2014 has been a wonderful year for books. Many hours of entertainment, enrichment, and enlightenment have been woven into the pattern of my life this year through the books I’ve read. I love seeing what other people read, and especially getting ideas for books that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise, so I thought I’d share what I’ve read this year, whilst fighting against the temptation to feel smug. Sure, I’ve read more than some people read. But I’ve read less than other people read. And a lot of people have read much deeper, more challenging books than I have.
I have some rules for my tally keeping. I only count books that I’ve completed, so books that I’ve given up on or haven’t finished yet won’t show here, nor will books that I dip in and out of (usually poetry). On the other hand, if I began a book last year, but finished it this year, it goes on this year’s list. Lastly, books that I’ve read as part of my study don’t get listed. (I’m sure there’s a really good reason for that, but I haven’t figured out what it is.)
So, here goes. Asterisks indicate re-reads. Links are to where I’ve reviewed the book on this blog.
The Terrible Speed of Mercy: A Spiritual Autobiography of Flannery O’Connor (Jonathan Rogers)
The Problem of Pain (C. S. Lewis) *
The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less (Barry Schwartz)
Not By Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith (Jon Bloom)
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (Eugene Peterson)
Enjoy Your Prayer Life (Mike Reeves)
Excellent, but so short it hardly deserves to be called a book!
Literature: A Student’s Guide (Louise Markos)
Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World (Tsh Oxenreider)
A theme that fascinates me, but I found the book disappointing.
Miracles (C. S. Lewis)
The Prodigal God (Tim Keller)
A Preface to Paradise Lost (C. S. Lewis)
Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully (John Piper)
Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up (Ian and Larissa Murphy)
Sketches of Home (Suzanne Clark)
Christ our Life (Mike Reeves)
A Poetry Handbook (Mary Oliver)
The Father’s Tale (Michael O’Brien)
Highly recommended, with some reservations as noted in my original post.
Peace Like a River (Leif Enger)
The Dean’s Watch (Elizabeth Goudge)
A City of Bells (Elizabeth Goudge)
Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
The Napoleon of Notting Hill (G. K. Chesterton)
Out of the Silent Planet (C. S. Lewis) *
Perelandra (C. S. Lewis) *
That Hideous Strength (C. S. Lewis) *
Glittering Images (Susan Howatch)
Not recommended due to an explicit scene. And neither the writing style, plot, or theme are good enough to make me say it would still be a worthwhile read despite the scene in question.
Gilead (Marilynne Robinson) *
Home (Marilynne Robinson)
Lila (Marilynne Robinson)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) *
Plenilune (Jennifer Freitag)
The Warden (Anthony Trollope)
Prince Caspian (C. S. Lewis) *
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (C. S. Lewis) *
The Bird in the Tree (Elizabeth Goudge)
Pilgrim’s Inn (Elizabeth Goudge)
As I said, it’s been a good year, and these were almost all good books, many of them very good indeed. I’ve picked out some of the best by labelling them as “highly recommended”, but there were others that I found excellent even if I haven’t given them that label. (All the Lewis books were excellent, of course!) I do hope that you might find some new friends waiting for you in this list. Read with discernment, of course. I don’t recommend every aspect of every book here. Lastly, if you have any book suggestions for me, do return the favour and leave a comment telling me what they are! Who knows what delightful or thought-provoking or moving or helpful books might await you and me in 2015? Happy reading!