Favorite Books of 2007

I read a number of books this year (complete list) but a few of them stood out above the rest. Some of these books were newly published in 2007 and some I just happened to discover in 2007. It was really hard to narrow down the list. The best I could do was to narrow it down to six books. I heartily recommend each of these books.

Christianity for the Rest of Us – Diana Butler Bass

When I picked up this book I would never have guessed it would end up as one of my favorites for the entire year. In fact, I didn’t initially buy the book – which is a rarity for me. Instead, I checked it out of the library. This book, along with one of my favorites from last year (Emerging Churches) helped to give me great hope for the Church (see here). Focusing on mainline Christian churches, the research in this book reveals a vibrant and world-transforming mainline church that I was completely unaware of. As a result, my vision was broadened and my spirits lifted – what more can you ask for from a book? (by the way, I did end up buying it)

Everything Must Change – Brian McLaren

I would have read a new book by McLaren even if it was titled, “Everything Must Stay the Same.” McLaren is certainly one of my favorite authors (he featured prominently in my list from last year). This book builds on one of my favorites from last year, The Secret Message of Jesus, but really challenges the church to take the message of Jesus and live it in reality. His two questions – 1. What are the biggest problems in the world? 2. What does Jesus have to say about these global problems? – have stuck with me in a powerful way since reading the book. I hope to continue to ruminate on these questions and more importantly, to act on what I see as the implications of these questions.

The Happiest Baby on the Block – Harvey Karp

One of these books doesn’t look like the others, eh? Well, while some of these other books might have been my favorites, this book might have been the most important. We had a baby girl this year and I don’t know what I would have done without this book – it really gave me confidence from the very beginning. If you are about to have your first child, I highly recommend reading this book. Especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with babies (I sure didn’t).

How (Not) to Speak of God – Peter Rollins

How (Not) to Speak of God
is not only the best book I read this year, it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I blogged about this book extensively and I know it will be one I read over and over. His next book, which is set to come out in 2008, is my most anticipated book of the upcoming new year. In short, this book spurred my imagination to picture a Christianity for tomorrow’s world.

Leaving Church
– Barbara Brown Taylor

My favorite memoir of the year and a beautifully written book. I can’t quite put my finger on why this was one of my favorite books of the year. I can only say that, along with reading Christianity for the Rest of Us, this book helped me to gain a new appreciation for mainline churches and helped me to identify with mainline churches in a new and positive way. But that only touches the surface. This book is excellent.

Soul Graffiti – Mark Scandrette

Last but certainly not least, Soul Graffiti is the book from this year that I hope will work the most transformation in my life. I am currently rereading it and hope to soak in Scandrette’s call to follow Jesus in practical and transforming ways. I blogged some about the affect this book had on me – I hope it continues to work in me for some time. In particular, I hope it continues to spur me on to action.

Honorable Mention

I can’t help but list a few other great ones from this past year:

20th-Century Theology , Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson
Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne
Letters and Papers from Prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (still reading)
Velvet Elvis, Rob Bell
The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman
UnChristian, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons

What were your favorite books from the past year?

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Favorite Books of 2006

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5 Responses

  1. Hi Adam,

    over this last year or so…some of my favorite books would be….

    The Long Lonliness by Dorothy Day…good stuff especially for grass roots ministries and communities

    So you don’t want to go to church anymore by Wayne Jacobsen….great for anyone hungering for deeper fellowship with God and people as well as those who have seen the best and worst of church-life

    Life Together….Bonhoeffer….wow I’m on a roll with this community thing ha ha!

    The Power of a Penny…..little inspirational that helps to remember that “little deeds are like little seeds…some are flowers and some are weeds.”

    Cash…the autobiography…Johnny Cash was the “Punker’s Punk.”

    The Shack by William Paul Young…one that will stretch your head, heart and emotions a great “relational Christianity” book…plus it’s a good work of fiction amidst a lot of other Christian fiction that doesn’t seem so appealing.

    Seeking the heart of God…Mother Theresa and Brother Roger….I go back to this one even though I’ve had it for 11 years….a classic

    The Be-Happy Attitudes by Rober Schuller…People can “poo-poo” on Schuller and the Crystal Cathedral all they want…it doesn’t take away from the fact that the dude is an amazing storyteller and has a great arsenal for those who are struggling and need some hope….

    peace,

    Todd

  2. I’m sure you’ve probably heard of both of these, but they’re very important to me.

    Traveling Mercies — Anne Lammott

    Terrify No More — Gary Haugen

  3. I’ll second Soul Grafitti. I’m surprised you don’t mention “The Shack” (Paul Young) or “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” (Jake Colsen, pseudonym). I think both came out in 2007, and take it from me (if you will) they’re worth checking out.

    Speaking of me…I’ve been posting more at http://www.brushed.org (and have you linked there).

  4. Thanks for all the recs. The only one out of all of those I have read is Traveling Mercies – which was great.

  5. […] incredibly helpful. I have recommended it to many people, blogged about it, and declared it one of my favorite books of 2007. I’ll say it again – go buy this book. Or save five bucks and wait until June when it comes out […]

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