Top 10 of ’10

>Holiday shopping is nearly upon us, and for some of you, your Christmas shopping has already begun. Well, I wanted to share with you my top ten reads of 2010 (so far) just in case you might want to purchase a couple and wrap them up with paper and ribbons to stick under the tree, stuff into a stocking, or pass around the white elephant circle. Maybe you might even want to treat yourself to a little holiday r&r with one of these great books.

1. True Religion ~ Palmer Chinchen
This book is a call to all people to leave the comforts of their homes, trust in God completely, and follow the commission of Christ to touch those that are living in hell by offering them a piece of heaven–love, support, compassion, food, kindness, justice, mercy, medicine, money–whatever it is, whatever it takes.

2. Mansions of the Heart ~ R. Thomas Ashbrook
As I read this book I received confirmation that the restlessness inside my spirit was, and still is, a perfect part of what it means to grow closer to God. 7 mansions exist, and now I know where I’m at. Ashbrook asserts that unity with God should be a follower’s goal and not church growth, evangelism, or discovering how to use one’s gifts for the greater good. As you read this book, you will get a summary of every mansion and be better able to understand where you are and where you can expect to be in the future. (This tied with #1 but I only have one #1.)

3. Crazy Love ~ Francis Chan

Love is the driving force, it’s the heart’s beat, it’s the transforming agent. It’s who God is and what he’s all about. What would happen if we all got back to square one–resting in God’s love? And what would happen if we took that love and went crazy with it? What would that look like? What might that feel like? This book will kick your butt and call you out. You’ll feel cut down and built up all at the same time. Then again, maybe not; maybe I just felt that way because it’s what I needed to hear.

4. Prodigal Summer ~ Barbara Kingsolver
This is my only novel in the whole list simply because I don’t read that many novels anymore because I choose to read things that stretch me more than entertain me, but that’s just me. AND, because I find it difficult to find really good novels anymore. However, this one will not disappoint. It is sensual, earthy, and informative. This story follows three primary characters living in the same region and their take on the land in which they live–how their lives have been shaped and are continually transformed by nature. So good, you won’t believe it’s over with the turn of the last page.

5. Take This Bread ~ Sara Miles
Communion still has the power to change lives. Take This Bread is Sara Miles’ story of what following Christ looks like from her point of view and how her life of faith came to be. Her faith is real and deep and messy, not too surprising given that she’s an imperfect human. A beautiful, real-life story of Christ’s love and the power of sharing in his Eucharist.

6. The Orthodox Heretic ~ Peter Rollins
A collection of modern-day parables, it’s meant to be read slowly, much like a daily devotional (even though I read it in, like, 2 days), giving the reader time to meditate and ponder the parables. Rollins, a philosopher to the core, has the gift of stretching the mind and turning the soul inside out. Powerful. Deep. Masterful.

7. Wide Awake ~ Erwin McManus
What is it about your life that makes it GREAT? Are you living up to your potential? Is your life all you dreamed it would be, and more? If not, that can change. Wide Awake is about living your life with greatness–the way God designed it–written with passion and purpose, true McManus form, you’ll be encouraged to make some meaningful changes in your life that you’ve been putting on the back-burner.

8. The Me I Want to Be ~ John Ortberg
What if worship were more than spiritual songs, focused prayer, and regular church attendance? What if being you, to the core, was what worshiping God really looks like? Gardening. Running. Painting. Visiting neighbors. Fixing cars. These can all be forms of worship, especially if God wired you to do them. Who is it God made you to be? What are the things that give you the most pleasure? When you discover those truths and learn how to put them into practice for the glory of Him, then you can truly please the Lord.

9. Forgotten God ~ Francis Chan
It’s about the Holy Spirit. It’s not a theological analysis of the third person of the Trinity, but a look at why we need to recognize Him more, not just Jesus the Son and God the Father, and what we have lost by not engaging ourselves with the Spirit. Fall in love, again, with our forgotten God.

10. The Great Emergence ~ Phyllis Tickle
We are on the verge of another great transformation within Christianity, if history is any indication. The last great change within Christianity rode in on the back of Martin Luther back in 1517, but did you know that many shifts have taken place throughout all of history? And they all happened about 500 years after the one previous? So, what can we expect in a few short years to come? Phyllis Tickle, historian, scholar, and writer, sets out to tell us what we can learn from history as we look toward the future.

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2 Responses to “Top 10 of ’10”
  1. Cody Stauffer says:

    Amanda, some great books on there. I think you would also like Pete Rollins' other work as well, if you haven't already read any of it- like "How (Not) To Speak of God," and "The Fidelity of Betrayal." I haven't had the chance to read the Francis Chan stuff, but they are on my 'to read' list for sure. Thanks for sharing! I think I will do a list like this later.

  2. Amanda O'Tremba Oster says:

    I can't wait to see what you have on your list! I'm sure it will be great, and I'll end up with some new ones to add to my collection as a result.

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