As always, I spent part of my year enthralled in the pages of someone else’s words. Here are a few books I’d recommend (in no particular order):
- A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins – This book has been on my to-read list for years and last fall I picked up a copy at a library book sale for less than a quarter. I finally read it this year, and I’m so glad I did! (Now I have all his other books on my to-read list, too.) This book is narrative nonfiction – an account of one man’s walk across (part of) America. The ordinary and surprising characters he encounters makes for a great read!
- A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness by Nassir Ghaemi – A cross of psychology, history and sociology, this book is a fascinating look at historical leaders and the ways mental illness improved their capacity to be a good leader in their time. Very interesting!
- Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor – Though this book isn’t about hope per se, I found it hopeful in its positive perspective of the dark times in life. Drawing on tangible, earthly examples of the benefits of the dark, Barbara communes with those of us who have felt that the dark has something to offer if we face it and walk in it.
- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard – This is another library book sale find that was on my to-read list for far too long. Dillard’s writing is filled with minute details of the world surrounding her cabin at Tinker Creek, but it’s the metaphors and spiritual applications that will really astound the reader. I’m quite certain I could not have enjoyed this dense read in any ol’ setting, but reading it in the woods on a week-long vacation proved to be the perfect companion to the prose within.
- If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For by Jamie Tworkowski – Jamie is the founder of nonprofit, To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization trying to present hope to people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury or suicide. The book reads like a blog, but the raw writing kept me engaged.
- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell – If you haven’t read any of Gladwell’s books, I’d highly recommend them. He weaves storied evidence together to draw an unsuspecting conclusion, and this book is no exception. It articulates how underdogs and misfits are often the best qualified to face “giants” of any kind.
- Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes us Just by Timothy Keller – A compelling case for Christians living justly in our world, especially because of the grace we have received. A worthwhile read!
What were your favorite reads of 2015?