Top 10 Books of 2012

Here are my picks for the best books of 2012, in no particular order.
The titles link to my reviews (if available) or to Amazon :

Selling Water by the River

Selling Water by the River

by Shane Hipps

I haven’t gotten to post my review of this book yet, but it was one of the best surprises of 2012. Shane Hipps is one of the most important, underrated voices in Evangelical Christianity. Selling Water by the River is a fresh look into the heart of Christianity.

It’s a short, fast read, but Shane packs each chapter with thick, insightful metaphors that unlock some rich, complex ideas.

Monkeys with Typewriters

by Scarlett Thomas

I’m only 50 pages into this book, and those 50 pages already made my Top 10. Yes, this book is that good. Scarlett Thomas is one of the most capable fiction authors I’ve ever read (if you’ve never taken a crack at The End of Mr. Y, just trust me: it’s a must read). Apparently, she’s also an English professor. Monkeys with Typewriters is the textbook on creative writing she’s always wanted and finally had to write herself.

If you love writing or even just the art of storytelling, get this book now.Continue reading

Top 10 Posts of 2011

2011 was a big year for this blog. Here are my 10 most popular posts by number of visits. Okay, technically eleven, since there was a two-way tie for the 10 slot.

10. 26 New and Improved Reasons I Love My Wife

Click here for the list

What can I say? Everyone loves my wife. So in honor of her 26th birthday, I listed a few of the many reasons I love her. Obviously the masses agreed.

10. The Black Swan Review

Click here for my review

One of the craziest films of 2010, but also a great retelling of the Garden of Eden story. If you’ve never seen an Aronofsky film, prepare yourself. If you have, you have some inkling of the sort of crazy you’re in for.

9. Erasing Hell by Francis Chan Review

Click here for my review

An awful, half-hearted response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins. It didn’t perform nearly as well for all kinds of reasons. My review was basically a call to save your money and skip this book.

8. The Fighter and The King’s Speech Reviews

Click here for my reviews

These two movies were basically the same exact story. What separated them out was the incredible acting from the entire casts. They transformed a standard underdog story into something pretty special.

7. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Review

Click here for my review

One of the best books I’ve ever read, and one that really has its finger on the pulse of our collective consciousness right now. Absolutely outstanding writing, and well-deserving of the Pulitzer it won.

6. A Christian Response to Osama bin Laden’s Death

Click here for my take

The only piece of theological writing to crack my top 10, and again, not a big surprise. I was saddened by much of the celebrating I saw around bin Laden’s death. And while I understood it, I believe Christians are called to be better than that, especially when it comes to how we treat our enemies.

5. Why I Switched from a Nook to a Kindle

Click here for my analysis

A dated post since both Nook and Kindle have newer versions available. But I’m still sticking with my Kindle 3/Kindle Keyboard for the same reasons I listed in this post.

4. The Dark Knight Rises Previews

Click here for my take on the Prologue and the Trailer

No one is surprised that I’m pre-obsessed with this movie. But both of my write-ups on it so far have gotten more attention than most reviews I’ve done of movies that are already out.

3. The Dexter Season 6 Reviews

Click here to go to my review of episode one

Dexter took on God in Season 6, with some surprising results. Though I wasn’t wild about how they wrapped up all the themes they’d unpacked, the writers deserve some major kudos for this whole season. One of the best and most direct treatments of religion I’ve seen on secular television.

2. Love Wins by Rob Bell Review

Click here for my review

No surprise here – this was one of the most controversial books of the decade let alone last year. Dozens of times more ink has been spilt discussing this book than it took to write it. And one (relatively quick) read will show you why: Bell raises questions that need to be taken seriously.

1. 127 Hours Review

Click here for my review

I have no idea why my review of 127 Hours was by far my most viewed post. I did think it was the best film of 2010, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you really are missing out.