rick & 1j13
Monday, December 29, 2003

These are "my" top ten books - not necessarily published this year, but read and finished this year, which is a big thing for me.

10. enjoying God - S.J. Hill
This one just has a poetic side to its prose that really drew me in. Nothing new, but the way it was written - yes, I know there's a ghost writer involved - still made me look at my own walk with God in a new, refreshing and more enjoyable way.

9. The Story We Find Ourselves In - Brian McLaren
In the sequel to NKOC, McLaren continues the "new christian adventure" for Dan and Neo. I liked it alot, moreso than some of the other folks on our email list. My only drawback was putting the events of 09/11/01 into the narrative - but that single event will probably have more longterm impact on "the emerging church" than any of us realize.

8. Leadership - Rick Joyner
Pastor Mike handed us this book, and I was pleasantly surprised. I'd read Joyner's stuff before, mostly prophetic pieces, and I liked them but I wasn't sure what to expect this time. I thought he wove stories of military leadership in with insights to good leadership today in a way that made sense and inspired.

7. Into The Depths Of God - Calvin Miller
I had started this book some time in 2002 I think, and it was one of the first I picked up to *finish* in 2003. He's got a good flow to his prose, too, and I was really impressed with the way the spiritual and the natural interact in his viewpoints.

6. Hoot - Carl Hiaasen
I am such a geek. This was the first novel I downloaded to my laptop, and I read the whole thing onscreen. Cool, huh? And the story was really good, too. I look forward to reading it - screen or page? hmmm... - with my kids in the next couple of summers or so. It might go over their heads right now, but would make a great afterschool special kind of flick.

5. Four Souls - Sklar, Medefind, Peterson, Kronberg
If you're interested in missions, you've got to read this book. Four college friends decide to travel for a year, spending meaningful time at destinations all over the planet, and being transformed in the process.

4. With New Eyes - Margaret Becker
I've always liked her music, but this glimpse into Maggie B's journal is probably one of the things that has kept me inspired in my own writing.

3. Hey, Nostradamus - Douglas Coupland
I fell into this story fairly quickly. Starting with high school at about the same timeframe I would've been there, then continuing through the changing narrator to "today" at about the same place along the age/timeline for me, this story just had alot to say on life, the perception of religion, the importance of relationships, etc.

2. Bird By Bird - Anne Lamott
Another one that I'd started earlier and finally finished in 2003. If you want to write, this one is the one to read first. It'll either talk you out of it, or it'll inspire you to keep trying. There's some hands-on kind of writing task things, but mostly it's just saying write write write and then write some more. Good stories from her own life - you can see how her style and characters have been shaped by life's stuff.

1. Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller
While the other books might not be in any real particular order, this one is definitely number one for the year. Again, nothing new, but I liked his style. Lots of life stories, but told in a way that drew me in, made them my own "memories". That's the mark of a good writer for me - make the story real enough to see myself interacting with the plotpoint. This one did it well.

That's it. That's the list.
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