I’m not much of a reader. Never have been. However, this past summer I fell in love with eBooks and now I’m hooked. I still don’t read as much as some, so my list of favorites is rather short. However, I suspect that next year I’ll have a longer list.
Here are my top 3 favorite books I’ve read this year. I share these because they were helpful for me and I hope they’ll be helpful for you. In no particular order:
Quiet by Susan Cain
I came across this book at the suggestion of a friend…who hadn’t read the book! Being a bit shy of books and more into videos I checked out Cain’s Ted Talk first. I was hooked. I found her explanation of her journey as an introvert in an extrovert-focused world compelling. So, I bought the book and didn’t look back. I gobbled it up! It’s a rather thick book with some sections being very academic and detailed. I liked that. She substantiates her theories and conclusions very well with a nearly 150-page appendix. Quiet is the kind of book that will allow you to breathe a little easier about yourself if you’re more on the introverted side. And, it should help all the extroverts understand that, heck you need us!
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
EHS was another book I stumbled upon, but this time through Twitter. A man I respect posted a tweet about Sabbath and how it affects our interaction with the unseen spiritual world (there is one, you know). So, after polishing off the books I already had piled up, I checked out the sample of EHS through my book app. Having just come through my sabbatical, this was just the ticket I didn’t know I was looking for. It gave legs for me to continue to walk on after a three-month recuperation. Scazzero’s work spans a few decades of his personal and spiritual journey in light of his personal struggles. EHS brought life to my spirit in ways that few other spiritual writings have because it is practical! I highly recommend EHS if you’re at all interested in delving deeper into the person you are and want to be.
Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges
This is not a new book, first published in 1991 and again in 2008. A friend who had read this suggested the book to me. He ranked it as his all-time favorite. So do I. Bridges does an excellent job of dismantling the performance-driven mentality of our culture – especially for those in the church. I thought I had a good handle of God’s grace until I read this book. It can be weighty at times and he vehemently beats performance into the ground with, shall I say, grace. If you’d like a challenge, I suggest Transforming Grace, whether you’re stuck, hurt, wounded or healing.
Okay, two more!
Again, I don’t read a lot so to have more than 5 books to even choose from is a miracle for me! I do hope to have twice that many for next year. I have that hope because I started reading last April! I’m on a roll!
Sabbath as Resistance by Walter Brueggeman
What I liked about Brueggeman’s work is his insight into the power of Sabbath practice. Both this and EHS push strongly for keeping Sabbath each week and even daily (Daily Office). Seeing Sabbath practice as resisting the pattern of this world was right up my alley. I found wonderful support and solid reasoning in Sabbath as Resistance. Check it out. I’ve written and will continue to write in my blog about Sabbath and it’s power for the person and society. Please check out my other posts by doing a keyword search for “sabbath”.
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi
I didn’t expect to be as riveted to this as I was. Qureshi chronicles his journey from a devout Pakistani Muslim to a full-fledged lover of Jesus as his Lord and Savior. In books where faith journeys are chronicled, there can to be a lot of bashing of the old in light of the new. But Qureshi presents the reader with a fond description of his Muslim faith, family and upbringing while cogently and compassionately describing how he came to full faith in Jesus. This is an excellent book and worth the read. You should come away with a better understanding of both Islam and Christianity.
So, there ya have it. Maybe not impressive, but that's not why I'm sharing. Perhaps, as I did, you'll learn, grow and share with others.