it and not even address it?

H. Norman Wright has experienced loss of his own. He lost his 22 year old son who was severely disabled and his wife who succumbed to breast cancer. It is out of the depths of this loss that Wright is able to write and share. He is not coming in as a counseling or therapy expert alone, he is able to share his thoughts and guidance through grief because he has personally experienced deep and painful loss himself. His voice of experience speaks volumes when it comes to grief.

This book is laid out in such a way that it can serve as a handbook, so you can pick and choose the chapters that may be more applicable to your own experience if you don’t want to read the whole book. There are insights throughout the book on the journey through grief, tucked in among the specific chapters. Wright starts out with an overview of the world and process of grief and then walks through chapters that deal with specific losses such as the loss of a spouse, the loss of a child, the loss of a parent, and the loss of a sibling. Wright even adds chapters on losing friends and pets (as pet lovers can attest to the fact that pets become part of your family).

Part of the strength of this book is the permission that Wright gives to the reader/grieving one. He says, “Everyone grieves differently, and there isn’t one right way to grieve. Never compare your grief with another’s; your grief is uniquely your own.” He talks about the potential physical implications that will be seen as one journeys through grief, the complexity of emotions that will be experienced, and some helpful hints as to how to make the journey less bumpy. He wouldn’t go so far as to say that the journey through grief is easy, but his suggestions can at least help to ease the pain a little.

Throughout the chapters, there are questions that can be asked by the reader (or others) to try to explore and even get to the heart of grief. Wright offers advice from others who have written on the subject of grief and includes helpful Scripture references that may bring salve to the wounds of grief that are experienced.

Wright’s style of writing is such that you almost feel yourself reliving some of your own losses as he describes the emotions experienced. I felt myself knotting up inside as I read through some of the implications of losing parents. Wright’s experience in loss is an asset for him as he doesn’t describe the process of grief in psychological jargon but in conversational prose. He makes a connection with his reader with this approach. The only criticisms that I have for the book are that it can feel a little overlong if you read it from front to back rather than using it as a manual. The other criticism is that there are times when the scriptural reference seem rather forced or obligatory rather than flowing naturally out of an essential part of coping with loss. A deeper theological treatment of grief would have been helpful.

Besides those few critiques, the book was good. It’s a book that I could easily recommend, in sum or in part, to someone who has experienced grief and is looking for some answers for their own coping. If you know of someone who has experienced the loss of a family member or if you have experienced that loss, you might give Wright a try.

(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Bethany House Publishers. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)

The First Time We Saw Him – A Book Review

first time we saw himIt’s quite possible that a person has been following Jesus for so long that they’ve lost sight of what it was like in the very beginning. The early church in Ephesus had forsaken their first love, even despite the fact that they lived much closer to the Christ event than we do. So, why should it be a surprise that we might experience dryness and need a “shot in the arm,” a rebirth, or a fresh perspective?

Matt Mikalatos has grown up in the church. He’s seen the Bible stories played out and played out and played out again. He knew all of the right answers, but it seems that some of the questions might have been forgotten along the way, which is why he wrote this book.

Too often, it’s easy to read the stories of Jesus and lose so much because of the cultural and temporal distance between them and us. Some of the shocking elements of the stories that Jesus told and lived lose their shock because we don’t always fully understand just how important or how controversial or how significant something was at the time of Jesus’ telling.

Mikalatos is a gifted storyteller, there is no doubt about that. He uses this gift to reimagine some of the stories of Jesus that we find within the gospels. He tries to find ways to connect the elements of the story that were grounded in the culture and time of Jesus with something that will connect with us in our own time to impact our own telling and hearing of the story.

He’s mostly successful at this, changing some of the names here, changing locations there, changing some of the cultural shocking elements to things that might be equivalent in today’s culture. He uses artistic license to expound upon stories, adding elements that might connect better with the reader. As I read these stories, I could hear the voices of some of the “Bible police” in my head, shouting at the exgetical fallacies that were committed by the author. But, honestly, if someone is looking that hard to make sure that every connection and change is spot on, they probably shouldn’t be reading this book. Or maybe they should.

In his own words, Mikalotos wants to, “talk about the Gospel stories in a way that might shock us out of our preconceived notions and help us approach Jesus with the same wonder, frustration, revelation, uncertainty, and nervous fear that people did in the first century.” And that’s just what he does. There are things that might feel offensive, I found myself stirring up within at the retelling of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet, but I think that stirring up was a good thing, brining me closer to experiencing the emotions of those who heard Jesus’ words for the first time in his presence.

The stories will be familiar to most who have grown up within the church. The prodigal son. The lost coin. The raising of Lazarus. Mikalatos even tackles the end of Jesus’ life, a bold feat which could stir up strong emotions in anyone who is familiar with the atrocity of racism that we tend to want to sweep under the rug within our country, likening crucifixion to lynching. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem ends up in a convertible rather than a donkey. Peter wields a gun rather than a dagger to cut off the ear of the soldier.

Yes, Mikalatos is a gifted storyteller and he leans on that strength to retell these stories. He also adds personal commentary and stories along the way, connecting well with his reader and helping them to understand that he is not simply reciting nice stories, but sharing some of the very things that he has wrestled with himself.

“The First Time We Saw Him” was a worthwhile read. It was a reminder to me that I need to pause more frequently when reading the Gospel accounts, to reflect on just how powerful those stories were at the time of their telling so that they can be equally as powerful to me and all of us who hear them today. These are the stories that we need to tell because they change us. They are the stories of God’s promise, that he will be among us, and that he will meet us where we are but never leave us there. If you need that kind of a reminder, I would recommend this book to you.

My 2014 Reading Plan

reading listI’ve decided to take a more structured approach to reading in my life.  At any given time, I generally have a “To Read” pile that reaches from floor to ceiling.  It gets a bit overwhelming, so I decided that I would to my best to come up with a reading list for this coming year.  It’s not exhaustive, but I am hoping to keep track of my reading a little bit more this year and do what I can to post what I’ve learned and what I’m learning as I read through these books.

I’m doing my best to try to add some fiction here and there, but I haven’t done a good job with that.  These are listed in alphabetical order, not necessarily the order that I plan to read them in.  There are a little more than 30 books here, which would average to a book every week to a week and a half.  Hoping that this approach will help me a little bit more and I will try to post updates as I go.

So, wish me the best and I’ll keep you updated.

Randy Alcorn “Safely Home”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer “The Cost of Discipleship”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer “Letters and Papers From Prison”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer “Life Together”

Francis Chan “Multiply”

Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger “Creature of the Word”

Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson “The Explicit Gospel”

Wayne Cordeiro with Francis Chan & Larry Osborne “Sifted”

Malcolm Gladwell “David and Goliath”

Ed Gungor “What Bothers Me Most About Christianity”

Christopher Hitchens “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”

Peter Hitchens “The Rage Against God”

Howard V. and Edna H. Hong, editors “The Essential Kierkegaard”

Stephen King “11/22/63”

David Kinnaman “You Lost Me.”

C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”

C.S. Lewis The Space Trilogy

Bret Lott, editor “Eyes To See: A Collection of Enduring Stories That Challenge and Inspire”

Martin Luther “The Bondage of the Will”

Brennan Manning “All Is Grace”

Eric Metaxas “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy”

Eric Metaxas “Amazing Grace”

Stephen Miller “Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars”

Jürgen Moltmann “The Crucified God”

Jürgen Moltmann “A Broad Place”

H. Richard Niebuhr “Christ & Culture”

Flannery O’Connor “The Complete Stories”

Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon “The Art of Neighboring”

David Platt “Follow Me”

Soong-Chan Rah “The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church From Western Cultural Captivity”

Alan J. Roxburgh “Missional: Joining God In the Neighborhood”

Francis Schaeffer “True Spirituality”

Leonard Sweet “I Am A Follower”