As 2006 comes to and end, I’ve been thinking about the books I read this past year and the ones I want to read in the year ahead. I tried to remember all the books I read this year, but I have a feeling I’m missing a couple. Even so, the list seems pitifully short. Gone are the days of reading 4-5 books a week. I guess the whole parenting thing, planting a church, starting a craft business, and living in a town with a horrible library take their toll. But I did read some interesting books this year.
In the parenting category –
Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. A fantastic book that really made me rethink a lot of my assumptions about discipline. I highly recommend it.
Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen. A fun book about using play to connect with and comfort children.
The Girlfriend’s Guide to Toddlers by Vicki Iovine. A humorous “tell-it-as-it-is” description of parenting a toddler.
In the Christianity category (yes, I know that’s broad, but…) –
The Real Mary by Scot McKnight. A good overview of what we know about Mary.
Simply Christian by N.T. Wright. Fantastic book. A must read for Christians in the postmodern era.
The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren. A good introduction to living in and for the Kingdom of God.
Ray of Darkness by Rowan Williams. A great collection of sermons. I especially liked his thoughts on vocation.
Prayer is a Place by Phyllis Tickle. Interesting snapshots of religion and spirituality in America today.
The New Testament and the People of God by N.T. Wright. Dense, but very insightful. I found his overview of the history of biblical interpretation to be helpful.
Colossians Remixed by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat. I loved this book. It uses various methods of doing theology to explore the nature on Christianity under empire. Highly, highly recommended.
Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli. A re-read of this touching book about being free to really love God and others.
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. I like what he had to say and his use of metaphors and imagery, but his “write like I preach” style really bugged me.
God’s Politics by Jim Wallis. Progressive Christianity and Kingdom values.
The Shaping of a Life by Phyllis Tickle. A beautiful and literary autobiography.
The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright. A good look at issues in the life of Christ.
I didn’t read as much fiction this year as usual. I returned to a few old favorites and almost all my selections were fantasy novels with one mystery thrown in.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke A long meandering journey through a magical world.
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. A fun historical conspiracy novel.
I discovered the novels of Anne Bishop and had fun dwelling in her worlds for a time.
From the Realms of the Blood I read –
From the Lands of Tir Alainn I read –
And the first book in the new Ephemerea series –
I went back to Sharon Shinn for my fix for “comfort books” –
And I had to read all of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel books since she finally released the first new book in a while –
So it’s a varied list from this past year. And of course I’ve already got a to read stack planned for 2007. At the top of the list are Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd for the Emerging Women book discussion, Thomas Cahill’s new book Mysteries of the Middle Ages, and Peter Rollins’ How (not) to Speak of God. And I’m hoping that since J.K. Rowling gave us the name of the next Harry Potter book as a Christmas present (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) we will get a 2007 release date for it. Lot’s of good books, I just need to find the time to read…