Ballad of the Whiskey Robber – True crime. Attila Ambrus was a goalie for a professional hockey team in Hungary. Needing a larger income, he became a prolific bank robber. This is a weird story, but seriously interesting. It starts slow, but picks up speed as it goes.
Gender Roles and the People of God – Theology. Divided into three parts, this book looks at women in the Bible who stood out against the patriarchal system they lived in, what the Bible actually teaches about women, and what the church has historically taught about women in different eras. Outstanding and fascinating, absolutely one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Free of Me – Christian living. Reviewed here.
Blessed are the Misfits – Christian living. Review to come.
How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge – Christian nonfiction. Good book on leadership for people who aren’t in the position of authority in a organization. While it focuses on leading in your job, the lessons are easy to port over to a church or volunteer situation.
Artemis – Science fiction. Reviewed here.
Under the Banner of Heaven – True crime. This is a weird book – part true crime, part history of the Mormon church. Kind of dry in parts, but interesting and a good read.
Do More Better – Christian living. A book on productivity. Not as helpful as I was hoping. Focus is on how to use three computer programs, not on being more productive in general.
Ruined – Memoir. A story of rape and healing. This is a difficult book and should be read with caution by anyone who is a rape survivor themselves.
A Heart Set Free – Theology. Disappointing. The subtitle is “A Journey Through the Psalms of Lament,” yet very little of the book dealt with the psalms of lament at all, and then only in a superficial way.
What Alice Forgot – Fiction. Married, pregnant, 29 year old Alice takes a fall and ends up in the hospital…where she is told that she is 39, a mother of three, and getting divorced. She has lost a decade of her life. This was a page-turner, and while I’m not sure I can say I loved it, the author can write a compelling story.
And the Place Was Shaken – Prayer. How to lead a prayer meeting. The first half (on why we pray together, how to be the person to lead prayer, how to create a good group, etc) was wonderful and I recommend it to all prayer leaders. The second half is more geared to those leading a large church prayer meeting, so it was less helpful to me.
The Invitation – Christian thriller. Four authors came together, each took one main character and wrote a short story from their POV, and then the four short stories are bound together as one book. Interesting concept, good stories, I really enjoyed this one.
The Pastor’s Justification – Theology, ministry. I am not a pastor – I read this for a reading challenge. That said, this book was one of the best I’ve read this year. Seriously good. Most of it is applicable to all Christians, and reading a book written to pastors gave me lots of ideas on how to pray for my pastor.
Preaching – Theology. Another reading challenge book. Because I am not a pastor and do not preach, much of this book was not applicable to me. However, the chapter on preaching Christ from all of Scripture should be required reading for all Christians.