The 2009 book list…

Here we go again…asterisks mean I’ve read the book before. Somehow my reading count’s gone down the past couple of years…

*January 5: Lauren Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath (148)
January 14: William Shakespeare, Macbeth (285)
*January 27: Donald Miller, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance (289)
February 2: Paul Thompson, The Voice of the Past: Oral History (226)
*February 4: C.S. Lewis, Perelandra (238)
February 16: Richard Winter, Perfecting Ourselves to Death (188)
*February 26: C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength (382)
March 6: G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (156)
March 19: Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk (384)
April 1: Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (341)
*April 8: Lauren Winner, Girl Meets God (297)
*April 25: Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz (242)
May 7: Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club (218)
May 15: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008 (363)
June 8: Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (400)
June 12: Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity (279)
June 13: Ralph Wood, The Gospel According to Tolkien (175)
June 23: Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth (983)
June 25: Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (213)
June 28: Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (163)
June 29: Walter Wangerin, Jr., The Book of the Dun Cow (241)
*July 3: Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb (191)
*July 22: J.I. Packer, Knowing God (279)
July 22: Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (309)
*July 27: Greg Garrett, Crossing Myself (236)
August 9: Sinclair Ferguson, The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction (201)
*August 16: Stephen King, On Writing (288)
August 25: Molly Wizenberg, A Homemade Life (313)
August 26: N.T. Wright, Simply Christian (240)
*September 14: Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (356)
September 16: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (304)
*September 20: Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle In Time (198)
September 20: Madeleine L’Engle, A Wind in the Door (211)
September 30: Steven Johnson, Interface Culture (242)
October 6: David Gelernter, Mirror Worlds (225)
October 7: Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet (278)
October 11: Timothy J. Keller, The Prodigal God (135)
*October 18: Jeffrey Yamaguchi, 52 Projects (176)
October 22: Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife (540)
November 15: Marilynne Robinson, The Death of Adam (254)
November 22: Stephen King, The Stand (1141)
*November 29: Lauren Winner, Real Sex (161)
December 6: David Allen, Getting Things Done (259)
*December 14: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (305)

page count: 13,053, or about 35 pages a day (not bad)
total books read: 44
fiction/plays:15
non-fiction: 29
re-reads: 15

top 5 new reads, in no particular order:
The Cost of Discipleship (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
Look, if you get martyred because you tried to assassinate Hitler, and you did it because you loved Christ and the people around you, you pretty much have the right to kick my butt. And that’s what Bonhoeffer does in his book. If you haven’t read it, do so; I was challenged, convicted, and forced to wrestle with it.

Simply Christian (N.T. Wright)
N.T. Wright is sort of a controversial figure in Reformed circles because of his views on justification, but that doesn’t really come into play in this book. It is just that, simply Christian, and I can see why it’s been called a Mere Christianity for the twenty-first century. He argues not just from logic, but from desire, and into discipleship.

The Stand (Stephen King)
My friend Teacher Dave read this a while back and has been recommending it to me for years; I finally got around to reading it, and boy, am I glad I did. I read somewhere that Stephen King, with this book, set out to create an American epic like Lord of the Rings, and while he doesn’t quite succeed, it kept me glued to it until the last page. Lots of good vs. evil, thoughts on human nature and culture, some explosions, and a crucifixion (!).

The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
I heard the movie version of this sucked, but I can see why: There’s too much detail and secondary plot and theme and whatnot to squeeze into a Hollywood movie. I don’t know about the time travel physics, seeing as that’s not something I think about that much, but it worked for me. I don’t want to call this a fun read, but it was entertaining, at least.

A Homemade Life (Molly Wizenberg)
I now have two friends who’ve lost fathers to cancer, and while that wasn’t the case when I read this book, when I finished reading the section where Molly Wizenberg writes about her own dad’s battle with kidney cancer, my soul ached for a while afterwards. But there’s more than cancer–there’s a love story (via the Internet, at that), the story of a life, and some pretty interesting food writing at that. Check it out (and check out the blog that inspired it).

[runners up: Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (Eugene Peterson), The Book of the Dun Cow (Walter Wangerin, Jr.), The Gospel According to Tolkien (Dr. Ralph C. Wood), The Death of Adam (Marilynne Robinson), Fight Club (Chuck Palahniuk)]

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The 2009 book list…

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