One of the things I enjoy about each year's end and a new year's beginning is the opportunity to look back on the previous year's reading, and plan the coming year's reading. I'll blog in a day or two about my reading plan for 2010, but first I want to reflect on my favorite books of 2009, of the 69 I read throughout the year. Just to give an idea of what that literary journey was like, it included thirteen leadership (and ministry) books, five classics (by Wells, Dumas, Shakespeare, and Verne), one history, three memoirs, eight children's books, seven contemplative or devotional books, and one collection of poems, among other classifications.
And so, here are the ten I enjoyed most. The list is led by a surprise discovery, one that I absolutely adored, exploring the mystical meanings of each letter in the Hebrew alphabet, according to Lawrence Kushner. And, for anyone who would like to know more about why a particular book is on the list, those marked with a † have been reviewed on this blog. Simply search for the title, or go to the category sidebar and click on "Book of the Week" to display all the book reviews and just scroll down until you find the one you're looking for. Also, each book's title is linked to the Amazon or Christianbook. com listing for that title, so you can learn more, read reviews, or purchase the book online.
1. The Book of Letters (A Mystical Alef Bait) (Kushner)
2. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day (Batterson) †
3. Life is Mostly Edges (Miller) †
4. The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas)
5. If God Is Good (Alcorn) †
6. Axiom (Hybels) †
7. The Way of the Lord (Wright)
8. The Bookman’s Promise (Dunning)
9. The Sign of the Book (Dunning)
10. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (Shirer)