Finding time to read is no small task these days, but a book-a-holic mom has got to do what a book-a-holic mom has got to do. These are some of the books I read this year during nap time, my-children-are-watching-a-movie time, I-should-be-sleeping-because-my-children-are-sleeping-time, and I’m-avoiding-typing-on-this-very-keyboard-time, and my favorite, I’m-avoiding-folding-laundry-time.
14 Books I read in 2014 that I recommend, with quotes:
- At the Foot of the Snows: A journey of faith and words among the Kham-speaking people of Nepal by David Watters “Before letting them hold copies of the New Testament, I wanted to tell them something of what it took to produce these books. Each book had a thousand pages in it (1,003, to be exact), and based on that round number, calculations were easy to come by. It turned out that for every page in the book, Hasta Ram had walked seven or eight miles, traveling into and out of the village–that’s seven or eight thousand miles–and I had walked some three miles. For every four pages, I had spent a night in the open, out on the trail, away from home and away from the village. That’s 250 days, the better part of a year. (Hasta Ram had spent countless more nights.) For every page, Nancy and I had spent four and a half days in learning the language and producing the first draft–a total of forty-five hundred days, or twelve years. For every page, Hasta Ram and I had spent an additional day – almost three years – in revising the text, making it consistent and accurate. For every page, I had spent another half a day – more than a year in all – in keyboarding the text and getting it ready for publication…But the most amazing statistic of all was what it had cost the believers themselves. In anticipation of the coming of the book, they had staked their lives on its truths. The people from that one village had spent six and a half man-days in prison for every single page in the book…or eighteen man-years in prison!”
- Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan “Whenever one of my children says, ‘Goodnight, Daddy,’ I always think to myself, ‘You don’t mean that.”
- Disappointment with God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud by Philip Yancey “Why the delay? Why does God let evil and pain so flagrantly exist, even thrive, on this planet?…He holds back for our sakes. Re-creation involves us; we are, in fact, at the center of his plan…the motive behind all human history, is to develop us, not God. Our very existence announces to the powers in the universe that restoration is under way. Every act of faith by every one of the people of God is like the tolling of a bell, and a faith like Job’s reverberates throughout the universe.”
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown “Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting. In terms of teaching our children to dare greatly in the ‘never enough’ culture, the question isn’t so much ‘Are you parenting the right way?’ as it is: ‘Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”
- Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder “And I can imagine Farmer saying he doesn’t care if no one else is willing to follow their example. He’s still going to make these hikes, he’d insist, because if you say that seven hours is too long to walk for two families of patients, you’re saying that their lives matter less than some others’, and the idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that’s wrong with the world.”
- Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner “People think Judaism and Christianity are radically different from one another, and that the difference is straightforward…But on Ascension Day, I am struck by the deep similarity that lies just underneath…Both Jews and Christians live in a world that is not yet redeemed, and both of us await ultimate redemption. Some of us wait for a messiah to come once and forever; others of us wait for Him to come back. But we are both stuck living in a world where redemption is not complete, where we have redemptive work to do, where we cannot always see God as clearly as we would like, because He is up in Heaven. We are both waiting.”
- Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View on Women by Sarah Bessey “Rest in your God-breathed worth. Stop holding your breath, hiding your gifts, ducking your head, dulling your roar, distracting your soul, stilling your hands, quieting your voice, and satiating your hunger with the lesser things of this world.”
- Woo: Awakening Teenagers’ Desire to follow in the way of Jesus by Morgan Schmidt “The Spirit teaches us how to participate with God in the restoration of all things; maybe the more common term for this would be mission…[I]t’s a mission which connects our unique desires to the work of the Spirit to keep wooing creation back to the Creator.”
- When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor..and Yourself by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert “As a group of people who are being transformed by the gospel and who are called to be ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20), the local church should be the ideal community for highly relational nurturing of hurting individuals and families. But the reality often falls far short of the ideal…Finding people to love…people, day in and day out…is extremely difficult.”
- Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor by Robert Lupton “A church that is committed to Christian Community Development sees not only the soul of a person as significant but also his or her whole life on Earth. It is being completely pro-life for a person, not only eternally, but also as the person lives on this earth. Therefore, Christian Community Development sees that the Church must be involved in every aspect of a person’s life. In order to accomplish the wholistic aspect of ministry, pastors and leaders must be networkers. Christian Community Development builds coalitions in communities so that they can work together to solve the problems.”
- I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai “Education is neither Eastern not Western, it is human.”
- Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids by Lisa Ross “Simplification establishes an unspoken emphasis on relationship.”
- Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters by Annie Dillard “God does not demand that we give up our personal dignity…God needs nothing, asks nothing, and demands nothing, like the stars. It is a life with God which demands these things. Experience has taught the race that if knowledge of God is the end, then these habits of life are not the means but the condition in which the means operates. You do not have to do these things; not at all. God does not, I regret to report, give a hoot. You do not have to do these things- unless you want to know God. They work on you, not on him.”
- As a Child: God’s Call to Littleness by Phil Steer “God sends little children to speak and act for him. In their simplicity and naivety they say and do things that we adults never would, but which can reveal deep truths about the way the world should be, if we only would have ears to hear and eyes to see…”
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What was your favorite read in 2014?