These are books I read in 2016. They have various publication dates and span some of the genres I enjoy. One is related to ministry, but the rest simply show my other interests.
1. Fiction: A Study in Scarlett, by Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve read just about anything Doyle wrote about Holmes but found out that my Study in Scarlet was truncated in my anthology. It didn’t include the brutal, anti-Mormon story-within-a-story that should be a part of this first narrative about Holmes. If you pick this up, make sure you get the entire text.
2. Non-fiction, history/sociology: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg. A comprehensive history that raises eyebrows just like its title, this book covers everything about poor, landless whites from the infancy of our country to today. Not sure what a Hoosier is? That’s defined here. Interested in Lyndon Johnson’s background? Yep, that’s covered. If you are daunted by long books, keep in mind this hefty tome has more than 100 pages of footnotes and index material at the end, so a substantial part is not actually part of the narrative.
3. Non-fiction, theology: Why I Changed my Mind About Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals, by Alan Johnson and Dallas Willard. Kinda self-explanatory. One item of interest about this book is that the people who are profiled give reasons for their change of mind that span from theological to personal. While theology at times seems remote from personal experience, this book shows that the two can be intensely connected.
4. Poetry: Selected Poems, by Scott Cairns. Cairns left an evangelical background to go back to his roots in Greek Orthodoxy. The images from that expression of Christianity color his writing and give it its unique expression. But it’s his Greek lexicon that adds to his English vocabulary to create poetry that harmonizes with both of his worlds.
5. Fiction, middle-school: Wonder, by RJ Palacio. I read my children’s books frequently, but this one was my favorite of theirs. This tale’s horror and interest come from the empathy one feels at the main character, a deformed boy, who enters middle school. His courage and strength of character come from his united and loving family.