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Best Books of 2007

Looking back at my reading list from 2007, I was reminded of all the amazing books that I read in the past year.  Here are my favorites, organized by topic.

Best Fiction 

  • The His Dark Materials trilogy (Philip Pullman)
  • Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli)
  • The Giver (Lois Lowry)
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)

(Comments: I don’t really read much fiction…I think there were about 7 fiction books on my list…and almost all of them were young adult books, thanks to Krissy!)

Best Non-Fiction (non-theological)

  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (Beverly Tatum)
  • Night (Elie Weisel)

(Comments: I don’t really read much non-theological non-fiction either…most of the books that I did read this year that weren’t related to school had to do with racial issues)

Best Non-Fiction (Theological)

  • Resident Aliens (Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon)
  • Raging With Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil (John Swinton)
  • When Bad Things Happen to Good People (Harold Kushner)
  • The Moral Vision of the New Testament (Richard Hays)
  • Evil and the Justice of God (N.T. Wright)

(Comments: I read too much for school.)

Most Challenging Overall

  • Raging With Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil (John Swinton)– One of the best books that I’ve read dealing with the question/problem of evil in Christianity.  Rather than offering a philosophical answer that tries to (but doesn’t) actually resolve anything, Swinton suggests that the practices and presence of the church community is the best response to evil and suffering.
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (Beverly Tatum) – A great and challenging overview of the sociology and history of race and racism.  I really appreciated the stories that Tatum shared to illustrate her points throughout the book, and thought it was a really helpful resource for addressing questions of race and ethnicity.
  • Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli) – This is one of the books that Krissy teaches to her 7th graders every year, and she suggested that I read it since I love pretty much everything that Spinelli has written.  It’s an amazing book about how hard it is to “be yourself” in our society.  I particularly liked the idea of “lovely treason” that the character Stargirl engages in…I might explain that a bit more some other time. 

So…that’s the best of 2007.  My goal for 2008 is to read more books that aren’t for or related to school.  We’ll see how that works out.

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