2009 book list

With only two days left in 2009, it’s time to offer up my yearly book list. Some great titles this year, and the key ones will be highlighted below. Enjoy.

‘Tis by Frank McCourt

The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’ Essential Teachings on Discipleship by Dallas Willard – A fantastic collection of Willard’s various writings on the topic of discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus today. Key quote: “The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as ‘Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens in every corner of human existence. Very much the heart of what I tried to write about in my Aberdeen dissertation.

A Spot Of Bother by Mark Haddon

Epileptic by David B.

The Shack by Wm Paul Young – check my thoughts on this one here

Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden – … and on this one here

Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship by N.T. Wright – Amazing little book based on some of Wright’s sermons.

Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch by John Webster

Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Classic. Nothing more to say.

A People’s History of Sports in the United States by Dave Zirin – I don’t always agree with Zirin, but I respect his attempt to make meaningful connections between sports, society and politics. Read more thoughts on this one here

Theology of the Old Testament by Walter Brueggemann

Situation Ethics by Jospeh Fletcher

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susan Clark – Took me a while to get through this one, but very much worth a read.

The Jesus Way by Eugene Peterson – Another great resource on the topic of discipleship. Key quote: “If Christ is King, everything, quite literally every thing and every one, has to be re-imagined, re-configured, re-oriented to a way of life that consists in an obedient following of Jesus.” Heavy.

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

When Nothing Else Matters: Michael Jordan’s Last Comeback by Michael Leahy

Praise Habit by David Crowder

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson

Real Church by Larry Crabb

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Quite simply one of the best novels I have ever read.

The Search For God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield – reviewed here.

You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers I was introduced to Dave Eggers by Chris Lewis soon after we came home. This book was the first of his that I read, and by far my favorite. It’s the story of two friends who attempt to travel the globe in one week, looking to give away $32,000. Fantastic book.

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller – By far Miller’s best since Jazz. Read my thoughts on it here.

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister – reviewed here.

The Wild Things by Dave Eggers

Living Gently in a Violent World by Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier – I was given a copy of this book to review for an academic journal, but I would have easily sought it out myself anyway, as Vanier and Hauerwas are definitely two of my theological ‘heroes’. A very important book for the church, particularly in a time when a meaningful response to theological and ethical issues surrounding personhood is in high demand.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher – reviewd by Lauren here.

Bone: One Volume Edition by Jeff Smith

Generation A by Douglas Coupland – Interesting premise, but not as strong as other Coupland titles.

The Gospel According to LOST by Chris Seay – not quite finished yet, but will be read / reviewed before the year is out.

35 this year, I believe. Many were for educational purposes, but it helps when you get to choose an academic reading path that fits into your personal interests.

Here’s to more good reading in 2010!

Time permitting, I’ll try to offer up a list of 2009 movies as well.

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  1. Thank you much for including me on your book list. It is way better company than I am used to.

    Be in touch.

    Namaste —

    R. Benson

  2. Robert,

    It was a pleasure digging into your book, and it (along with other titles in the Ancient Practices Series) was a great encouragement to both my wife and myself.

    In fact, a 2010 resolution is to further explore and adopt the discipline of fixed hour prayer.

    Grace and peace,

    Ian

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