These are the books I finished reading in 2010. Looks like I averaged one book every other week.
26 Brandie Kajino recommended reading something by Marcus Borg. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith looks like an interesting place to start.
I bought this book December 12 and finished it three days later. When done, I felt dissatisfied that I didn’t fully catch Borg’s views. I suspect I should re-read the book, having done most of my reading of it in the late, late evening. I’m going to finish the other Borg book I have first. I suspect it will answer any of the questions I still have.
25 I bought A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future on November 11, 2010 and finished it on the 28th. I bought it because I like his later book, Drive. While reading Mind, I found myself reading sections to my kids.
The heart of Mind is a discussion of six “senses” that are necessary for the Conceptual Age: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. Even better, after each chapter, Pink lists exercises and resources for developing that sense. I recommend this book.
24 I bought If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person on November 17 and finished it on the 20th. I read Gulley’s and Mulholland’s books on Universalism in the opposite order they were written. Actually, I think I’d recommend that order (though I am going back to read the other two).
23 I re-read Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution, also during my trip to Asia. This is a book that young Earth creationists should read.
22 I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values during my trip to Asia. Maybe that’s why I got confused at the end.
21 Yeah, I said I wouldn’t read another Lee Child novel. Yet, I read 61 Hours: A Reacher Novel on the plane ride from Portland to Tokyo. It was a good diversion, and largely avoided the problems of Gone Tomorrow.
20 I started reading The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships early September at the local Barnes & Noble. It’s an interesting book, and one worth a re-read.
19 I started reading The Black Swan on August 27 at the local Barnes & Noble. I sat down in an over-padded chair and read about four chapters. I returned the following Monday and bought it. I finished the book a couple of weeks later, on September 13. I’m looking forward to NNT’s next book: it will be about tinkering.
18 I read Die for You.
17 I read If God Is Love : Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World, by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland. Finished it August 6 on a flight home from Sacramento. The passenger in the next seat asked what I was reading. When I told him what it’s about, he asked, “If everyone goes to heaven, what’s the point of being good?” I think he’s a prime candidate to read the book.
I seem to be reading Philip’s books in the opposite order he wrote them. Just one more to go in this series (if only I could find it in a store).
16 I read If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus, by Philip Gulley. I discovered this book wandering the stacks of Barnes & Noble. I liked it enough that I had to read another book by the same author.
15 I read The Next Level: A Parable of Finding Your Place in Life in just a couple of days. A very quick read.
14 I discovered Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition from a post on Usability Post. It’s a quick read with solid, practical advice on making and testing web sites.
Now excuse me while go make a few changes to my site. ;-)
13 I reread Contact by Carl Sagan, I think for the third time. Finished it May 26. Now I want to watch the movie to see the differences. A couple of favorite quotes:
“Any faith that admires truth, that strives to know God, must be brave enough to accommodate the universe.” Palmer Joss
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
12 I found Protect and Defend: A Thriller in terminal B in the Sacramento airport on the way home. I finished it the next day on May 20.
Protect and Defend is your type of novel if you believe: (1) that the CIA lives up to its middle name; (2) that often, someone needs to be killed, and (3) that this killing is best done without the permission, indeed without even the knowledge of any elected official. On the other hand, if you remember the CIA’s incompetence, if you believe America’s actions have consequences beyond the immediate and believe accountability in government is mandatory, especially when laws are being broken, then this book will be at best escapist pulp, and at worst, offensive.
11 I started re-reading Flatterland: Like Flatland, Only More So on May 15 or so and finished it May 18. Just what I needed: another book in my computer bag. Maybe it’s time to make the move to an e-book reader.
10 Alan Webber recommends Daniel Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us in the same breath that he recommends Seth Godin’s Linchpin (which I *loved().
I bought this book April 26, started it May 5, and finished it May 12. If you don’t have time to read, or just want to know what Drive is about before you read it, watch this RSAnimate video on Drive.
This is the best book I’ve read so far this year.
9 I asked for and received The Case for God for Christmas 2009. I started reading it the following New Year’s Day. The book is packed with endnotes, a pet peeve of mine. It’s not that I dislike notes; I love notes. I just like them as footnotes so I can easily read them in parallel with the content. The author, Karen Armstrong, is on TED talking about the golden rule.
I finished this book May 7.
8 Michael Hyatt recommended Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
I just finished Seth Godin’s Linchpin. A game-changer. One of the most important books I’ve read in 12 months: http://bit.ly/6stlFm
I placed a hold request for this book at the Hillsboro Public Library on January 25, 2010. They e-mailed me to say it was ready and I picked it up February 14, 2010. Looks like I better boogie through it; they’re not going to let me renew it. So much for finishing it before I had to return it. I decided to buy it instead. That way, I could mark it up. And mark it up I did.
I’ll be re-reading Linchpin book soon. Highly recommended.
7 I read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team last year, but it’s worth a re-read. I started reading it April 27 and finished it May 2. I’ll be adding this book to our team’s library.
6 Michael Hyatt recommends Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard:
I have already begun to use many of the Switch principles in my own life and in my company. It is amazing how simple and effective they are. The book was an easy read and one that I will be going back to again and again. I have now added it to my list of top ten business books.
I couldn’t resist. I bought it March 30, started reading it April 24, and finished it three days later.
5 Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni is one of books I bought March 30. I read a bunch of his books last year. They’re quick reads with good, practical info. To emphasize the quick read point, I both started and finished this book on April 22. Like all of Lencioni’s books, Getting Naked has an interesting plot that made me want to keep reading. I took the book to Jamison’s science fair and had to explain the title. Executive summary: I like the book enough to give to the person who lent me the first Lencioni book I read and got me hooked. Thanks, Dave!
4 Every once in a while, I read an action-mystery novel and I’m reminded why I don’t read them much anymore. Lee Child’s Gone Tomorrow: A Reacher Novel is the latest, bought and finished April 4. My book review is here.
3 I bought a bunch of Bart Erhman books after reading his Misquoting Jesus, including The New Testament, which is intended as a textbook for a introductory college New Testament studies class. So far, it’s been a good survey of the history, competing forms of Christianity, and various methods for analyzing texts. I finally finished the book on March 29. This book will be worthy of another read and to serve as a reference for an unorthodox (though scholarly) summary of New Testament texts in their historical contexts.
2 Suzi gave me The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith for Christmas. I started it Super Bowl night and got half way through. I finished it the next day. It’s (obviously) a quick read, essentially a lengthened sermon on the story of the prodigal son, but spending more time on the elder son, than the younger.
My only disappointment with the book is that it didn’t follow through on being about the prodigal God, not the prodigal son(s).
1 Nearly a month into 2010 reading lengthy textbooks (and restarting books after already having read part way through), I hadn’t yet finished a book. It was time for a quick read: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.
I was able to check out a “non-holdable” copy of the book from the Hillsboro Public Library on January 25, 2010, and finished it within 48 hours. The Lost Symbol is a typical Dan Brown symbol-fest novel, with his religious views thrown in. To make the story more entertaining, I followed the action on Google Maps. Dan Brown makes it easy by giving the street addresses for important locations. Symbol has a few interesting plot twists, but when I reached the end, my reaction was merely, “Yeah, whatever.” And the book is misnamed. Meh.
On the Shelf
These are the books that were on my shelf to read at the end of 2010.
I purchased Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography sometime in late 2010, while reading a couple of Marcus Borg books on historical Jesus.
These are the books I discovered in 2010 and thought they looked interesting.
Michael J. Totten recommends reading The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations.
Art King and brother Bob both have recommended that I read Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time.
Roy Gardner recommends Dragon’s Egg, by Robert Forward.
Confused of Calcutta recommends The Social Life of Information and The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion.
I found Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices from Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge. Unfortunately, I can’t remember how I got there; Working Knowledge is not something I’ve read before.
I ran across The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives while cruising a brick and mortar book store. I read a chapter or two and put it on the shelf. I will finish it later.
Bill Colburn recommends Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ:
If I were ever to write a book – which my friends keep encouraging me to do – it has already been written. This would have been my book. I loved it from beginning to end.
Hugh Hewitt interviewed Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One on May 18. Hewitt disagreed many times with Alter. Alter said he was trying to be fair, writing neither a puff piece nor a hatchet job. Hewitt recommends Promise.
Robert N Lee ridicules The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. I tried to read the referenced Salon piece, but the ads on the side kept distracting me.
Oregon Faith Report notes that The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World won the 2010 Christian Book of the Year award. Even better: All royalties from the book benefit World Vision.
Brother Bob says his mens’ group is studying this book.
Seth Godin references Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World in Linchpin. Author Alex Pentland talks about Honest Signals on YouTube.
Gary Walter referenced Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You. Who can pass up a riveting book on conditional probabilities? Not me. ;-)
Jack Ganselle recommends An Arduino Workshop:
If you remember those Heathkit and Radio Shack introduction to electronics kits, this book will tickle your memories. It’s really an intro to embedded systems, and I do mean a basic start-from-square-one sort of work. The writing is crystal-clear and just irreverent enough to be fun.
Of course, I’d be getting it for Jamison. ;-)
Brother Bob recommends Judaism: A Way of Being by David Hillel Gelernter with a pithy statement: “Heavy reading.” He included a link to a Jay Lefkowitz review published in the Wall Street Journal on March 29:
Throughout “Judaism,” Mr. Gelernter uses imagery to amplify understanding. He notes that Judaism is filled with powerful images—the seven-branched Temple menorah, the Star of David, the tablets of the Ten Commandments. To grasp the essence of Judaism is to read the messages of these images or at least to contemplate their potential meaning. When Moses, upon first encountering God, sees a burning bush that is not consumed, Mr. Gelernter infers a metaphor for all of Jewish history: “Jews are slaughtered yet Israel is not consumed.”
While wandering a book store March 30 (I love brick and mortar book stores!), I ran across The Christian Atheist. When my to-read stack gets a little lower, I’ll look for it again.
Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves
Seth Godin recommends a bunch of books, of which Krista Tippet’s Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit is only one.
On a Horizon Air flight 2632 from SMF to PDX February 27, 2010, the man in seat 8E next to me was reading Let the Great World Spin: A Novel. Although he was only about half way through, he recommended the book. Looks interesting. :-)
From Oregon Faith Report comes the recommendation to read Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life .
Haught believes Christians who find evolution contrary to faith often do so because they are focusing mainly on the issue of life’s adaptive design and the notion of the gradual descent of all life from a common ancestry. In doing so, he argues, they overlook the significance of the dramatic narrative going on beneath the surface of life and the entire universe. Haught offers a compelling focus on evolution as an ongoing drama and accepts the possibility that we simply cannot—perhaps need not—make complete sense of it all until it has fully played out.
How can you pass up a book that describes itself as:
No more boring parties! No more dull meetings! No more getting stuck with a little kid and not knowing how to make her laugh. Perfect for extroverts, office cutups, actors and storytellers, practical jokers, and the unsung clowns who brighten all our days, MouthSounds is the book for people who would give anything to imitate a Toilet Plunger. Or a Sports Car Smash and Crash (with debris and rolling hubcap). Sound like Gollum while reading Lord of the Rings to a favorite nephew. Have meaningful dialogue with your dog. Hold the table spellbound by acting out “Titanic: The Movie” in ten seconds.
My uncle recommends reading The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope“:
This book will inspire anyone who cares to read his incredible story of pursuing your dreams.
Flashlight Worthy Books tweeted a recommendation of Ender in Exile:
Just finished Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card. Worth reading for the Ender completists… but you knew that. ;-) -> http://bit.ly/bwkk1X
— Flashlight Worthy (@flwbooks) February 5, 2010
I’ve read most (all?) of the Ender series, so I’m looking forward to reading this one as well.
Bob Potter recommended Violent Prayer: Engaging Your Emotions Against Evil in a couple of tweets. Maybe not a ringing endorsement (at least, not for the first 50 pages), but Violent Prayer sounds interesting.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
I discovered Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems and Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition from a post on Usability Post.
I wish they were about software UI in general instead of web design, but they should still be interesting.