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Top 9 Books of 2009

These are nine favorites I read this year. And why you might want to read them in 2010.

Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment1. Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment 
     Jeremiah Burroughs
Make this a priority: be content. It will affect every aspect of your life and every relationship. This book teaches you how. It’s not an easy process; it takes exercise (I’ll forever be working on it). But contentment is indeed a ‘rare jewel,’ one that God died to give you, and one worth your effort to incorporate into your character.

I’ll be honest: the book itself isn’t so easy either (written in the 1600’s). But it’s the best I’ve read on this subject, and one that I will return to often.

The Time Paradox2. The Time Paradox 
     Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd
If you want to understand how your view of time influences your actions and thoughts, and how you can alter that, read this paradigm-shifting book. It will also help you understand those around you better by learning about the six time perspectives.

And even though it’s written from a secular viewpoint, you can find many spiritual applications in it, if you’re looking, about why time matters.

Just Do Something 3. Just Do Something 
     Kevin DeYoung
If you’re a Christian who wants to follow God’s will, but are sometimes uncertain about how to discern that, this book will help you.

It’s a fresh word for today’s generation. It will jump-start you out of passivity and get you moving again.

This Momentary Marriage 4. This Momentary Marriage 
     John Piper
Piper will impress upon you that relationships have more underlying significance than you give them credit for. Especially your marriage. It’s hugely important because it reflects the covenant relationship between Christ and the church.

Yeah, that’s serious. More serious than just your compatibility quotient with your spouse. Marriage is spiritual work.

The Love Dare 5. Love Dare 
     Stephen and Alex Kendrick
While the Piper book (# 4) is great theology, this book is great practice. You do it, not just read it. This can change your marriage.

I worked through the practices earlier this year, but I plan on doing it again because it benefited not only Jeff, but also me. It takes the focus off you and puts it on Christ and your spouse. It’s a worthy challenge.

Predictably Irrational 6. Predictably Irrational 
     Dan Ariely
It’s upsetting. If you think you understand why people act like they do, this book might prove you wrong. You’re far more irrational than you believe yourself to be.

You’ll look at life a little differently after you read these findings and maybe question your own motives a little closer. That’s a good thing. 

Spiritual Mothering 7. Spiritual Mothering 
     Susan Hunt
Don’t like to think of yourself as the older woman? Well, if you’re a woman older than some other woman (which means every reader here), then you are the older woman, meaning you are a potential mentor with a God-given responsibility to train younger women.

This book makes that less scary and more do-able. I wasn’t confident that every Biblical example used was applicable, but enough were to make this book a helpful guide and an encouragement to step it up.

When Organizing Isn't Enough 8. When Organizing Isn’t Enough 
     Julie Morgenstern
This book goes beyond traditional methods of organization. And pries into your business. Not just where you keep clutter, but why. And what to do about it. I’ve read several books about organizing (as we organized people tend to do), but this one was different.

Although some of Morgenstern’s examples were a little too Zen for me, I still found overall spiritual significance in her chapter themes. She will help you see more meaningful reasons to order your space than you’ve seen before.

Primal9. Primal 
     Mark Batterson
Mark’s books are deceptively simple. You’ll be reading along, understanding and agreeing, then wham, he’ll hit you with something that you haven’t clarified before.

I had several of those moments with this book (so many that I’m using it as groundwork for my 2010 Spiritual Resolutions). Read it and you’ll learn more specific ways to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

* * *

An extra 9 Honorable Mentions

  • Blue like Jazz
         because you’ll think differently about God’s love and grace
  • Anxious for Nothing
         because you’ll find practical steps to overcome worry
  • Anything by Tim Hansel
         because Tim will inspire you to choose hope no matter what
  • Click
         because you’ll see what your on-line clicks reveal about you
  • Find Your Strongest Life
         because you’ll focus on strengths, not balancing out weaknesses
  • The Beautiful Ache
         because your spiritual aches have purposes you need to appreciate
  • Firstlight
         because you’ll see the sacred in the ordinary
  • Come to the Table
         because you’ll think differently about time with your church
  • Any YA fiction by Roland Smith
         because he writes clean, fun action for everybody

more books


Brenda said...

Thanks for posting your favorites... I'm always anxious to know your favorites since you read so much, a "favorite" must really be good. I'm still working my way through #1, loving it, as it stretches my brain muscles and my spiritual heart muscles.... I have as my goal to focus on only it (and the bible) so I can give it back to you soon.

Lisa notes... said...

Take your time, Brenda. I've got a few others that I need to read before I'll re-read that one anyway.

And yes, it is a stretching book for sure. Since I took notes on it, I go back to those for now when I want to review something. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the list! hope you had a Merry Christmas. I final got Elephant Run from the library and am only a few chapters in, but it seems good so far. I hope to be able to find #1 & #4 to read this year. Thanks again!

Laura at By the Bushel said...

The Momentary Marriage peaked my interest, as did all of this list.
Thanks for visiting me today. I really appreciate ann's site for meeting such inspiring people. (I know we've met before :) )
I'll be back to visit your blog... probably later today! Gotta go check on the kids!
Be blessed in Him, Laura


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