Top Ten Books of 2009

I've not posted for awhile, but hope to resume regular posting in January. But to round out the year, here's my top ten list of books read (not necessarily published) this year.

10.The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and their Friends – Humphrey Carpenter

A great biographical sketch of Lewis, Tolkien, and Williams with a focus on their friendships and their reading group, the Inklings.

9.Not the Way Its Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin – Cornelius Plantinga

A carefully nuanced study of the doctrine of sin, in all its many facets.

8.Girl Meets God: A Memoir – Lauren F. Winner

The best biography/memoir I read this year, this is Lauren Winner's chronicle of her journey from Judaism to Christianity. Immensely interesting and beautifully written. I also read two other books by Winner which could easily have made this list.

7.Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity – David Allen

One of the most practical books I've read, even though I was late in getting to it. This book works, if you apply it. I've put much of it into practice, including some reorganizing of my office, but need to read it again to take it a step further.

6.The Children of Hurin – J. R. R. Tolkien

Out of nearly a dozen novels I read this year, this was the best. It's also the saddest book I've ever read. Cormac McCarthy's The Road comes in as a close second on both counts.

5.Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road – Timothy J. Keller

Keller on social justice and mercy ministries. Extremely practical. Extremely convicting. Our deacon team is now studying this and thinking through implementation at Fulkerson.

4.Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional – Jim Belcher

Though there are some legitimate critiques to be made of Jim Belcher's proposed "third way" between the emerging and traditional models for church, I found much to resonate with in this book.

3.Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling – Andy Crouch

If you're only going to read one book on Christians and culture, this is the one to read. Better than Carson's Christ and Culture Revisited.

2.Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion – Wayne Cordeiro

A book for pastors and leaders on the importance of maintaining spiritual, physical, and emotional health. In some ways, this is the most important book I read this year, though not necessarily the best. In fact, it's the only book I read all the way through twice.

1.Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters – Timothy Keller

Pride of place has to go to Keller's new book on idolatry. As usual, it combines attributes not often found in one book: exposition of Scripture with cultural relevance, theological insight with penetrating heart application, creativity with simplicity.


Amanda said...

I've read 3 of your 10 books, #1, 2, and 8. I really enjoyed Girl Meets God. :)

Anna said...

Children of Hurin was really good! One of saddest books ever. I read it in two days, though - it was an unusually easy read for a Tolkien book. I was reading it non stop, though...

Some of that other stuff looks really great! I'll have to some to my reading list after I get through my Christmas stack...