The Not Best of 2011

We see a lot of people doing “Best of 2011” lists this time of year.  I wish I had the confidence to post the “best” definitively.  No way am I falling into that trap.  All I can do is share some of my favorites.  I’ve read a lot, but here are a few books that enriched my life in 2011.  (This is not an intense list.  I saw a list of “25 Books Every Christian Should Read” – most of them a few hundred years old –  and thought maybe I need to take it up a notch! ) Many of you may look at this and think, “Been there, read that, so last year.”  I would love to hear your favorites too!  Let’s swap.

Some non-fiction books that challenged and provoked me (in a good way):

Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

Love Wins by Rob Bell

Most practical, applicable book on leadership I read:  Integrity by Henry Cloud          Another great leadership book I’m reading now it Great by Choice by Jim Collins

Favorite Fiction (Clearly I was on a WWII kick):

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Guernsy Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Sarah’s Key by Julia Jarmond

The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy

Favorite Memoirs:                                                                                                                      Jesus, My Father the CIA and Me by Ian Morgan Cron

West With the Night by Beryl Markham (probably my favorite of the year)

I wrote down enough great quotes to fill a year of blogs, but here’s one I liked:  “When God removes something from our lives it’s not because He’s trying to take away something good.  It’s because He’s trying to make room for something better.”  Stephen Furtick

I’ve probably forgotten some, but that’s what comes to mind as favorites.                          Your turn!  I’d love to hear your suggestions!

9 thoughts on “The Not Best of 2011

  1. I also read Love Wins and Integrity this past year. (both are worth the read)
    I tend to get on a kick… this year I read everything I could by and about C.S. Lewis and the topic of ‘heaven.’
    Love Wins was provoking but Suprised by Hope, by N.T. Wright (was outstanding… Okay, it is nerdy, but wonderful!)
    Lewis’ depictions of Heaven in the Last Battle and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Great Divorce are ones that I can read over and over and savor and dream.
    Too many books, too little time….
    I spend a fair amount of time in the car, so I am also a member of Audible and have many of my ‘faves’ on my I-pod.
    What are people planning to read this year???


    • Ahhh so great! John has a book right now that I want to steal called The Soul of C.S. Lewis. It’s excerpts from his classics with reflections by different authors. You probably have it!

      I read God Wins – a response to Love Wins. Good in parts, but got a little off-track. I haven’t read Surprised by Hope…will have to check it out.


  2. What a fun post.
    My 2011 fav’s were:
    Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend (wow, wow, wow)
    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
    The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (Non fiction about the Great American Dust Bowl)
    Animal, Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

    My to-read’s for 2012 are:
    Integrity by Henry Cloud
    Made to Stick by Chip Heath
    The Sea is so Wide my Boat is so Small by Marian Wright Edelman
    Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono (business book on conceptual thinking)
    …and the majority of the books mentioned above! I especially can’t wait to read Great by Choice and The Circle Maker.
    Thanks for all of the great ideas!


    • I so enjoy your blog, Laura. I have my friend Helen Jenkins to thank for the recommendation.

      I, too, found Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick to be my #1 read for 2011. A great highlight for me was hearing him speak live at the Leadership Summit in Chicago. I’ve purchased 50 copies of his book to give as gifts to friends. . . I loved it that much. ( not my normal practice )
      #2 Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels ( Anything that man writes is worth reading )

      #3 Fields of Gold by Andy Stanley ( Biblical perspective on money. . .necessary reminder)
      Thanks for your book suggestions. . .


  3. I cannot wait to pick-up these books. What wonderful suggestions. My favorite book to read when I’m able to go to a beach is Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift from the Sea”. For the coziness of home and the change of seasons I love all of Gladys Tabor’s “Stillmeadow” books. My second favorite blog, after yours, is Susan Branch’s. Again, for the coziness of home.


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