My 2013 Reading List

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I like to read. While the busyness of releasing Resurrection Year, launching a podcast, visiting Ethiopia, going on pilgrimage, doing a speaking tour and more this year means I haven’t gotten to as many books as I would’ve liked, my 2013 reading list hasn’t been bad. Here it is. Not every book has been brilliant (and listing doesn’t mean full endorsement) but there have been some gems. Do let me know your best reads of the year in the comments section too.

Particularly Recommended

The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way The Accidental Pilgrim: New Journeys on Ancient Pathways Pilgrimage: A Spiritual and Cultural Journey Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale Home for Good  Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art Famine and Foreigners: Ethiopia Since Live Aid

Also Read This Year

The Celtic Way, Ian Bradley

Fire of the North, David Adams

Seriously Funny 2, Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas

What We Talk About When We Talk About God, Rob Bell

The Lion’s World, Rowan Williams

Living the Hours, Anthony Grimley and Jonathan Wooding

The Extra Mile, Peter Stanford

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (fiction)

Phantastes, George Macdonald (fiction) (free)

Letters from the Desert, Carlo Carretto

A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson

It’s Your Call, Gary Barkalow

Seeing Through the Fog, Ed Dobson

The Art of Love, Erich Fromm

Planet Narnia and The Narnia Code, Michael Ward

A Time for New Dreams, Ben Okri

Truth to Tell, Lesslie Newbigin

The Inklings of Oxford, Poe Veneman

The Sign of the Cross, Colm Toibin


Question: What’s the best book you’ve read this year? Tell me now.

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  • Hannah

    one of the better books i’ve read this year? Resurrection Year, of course 😉

  • joanna

    I’m guessing you mean your 2013 reading list?

    I think the best book I read this year was One Forever by Rory Shiner which is on the topic of union with Christ (definitely one of the most underrated and undercovered theological ideas). It’s only about 90 pages long but so well written and insightful that I’ve lent my copy to both an adult theology nerd friend and a teenager in our youth group.

    This year in addition to theology, I’ve been reading a lot of business and social science this year. A few other nominations for best book of the year (other than yours) are

    Seth Godin- Whatcha gonna do with that duck?
    Susan Cain- Quiet
    Shauna Niequist- Bread & Wine
    Michael Wood- The story of India
    Brene Brown- Daring Greatly
    Bernadette Jiwa- The fortune cookie principle
    Josh Kaufman- The personal MBA

    • Yes, just corrected the date thing – clearly I’m still jet lagged! A nice list, Joanna. I need to check out that Brene Brown book. Keep hearing about her.

  • I enjoyed The In-Between by Jeff Goins.

  • Andrew Park

    Being a longterm fan of Walter Brueggemann’s books I have read several this past year. However, the one I am enjoying the most at present is “Living Countertestimony: Conversations With Walter Brueggemann” (2012, Westminster, John Know Press) because it sees Walter engaged in a series of discussions with friends during which his personal life, history and passion for theology and social justice are discussed. It tells me a lot more about who he is in real life – the man behind the pen and what has driven and drives him in his (prolific) writing.
    Other books I have liked and am glad to recommend are:
    Brian McLaren’s, “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? – Christian Identity in A Multi-faith World” (2012, Jericho Road, New York) – very important discussions about fostering non-abusive relationships with those of other faiths in ways that generate peace, collaboration, hospitality, non-violence.
    Tom Keneally, “The Commonwealth of Thienes: The Sydney Experiment”, (2005, Random House, Sydney). Just started this book. Finding it a very well researched historical narrative about convict resettlement policies which birthed colonial Australia to the detriment of its 1st Nations inhabitant custodians of the land. Keneally’s book seems to be an honest accounting and fair critique of Australian history. Important book to read for all Australians about their nation’s past and how that reads into their futures.

    • I love the depth of your reading, Andrew. Must check out Living Countertestimony. I’ve interviewed Tom Keneally a couple of times and have always come away astounded at his profound grasp of complex historical details – like early colonisation policies. Thanks for your list.