Looking back on 2013 and the books I took in is aways an interesting thing. It often reflects many of the things God has taught me and many of the ways I’ve grown. 2013 was the year of the Audio book for me. I’ve never really been into audio books but the more I listen the more I like, and i’ve listened to some pretty stellar audio books this year.
Here is my top 5 (READ)
#1. A Spirituality of Living by Henri Nouwen
I’ve read this book before but busted it out to go through it with some interns and other folks. I’m pretty sure I read through it twice in this processes and it really is great. It’s short and clear and encouraging. Pick it up!
#2. New Monasticism by Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove
I’m really drawn to monastic spirituality. A slow, centered, focused way of following Jesus and living as your true self. That will be reflected by what i’ve read. This is more of the pop version of monasticism but it’s pretty good. I’m not naturally a slow and calm person, I think that is what is so compelling about this way of life to me. JW Hartgrove gives a great modern day communal interpretation of this way of life.
#3. Who Told You That You Were Naked by John Jacob Raub
Raub is a Trappist monk in Kentucky. This book (which I will admit I haven’t finish yet) is pretty challenging to some of my assumption but it pretty amazing. A call not to fear or judge and to ultimately living freely in light of a loving God. I need to finish it. I’m almost there.
#4. Our Favorite Sins by Todd Hunter
Todd is my bishop so I might be slightly parietal but he’s awesome! And this book is pretty good. It’s might not blow your mind but how he connects everyday life and temptation to the prayerful and disciplined way of life is really great. I needed to read this book. It was very good!
#5. Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries
I am REALLY not a systems guy when it come to ministry. But this book is a great little ditty that helps make sense of systems and their importance. Really glad I read it.
Honorable mentions :: Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Francis of Assisi by John Kruse, Meditation and Contemplation An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture by Fr. Timothy Gallagher, This Is My Beloved Son: The Transfiguration of Christ by Andreopoulos, Andreas
Here is my top 5 (LISTENED)
#1. The Art of Letting Go by Richard Rohr
This blows everything else out of the water that i’ve read or listened to. It was really amazing. I don’t think it’s an actual book but it is WELL worth your time to listen to. No doubt I will listen to it again.
#2. Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson
Fascinating. SUPER long to listen to but it was worth it.
#3. The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight
Scot frames the gospel conversation in a way that I believe to be super helpful and holistic. I really enjoyed it. One of those book where you feel like someone way smarter than you is put some of things you thought into words in a way you probably never could have.
#4. Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road by Brian McLaren
I told some folks I liked this book and it made them nervous. I think need this book, I did. I didn’t agree with it all but I know that i need to learn how to talk and respect people of other faiths. Not to diminish our differences but to hold them up and still love and respect one another. Jesus would have had a glass of wine with Mohammed and the Buddha, they probably would have had a great conversation. I’d like to think that they would have become Christians but that’s probably not the point.
#5. Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxes
Another great but REALLY long book. I guess some scholarship has come out saying this book is pretty flawed in some what it says but it was a really entertaining listen, great story. I would like to think Bonhoeffer was more of a pacifist and I guess that is was the new scholarship says but regardless it was a good listen.
Honorable mentions :: Insurrection by Peter Rolins, 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, Quitter by John Acuff, Love Wins by Rob Bell (for the second time)