Books 2007

For the last several years, I’ve posted a list of books I’ve read at the end of the year. I have never categorized them the same way twice. Continuing on that trend, here are the books I read in 2007.

Ten Everyone Should Read
– W. Berry, What are People For? – Though provoking essays, whether you agree with Berry or not.
– S. Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Simply magical.
– S. Endo, Silence – A gripping and insightful novel set in 17th century Japan.
– Hauerwas & Willimon, Resident Aliens – Fascinating theology of church and culture by two modern theological giants.
– E. Jacobsen, Sidewalks in the Kingdom – A must-read intersection of theology and new urbanism.
– S. Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible – A children’s story Bible everyone should own, whether they have children or not.
– F. O’Connor, Wise Blood – I love O’Connor, this novel is a hauntingly beautiful look at truth.
– W. Percy, The Moviegoer – My introduction to Percy, I’ll surely be reading more.
– M. Robinson, Housekeeping – One of the best authors of the last two decades.
– J. Rowling, The Harry Potter series – Everyone should read these at least once (and yes, I’m counting 7 books as one.)

These are Pretty Good, If You Need Something to Read
– R. Adams, Watership Down – Rabbits can show you a lot about men.
– S. Beckett, Waiting for Godot – Open-ended play that’s worth reading once, if only to see the twentieth century’s philosophic influence on literature.
– R. Bell, Sex God – I liked Velvet Elvis better, but this has some interesting insights.
– C. Dickens, A Christmas Carol – Short, lovely and memorable: my third or fourth reading, but I was glad for it.
– N. French, A Red State of Mind – Fun reflections of a Southerner living in the North.
– J. Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany – Moving contemporary fiction about life, friendship, Vietnam, love…
– T. Keller, Ministries of Mercy – A very solid work on the subject.
– J. Krakauer, Into the Wild – A little over-the-top in its defense of the subject, but a fascinating look at one young man’s journey to find space in the world.
– C. Lewis, A Grief Observed – These thoughts on bereavement are helpful to understand that experience.
– P. Jenkins, The Next Christendom – An interesting look at Christianity in the Southern Hemisphere.
– N. Mazzarella, This Heavy Silence – A solid contemporary novel with good writing and depth.
– B. Myer, Walking With the Poor – Difficult but brilliant look at community development, particularly in the third world.
– S. Plath, The Bell Jar – It made me glad not to be a depressed woman in the 1950s…
– M. Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma – I loved this look at food in society.
– J. Salinger, Franny & Zooey – A classic, better than Catcher in the Rye.
– E. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful – Prophetic and worthwhile, though not a particularly easy read.
– R. Sider, Churches That Make a Difference – Dry in parts, but an interesting look at the way different churches approach mercy and community development.
– D. Sijie, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress – A sweet story set in China.
– U. Sinclair, The Jungle – A classic that deeply influenced the nation’s view of immigrants and meat.
– S. Vanauken, A Severe Mercy – Sad, a little dramatic, but still enchanting.
– O. Wilder, The Picture of Dorian Gray – Faustian, hedonistic, classic gothic fiction that I rather enjoyed.
– N. Wilson, Leepike Ridge – Fun and well done adventure story for young adults and grown-ups, too.
– J. Wyss, Swiss Family Robinson – A wonderful story for families to read together.
– E. Yates, Amos Fortune, Free Man – Classic juvenile fiction about a slave who is captured and earns his freedom in New England, based on a true story.

If You are Interested, These Weren’t Bad

– L. Ames, Your 3-Year-Old – I like reading these every year, they are a good plumb line for age-appropriate behavior.
– B. Bailey, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline – Interesting thoughts on being a disciplined parent, from a secular perspective.
– F. Douglass, Escape from Slavery – An autobiographical account I am teaching in 19th century lit.
– B. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus – A good overview of secular textual criticism for the curious.
– F. Gipson, Old Yeller – If dying dog books don’t depress you.
– K. Fowler, The Jane Austen Book Club – Easy read, good for those who love Austen or eclectic book clubs.
– N. Kirino, Out – Japanese fiction about women protecting one another. Dark, but interesting.
– S O’Dell, Streams to the River, River to the Sea – Not O’Dell’s best, but a solid historical fiction about the Lewis & Clark expedition from Sacajawea’s perspective.

Don’t Read These
– K. Cushman, The Ballad of Lucy Whipple – Depressing juvenile fiction with too much whining.
– T. Perrotta, The Abstinence Teacher – Lame, I felt like he wasn’t trying very hard to write something decent.

9 responses to “Books 2007

  1. I really liked your plan, read, share approach in 2007. I’m looking forward to seeing what you plan to read in ’08.

  2. Yummy yummy yummy post!

  3. Well Kristen- I found your list incredibly useful since I had already planned to read the Abstinence Teacher, Waiting for Godot, Silence and Wise Blood. I guess I will mark Abstinence Teacher off the list!

    I am trying to read 100 books this year- if I can EVER make it through “The Known World” that I started before Christmas. Sigh. I am too far in to quit now but it is rather tedious.

  4. sarahjonesmosley

    Oh how how how do you find the time?

  5. Sarah, I’ve always read quickly and Michael facilitates my reading by sending me to Starbucks to read on Monday night. If I spend all my time chatting it up, it’s my fault!

  6. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: December 29, 2007 at Semicolon

  7. With Susie, I say, yummy! Just delicious. I’m going to have to add some more books to my wish list at PBS!

    When I read your list, Kristen, I wish I had read Wendell Berry and Flannery O’Connor instead of Bethany House pulp fiction written by Gilbert Morris and Brock Thoene. Ah, well.

    And kudos (HUGE KUDOS!) to Michael who is the best husband ever to send you to Starbucks to read.

  8. Jennifer Blake

    Kristen- I just read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and it was INCREDIBLY good. I think you should add it to your list!

  9. “A Severe Mercy” still makes me think and I must have read it in ’89 or ’90. You can have Godot. Ick. Lots of great books on your list!

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