I think I read more in 2007 than I ever have, and I’m excited to keep that momentum going into 2008. So here’s a list of almost everything I read over the past 12 months, with a few thoughts about each.
Sex God, by Rob Bell
What I Remember of it: I liked this book better than Rob’s first effort, Velvet Elvis. It was a bit slow at the beginning before i saw where he was going, this book finished very strongly. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring the issues associated with sexuality, the afterlife, and the basic needs we have as human beings. I wouldn’t call it “life-changing”, but it definitely left some impressions on me that i’ll take with me from here forward.
Rating: 8 out of 10 mattresses
The Architect, by Keith Ablow
What I Remember of it: A decent beach read that kept me interested throughout. I wasn’t interested in some of the storylines that he had going near the end, but he did do a great job in creating an interesting villain.
Rating: 5 out of 10 rulers
A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God, by Larry Osborne
What I Remember of it: This book was a pretty good read. At first i was a bit skeptical that he was just providing a bunch of excuses for folks who weren’t as committed to their faith as others. Then i realized that he was speaking to me on a lot of issues, and that in many cases he was probably right and i was probably wrong.
I didn’t agree with all of the principles that he laid out in the book, but some were dead on. The “Glass House Living” chapter about how typical accountability groups aren’t effective was something I’ve been railing about for the past year. I also enjoyed his takes on “Spiritual Blind Spots” and being zealous for our faith.
I recommend this book to anyone who feels frustrated that they aren’t living up to the standards that they think they should be with regards to their relationship with God. It can go a long way to helping you realize what frustrations are healthy and which ones are not.
Rating: 6 out of 10 brains
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
What I remember of it: Not much, as these have all begun to bur together for me. I remember it being a quick read that left me satisfied that i had just read a good book, but unsatisfied in that I wanted to read the next one.
Rating: 6 out of 10 brooms
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling
What I remember of it: Like the first Potter book, this one was an easy, enjoyable read. I like how she ties up most of the loose ends from within the book, yet keeps you looking forward to the next book in the series.
Rating: 7 out of 10 wands
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling
What I remember of it: in the same vein as the first 2 books, it was a fun read that kept me interested and made me go out to the bookstore for Book #4 almost immediately.
Rating: 6 out of 10 gryffindors
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling
What I remember of it: As I write this, I’ve only read 5 of the 7 books, but I think this is my favorite. Really enjoyed the Tri-Wizard tournament stuff and how the book ends. What keeps sucking me in deeper to the story is that there is a whole other story being uncovered in terms of what has happened a generation before at Hogwarts. It’s not just Harry’s story that is unfolding, it’s Harry discovering what happened to his parents and understanding the history that makes it interesting.
Rating: 8 out of 10 spells
On Writing Well, William Zinsser
What I remember of it: This book was recommended by Donald Miller, so I thought it would be worth the read as I endeavored to become a better writer. I wasn’t disappointed at all. Zinnser hammers home his points time and time again and makes a very strong case for his style of writing, which is essentially that less is more. Trim out the words that don’t serve any purpose, and trim out the details that could bore your reader and cause them to put your book or article down forever. This was definitely a book I’ll go back to every so often as I continue to write.
Rating: 7 out of 10 notebooks
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling
What I remember of it: Another great section of the story told by Rowling as she introduces even more backstory into Harry’s plight. Though I don’t think i enjoyed it quite as much as Book 4, (it was 870 pages…geesh), i still had trouble putting it down near the end.
Rating: 7 out of 10 dementors
In 2008 I hope to read The Shack (almost finished), To Kill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter 6 & 7, The Blind Side, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and much much more.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting my top 11 albums of 2007, so stay tuned…