It’s that time of year again. Everyone blogging has a top ten or top five list to fill our RSS readers. I couldn’t let this opportunity pass, so here we go: (scroll down for bonus material!)
My Top Five Kindle Books I Did Not Finish in 2011 and Why:
- Category: Historical / Political
- No Higher Power by Condoleeza Rice – One of the reasons, in my opinion, that makes Rice such a valuable player in the political and international arena is her passion for details. These details are what are bogging me down in the book. I love political memoirs but prefer to read the story rather than the stats. There was an evident struggle between Rice and Vice President Dick Cheney, and it also comes out in her book. Having said that, you’ll need to scroll down to see what Historical/Political books I enjoyed this year.
- Category: Christian Living / Church Culture
- unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why it Matters by David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons – You’ll see a familiar trend in my dislikes/likes already. I really am enjoying this book because of the necessity of the Church to pay attention to the details of our culture in making the Gospel relevant – without straying from the message. However, the stats overwhelmed me once again. As I generally read from my Kindle at night, before I sleep, this makes it difficult for me to wade through. Excellent book!!
- Category: Recreational Reading
- Gandhi the Man: How One Man Changed Himself to Change the World by Eknath Easwaran – I picked up this ebook for nothing or next to nothing, the only reason why I can think I would have it. I enjoy reading about various world influential people. I didn’t finish this book because I just didn’t feel a pressing need to read it. Some day, perhaps in 2012, I’ll find extra time to read it.
- Category: Apologetics
- Has Christianity Failed You by Ravi Zacharias – This has been an interesting read but it was one of those books started during my spinal fusion recovery that I just didn’t back to. I was very undisciplined in my reading habits at that time, legitimately I presume. This book will definitely be one I finish soon.
- Category: Bible Commentaries / Pastoral Helps
- Acts: St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary by R.C. Sproul – I have enjoyed Sproul’s commentaries for a couple of reasons: 1) They almost read like a devotional commentary while, 2) explaining the text, background and language helps at the same time. I was reading this commentary in conjunction with my personal reading of Acts in 2011. It appears I am blaming a lot on my spinal fusion surgery, but when the time came for this hospitalization, a lot of reading fell away. I will enjoy reading and re-reading this commentary in the years to come.
Bonus: Top Five Books I Started in 2011 and Look Forward to Finishing in 2012:
- Category: Biblical Counseling / Counseling
- Equipping Counselors for Your Church: the 4E Ministry Training Strategy by Dr. Bob Kellemen – I’d started this one during my back surgery recovery. I find it extremely practical, so much so, that I purchased 3 additional books to give to my co-pastors and our church library.
- Category: Christian Living
- Bloodlines: Race, Cross and the Christian by John Piper – As is with any of Piper’s books, I find the need to spend a lot of time not just reading but mulling over them. This much-needed book is no exception. It is exciting to read how the Gospel liberates the Church to love one another in ways that society and culture may not deem possible!
- Category: Christian Living / Counseling / Suffering
- Why O God? Suffering and Disability in the Bible and the Church – editors: Alcorn, Waters, & Zuck – having issues with chronic pain for the majority of 2011, this book provided comfort. It also educated me as a pastor to think of how the Church should respond and minister to the suffering and disabled in our midst. I’ll definitely finish this one.
- Category: Church Life / Theology / Christian Living
- The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. It is a classic and necessary volume that every Christian should wrestle with. I hope to finish this in 2012.
- Category: Theology / Christian Living
- In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement by J.I. Packer. I love reading about the work of Christ on my behalf. While I started this book some time ago, I am determined to finish it in 2012.
Extra Bonus: Five Books I Enjoyed in 2011:
- UnBroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand – simply a breath-taking read with a surprise for an ending
- Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath by Senator Joe Lieberman – This book provided great insight into a practicing Jew’s view of Sabbath rest and challenged me to seek for ways to enjoy the rest God has demanded of each of his children.
- Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly. I bought this as an audiobook (listening to books is something I want to increase in 2012). I was fascinated by its history and compelling storyline. A great historical book that spurred me to go on and read other books concerning this time in our nation’s history.
- Living Faith by former US President Jimmy Carter. This book changed my perspective of this former leader. In it’s transparency it demonstrated Carter’s struggle with staying true to his faith and leading a country during controversial times. It vastly increased my respect for him as a man, former President and brother in Christ.
- Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Miklós Nyiszli, Tibère Kremer (Translator), Richard Seaver (Translator). It is a harrowing tale. It made me cringe, despair for man’s depravity and give thanks that God moved on humanity’s benefit with Jesus Christ. I am certain as the atrocities of WW2 continue to fade into time and history, we will forget them: those who perished, those who survived and those who fought to save the world from itself. Books like this are a must read.
Chance to Interact: I use Good Reads to keep track of my reading. What do you use? If you use Good Reads, become one of my “friends” so we track what each other are reading.