Friday, January 07, 2005

2004 book list

OK, here we go. I've finally put together my list of the books I enjoyed the most last year. Not all of them are from 2004, but that's when I encountered them. Feel free to agree or disagree or add your own. Any of the links will take you to to pick up your own copy of all of this great stuff. Enjoy.

The Preservationist -- I have talked about this one a little before. It is a novelization of the Noah / flood narrative from Genesis and it is great. Maine shows some serious creativity while staying true to the original. Good stuff.
Life of Pi -- Another great, different read. Some good thoughts on spirituality in the midst of a good story.
Stephen King's Dark Tower Series -- I blew through all seven over the course of the year. It will never be confused with great literature or fiction, but they were fun reads. If you like epics, sci-fi, with some spaghetti western thrown in you'll like these.
Honorable mention -- This was the year of Vonnegutt for me. I read Slaughterhouse Five, Breakfast of Champions, and Timequake (and I think one other, but I don't remember which). He's nuts. but in a really good way.

The Year of the Memoir -- It's not a genre I usually care anything about but for some reason I read a lot of these this year. Some good ones.
Don Miller -- Blue Like Jazz -- Probably the best book I read this year. If you haven't read it yet, you need to. (his Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance is great too.)
Anne Lamott -- Traveling Mercies -- This is a beautiful book about a quest for faith. Another must read.
Stephen King -- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft -- I read through tons of King books as a teenager and really enjoyed reading King talk about some of those books and beyond. Also his thoughts about writing were encouraging and helpful.
Danny Wallace -- Join Me -- I think this is a memoir. Anyway, it's the funniest book I have read in a long time. If you don't know about Join Me (it's not a cult, it's a collective), check it out and then read the book.

Books on Faith / the Church
Brennan Manning -- Ragamuffin Gospel -- Still one of the most significant books I have ever read. I read it every year and it is great every time.
Lauren Winner -- Mudhouse Sabbath -- I read this during the summer and I am still thinking about the distinctness of Christianity in the world.
Doug Pagitt and friends from Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis -- Reimagining Spiritual Formation: A Week in the Life of an Experimental Church -- It may be because our church is similar in many ways to SP, but I found myself tracking with every part of this book. Doug wrote most of the material, but around it are comments from people from his community, many of which contradict what he is saying. It is a great exercise in collaborative writing if nothing else, but it is more.

Trouble makers -- These are the books that have cause me to question a lot this year and led to some serious shifts in thinking and lifestyle.
Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge--And Why We Must
-- Kalle Lasn
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal -- Eric Schlosser -- If you liked Super Size Me , you'll love this. If you love McDonalds, you'll hate it. I have not darkened the door of McD's since I read this book.

Enough for now. A good year for books. Here's hoping 2005 proves the same.
Read Something.


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