Thursday, March 06, 2008

Book List

Some friends were asking me what I had read recently and as I was telling them the said, "If you put a book list together, Nick, I'd read through it." Being one who rarely backs down from such a challenge, I thought it would be good to make a list of "must reads." (If you are regular reader, you may have seen me drone on about these already. Pardon my redundancy.) To be on the list, they had to meet a few requirements:

1) It has to be a very good book. Perhaps this goes without saying, but it is the first requirement.

2) It has to be challenging and cutting edge. We don't want any biographies or walks in the park here. Only books that make you think, challenge your paradigms, and rock your world. Those are the best books.

3) It has to be somewhat mainline. No esoteric works here, please. It has to be written in such a way that it can benefit everyone.

With that being said, here is my short list of five must reads, with a few other optional ones thrown in.

Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller

Perhaps my favorite book of all time. Miller wrestles with the issue of identity like no one else that I've ever seen. It is funny, artistic, profound, and brilliant.

The Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne

Perhaps the most challenging book I've ever read. shane has an amazing story, and challenges "American Christianity"in a unique way. You won;t agree with everything he says (like in any book), but his heart and his radical movement will inspire and challenge you.

The Shack by William P. Young

A very good fiction work about a man who suffers the loss of his 5 year old daughter, which greatly effects his relationship with God. He ends up getting a letter in the mail from God asking to meet with him. What ensues will rock your world.

I have blogged about it here.

The Myth of A Christian Nation by Greg Boyd

A great "recalibrator" when it comes to politics. Boyd is non-partisan, and encourages us not to violate the purity of the Kingdom of God by mixing it with politics. I just finished a 14 part series on the book if you want to read more.

Adventures in Missing the Point by Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren

Two of my favorite thinkers team up in this work to cover a myriad of topics and the new ways Christians are thinking about them. Campolo's chapter on homosexuality is mind blowing, and McLaren chapter on scripture is good too. The cool thing about this book is that they critique and respond to one another, so it is more like a conversation that you get to observe than a normal book.

Others not in the top 5:

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

This is a great book about the way we think of church.

A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren

This is more for church leaders, but it is perhaps the key text for the emerging movement.

The Judgement by Chart Korpjitti

This is a Thai novel that you would probably have to borrow from me if you want to read it (though you can buy it online). It is a great story of religion and judgement in social settings.

Thanks for considering. If I inspire you to read any of these let me know. If you have read any of these, I welcome your comments. What other book would you add to the "must read list"?

1 comment:

Tim said...


I'm sorry that I've fallen off the face of the earth recently. I am so behind on your blog, and mine too. But this post reminded me that I wanted to recommend for you to keep track of the books you are reading, and to allow others to see what books you have read and recommend.

I have a widget on my blog that lists the books I am reading and have recently read, and I really like it. If you want me to send you a formal invite from Good Reads that will ease the sign up process, drop me an email at timmcgeary at gmail dot com.