My life has changed in so many ways over the past few years. While the journey has often been painful, it is also refining, joyful, and rewarding. I pray the journey has made me a better person. Now retired and on my own, I have more available time, and I pray to use it wisely. And, because I don’t have cable and seldom watch TV, I read a whole lot of books.
I appreciate when others share books they have read and recommend, and so I like to do the same. Because I’m in school and currently writing a dissertation, many of the books I read might not be your preference, so I am offering a sampling of books that have richly fed me. If you wish to see the expanded list, which includes some fabulous readings on Restoration Movement history, Spirituality history, hermeneutics, and various other topics, I will be happy to send it to you. For this listing, I have narrowed it to thirty-something books that served me well this year (in no particular order). I am thankful for the time shared with the authors who have challenged my thinking, encouraged me, made me cry, made me mad, made me laugh, inspired me, and comforted me. I wish I had the time and space to offer a synopsis and quote from each book… as there is so much good stuff in them. Here you go:
- “The Daily Audio Bible Chronological” (This is the first year I did a yearly chronological Bible reading and also the first time I used an audio version) This year I am doing the daily audio Bible (not chronological). Each day has an audio reading from the OT, NT, Psalms, and Proverbs. It’s an app called Daily Audio Bible.
- Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit by Henri Nouwen with Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird
- Spiritual Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life by Henri Nouwen with Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird
- Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith by Henri Nouwen with Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird (Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird, two of my professors, compiled this outstanding trilogy of Nouwen’s writings)
- Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life by Henri Nouwen, compiled by Gabrielle Earnshaw (yes, I’m a Henri Nouwen fan.)
- Unfettered: Imagining a Childlike Faith beyond the Baggage of Western Culture by Mandy Smith
- Transformed into Fire: Discovering Your True Identity as God’s Beloved by Judith Hougen
- 40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger. A Different Kind of Fast by Alicia Britt Chole (I read this each year for the forty days leading to Easter)
- Everywhere You Look: Discovering the Church Right Where You Are by Timothy Soerens
- Saved by Faith and Hospitality by Joshua Jipp
- A Many Colored Kingdom: Multicultural Dynamics for Spiritual Formation by Conde-Frazier, Kang, Parrett
- Malestrom: How Jesus Dismantles Patriarchy and Redefines Manhood by Carolyn Custis James
- Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez
- Forming: A Work of Grace by David Takle
- Awestruck: How Embracing Wonder Can Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Connected by Jonah Paquette PsyD
- The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
- Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by Mark Comer
- The Longing for Home by Frederick Buechner
- Speak What We Feel (not what we ought to say): Reflections on Literature and Faith by Frederick Buechner (I marvel at Buechner’s literary abilities)
- Where the Light Fell: A Memoir by Philip Yancey
- Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church by Philip Yancey (Philip Yancey always speaks deep into my heart)
- Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans
- Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff
- Listening to the Spirit in the Text by Gordon Fee
- Surprised by Scripture by N.T. Wright
- Open to the Spirit: God in Us, God with Us, God Transforming Us by Scot McKight
- Fresh Air: The Holy Spirit for an Inspired Life by Jack Levison
- Faith Formation in a Secular Age by Andrew Root
- Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker: A Theological Vision for Discipleship and Life Together by Andrew Root
- Spiritual Conversations with Children: Listening to God Together by Lacy Borgo Finn
- The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin
- The Epic of Eden by Sandra Richter
- The Heaven Promise by Scot McKnight
- Get Your Life Back by John Eldridge
- Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power by Andy Crouch
- As I Recall: Discovering the Place of Memories in Our Spiritual Life by Casey Tygrett
- Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brene Brown
And, for those who have experienced transitions of any kind recently (who hasn’t?), my newest book, What Now, God? Finding God in Transitions was published this year. I recommend this one as well 😊 And, for those dealing with grief, check out Roger and Marcia Lamb’s new book, This Doesn’t Feel Like Love, Either.
I’m beginning this year with John Mark Hicks’ newest book, Around the Bible in 80 Days:The Story of God from Creation to New Creation. Excellent. My shelf is already full of some outstanding to-be-reads. 😊Excited about the journey.
Happy New Year and Happy Reading!
Thanks so much, Jeanie,
As you must have mentioned some on zoom chats, I happily discover I’ve read more of these than I imagined I would have. (Not as many from the depths of your course syllabus, perhaps, but others). I’ve got several more on my radar now so will get to it after the 6 I’m currently on have made their way through book groups and Heather sharing. I’ll print this so I can easily access it. Imagine! Paper is easier access for phoneless me. Isn’t learning fabulous. Love you, c
Wow! Thanks for these. Note for the discipline and time to read more. Happy New Year!
I love your post of books. I am going to order John Mark Hick’s book. It sounds amazing Love you,
Thank you for the recommendations! The Epic of Eden is a fantastic book