Five Books That Would Make Great Gifts This Christmas

I have been a reader for years. And even though there have been periods when my reading has waned, quite frankly with the opportunity to review free books and be gifted 14 months ago with an iPad, I am now reading more than ever.

This year I have read, according to my Goodreads account, 43 books (so far)! And most of them I have read only on first sight after I read a description of them.

So to try and choose five of them for gifts is very hard. But here they are in no particular order.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

I have always been interested in the quiet ones, the introverts. I am a extrovert by nature. I married an introvert. However, I have learned to pull it back to allow others to speak. And, as a minister, I have learned to be sensitive to those who are so created because they bring a richness to life that is easy to overlook. Susan Cain has written a book that needs to be read far and wide. She pulls back the curtain on the world of introverts and shows us the richness, calm, and wisdom introverts bring to our places of worship, schools, marriages and families, and work. You can pre-order it as it will not be out until next month! Published by Crown Publishing Group

Surprised by Oxford Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

Carolyn Weber’s book is her story of coming to faith in a place that one would think faith would not thrive, Oxford University. But she discovers, over the course of an academic year, who Jesus truly is and what faith is truly about. This book is wonderful not only because of the subject but because of the honesty with which Weber writes as she shares her struggles, common to many, especially as she wrestles with her relationship to her father. Published by Thomas Nelson

Home Home by Marilynne Robinson

This wonderful novel is a follow-up to Robinson’s Pulitzer winning work Gilead. It continues the story of John Ames and his friend and colleague Reverend Robert Boughton. It is a story about guilt, grace, forgiveness, family and God. Robinson pulls back the curtain and gives us a peek into the lives of two ministers who truly are human and one who seeks, as his prodigal son seeks, to be a peace with himself, others, and God. The very human element in this book is one of its strengths and it speaks of faith in basic but deep terms. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture

The Stability of Wisdom by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
I loved this book because it calls us out on our constant striving and mobility to a place in which we stay put. His stories and his challenges to resist the demons called Ambition and Boredom I think speak to us deeply and profoundly. This is one of those wonderful counter-cultural books that is written in an inviting and not polemic way. As a reader, one will find themselves nodding in agreement. Published by Paraclete Press

Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family
Condoleezza Rice’s Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family
Though she has a new book out that I am looking forward to read, I checked this one out at my local library late last year and it is wonderful. It is her story of her life, especially her upbringing during the turbulent time of 1960’s Birmingham, Alabama and on through her college days. It is a book about caring and involved parents, family, and neighbors who provided her with an environment that helped her to flourish in spite of all that was going on around her. A wonderful tribute to her parents and very inspirational. Published by Three Rivers Press
Well, there you have them for 2011. Enjoy them all! And give them all to your favorite reader!
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