It’s a life-long habit of mine to leave a novel next to my bed, and I cannot go to sleep without reading at least a few pages. A good book gently removes the cares of the day from my mind while I get absorbed in a different world. Besides, if I keep my novels upstairs I stay more productive during the day!
In 2014, however, I had trouble finding good fiction. Did anyone else have that problem? It seems that most of what I read would qualify as…just ok. I read 50 books last year, 33 of them novels, and the list of good ones to recommend is relatively short:
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kid.
The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
The Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
Tinkers and Enon by Paul Harding
The non-fiction books that I read were excellent. These books, not bedtime reading, were absorbed while hiking on the elliptical machine or sitting in my favorite chair or at my desk. They stuck with me, and I have referred to them since.
Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller. Keller’s book was by far the most helpful book I read in preparation for teaching the book of Job. I have personally benefited from it as well.
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Voskamp’s book is one that I will read again. And again.
God’s Prayer Book by Ben Patterson. Patterson’s prayer book based on the Psalms is a gem.
If Only: Letting Go of Regret by Michelle Van Loon. This book truly helped me to deal with my regrets. I read it because a friend wrote it, but I recommend it because it is worth reading.
A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
Influencer by Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzer and Kerry Patterson.
Remembering the Forgotten God by Francis Chan
Finally, as always, I read the Bible. The Bible is non-fiction, but many of the stories are told with great skill and read like fiction. Right now, in CBS, I’m teaching through the book of Esther: sex, power, bad guys and good guys, God’s providence and his rescue all in 10 chapters. It’s excellent reading.
Once again, the Bible is by far the most interesting, thought-provoking, and life-changing book that I’ve read in the past year. It is in a category all its own.
What have you read this year? Anything good?
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…” Colossians 3:16