Sunday, December 26, 2010

Books of 2010

I trust and hope you all had amazing holiday celebrations with your family and friends. I sure did, and I received some pretty awesome gifts as well. I'm stoked. I now have some pretty rad sneaks, some sassy heels, gift cards, a coffee press, a calendar, tiny salt and pepper grinders, and my favorite perfume, among other things.

I always feel like I am blind sided by New Year. You have a huge build up to Christmas, you are just getting over all the festivities and then BAM! 2010 is over.

I think this year may be the year I don't make my New Year's resolution from 2007. I should clarify, I have broken many many New Year's resolutions but there was one in particular that has been kept for the past couple years. I guess on a technicality I have met my goal but on the broader spectrum I have failed. I used to be one of those people that would read a book 75% of the way through, would get excited about another book, lose interest in the current book and start the new one and then repeat the cycle. (I feel like I should make a flowchart for that). Leaving me with a bookshelf of books I never fully read. I made the resolution to read all books from cover to cover and not start another till the previous was finished. In addition to that I had a goal to read more books than the previous year. I have kept the read a book from cover to cover goal but I have fallen 5 books short of the reading more books than the previous year goal. The small technicality that would push me over the edge and past my goal is the number of books of the Bible that I have read this year. Though I feel like that would be cheating since they all fall under the Bible which is a book.

Though I do give myself some slack. This has been a rather momentous year, of deciding to take on a mission's assignment, getting support, moving across the country and having a complete change in lifestyle. So without any further ado here is my 2010 reading list.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith)- A fusion of Jane Austen's classic and a zombie/ kung fu tale. This was just a fun and easy read.

The Sunflower (Simon Wiesenthal)- This book starts off with a story set in Nazi territory during World War II. The second half is a symposium contributed by a wide range of people concerning the initial story. This is a very deep and thought provoking book.

Forgotten God (Francis Chan)- A description of the 'forgotten God' also known as the Holy Spirit, written by one of my favorite speakers. Chan has an amazing perspective and a unique way of describing the Bible in such a way that it become vivid and tangible.

Cleaving (Julie Powell)- Cleaving is Powel's follow-up book to Julie and Julia. I found this book to be somewhat disappointing and seemingly spared little in the gritty details of her marriage's falling apart.

A Million Miles and A Thousand Years (Donald Miller)- Dissects the idea of 'story' as Miller becomes a playwright to his previous book of Blue Like Jazz. In an epiphany of sorts Miller decides to make his life a story that is intriguing and worthy of discussion. Quite inspirational and made me want to live a more adventurous life.

How We are Hungry (Dave Eggers)- Classic Eggers writing, short stories that draw you in.

Roaring Lambs (Bob Briner)- A unique take for his time, Briner confronts the rift between Christianity and media. This book is definitely dated but some principles are very applicable for today.

Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)- A narrative of a couple of days through the eyes of a cynical teenage boy after being thrown out of yet another school. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, I knew it was a classic but it definitely took me by surprise.

The Virgin Suicides (Jeffrey Eugenides)- An account of a dysfunctional family and a strange turn of events. I have yet to see the movie.

Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy (Pietra Rivoli)- I truly enjoyed this book. Rivoli takes a look at the global economy by buying a T-shirt and tracing back all the steps in the manufacturing of the shirt to the selling of the shirt and what happens once nobody wants it anymore.

Friend Raising (Betty Barnett)- A great resource for anyone needing to raise support in missions work.

Axiom (Bill Hybels)- A book of proverb-like advice for leaders using life lessons as a leader of a massive church. This book shares helpful wisdom.

Tuesdays With Morrie (Mitch Albom)- I read this on a three hour flight. It was heartwarming and inspiring. A dying professor's last lesson to a beloved student.

Beyond the Soiled Curtain (David and Beth Grant)- This was a heart-wrenching read that made me want to spring into action, fighting against the injustices of human trafficking.

Zeitoun (Dave Eggers)- Great book. A true account of a man rescuing neighbors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina then being picked up and then interrogated as being a terrorist because of his ethnicity.

The Guinea Pig Diaries (A.J. Jacobs)- After writing The Year Living Biblically and The Know-it-All Jacobs turns a year of his life into month long experiments. He goes a month without telling a lie, he outsources daily tasks to India for another month and goes without multitasking for a month and so on. Jacobs has a humorous self-deprecating writing style.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert M. Pirsig)- This was somewhat of a laborious read because of the thick philosophy portions of the book. I could only read this book in a "distraction free" zone. Despite the 'thick' nature of the book it was very interesting.

Orbiting the Giant Hairball (Gordon MacKenzie)- A how to book on being an artist in the business world. I like the illustrations and the layout of the book but I think he thought a little too out of the box at times to the point that it wasn't exactly applicable to everyone.

Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)- I know this book is a popular one and it was written well, but I have troubles glorifying leaving someone who loves you because you just don't want to be with them anymore. I did like the book better than the movie though.

Hipster Christianity (Brett McCracken)- I really enjoyed this book.( Ironically McCracken is actually from the same area of Kansas that I grew up at and has moved to Los Angeles as I have also done.) McCracken takes a deep look at the relationship between Christianity and hip culture and whether or not the two can really coexist together.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible “Stories” (Jonathan Goldstein)- A behind the scenes look at what Goldstein thinks stories of the Bible must have looked like. I find this book to be slightly sacrilegious but it did make some of the people of the Bible more tangible.

Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)- Crack in book form. This and the following two books were instantly a guilty pleasure. It is set in a post-America and post-world as we know it time, where the government controls 12 districts and keeps each district in the dark concerning the goings ons of each other. They hold Hunger Games each year where 2 teenagers from each district are chosen for battle to the death on an island/arena. This book follows the story of a few characters living in the districts through the Hunger Games.

Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins)- The second of the Hunger Games trilogy, where they hit heads with the government again. Almost as good as the first book.

Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)- The last of the Hunger Games trilogy and my least favorite of the three. I feel it is more rushed. Still a good book though.

The Cross and the Switchblade (David Wilkerson)- A very inspiring read. The founder of Teen Challenge writes his story on how his ministry to drug addicted gang members began.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk (David Sedaris)- This is a bit of a different format for Sedaris but still keeps his extremely humorous edge. It is a book of short stories that anthropomorphizes a variety of animals and is illustrated by the same illustrator of the Olivia children's books. Very quick read.

The World Without Us (Alan Weisman)- This book depicts what would happen to the world if humans just suddenly vanished. Weisman did his homework and researched the horticultural history of regions around the world, chemical makeup of objects and substances, and the mechanics behind machinery, buildings and things like bridges.

Ironically I was planning on sitting down and reading but decided to make this post instead. If you have any book suggestions for 2011 let me know. I would love to hear from you!

1 comment:

Natalie is Sharp said...

You're ridiculous Rachelle. I read book last year. One. It was Dune, and it was awesome, but wow. However, I am almost finished with two already. Better start for 2011 I guess. Brat.