Saturday, January 14, 2017

Poof! My 2016 Reading List

In terms of people, 2016 brought a new grandson and a new son-in-law; that's the good news. It also brought a new president; that's the bad news. In terms of books, I have sixty-eight reads to document.

In school, my high schoolers hit their government year--which is always fun when it coincides with an election. We read God and Politics: Four Reformation Views on Civil Government, which I was really looking forward to and which I was colossally disappointed by. The Anti-Federalist Papers, on the other hand, was nigh on prophetic.

Secrets of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield and Same Sex Attraction and the Church by Ed Shaw offer compassionate gospel answers without compromise to same sex issues. I haven't given either of them to my kids, but I think any upper high schooler could (should?) handle both. And if the kids are moving away to college, then these would be required reading.

I ventured back into sci-fi for the first time in years. While Ender's Game was a dud,  The Book of Strange New Things was...interesting. I don't think I need to read it again, but at least I cared about the characters. Enchantress from the Stars was a page-turner. CS Lewis's Perelandra improved upon closer acquaintance. I didn't like it in high school, but I really enjoyed it this past fall. In fact, I liked it well enough to pick up Out of the Silent Planet, too. Unfortunately, that one dragged a bit.

Spiritually, the wolves were real, and the cubs were threatened. After many tears and much teeth gnashing and fist clenching, I finally did what I should have been doing anyway. I hit my knees, and I hit the books. Let's call it Mama Grizzly Goes to the Library. Several of the books come as a result of that crisis. Just when I was wondering if I was dying on a mountain or a molehill, the books I read by trusted authors convinced me that this was a hill worth taking. And that's all I am free to say about that.

The real gems, though, were across genres. Once and Future King by TH White has been one of my favorites since junior high. I read it a fourth time (at least--I've lost count) this year, and I saw themes in there I hadn't picked up on before. Delighting in the Trinity was just...delightful. Kris Lundgaard's The Enemy Within should be read by every Christian at least once a decade. And Fidelity, a collection of short stories by Wendell Berry, was nothing short of breath-taking.

You may notice that two of the listed books have asterisks*. That's because they are really booklets. In terms of pages or word count, both Word Made Flesh and No Adam, No Gospel were tiny. But in terms of content and ideas, they each easily rival any other book on my list. So I counted them.

Here they are, my 2016 books, all 68 of them.
(You may be wondering why stuff like Winnie the Pooh is on my list. Hey, you're too old for AA Milne or E. Nesbit only when you're dead.)

Radical by David Platt
The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber
The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Debates
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves
Duncan's War by Douglas Bond
The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield
The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey
The Westminster Catechism by GI Williamson

Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves
Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
Ink on His Fingers by Louise Vernon
Becoming Conversant With the Emerging Church by DA Carson
Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdahl
Jack's Life by Douglas Gresham
The Incredulity of Father Brown by GK Chesterton
In My Place Condemned He Stood by JI Packer, Mark Dever
The Hawk That Dared Not Hunt by Day by Scott O'Dell
Are We Together? by RC Sproul

Praying With Paul by DA Carson
Going Solo by Roald Dahl
White Stallion of Lippizza by Marguerite Henry
Children and the Lord's Supper edited by Ligon Duncan and Guy Waters
The Game by Ken Dryden
Holy Ground by Chris Costaldo
The Painter's Daughter by Julia Klassen
The Ever-Loving Truth by Voddie Baucham
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Family Baggage by Monica McInerny
Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin
And So To Bed by Adrian Reynolds
Perelandra by CS Lewis
The Invisible Heart by Russell Roberts
Covenantal Apologetics by K. Scott Oliphant
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill
Words from the Fire by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis

Worship by the Book by DA Carson
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
My Antonia by Willa Cather
God and Politics: Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government edited by Gary Scott Smith
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Fidelity by Wendell Berry
How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler
One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Policy by Mei Fong
Church in Hard Places by Mez McConnell

The Life of Christopher Columbus by Josephine Pollard
The Secret of Father Brown by GK Chesterton
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
The Black Church by Thabiti Anyabwile
Kings Arrow by Douglas Bond
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater
Same Sex Attraction and the Church by Ed Shaw
Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
Faith Alone by RC Sproul

The Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit
The Enemy Within by Kris Lundgaard
The Word Made Flesh: the Ligonier Statement on Christology*
Once and Future King by TH White
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
No Adam, No Gospel by Richard Gaffin*
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
Songs of Jesus by Timothy Keller

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! Have you read Wendell Berry's Hannah Coulter? It's my favorite of his so far (like listening to you grandmother tell you a story...ahhh). I'm noticing JK on your list, but I'm not letting myself get too excited. ;) Also wondering if you liked Dear Mr. Knightly? I enjoyed that one - especially with it's nod to Daddy Long Legs. I have to agree with your comment about Milne and Nesbit. Em read the Butterfield book (C and I listened to it on audio, and she reads it herself -- her tone really gets preachy toward the end, so I think I would've been better off in print with that one - Em didn't notice the tone reading the print version). Em and I both want to read her sequel, but haven't gotten to it yet. So many books, so little time!
    Happy reading in 2017!