Wow, my reading stats took a huge hit in 2009. After reviewing my Week in Books posts, I found that I read 83 books last year. That’s not too shabby, unless you consider that I read 131 books in 2008 and 116 books in 2007. Fortunately for me there were no wagers involved so I have not forfeited any cash, prizes, trophies or all-expenses-paid vacations.
At any rate, here are my top five books from 2009, in no particular order:
The Help by Katherynn Stockett: The Help is a remarkably well-written and insightful novel about the South at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement, and it’s valuable for illuminating a particular historical moment in a way much more powerful than you would ever get from a history text, but I think it’s also wonderful for its exploration of complicated relationships, how people construe their identity, and how societies change. The book is also noteworthy for its excellent dialect – I have rarely read accents so well done. (Week in Books No. 42)
Culture Making by Andy Crouch: All of us are engaged in creating, critiquing, cultivating, copying and consuming culture every day, and thus we would do well to understand it, a point made in Andy Crouch’s excellent and eloquent book. Culture Making goes beyond other books that deal with the same subject, and his perspective and conclusions are unique. This book gave me a lot to think about and challenged my point of view in a number of areas. (Week in Books No. 50)
Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow: This book delves deeply into topics such as God’s sovereignty, how to be content in difficult circumstances, and how anxiety affects our lives. This book is challenging and insightful, and I can’t imagine a woman who would not be strongly impacted by studying it. (Week in Books No. 18)
True Spirituality by Francis Schaeffer: This is my favorite Schaeffer book by far. Dense but lively and readable, this book is challenging and inspiring and will give you lots of food for thought. (Week in Books No. 32)
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges: I took reams of notes on this tremendously convicting and encouraging book. Bridges’ theology is deep and solid, buttressed with Scripture and the work of other theologians, and yet Trusting God is written in an engaging and accessible style. (Week in Books No. 29)
You can read all of my book reviews for 2009 here.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has purchased something through one of my Amazon affiliate links this year. I appreciate it! Most of all thank you for taking the time to read my reviews and for the thoughtful comments and emails you’ve sent my way!