Monday, January 19, 2015

My Favorite Reads From 2014

I love books, and I love reading posts about books. I have stumbled upon some amazing works by amazing authors by reading blog recommendations from others. It struck me that taking advantage of this great benefit without offering up my own thoughts was a bit selfish, so this is my attempt to share recommendations on books I have enjoyed.   I try to read books from set categories each year, in an attempt to be balanced in my reading. The following books reflect some of those categories.So, here are some of my favorite reads from the last year, I heartily recommend them and hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Also, if you have recommendations from your reading, I would love to hear them!!!!!


All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I had only known Doerr from his collections of short stories which I had enjoyed. So, when I saw his novel pop up on Amazon, I thought I would give it a try. I am incredibly glad I did. Doerr tells a hauntingly beautiful tale about love and loss among the less fortunate during World War II. Doerr’s prose is straight forward and melodic at times. He draws you in and engages not only your mind, but your heart.

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
In order to avoid his upcoming 100th birthday party at his nursing home, Allan Karlsson climbs out of his window and embarks on an absurb and humorous journey through some of the most seminal events of his time. Think Forest Gump as a centenarian. Sometimes in life you just want to get lost in a book with a likable character on an enjoyable journey. This book was that and more.


Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner
We live in a literary and blog world filled with people recounting the events of their daily lives. Mostly they are tedious, (my attempts included). This is an odd thing to admit, but I keep expecting to be disappointed by Winner’s writings. Instead, I have loved everything she has written. Still was honest and moving, covering a difficult time in Winner’s life with great humility. It made me think, feel, and I believe encouraged me to be better person.

Seven Men by Eric Metaxes
I actually have a subcategory of Inspiration that is just Biographies, because I find them so inspiring and encouraging. It try to read 3-4 biographies a year, and this year it was Seven Men that stood out. Metaxes recounts short and very readable insights into the lives of George Washington, William Wilberforce, Jackie Robinson, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pope John Paul II, and Chuck Colson. The link below is a short video promo of the book.

                Promo for Seven Men

Personal Growth:

Start With Why by Simon Sinek
This book should be required reading for all church, business, and civic leaders. I sought out this book after seeing Sinek’s talk on TED Talks. The power of fully embracing why you do what you do or are attempting to do was driven home in understandable and enjoyable language. I encourage you to read the book and watch the TED Talk!

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
I honestly don’t fully understand why this book was so addictive, I just know that I couldn’t put it down. Currey compiled brief excerpts into the daily work habits of prominent writers, musicians, architects, actors, and countless others. It was a fascinating glimpse behind the process of so many skilled and successful artists. It’s a book I will return to from time to time when I get derailed and discouraged.

Other great books that crossed my path in 2014:

Simply Jesus by NT Wright (Theology). Everyone should read one book by NT Wright each year.
Sabbath As Resistance by Walter Brueggeman (Theology)
Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey (Inspiration)

Balzac And The Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (Novel)

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