Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Best Books of 2011

I’ve read 80 or so books thus far into 2011, and I will post a list of my favourites by genre after Christmas. For now, here’s a list of my favourite books actually published this year that I have either read, or am currently reading. (For those of you who’ve already opened your book giftcards, and looking for inspiration.)

In no particular order:

1. The Pastor: A Memoir
A beautiful memoir, full of great stories, insight and humour. 2. Salvation Means Creation Healed: The Ecology of Sin and Grace
A comprehensive exposition on the need to widen the scope of what we mean when we talk about “salvation.” Wonderful. 3. Small Things with Great Love: Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor
A must read for anyone who feels overwhelmed both by what is wrong in the world and by doing the laundry. 4. Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
I heard him speak on preparing for the second half of life at the Wild Goose festival, and suspect this is the book that will cause me the most reflection in the coming months. 5. The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. Francis and Life in the Kingdom
The sermon on the mount observed through the lenses of the life of Saint Francis and his own community. 6. Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts
Another beautiful memoir, a deeply personal narrative of the search for home and redemption. 7. Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love
Experiments in spiritual formation from a creative and generative practitioner. 8. Insurrection: To Believe Is Human To Doubt, Divine
The always provocative Rollins explores the ways we use religion to keep us from encountering the God of whom Jesus felt forsaken, and thus so often forego the liberating experience of resurrection. 9. The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited
Beginning with the question, ‘Did Jesus preach the gospel?’, McKnight takes on the narrow understanding many have of “the gospel”. 10. Christians and the Common Good: How Faith Intersects with Public Life
A much needed call to a faith and politics that is focused on comprehensive human flourishing rather than partisan interests.

And in fiction:

1. Doc: A Novel
A cracking re-telling of the life of Doc Holliday. 2. In the Rooms
Laugh out loud funny, utterly unsentimental portrayal of addiction and the literary world. 3. Divergent
For anyone who enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy.

(Full disclosure – several of these authors were already or have become friends, which no doubt has influenced my enjoyment of their writing.)


The White Family said...

I'm just proud of you that you didn't list yourself... :-)

tempting eh?

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Thanks, Sean! Your book is at the top of my list. We not only used with Little Flowers Community, but our discipleship program did as well (and will every year).