Best Books You Read in 2021

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What are some of the most memorable books you read in 2021? 

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The Inconvenient Indian -Thomas King 

Moon of the Crusted Snow - Waubgeshig Rice 

The Gospel in a Handshake - Kevin J. Adams 

A Rhythm of Prayer - edited by Sarah Bessey

Morning and Evening Prayers - Cornelius Plantinga

Five Little Indians - Michelle Good

In Search of April Raintree - Beatrice Mosionier

A Burning in My Bones - Winn Collier  (biography of Eugene Peterson)

Indian Horse - Richard Wagamese

No Cure for Being Human - Kate Bowler

Community Builder

I haven't finished A Rhythm of Prayer yet but love it so far. I had not heard of the prayers book by Cornelius Plantinga; I'm going to check it. out. And Peterson's biography is on my to-be read list. Thanks for sharing.

Participant

Where the Light Fell: A Memoir - Philip Yancey

When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change - M Craig Barnes

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration - Isabel Wilkerson 

Community Builder

This one is on my to-be read list!

Community Builder

I read quite a few books I liked this year!

Prayer in the Night | For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep by Tish Harrison Warren

Wholehearted Faith by Rachel Held Evans and Jeff Chu

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

The Second Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith

Jack by Marilynne Robinson

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

The Wet Engine | Exploring the Mad Wild Miracle of the Heart by Brian Doyle

No Cure for Being Human (And Other Truths I Need to Hear) by Kate Bowler

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

A Time for Mercy by John Grisham

The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny

Anyone interested can see what I wrote about and rated the book I read in my blog here.

No Cure for Being Himan by Kate Bowler

The Soul of Shame - Curt Thompson

Reading the Times: a Literary and Theological  Inquiry Into the News   by Jeffrey Bilbro

The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann

White Too Long by Robert P. Jones

How to Fight Racism by Jemar Tisby

Climate Justice by Mary A. Robinson

Climate Change* Is Racist by Jeremy Williams

The Magna Carta of Humanity by Os Guinness

 

Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King

5 Little Indians by Michelle Good

Defending the Arctic Refuge by Finis Dunaway

Inspired by Rachel Held Evans

Morning and Evening Prayers by Cornelius Plantinga

Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler

Participant

Thanks, Friends. I MUST start reading more than Kate Bowler's blogs. We just gave a daughter Sarah Bessey's latest, but I should have read it before giving it to her. Anyway, here are my fave books I've read in 2021, though I have read a few stinkers too.

The Room Where It Happened, John Bolton (eyewitness account of a stormy time in the stormy life of a one-time Trump supporter who saw the dangerous caprices of his boss, finally resigning)

Hell and Other Destinations, Madeleine Albright (incredibly witty, often erudite memoir of this former US public servant

A Burning in My Bones, Winn Collier (biography of Eugene Peterson)

A Promised Land, Barack Obama

Requiem, Frances Itani (stirring novel about Japanese internment in Canada during WW2)

The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben

Diary of a Pastor's Soul, Craig Barnes

A Trick of the Light, Louise Penny (an older Inspector Gamache product, but the one that in my opinion explores the remarkable capacity of ordinary people besides the murderer to do astonishingly wretched and cruel things and astonishinly wonderful and kind things as well)

 

Participant

Thanks, Friends. I MUST start reading more than Kate Bowler's blogs. We just gave a daughter Sarah Bessey's latest, but I should have read it before giving it to her. Anyway, here are my fave books I've read in 2021, though I have read a few stinkers too.

The Room Where It Happened, John Bolton (eyewitness account of a stormy time in the stormy life of a one-time Trump supporter who saw the dangerous caprices of his boss, finally resigning)

Hell and Other Destinations, Madeleine Albright (incredibly witty, often erudite memoir of this former US public servant

A Burning in My Bones, Winn Collier (biography of Eugene Peterson)

A Promised Land, Barack Obama

Requiem, Frances Itani (stirring novel about Japanese internment in Canada during WW2)

The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben

Diary of a Pastor's Soul, Craig Barnes

A Trick of the Light, Louise Penny (an older Inspector Gamache product, but the one that in my opinion explores the remarkable capacity of ordinary people besides the murderer to do astonishingly wretched and cruel things and astonishinly wonderful and kind things as well)

 

Participant

Thanks, Friends. I MUST start reading more than Kate Bowler's blogs. We just gave a daughter Sarah Bessey's latest, but I should have read it before giving it to her. Anyway, here are my fave books I've read in 2021, though I have read a few stinkers too.

The Room Where It Happened, John Bolton (eyewitness account of a stormy time in the stormy life of a one-time Trump supporter who saw the dangerous caprices of his boss, finally resigning)

Hell and Other Destinations, Madeleine Albright (incredibly witty, often erudite memoir of this former US public servant

A Burning in My Bones, Winn Collier (biography of Eugene Peterson)

A Promised Land, Barack Obama

Requiem, Frances Itani (stirring novel about Japanese internment in Canada during WW2)

The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben

Diary of a Pastor's Soul, Craig Barnes

A Trick of the Light, Louise Penny (an older Inspector Gamache product, but the one that in my opinion explores the remarkable capacity of ordinary people besides the murderer to do astonishingly wretched and cruel things and astonishinly wonderful and kind things as well)

 

Christianity and Wokeness by Owen Strachan.  Very thoughtful about todays christian society being subverted by a anti-religous groups.

Community Builder

The Pastoral Papers at the Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender
(They are free to download. They are the best brief, pastoral, compassionate resources I've read yet on LGBT issues from a Christian perspective).
https://www.centerforfaith.com/resources

King Leopold's Ghost
(Incredibly depressing, but history that every North American should know about what happened in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and the rubber industry during colonial times).

The Coddling of the American mind   
(I think absolutely everyone should read this, incredibly important book for working through the arguments in the US today, but also shows clearly how to teach young people so that they are not afraid or offended at new ideas).

Church Discipline by Jonathan Leeman
(Short book that is very helpful for thinking through this hard topic that the CRCNA has often neglected)

Power Encounters by David Powlison
(About spiritual warfare and some of the common misconceptions)

Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill
(About his life and experience as a Christian with same-sex attraction, but it's an important book in his insights about singleness, celibacy, and community life in the Church).

When Everything is Mission
(Talks about mission drift, and why it's unhelpful to the church to classify any kind of humanitarian work or service as "mission", and how it's unhelpful to call all Christians "missionaries")

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by Carl Trueman
(Not the easiest read, but incredibly illuminating about how our culture has developed to the place it is now, especially in regards to views of sexuality and identity, written academically about history, not with an axe to grind)

Churchhill's Hellraisers
(Very interesting WW2 book that reads like a novel)

The Great Escape
(Very interesting history, gives the real background which is more amazing than what is shown in the popular movie).

The Testament by Grisham
(Interesting novel that gets into mission work a bit)

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness
(Tim Keller's 50 page book that I try to read every year because it hits home the truth of the Gospel that I so need to remember and keep in my heart).

Not all of these are from this year but...

Reformed Public Theology: A Global Vision for Life in the World - Ed. Matthew Kaemingk

This is a great series of essays on applying reformed theology to various aspects of the world. The variety of the book makes it a very interesting read, and it's great to see some themes (sphere sovereignty, common grace, and a few other ideas) repeated throughout the essays.

Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition - Christine D. Pohl

Although it was hard to read during a pandemic, this is a great summary on the Christian practice of hospitality, it's joys, and also its challenges. It would be hard to come away from this book without having a greater appreciation for the need for hospitality.

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

A novel which discusses a flu pandemic and its aftermath. Part of the story includes a travelling company of musicians and actors who perform for the various communities living in post-apocalyptic North America. It was given to me as a book which was meant to be a "light read" but it was also very thought provoking. It's being made into a TV series.

Participant

The Dearly Beloved, Cara Wall

Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr

How to Find Your Way in the Dark, Derek Miller

The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles

Without Oars, Wes Michaelson-Granberg

On the Brink of Everything, Parker Palmer

Beartown.  Fredrik Backman (trans. by Neil Smith).  So grim and brutal that I could not wait to be finished reading it.  Probably good reading for any man.

A Woman of No Importance:  The Untold Story of the American Spy [Virginia Hall] Who Helped Win World War II.  And, had her advice been followed, US military and CIA behavior in Vietnam would have been very different.  I speculate that the outcome would have been as well.

The Orphan-Master's Son:  A Novel.  Adam Johnson.  Grim book, but worthy of its 2012 Pulitzer.

Anointed with Oil:  How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America.  Darren Dochuk (of Canadian origin, but he does know well whereof he speaks.

Katharine Hayhoe, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope

Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night

Jesse Wente, Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance

Krisin Kobes Du Mez, Jesus and John Wayne

Beth Allison Barr The Making of Biblical Womenhood

Novels:

Linda Rui Feng, Swimming Back to Trout River

William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace