In the year 2013, I managed to knock back over 60 books, and not all were Dr. Seuss and Goosebumps.
Here's a small list of some of my favorites of the year:
10. Tradecraft by Larry McCrary, Caleb Crider, Wade Stephens, and Rodney Calfee
An excellent primer on living missionally regardless of where you are in life.
9. A Small Corner of Hell by Anna Politkovskaya
Unrelenting, fearless, heartbreaking.
This is something that we absolutely should be aware of. But the book pointed out something very interesting - that it's very difficult to know exactly how bad things are precisely because things are so awful. It's just too dangerous. Which makes what Politkovskaya did all the more courageous and impactful.
6. Desiring the Kingdom by James K. A. Smith
Incredible book from one of my favorite philosophers - the first of three books revisioning the way we educate and worship.
7. What Are People For? by Wendell Berry
Education without being preachy, and passionate without only emotion. Tremendous essays that don't try to talk down to the reader.
6. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
This is one, among most of this list probably, that I couldn't believe I hadn't read yet. Profoundly vivid examination of soldiers at war and every aspect of emotions that combat touches.
5. Magic Hours by Tom Bissell
Brillant essays on creators and the creation process (that might actually the tagline).
4. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Part mad-cap adventure, part history and science of running. Brilliantly fleshed out -- I'm not sure anyone could NOT start running after reading this.
3. Vintage Lopez by Barry Lopez
Barry Lopez is an author, essayist, philosopher, biologist, historian, etc. -- and it shows in all that he writes.
2. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
Wonderful and poetic novel traversing the lifetime of a friendship between two couples. With a threadbare plot and very little narrative conflict, the brilliance of this work comes out in the characters and the quiet lives they lead.
1. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
There's not much more to say about this work that hasn't already been said. The world that Wallace creates is unlike anything I've read, and seemingly unlike anything that's ever been written. It's difficult to believe a single person could flesh out a narrative as large, specific, and encompassing as this one.