7 Books I Read in 2014

I am proud of myself.

This year I read more than five books.

Some of you read dozens, even hundreds. I did not. But I read more than five, which is an improvement over last year.

Here are a few of them:

1. GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Elizabeth Esther’s brand-new memoir is one I was really looking forward to this year. I read most of it one night, standing at my kitchen counter. Honestly, it was a hard book for me to read; her descriptions of life in a fundamentalist cult were harrowing and spot-on. I had to put it down for a while when it got too hard to read. But there was a spark of hope there that drew me back in, made me finish it. And I’m so glad I did.

2. TABLES IN THE WILDERNESS

Preston Yancey’s was another highly anticipated memoir on my list this year, and it did not disappoint. If you’ve ever read Preston’s blog, you know he has a beautiful way with words. This, his first book, was everything I hoped: the tender, lyrical story of a deeply personal faith.

3. EVERYTHING BELONGS

My friend Erika Morrison recommended this one to me at the beginning of summer, and after hearing Richard Rohr quoted by just about everyone I know I was eager to dig in. It took me a while to get through the first few chapters, but the rest of the book carried me through some of the most difficult days of my life. It became a sort of textbook for spiritual seeking and transformation through grief.

4. THE JESUS STORYBOOK BIBLE

Several people had said that this children’s story Bible was a beautiful telling of the Gospel, but I had a hard time believing them. How could a children’s Bible be anything other than morality lessons or cute superhero stories from long ago? They were right though. This one is different. As I picked up a copy and read the Christmas story out loud to my family, tears rolled down my cheeks. Later, I started at the Beginning and began to read through it. Tears again. I haven’t read all the way through this yet, but I have a feeling that it just might help me believe in the beauty of Jesus again.

5. THE INNER VOICE OF LOVE

A therapist and a friend both told me about this book in the span of three days. I had never heard of it before, but as soon as I opened it I felt like I was reading my own journal. The way that Henri Nouwen enters into the questions, pain, and longings of his own heart and spirituality felt uncannily similar to my own journey. On some very dark days, these simple chapters have been the voice of Love in my ear telling me that I am not alone.

6. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE

Better late than never, right?

7. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

I can’t remember the last time I had read a work of fiction. It’s been a few years, at least. But a copy of this fell into my hands one Saturday in October and I read the whole thing in a few hours. I cried a lot that day.

///

I have a big stack of books on my dresser, waiting to be read. I’ve skimmed some, started others, and am still procrastinating on a few more. What about you? What did you read in 2014? What are you looking forward reading to in the next year?

[ image: Brad Hammonds ]

7 Books I Read in 2014

December 31, 2014 | 3 minute read

books

I am proud of myself.

This year I read more than five books.

Some of you read dozens, even hundreds. I did not. But I read more than five, which is an improvement over last year.

Here are a few of them:

1. GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Elizabeth Esther’s brand-new memoir is one I was really looking forward to this year. I read most of it one night, standing at my kitchen counter. Honestly, it was a hard book for me to read; her descriptions of life in a fundamentalist cult were harrowing and spot-on. I had to put it down for a while when it got too hard to read. But there was a spark of hope there that drew me back in, made me finish it. And I’m so glad I did.

2. TABLES IN THE WILDERNESS

Preston Yancey’s was another highly anticipated memoir on my list this year, and it did not disappoint. If you’ve ever read Preston’s blog, you know he has a beautiful way with words. This, his first book, was everything I hoped: the tender, lyrical story of a deeply personal faith.

3. EVERYTHING BELONGS

My friend Erika Morrison recommended this one to me at the beginning of summer, and after hearing Richard Rohr quoted by just about everyone I know I was eager to dig in. It took me a while to get through the first few chapters, but the rest of the book carried me through some of the most difficult days of my life. It became a sort of textbook for spiritual seeking and transformation through grief.

4. THE JESUS STORYBOOK BIBLE

Several people had said that this children’s story Bible was a beautiful telling of the Gospel, but I had a hard time believing them. How could a children’s Bible be anything other than morality lessons or cute superhero stories from long ago? They were right though. This one is different. As I picked up a copy and read the Christmas story out loud to my family, tears rolled down my cheeks. Later, I started at the Beginning and began to read through it. Tears again. I haven’t read all the way through this yet, but I have a feeling that it just might help me believe in the beauty of Jesus again.

5. THE INNER VOICE OF LOVE

A therapist and a friend both told me about this book in the span of three days. I had never heard of it before, but as soon as I opened it I felt like I was reading my own journal. The way that Henri Nouwen enters into the questions, pain, and longings of his own heart and spirituality felt uncannily similar to my own journey. On some very dark days, these simple chapters have been the voice of Love in my ear telling me that I am not alone.

6. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE

Better late than never, right?

7. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

I can’t remember the last time I had read a work of fiction. It’s been a few years, at least. But a copy of this fell into my hands one Saturday in October and I read the whole thing in a few hours. I cried a lot that day.

///

I have a big stack of books on my dresser, waiting to be read. I’ve skimmed some, started others, and am still procrastinating on a few more. What about you? What did you read in 2014? What are you looking forward reading to in the next year?

[ image: Brad Hammonds ]

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