Thursday, January 06, 2011

Processing 2010 - the books

I'm a freak about reading.  

There is always a fiction book and non-fiction book in my backpack, audio book on my Zune, and ebook on my iPhone - and yes I read them all.  I've written before about how I think people both should and can read more, maybe not as much as me, but more.  Don't avoid reading because you didn't like the books picked out by your mean junior high English teacher.  You're independent now - you can pick what you want to read!

Awhile ago I set the personal quota of 50 books a year.  The first time it was a New Year's resolution, and I kept it!  So every year since I've kept it going.  This year though I'm going for 75 - time to up the ante.  

Over the years that I've shot for 50, I've kept track of the books I've read.  It helps me to keep count, but its also been helpful for two other reasons.  First, when people do ask me for recommendations, I just go to my Word document with the list and scan titles for what the person asking might like.  Second, it allows me to reflect on which books really impacted me (or didn't).

So these are my favorites of the 55 books I read in 2010:
Room ~ Emma Donoghue:  Told from the point of view of 5-year-old Jack, this was my favorite fiction book of the year. Heart breaking & redemptive. The interaction between Jack & his mom is masterfully portrayed, and how he moves her through the process of their ordeal is really amazing. This is especially true at the end - but I can't say why as it will spoil it.  =) 

The Help ~ Karthryn Stockett: Because people know I read a lot, I'm frequently asked for book recommendations. I read The Help last January and it was my go to answer for this question through 2010. Set in the south during the mid-19th century, this is a modern-day Uncle Tom's Cabin. Very powerful.

This Is Where I Leave You ~ Jonathan Tropper: I have never laughed so hard reading a book. I listened to the unabridged of this, so I probably looked like an idiot driving around Chicago as I constantly erupted in laughter. The dialogue is masterful, as the author tells of Judd Foxman and his family as they sit shiva for their atheist father. Great story all the way through, redemptive, as you see all of the issues in this very dysfunctional family.  Just a warning, there is a lot of language and it is rather crass in parts.

The Confession - John Grisham: Grisham many times tackles an issue in his books (Ex: The Street Lawyer: homelessness; The King of Torts: Tort Law), and in The Confession the issue is the death penalty.  He wrote a non-fiction book on the issue, An Innocent Man, but The Confession is fiction - and probably one of the best he has written in a long time.

When the Game was Ours ~ Larry Bird & Magic Johnson: Favorite non-fiction book of the year.  These were the stars when I grew up, who were playing when I watched basketball religiously.  This behind-the-scenes account of their history and relationship is more than a book about basketball, it's about work-ethic, leadership, vision, perseverance, leaving a legacy, and friendship.  If you are interested in those issues - read this book. If you ever watched these men play - read this book.

Plan B - Pete Wilson: Ever been hurt, let down, felt betrayed, crushed in your spirit, stuck, or confused about life?  This would probably be a good book for you to read.  When I found this book it was perfect timing for me and things I was dealing with. Good writing style, great balance between a good amount of scripture and also practical.  

The Me I Want To Be ~ John Ortberg: This can be almost a companion to Plan B in many ways, but not necessarily.  Ortberg's honesty about what he's experienced is to me what made this powerful.  It's very practical.  Though I'm not a super fan of the title, the spirit of the book is good and I'd recommend it.  Great book for groups. 

Cry of the Soul - Dan Allender & Tremper Longman: Heard Dan Allender at The Story conference, and immediately went to look for his books.  Using the Psalms, the authors show how our rawest emotions (anger, envy, despair, shame, etc) can be pathways to understanding God's heart and ourselves.  It is perfect balance of depth and practical, biblical explanation and life reflection. 

And this is the list of all the books I read in 2010.  Maybe it can be a help to you, pick one and start reading!  =) 

1.      Star Wars: Darth Bane – Path of Destruction ~ Drew Karpyshyn
2.      Star Wars: Darth Bane – Rule of Two ~ Drew Karpyshyn
3.      Pirate Latitudes ~ Michael Crichton
4.      The Lovely Bones ~ Alice Sebold
5.      Pygmy ~ Chuck Palahniuk
6.      Green ~ Ted Dekker
7.      The Help ~ Kathryn Stockett
8.      The Swan Thieves ~ Elizabeth Kostova
9.      Invisible Monsters ~ Chuck Palahniuk
10.    Casino Royale ~ Ian Fleming
11.    Ford County - John Grisham
12.    Mindless Eating ~ Brian Wansink
13.    When the Game Was Ours ~ Larry Bird & Magic Johnson
14.    Mad Church Disease ~ Anne Jackson
15.    Fire Someone Today ~ Bob Pritchett
16.    Fate of the Jedi: Backlash ~ Aaron Allston
17.    Breathless ~ Dean Koontz
18.    A Meeting at Corvallis ~ S M Stirling
19.    Run for Your Life ~ James Patterson
20.    Horns ~ Joe Hill
21.    Dynasty of Evil ~ Drew Karpyshyn
22.    Cloak of Deception ~ James Luceno
23.    Worst Case ~ James Patterson
24.    Beatrice & Virgil ~ Yann Martel
25.    9th Judgment ~ James Patterson
26.    The Bride Collector ~ Ted Dekker
27.    The Me I Want To Be ~ John Ortberg
28.    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest ~ Stieg Larsson
29.    A Dirty Job ~ Christopher Moore
30.    Fate of the Jedi: Allies ~ Christine Golden
31.    This Is Not a Game ~ Walter Jon Williams
32.    Tell All ~ Chuck Palahniuk
33.    The Godfather's Revenge ~ Mark Winegardener
34.    The Making of a Leader ~ Robert Clinton
35.    Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter ~ Michael Reaves
36.    The Good Guys ~ Joe Pistone & Bill Bonanno
37.    Frankenstein: Lost Souls ~ Dean Koontz
38.    Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream ~ David Platt
39.    Life Together ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
40.    Messy Spirituality ~ Mike Yaconelli
41.    This Is Where I Leave You ~ Jonathan Tropper
42.    Star Wars: Rogue Planet ~ Greg Bear
43.    The Lefthand of God ~ Paul Hoffman
44.    The Ragamuffin Gospel ~ Brenan Manning
45.    Bad Things Happen ~ Henry Dolan
46.    Freedom ~ Jonathan Franzen
47.    Room ~ Emma Donoghue
48.    Plan B - Pete Wilson
49.    Cry of the Soul - Dan Allender & Tremper Longman
50.    Host ~ Stephanie Meyer
51.    The Chamber ~ John Grisham
52.    Warbreaker ~ Brandon Sanderson
53.    Burn ~ Ted Dekker & Erin Healy
54.    Star Wars Old Republic: Fatal Aliances ~ Sean Williams
55.    Pathfinder ~ Orson Scott Card


Soren said...

Hey Bobby,

Currently I am enjoying Decision Points by George W. Bush, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, and Forgotten God by Francis Chan. I read many books last year, and some of my faves were: Switch by Chip & Dan Heath, It's Our Ship by Michael Abrashoff, and Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck.

Anonymous said...

Forget Koontz and forget his book “What the Night Knows” (a ghost vengeance story, been there, done that), instead read a book that’s been BANNED like “America Deceived II” by E.A. Blayre III.
Last link (before Google Books bans it also]: