Bloggers all over the web are posting their favorite reads of the past year. Ever one to copy a good idea, particularly one that will revive the blog however temporarily, I thought I would follow suit. Here are some of my favorites among the books that I read in 2011. It is not a “top ten” list per se, in that I’ve listed them in some sort of ascending preference; it’s too eclectic of a list for me to rank a top favorite! Rather, these are the books I most enjoyed reading or that I learned the most from or both. I didn’t include books that I had read previously (though certainly books like The Help and Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice and Peace Like a River, not to mention The Hiding Place and Through Gates of Splendor, are favorite reads in any year!).
MY FAVORITE READS OF 2011 (in no particular order)…
A beautiful, haunting story of two women in war torn Afghanistan. I was hesitant to read it but I’m glad I did.
A beautiful, haunting story of the battle of Gettysburg, so beautifully written. I am so glad I stumbled upon a recommendation via a friend’s Facebook status.
I think I told you of my threefold response after reading this memoir: 1) I want to visit Oxford. 2) I feel dumb. And 3) I am encouraged by the reminder that my faith is, among many things, also intellectual. In other words, it sustains careful thought and critical examination. I loved this memoir!
The big story of the Bible, the broad sweep of the gospel story from Genesis to Revelation, this book is a helpful examination of what Christians believe and why they believe it. Recommended by Rebecca of Rebecca Writes
, this is an encouraging, faith-building, instructive read.
Perhaps my most surprising favorite! I mean, it’s like 900 pages or something! But, I liked it. A lot. Especially when accompanied by the Masterpiece Theater miniseries.
As a (sometime) Bible teacher, this book was perhaps the most sobering as well as the most helpful book I read last year. It’s like hermeneutics for dummies, like myself. I need to read it again.
by Geraldine Brooks
A compelling and interesting novel about Mr. March of Little Women fame and his years in the Civil War.
Theology 101, enough said.
Though Lauren and I would not agree on all points doctrinally, I found her memoir of her conversion to the Christian faith to be winsome and engaging. I enjoyed it very much.
I said I wasn’t going to pick favorites but if I were to pick a favorite novel that I read last year this would probably be it. Not so very plot driven but written with such beautiful language and with such a compelling voice that I loved it. I cried at the end, which, for those of you who know me, is saying something.
Though Staci and I are blog friends, I’m not picking this as a favorite because she is a favorite but, well, because the title says it all. And because I need to read it again. And again.
The gospel making sense in my daily life. Yes and amen.
Practical Christianity presented in clear, practical language. Another book I need to read again. And again.
This is, I think, my favorite of Bragg’s memoirs. He is a true artist with the computer keyboard and I love not only his prose but his stories of “my people,” those of us from the South but not of the aristocracy that sometimes is identified as the Southern constitution. In this book, he alternates between stories of his father and his own struggles as new stepdad, both of which are sometimes hilarious and sometimes bittersweet.
What are your favorite reads of the past year? Do you have any recommendations for my 2012 reading list?