Wednesday 9 January 2013

Books Read in 2012

In reflection, I maybe didn't read as much as I thought I did in 2012 but here are the books I read, some with additional comments.  I've probably left a few out, and there are several books that I started or only read a couple of chapters of.

Fruit That Will Last by Tim Hawkins
Required for an assignment as part of my youth ministry course.  Good for looking at one approach to youth ministry.

The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
Haunting but wonderful.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I can see why this book is a classic.

Various crime books 
Various books by Kerry Wilkinson that were only £1 or so on Amazon when I bought them, they're detective novels that were quick, absorbing reads.  I also read a number of James Patterson and Jeffery Deaver novels - they're good crime authors, full of suspense and I enjoy the recurring characters both these authors use.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins 
I read these books very quickly and loved them!  If you didn't understand the movie, or even if you did, you should definitely read the book.

The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith
This was a great book and I really want to read the sequels.  The book looks at different aspects of God's character and each chapter contains a practice to help you experience God.  I read this book in Czech and it was a perfect read and reminder for those weeks.  

The Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh
Again, I read this book in Czech.  Each chapter looks at a different promise of God and how it relates to life.  It was another one of those cases of when you read a book at a time when it matches perfectly up to your life.  It was a great companion during that first month in Czech, when I needed reminders of those great promises of God.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien 
Up until this summer I'd never watched Star Wars but after making a deal with my co-leader I watched the first three movies...  I'd also been able to horrify people with the fact I'd never read or watched Lord of the Rings.  But with The Hobbit movie coming out I decided to start reading the books.  I really enjoyed The Hobbit.  

Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life by Jeff Goins
I'd read multiple reviews of this book in many places and finally bought it.  It's a really challenging read and looks at how the brokenness of the world around us should challenge us and call us to action.  It's about how we've been lied to - that the answer to true joy is not in finding a comfortable life but living a life of bold faith and being willing to lose your life to follow Jesus.  The book calls us to change the world by changing ourselves, and by starting close to home.  

Counterfeit gods by Timothy Keller
This book looks at the things our modern world and we so often idolise and chase after - things like love, power, money, success to name a few.  It exposes the lies we believe and how chasing after these things is fruitless as the chasing exposes our deeper needs that can only be met in Jesus.  A great book I'll definitely be revisiting.

Forgotten God by Francis Chan
I'd started this book several times but never made it through it, and I have no idea why.  An incredible book that looks at our neglect of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It looks at who the Holy Spirit is, His role in our lives and why we're missing out when we neglect the Holy Spirit.  I feel this book may be one I revisit each year (see the end of this post!)

1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off
I love the TV show QI and this little book was only 20p for the Kindle!  I learnt lots of hilarious facts and loved it!

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Tim Keller
I read this short book in an hour or so and it is definitely worth the £2.99 paperback price (or only 99p for the Kindle!).  I was so challenged by it and I can definitely see me returning to this book often.  It reminds us where, as Christians, our identity should truly be.  Keller is one of my favourite authors.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo
I'm almost finished this so I'm including it in the list.  I read people reviewing this book in several places so decided to check it out.  It's the story of a pastor and his family who are persecuted by a man in their church.  The families courage, forgiveness and knowledge of God's call and obedience to it are inspiring.  

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
I'm working my way through the first book at the moment and I am enjoying it - although, when I feel like a scary/tense bit is coming I have to put the book to the side for a few days to work up the courage to read it.  Dear only knows how long it'll take me to finish the trilogy with this strategy but I'm looking forward to watching the movies when I've completed the books!

Books dipped into (that I really need to finish):
A Kingdom Called Desire by Rick McKinley
Believing God by Beth Moore

Books reread this year:
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
I read this again after watching Blue Like Jazz, the movie.  

Crazy Love by Francis Chan
The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
Preparing for Jesus by Walter Wangerin (an advent book)
These five books and the Narnia series are books I re-read every year.  Most of them are quite short reads and they're definitely all books that you could re-read and re-read and each time need the reminders, or something new will stick with you.  

I'd love to read at least one book a month this year - any recommendations? 

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