Favorite Books – 2021

Favorite Books – 2021 December 14, 2021
Favorite Books I Read this Year
I was most excited about this book entering 2021 and it did not disappoint. I enjoyed it so much I read it twice! Winn Collier is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. This book tells the story of one of the truest pastor’s I have ever read – Eugene Peterson. Collier writes with beauty while telling the full and true story of Peterson’s life. As you read, I believe you feel both calm and captivated at the same time.
As a pastor, preacher, and writer – I use a lot of words. I talk all. the. time. The older I get, the more I understand the value and importance of using right words. Marilyn McEntyre writes to help people like me give careful consideration to words – spoken and written. From her first chapter: “I’d like to reflect on what it might mean to be good stewards of language – what it might mean to retrieve words from the kinds of misuse, abuse, and distortion to which they’ve been subjected to of late, and to reinvigorate them for use as bearers of truth and instruments of love. Caring for language is a moral issue.” I believe she is right and her book is very, very helpful for anyone who uses words.�
“The problem isn’t exactly that these techniques and products don’t work,” writes Oliver Burkeman about time management tools and resources. “It’s that they do work – in the sense that you’ll get more done, race to more meetings, ferry your kids to more after-school activities, generate more profit for your employer – and yet, paradoxically, you only feel busier, more anxious, and somehow emptier as a result.” Burkeman writes this book to help us – not get more out of our time per se – but to live the short life we have (4,000 weeks) as whole human beings. I cannot recommend this book enough. Very thought provoking and challenging.
The Jubilee: Poems by John Blase
This year I attempted to widen my literary scope and read poetry. I started with Blase’s book and so glad I did. I wouldn’t consider myself a poet by any stretch. But I do love poetic sentences that awaken the soul. Blase does that in this book of poems. If you like poetry and/or want to like poetry but have had a hard time, start here.
I read this book because I am a HUGE Andrew Peterson fan. Not only do I love his music, but his previous book Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making blew me away. So good. Honestly, I enjoyed Adoring the Dark more than this one. HOWEVER, though The God of the Garden was a slog for me at times – Peterson expresses rich thoughts about how God and creation and the kingdom of Christ come together. I am grateful I stuck it out because it forced me to ponder things I have never considered. If you read this book, I promise you will never look at trees the same way again.
Really Good Books I am Currently Reading
So far, Grothe’s book has me deeply pondering the importance of being present and paying attention to the place God has me. So far, it is an incredibly though-provoking book.
Though familiar with Philip Yancey book title’s for most of my life, I have not read much of his work. That will change. After listening to a podcast with him discussing his memoir, I immediately purchased the book and began reading. His story is so, so good and – as you can imagine – remarkably written.
On Friday of this week, I will be a semester away from having a High School senior in my home. Help. Me. Jesus. Someone recommended Bruni’s work to me in order to help me better understand the fake “pressure” that is out there to get into various college and universities. Basically, Bruni makes a very compelling case – over and over and over again – that where one attends college does not define the rest of their lives or careers. He gives parents and students room to breathe and permission to enjoy life!
What have been some of your favorite reads from this year?

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