For the last couple of years, I’ve actually written down my resolutions for some fuzzy reasoning. It could be to alleviate the possibility of forgetting what my yearly aspirations would be which I most certainly did each year before jotting them down. It could be to motivate myself to achieve these goals that I pondered for roughly 10 minutes each December late in the month. Either way, on each yearly catalog, you’ll find listed first my reading goal. After achieving my goal of reading 24 books in 2016, I upped it to 48 books this past year. If you’re connected with me on Goodreads, you’ll know that I did reach that goal which means I have too much time on my hands. To prove that further, I thought I might do a little write up to recap my favorite titles of the past year.
The More of Less (Joshua Becker)
There are endless blogs and books out there that talk about minimalism, but Josh Becker is my favorite voice. He does a great job of shifting the conversation from materialism and consumption to intentionality and generosity. It’s a practical and thoughtful message that I really appreciate.
Apes and Angels (Ben Bova)
My first fiction entry in this post is a Ben Bova’s sci-fi novel. This book is actually a part of a trilogy, but I read it on its own without any trouble. I find that some science fiction pieces have a had time creating engaging characters because they are so focused on the fancy tech or the alien life that inhabits their world, but Bova doesn’t have this problem at all. The lengthy tome flew by for me because I was engrossed in the stories and actions of the crew aboard the Odysseus. There’s action, there’s sacrifice, and there’s a good old-fashioned romance.
Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)
This one has been on my to-read list for years and I’m so glad I finally got to it. The book is actually a transcript of Lewis’s legendary broadcast talks during World War II that explored Christian concepts he’d previously talked/wrote about. C.S. Lews has a real knack for taking lofty ideals, values, and beliefs and making them digestible.
Sleeping Giants & Waking Gods (Sylvain Neuvel)
This was a strange case where I accidentally picked up the second story (Waking Gods) in the Themis Files series first and it was so engaging that I had to go back and read Sleeping Giants. The storytelling is unique in this sci-fi thriller. The chapters are laid out in an interview format. The characters involved bounce around from a mysteriously powerful figure to linguists and military personnel. Suspensful, clever, and funny. It reminded me so much of those old films on TCM that I watch whenever I get the chance. Who doesn’t love The Day the Earth Stood Still or Forbidden Planet?
Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
Each Halloween, I like to try a book or two of spooky literature. I’m not a gore guy, so instead, I steer toward the classics. Last year was Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which I enjoyed, but I gotta say, Frankenstein was amazing. I’ve read it once before in a college course I took on technological dystopia, but it was in graphic novel form. Everyone knows the story by now, but seriously, go read it. There is a reason it’s a classic. I also found it strangely prescient as AI continues to evolve.
Generous Justice (Timothy Kelly)
Tim Keller’s Generous Justice was a really enlightening and challenging book for me. In this book, he unpacks themes justice from a Biblical context and how they should shape how Christians live today. It’s easy to comprehend and invites readers to examine their own actions in regards to justice, mercy, and generosity.
Alright, those are some of my very favorite tomes that I’ve read this year. Can’t wait to see what stories I dive into in 2018.
I’d love to hear what your favorite reads were this year or if you enjoy any of the books on my list!