Monday, January 02, 2006

Books Read in 2005

My reading list is not quite as prolific as my friend Guy (30 books read this year), but I am pretty proud of the fact that I read an average of 2 books per month this year. That works out to be 24 books for the year, for those of you that are arithmetically-challenged. Here's what I read, with a brief comment about each, links to the books at, and my favorites of the year in bold:
  1. The Last Don by Mario Puzo - not as good as The Godfather, but a decent mob piece
  2. The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey - anything by Yancey is good
  3. Lightning on the Sun by Robert Bingham - disturbing and depressing, but I still liked reading it - a gift from my cousin's husband
  4. Visioneering by Andy Stanley - good for pastors and non-pastors alike, about developing and following the vision for your life
  5. Reimagining Spiritual Formation by Doug Pagitt - a week in the life of a postmodern church in Minneapolis
  6. A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren - a challenging look at modern Christianity in the postmodern context
  7. Thriving Youth Groups by Jeanne Mayo - good tips for making your youth group a friendly place
  8. The Seven Cries of Today's Teen by Timothy Smith - good info about what teens want/need that I have used to train our adult youth leaders
  9. Good to Great by Jim Collins - business principles that we can use in the church (or anywhere else)
  10. Do They Run When They See You Coming? by Jonathan McKee - about not turning off visitors and fringe kids from your youth group - didn't thrill me all that much
  11. Hurt: Inside The World of Today's Teenagers by Chap Clark - loved it! It made me sad to read about a lot of the stuff that today's teens are dealing with, but I sure appreciated reading it
  12. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving - the inspiration for Simon Birch, but very different - excellent!
  13. The Relevant Church by various authors; edited by Jennifer Ashley - a look at some how different churches are remaining relevant to their culture - ok
  14. The Brethren by John Grisham - I really enjoyed this, especially since it didn't have a Hollywood ending
  15. The Testament by John Grisham - I liked the fact that it had a Christian character that was portrayed in a positive light
  16. Praise Habit by David Crowder - loved it! David Crowder wrote it. 'Nuff said
  17. Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell - loved it! Rob Bell wrote it. 'Nuff said
  18. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller - memoirs of a Christian on hi journey - great conversational style
  19. Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians by Lawrence Kushner - helps to understand the Jewish understanding of some of what is in the Bible
  20. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell - a study on what makes certain things epidemics, social and otherwise - loved it! - probably my favorite this year
  21. The Coffeehouse Gospel by Matthew Paul Turner - a discussion on how to turn everyday encounters and conversation into venues to share your faith - nothing groundbreaking
  22. The Runaway Jury by John Grisham - the book that inspired the movie - can you tell that I think Grisham is not so bad
  23. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - I had to read this classic before the movie came out - great!
  24. Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses by Bruce Feiler - the authour writes about his travels through the region that the patriarchs travelled through - very interesting and insightful about the Biblical stories

I notice that these books average a score of 4.02 stars out of five at Amazon (no rating was available for Do They Run...?), so I guess I have pretty decent taste. I think I am shooting for 27 books this year. Shoot! Now that it's in writing, I have to do it. I have already started with Erwin McManus and a book about being a father. Stay tuned...


Emmerly said...

That's a pretty good list. I couldn't tell you what books I read this past year .. I do a lot of repeat-reading because I'm a bit of a rut reader. Maybe I'll go a bit out of my comfort zone in my reading this year ...

Allister said...

you updated!! HOORAY!

have you read the left behind series? i thought you had but 'The Rising' and 'The Regime' both came out this year and they weren't your list so i didn't know..



Fitz said...

No, I haven't read the Left Behind series...I know you love them, but I'm not so sure about the theology presented in them, so I haven;t taken the time with them...maybe I'll try one out someday...

NO!!! :-)

Cory said...

"a Prayer for Owen Meany" is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, books. Irving has such a gift for creating characters that remain with you well past the turning of the last page.

shelby said...

so i dont read to much but i am reading cronicals of narnia and i like it so much. and listen to ally please SHAVE it makes u look old!!! ~halter~

Emmerly said...

considering the fact that he IS old, then beard works. (no offense fitzie-poo) I like the beard though, it makes him look very fatherly. Do what you want fitz!

gmw said...

great list. i did hit quite the reading wall once Benjamin arrived in august, but managed to finish strong. this year is off to a bit of a slow start though.

gmw said...


You can read a great book in a online discussion group this spring comparing CS Lewis and Sigmund Freud at!

wow, that really reads like comment spam...sorry.