10 Winning Books from Spring Reading

Spring Reading Thing 2012Spring reading has officially ended.

I started with a smaller list three months ago, but oops, like any true book-lover, I couldn’t resist a few extras along the way (Hunger Games, anyone?).

The top 10 winners are . . .
(in no particular order—except the first—and there’s actually more than 10)

1. Most heavily underlined (i.e., Favorite book!)

the-transforming-power-of-the-gospel-by-jerry-bridgesThe Transforming Power of the Gospel
   Jerry Bridges
It’s grace. All grace. I love it. And Jerry Bridges tells about it so well. If you think the gospel is just old news, think again. The good news is that Jesus continues to transform us and invites us to participate in the process.

 

2. Runner-up on grace

The-Truth-About-Grace-John-MacArthurThe Truth about Grace
   John MacArthur
MacArthur isn’t as gentle a writer as Bridges, but he still presents the clear facts about how amazing that grace truly is. This is a much shorter book, but still full of gospel truths.

 

3. To inspire more reading

Lit-A-Christian-Guide-to-Reading-BooksLit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books 
     Tony Reinke
You may not need any encouragement to read more. Doesn’t matter; this book will add to your desire anyway. And if you’re not a reader, it will give you motivation to pick up a book sooner rather than later.


4. To inspire more writing

zenintheartofwritingZen in the Art of Writing
  
Ray Bradbury
This is a collection of Bradbury’s writings on writing. I can get lost in his paragraphs, regardless of what they’re about. He had a masterful command of language (he died June 5 at age 91). This book was a pleasure to read, and made me want to write more myself. Just because.


5. Couldn’t put down

hunger-games-bookcatching-fireMockingjay

The Hunger Games; Catching Fire; Mockingjay
   Suzanne Collins
I started The Hunger Games last fall, and did put it down. The premise was too abhorrent to me. But I gave it another try this spring, after hearing the author works from that same viewpoint in the books. So I got sucked in. Three times. Count me a fan now of the whole series.

6. Best daily devotional

Holiness-day-by-dayHoliness Day by Day: Transformational thoughts for your spiritual journey devotional
   Jerry Bridges
Oh, yeah. More grace. Every day. For a year. Still reading it (on Week 24/Thursday). It’s a compilation from many of Jerry Bridges’ books, including ones I’ve never read. I like that.


7. The one in which I said “Yes!” a lot

The-gospel-of-yes-by-Mike-GlennThe Gospel of Yes: We have missed the most important thing about God
   Mike Glenn
Understand what is really good about the good news. (Hint: It’s about a Person, not a system.) My review here.

 

8. Best savored slowly

selections-from-one-thousand-giftsSelections from One Thousand Gifts
   Ann Voskamp
I read the original book a year ago and soaked it in, knowing I’d want to read it again. So this book made a great revisit of highlights, only this time with Ann’s beautiful photographs. And the book itself was a gift! Nothing could go wrong with this read.

9. For rethinking religious activity

Quit-going-to-church-by-Bob-Hostetlerchurched-matthew-paul-turner

Quit Going to Church
   Bob Hostetler
Spoiler alert: quit going to church and start being the church. But read the whole book anyway because it’s a lot more than that. My review here.

Churched
   Matthew Paul Turner
This one is hard to explain. You can read it on the surface as one guy’s story about his life as a kid in church. It made me laugh as I related. But if you’re thinking about things anyway, the stories can also make you sad. Turner leaves it up to you. (I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author—which I typically don’t like—but it worked this time.)

10. Most intriguing

myth-of-the-garageThe Myth of the Garage
   Chip Heath and Dan Heath
It’s random. I enjoyed this collection about, well, lots of things; it can’t really be summarized. See for yourself. It’s short. And it’s free here.

 

Miscellaneous picks

•    Made me lol

tweets-of-the-apostlesThe Tweets of the Apostles
   Ed Cyzewski
Ed writes serious, theological books and keeps insightful series ongoing at his blog. But he also writes humor. This year’s contribution summarizes the book of Acts in a series of tweets. It is actually informative, too. (FYI, Ed is a standup nice guy. And I think I can finally pronounce his last name without having to see the phonetic guide. #win)

• Made me go, “Hmmm . . .”

Searching-for-God-knows-whatSearching for God Knows What 
   Don Miller
It’s by Don Miller. Enough said? Loved it. My attempt at a review here.

 

 

• To facilitate faith communities

in-visible-fellowshipIn Visible Fellowship
   Jon Walker
This is a 21st version of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic Life Together. So you know it’s weighty and you know it’s relational. I recommend it.

 

• Too much alike

stumbling-into-grace-by-lisa-harperstained-glass-hearts-by-patsy-clairmont

Stumbling into Grace
   Lisa Harper
Stained Glass Hearts
   Patsy Clairmont
They’re both fine on their own; just space them out.

• To learn more about faith heroes

10-people-every-christian-should-know-by-warren-wiersbe10 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning from spiritual giants of the faith
   Warren W. Wiersbe
Great men and women from the 1600’s onward. Some I knew; some I didn’t. But I admire all of them now.

 

Wish I hadn’t read

The-Stranger-Albert-CamusThe Stranger
Albert Camus
I kept thinking, “It’ll get better.” It’s supposedly a classic novel, but I’m not sure why. It was dark, discouraging, and hopeless. And okay, strange. To me anyway. There are people who love it (if that’s you, pardon my negativity).

Other books I read and would recommend:

  • The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala
  • What’s Next by H. Norman Wright
  • Write Good or Die edited by Scott Nicholson
  • How to Sleep like a Baby, A Meditation on Psalm 3 by Bob Saffrin 
  • Notes to Aspiring Writers by Brooke McGlothlin
  • Coach Wooden by Pat Williams

* * *

Now I’m excited about my summer reading. I’ve already started some great books and have more lined up.

What’s a favorite book you read this spring?

[um, not sure exactly why,
but the comments from my original spring post
are showing up here...sorry for the weirdness]

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