Favorites II — The Books

Like my music, my book selection this year was quite eclectic. Having taught 4 classes per semester and a whole summer of school, I didn’t have time to read as much as I wanted this year. But the Christmas holiday allowed to play catchup a bit, so here’s my list of my favorite books I read this year:

1. Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor. I felt as though one of my favorite preachers and writers told my own story of why I left congregational ministry for the university, and she helped me to feel that maybe some of the ways of approaching my faith lately isn’t so strange after all. More to come on that soon …

2. The Audacity of Hope by Barak Obama. Who knew a politician could write like this? It’s honest, it is inspiring, and it’s intelligent. If you can read this book and then tell me you are not voting for him in 2008, I’ll buy you dinner (at Taco Bell, not the country club).

3. Eat. Pray. Love. by Elizabeth Gilbert. That pretty much sums up how I want to live, but a woman similar to Anne Lamott sets out across Italy, Indonesia, and India on a search for faith, love and good food.

4. The Confession by James McGreevy. The former New Jersey governor tells a compelling account of his Catholic faith and his discovery of his identity. I was skeptical of this story, but I found it to be beautifully written and a truthful account. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to understand the struggle between Christian faith and sexual orientation, and particularly the inhumanity and the consequences of secrets.

5. The Emperor’s Children by Claire Maussad. A fictional account of Brown University graduates entering Manhattan post 9/11 life.

6. A Matrix of Meaning by Craig Detweiller and Barry Taylor. A well written and helpful overview of pop culture and how to view it through the lens of faith.

7. The Shaping of Things to Come by Michael Frost. A revolutionary proposal for thinking about and doing church in an incarnational 21st century context.

8. The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale. This isn’t a perfect book, but it’s ideas are transforming my life. It is about the “laws of attraction” which govern how we attract work, relationships, money and what we desire. I am not much on “positive thinking” but this book and its corresponding video “The Secret” are convincing me that I’ve been missing this, and I need to hear it. Watch me this year, and I’ll tell you if it works 🙂

9. Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov. Every single person should read this book which helps explain men to women, but also men can understand something of themselves within its pages. If you are married, her companion book Why Men Marry Bitches could save your marriage too. I’ve already given this book to three women who can’t understand why they can’t keep men interested, and so far I think it’s right on point.

10. State of Denial by Bob Woodward. Woodward does it again with a page turning, insightful and incredibly inside account of the Bush Administration’s handling of the war in Iraq.

Happy Reading!


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