I've never been good with lists of favorites. I start sweating nervously when people ask what my favorite books or movies are. How on earth could anyone choose or narrow down a "Top 5 Movies of All Time" list? There's no formula for this type of activity, so I'm left with doubts over whether or not I made the right choices in the best order.
Fortunately, these days making a "Best Books Read in 2013" list is pretty easy, since I have a rather limited number of books to consider. So below are most of the books I read this year, and a recommendation for readers for each. (You can see last year's list here.)
Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman. A beautiful, Scripture-filled reflection on daily life, I recommend this book to pretty much everyone. It's a new go-to gift for anyone struggling to find meaning in the mundane, which I think includes just about all of us. Furman is excellent at using simple object lessons to point to greater realities.
Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life by Elyse Fitzpatrick. This book was fundamental to my understanding of my own sin. Fitzpatrick takes readers through the gospel we think we understand, illuminating just how sinful we are and yet how beautifully loving our Savior is. One chapter in the second half of the book singlehandedly changed my thinking on the cause of my struggles with the same sins, over and over again. This is a wonderfully encouraging book.
Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves. Despite my aversion to "favorites," this was easily my favorite book I read this year. I had no idea reading a book on the trinity could make me laugh, cry and love God in three Persons more, but indeed that is what this book did. Great for new Christians and those, like me, who have been believers for years but struggle to even come close to understanding this theological concept. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Tim Keller. This tiny book is one I will re-read multiple times. A sermon-like treatment of I Corinthians 3:21-4:7, this book points to the cause of pride, its various manifestations, and the cure for it all. I need this reminder on a daily basis. A great gift for the prideful people you know, which, the book points out, includes us all.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I'm super late to the game on this one, but I just finished it a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I don't read a lot of modern fiction, but this came highly recommended and it hooked me from the first page. I came away with a greater appreciation for the value of each human life, an outcome beautifully elicited by the author's skilled telling of the story of WWII Germany from the German perspective. I haven't seen the film version, but have heard it falls short of the novel's beauty.
I also reviewed a few books this year, but rather than re-reviewing them here, I'll link to the reviews below:
Suburbianity by Byron Yawn
Found in Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl by Paula Hendricks
What about you? Any favorites from 2013 I should add to my 2014 list?
*Full disclosure--if you buy one of these books from the links on this page, I will get a tiny profit, further feeding my book addiction. If you would like to support said addiction, feel free to use these links. If you want to free me from the addiction, you might not want to use them.