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2007 Books

2007 December 30
by Julie Clawson

If you can’t tell, I like making lists. And at the end of the calendar year list making seems to be the thing to do. I’ve been hearing a lot about the best movies of 2007, but I hardly saw any movies this year so I can’t comment in that area. But I can list the books I read this past year and comment on my favorites. And yes, this is mostly for my own personal benefit…

Faith/Spirituality/Theology/Church

Metaphorical Theology by Sallie McFague

Everything Must Change by Brian McLaren

It’s A Dance by Patrick Oden

Inspiration and Incarnation by Peter Enns


Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology by Kwok Pui-lan

Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman

Graven Ideologies by Bruce Ellis Benson

Visions and Longings by Monica Furlong

Healthy Congregations by Peter Steinke

Evil and the Justice of God by N.T. Wright

An Emergent Manifesto of Hope ed. Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones

Hagar, Sarah, and their Children Edited by Phyllis Trible and Letty Russell

Sex God by Rob Bell

How (not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins

Justice

Sex, Economy, Freedom, Community by Wendall Berry

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Justice in the Burbs by Will and Lisa Samson

The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason

Urgent Message From Mother by Jean Shinoda Bolen
Memoir/Reflections

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott

History

Books on Fire by Lucien X. Polastron

Goddesses and the Divine Feminine by Rosemary Radford Ruether

Spirituality in the Land of the Noble by Richard C. Foltz

In Search of Zarathustra by Paul Kriwaczek

When God was a Woman by Merlin Stone

Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler

Parenting

Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community by Alfie Kohn

The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn

Fiction – General

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

Fantasy

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter Books 1-6 by J.K. Rowling

Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey

Belladonna by Anne Bishop

Dark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn

Star Wars

Outbound Flight by Timothy Zahn

Allegiance by Timothy Zahn

Betrayal by Aaron Allston
Bloodlines by Karen Traviss
Tempest by Troy Denning

While I think I’ve made myself clear how much I like the Harry Potter conclusion, I must restate that it was a highlight of the year. In the category of just purely enjoyable reads, I would also have to list Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler. The process of tracing the history of civilization through linguistics was a new perspective for me and one I found utterly fascinating. But if I were to choose two books from this year’s list that I would recommend to just about anyone as “must reads”, I would have to say Graven Ideologies by Bruce Ellis Benson and The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. Both selections I think are vital for understanding the world we live in today. Benson’s work is a brilliant introduction to the philosophical undercurrents of our time as well as a primer for a Christian understanding thereof. Singer and Mason delve into popular philosophy as well as they seek to help readers understand how ethics should inform our food choices. Both offer needed perspectives for those seeking to live a thoughtful and moral life in the 21st century. I highly recommend them both.

Anyway, I have a long and eclectic list of books on my “to read” list for 2008, I just need to find more time to actually read.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. December 31, 2007

    WOW girl, that’s a lot of books!

  2. December 31, 2007

    You are quite the reader! I was very pleased to see Wendell Berry’s “Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community,” on your list. I’m convinced Berry is one (if not the only) true prophet of our age and I’m happy he is still being read. It probably didnh’t hurt sales that his publisher put “Sex” in the title.

    Keep reading and blogging through the new year.

  3. Karl permalink
    December 31, 2007

    Wendell Berry is a clear sighted, powerful voice and will be missed when he is gone. As with C.S. Lewis, another favorite author of mine, I can never decide which I like more – his poetry, his fiction or his non-fiction. I’ve appreciated that Berry is perfectly willing to prick balloons on both the right and the left, and simply calls it like he sees it while ignoring and defying such categorizations.

  4. January 1, 2008

    There was a lot I liked about Berry, he does state it like it is with choosing sides. I did get occasionally annoyed with his “grumpy old man” persona as he continually complained about “kids these days” and labeled anything new as bad. I am all for reclaiming tradition, but I don’t think that a complete and total rejection of say computers and the internet would be the most effective or feasible way of doing so.

  5. Karl permalink
    January 2, 2008

    Berry definitely doesn’t seem practical, with his technology-eschewing ways. But maybe that’s part of what appealed to me in reading him. Unlike a lot of people (like me) who agree with much of what he says, he is willing to take things to their logical conclusions and tries hard to live in a manner consistent with his convictions. He admits that he uses a chainsaw but writes about a man who does not, who still chops his wood by hand and comments something to the effect of “he is a wiser and saner man than I.” That’s how I feel about Berry. I’m not willing to go to his lengths, but he is probably wiser and saner than I, in part because of his willingness to go to those lengths and do without things that I and most others can’t imagine lacking.

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