The top ten books I read in 2011

The top ten books I read in 2011

If you know me at all it’s no secret that I like to read.

According to Shelfari I read 82 books last year.  Since I got to fill my head with so many interesting ideas and fabulous stories, I thought I’d share with you my top ten.

OK – I’m cheating a bit…three of my top ten are series that I listed as one unit.  But that’s my prerogative as creator of the list.

Note that these are books that I read in 2011.  They are not all books that were published in 2011.

In no particular order…

1. The 100 Cupboards series – N.D. Wilson (100 Cupboards, Dandelion Fire & The Chestnut King)

These are children’s books; however, the beautiful mystery of discovering the joy of a life lived fully alive, the poetic writing style and the spectacular way that N.D Wilson stretches the imagination thoroughly captivated my heart.

2. The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine – A.W. Tozer

While this book overflows with powerful concepts the one that I still find myself pondering is the mystery of the omnipotent presence of God verses the manifest presence of God.  This the reason we pray “Come, Lord Jesus – Come Holy Spirit” when we know that He is already here.

3. Ruthless Trust: A Ragamuffin’s Path to God – Brennan Manning

By far the best book by Manning in my library, this book hit home in a year where I’ve found my own trust in God stretched.  I particularly appreciated his treatise on “Artists, Mystics and Clowns.”

4. River of Time series – Lisa T. Bergren (Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent)

While marketed for teens, I found this series both compelling and adventurous.  Good, clean, light reading that asked provoking questions about God and the world.

5. Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction – David Benner

This book profoundly impacted my thinking and my journey to become my “true-self-in-Christ.”  I’d recommend this book to everyone, whether you are curious about spiritual direction or just want to become a better sacred companion to the people in your life.

6. Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus in Every Season of Your Soul – Mark Buchanan

Buchanan takes the rhythms of our spiritual life, the ups and downs, the overflowing joy and the deep sorrow and then grounds them in an illustration of the seasons of the natural created world.  He offers practical application in the form of actions appropriate to each season and offers thought provoking discussion and encouragement for living through the year in and year out rhythm of the seasons of the soul.

7. Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy – Larry Crabb

In this work based in the book of Ruth, Dr. Crabb explores the possibility of a greater dream than every other dream that we have ever dared to dream.

8. Monster in the Hollows – Andrew Peterson (Book Three in the Wingfeather Saga)

In this novel geared toward children, I found another beautiful exploration of what it means to be fully alive, on the path to becoming the person you were created to become.  Like N.D. Wilson, Peterson’s lyrical and poetic grasp of the English language paired with the exceptional ability to envision and imagine makes this a novel for all ages.

9. To Win Her Heart – Karen Witemeyer

My favorite stories are stories of redemption. Besides being a sweet tale of falling in love, To Win Her Heart is a beautiful portrayal of the struggles and joys that accompany a life redeemed.  You can see my full review here.

10.  Legends of the Guardian Kings series – Karen Hancock (The Light of Eidon, The Shadow Within, Shadow over Kiriath, The Return of the Guardian King)

I admit that these were a 2011 re-read.  I’ve read them a number of times over the years, but they still made it to my top ten list, because no matter how many times I read them they still have an impact.  I walk away from these books looking at my world through new eyes.  I am challenged to be more aware of the spiritual world that is all around me and I am compelled to carefully consider my choices.  Not unlike Dr. Crabb’s Shattered Dreams, this series compels me to ask “Which dream am I chasing?”