What I read in 2013

2013 Books

Thirst by Mary Oliver – Such a good morning read for when you’re on the go. Oliver’s poetry is filled with such simple, sweet beauty of what’s around us.

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer – I absolutely loved this book. It’s adventurous and hilarious, but don’t attempt to watch the movie starring Elijah Wood.

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken – If you feel like crying your heart out to the sweetest, most poetic read there ever was, then please proceed. This non-fiction novel is about two people who love one another and spend half their life building the “Shining Barrier” to protect their love. Ultimately, the barrier is broken by the goodness and the grace of God. Stock up on tissues before delving in.

Under the Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken – This book is a follow-up from A Severe Mercy. The first half of the book kept my attention, but the last half nearly made me quit. It wasn’t exactly what I expected.

Creating A Missional Culture by J.R. Woodward – For those who are curious to learn more about the Five-Fold Ministry and what it looks like, I highly recommend Woodward’s book. I really felt that he truly believes in this model for the Church and the Spirit was very apparent in this book. It also helped that I saw him speak a year before.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wheel by Renate Wind – This is a condensed version of Bonhoeffer’s biography, but I absolutely recommend it. Wind did an incredible job recounting Bonhoeffer’s past and his impact on the Church in Nazi Germany.

What Is the What by Dave Eggers – Like Everything Is Illuminated, I was the last to jump on this boat. I truly loved this book and how Eggers gave spotlight to the story of Valentino Deng.

Love: What Life Is All About by Leo Buscaglia – I highly recommend this to those who want to love others around them better and deeper. So, basically, everyone needs to read this.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck – Yes. OK, I finally got around to reading this, and I am so happy I did. I think if I read this in high school or at any other stage of life, it would have perhaps only been a distant memory. Instead, it left a fingerprint on my life. While dark at times, the story of redemption and the choice between evil and good was impactful on some level I have not quite been able to describe.  It may be the overrated book on your shelf, but it was quick to become a favorite of mine.

Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning (not pictured) – As soon as I finished this book, I started it over again. This is a book that speaks to the soul on a level that so many of us don’t realize we need. From learning the darkness of trust to knowing the absolute faithfulness of the Lord through the darkness – any follower of Jesus should have this on their self.

Current reads:
Night Film by Marisha Pessl – She wrote my favorite book Special Topics in Calamity Physics, but this one seems different. I’ll let you know next year.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – So great so far.
New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton – Currently, my go-to morning read on the bus. Merton is becoming one of my favorite “Spiritual Giants.”
The Essential by Henri Nouwen – This is a small book of various writings from Nouwen, and my go-to while I’m falling asleep or waking up.

Re-read:
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl – This book is one of my all-time favorites. Sure, the overuse of metaphors and random citations to fictional novels and authors can be overwhelming, it did not stop it from becoming a yearly read for me. I love Pessl’s writing and her descriptors for little moments.

Worst Read:
Little Bee by Whatever, don’t even care – Seriously. Don’t read this book. Worst writing I’ve come across in a while, and it somehow was a New York Times Best Seller?! I should start writing books if people loved that book.

Now, do you have any recommendations for 2014?

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