I realized Friday evening that I’ve accomplished something significant this year, and I hadn’t even made it a goal. So far in 2010, I’ve read four books. That may not seem like a lot to some people who read a book a week, but for me, I think it’s noteworthy. Especially considering all the demands for my time and energy.

Here’s what I’ve read so far:

  1. Rich People Shop Here by Dennis Welch. I thoroughly enjoyed this honest and charming story of Dennis’ family. The stories he shares about his mom and dad are like bits and pieces of spiritual artifacts, the kind of legacy we’d be privileged to leave  behind for others to uncover. Dennis reminded me of God’s redemptive work in life, in spite of my circumstances. After reading the book, I shared it with my friend Kitty, a retired librarian and voracious reader. She loved it too! I’ve had the privilege to talk with Dennis on the phone a few times since I read the book, and have found him to be incredibly gracious. You can follow Dennis on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
  2. Thin Places: A Memoir, by Mary DeMuth. I could not put this book down! Thankfully, it arrived just before one of the snow storms of 2010 so I read it from cover to cover in less than 24 hours. I’ve since donated the book to our church library, and I don’t have it at my fingertips to share specifics. Here’s what I’ll tell you – the book was transparent in a way that left me breathless. And thankful for God’s presence during my own thin places. You can watch the book trailer here.
  3. Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places, by L. L. Barkat. To say that L. L. is a good writer is an understatement. She captured me in the first chapter with, “Yet with the purchase of a new home, we suddenly had three pianos. And nobody needs more pianos than bathrooms, even if they are easier to clean.” Successive chapters delivered equal amounts of depth and beauty. I’m challenged to be a better writer by reading the likes of L. L.
  4. The Sweet By and By, by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck. While I typically read non-fiction, every once in a while I treat myself to a carefree novel. Thanks to Twitter, I’ve been able to connect with Rachel and have come to appreciate her heart for Jesus, which shines through her writing. This book, written with country singer Sara Evans, did not disappoint. Just before Christmas my 14 year old daughter absconded with it, so I didn’t actually get to read it until 2010. She liked it so well, it’s now in the hands of another middle school girl.

I’m more than half finished with:

  • On Writing, by Stephen King. Admittedly, King scares me. His writing, that is. After watching “Cujo” as a kid, I’m pretty sure I’ve never read any of his books. Until now. I actually LOVE this book about writing, and how his life unfolds with each turn of the page. This isn’t the kind of book I can read in a 24-hour span. Instead, I read a bit at a time and then ponder it as I go about my day. If you’re a writer or interested in writing, I’d highly recommend it. Interestingly, God is using the book to speak truth to me about myself and about writing. (Note: It does have a bit of profanity, which doesn’t offend me. If it does you, skip it and consider Don Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. It’s on my wish list.)
  • The Unquenchable Worshipper: Coming Back to the Heart of Worship (Worship Series, by Matt Redman. This is the second time I’ve read this book, in part because I’m facilitating a study for our Adult Sunday School class.

These are next on my list:

  1. Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation* by Sally Hogshead. If the packaging is any indication of the content, I’m in for a real treat! I also love what Sally has done on her website. It’s one of the best I’ve seen!
  2. Should We Fire God*, by Jim Pace. You can watch the book trailer here. The foreward is by Rick Warren. (Good luck Jim!)
  3. Forgotten God, by Frances Chan. I heard Chan speak at Catalyst in October and really liked him. Funny and spiritually relevant without being all preacher-ish.
  4. Living Beyond the Limits by Franklin Graham (this was a Christmas gift from my previously mentioned friend Kitty)

What About You?

  • What have you read so far this year?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What’s next on your list?

By the way, my inspiration for this post came from Callapidder Days, though I decided not to post on 3/20 because I hit the reset button that day.

Disclosure: he Amazon links used above are affiliate links (my first time trying this). If I did everything correctly and a few folks buy books, I may buy that Vera Bradley lamp for my office.

*These books I received at no charge, from the author or an agent for the author, in hopes that I would write about them on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”