2011 in Books

A year-end practice of mine for many years has been a review of the books I have read in the previous year. As I've mentioned before on this blog, I assemble a reading plan at the beginning of each year, and that guides roughly fifty percent of my reading through the year. Then, at the end of the year, I look over the books I've enjoyed, looking for balance and patterns, etc.

So here's a quick look back on last year’s reading, sorted by category (an asterisk indicates an audiobook):

A Rope and a Prayer (Rohde/Mulvihill)
In the Presence of My Enemies (Burnham)*
Decision Points (Bush)*
Going Rogue (Palin)
Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant (Grant)
I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This (Newhart)*
A Walk in the Woods (Bryson)
The Pastor (Peterson)

Martin Luther King Jr. (Frady)
The Heavenly Man (Hattaway)*

The Life and Death of King John (Shakespeare)
The Swiss Family Robinson (Wyss)
Julius Caesar (Shakespeare)
Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare)
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (Wiggin)
Ben Hur (Wallace)*

A Dangerous Profession (Busch)

Hellhound on His Trail (Sides)
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer (Swanson)
Rawhide Down (Wilber)
Contested Will (Shapiro)*
The Fall of Rome (Lafferty)
No Ordinary Time (Goodwin)

New authors:
Cosmopolis (DeLillo)*
Arthur & George (Barnes)
Hard Eight (Evanovich)*
God Save the Mark (Westlake)
The Sense of An Ending (Barnes)
The Score (Stark)

Nox (Carson)
Evidence (Oliver)
Prayers from the Ark (de Gasztold)
What Can I Give Him? (Rossetti/Gliori)

Finding Our Way Again (McLaren)
The Pastor (Peterson)

The School of Obedience (Murray)
Trusting God (Bridges)
One Thousand Gifts (Voskamp)
Imaginary Jesus (Mikalatos)
The Holiness of God (Sproul)
Extraordinary (Bevere)
A Collection of Wednesdays (Hayes)
Last Light (Blackstock)
Heaven is For Real (Burpo)
Enemies of the Heart (Stanley)
No More Christian Nice Guy (Coughlin)
Day of War (Graham)
Churched (Turner)
Velvet Elvis (Bell)
Love Is an Orientation (Marin)
Mere Churchianity (Spencer)
Close Enough to Hear God Breathe (Paul)
Ancient Prophets & Modern Problems (Brengle)
The Guest of the Soul (Brengle)
Think (Piper)*
The Soul-Winner’s Secret (Brengle)
Seven Life Lessons from Noah’s Ark (Levine)*
Heart Talks on Holiness (Brengle)
When the Holy Ghost is Come (Brengle)
Gods and Kings (Austin)
Love Slaves (Brengle)
Resurrection Life and Power (Brengle)
The Way of Holiness (Brengle)
A Time to Embrace (Johnson)
The Training of the Twelve (Bruce)
The Joy of Christmas (Bianchi/Manser)
Red Like Blood (Coffey/Bevington)
The Well (Hall)

Our Iceberg is Melting (Kotter/Rathgeber)
The Principle of the Path (Stanley)
Spiritual Leadership (Sanders)
Beyond Talent (Maxwell)
I Am a Follower (Sweet)

Related books:
Martin Luther King Jr. (Frady) & Hellhound on His Trail (Sides)
Arthur & George (Barnes), Sherlock Holmes and the Dog in the Nighttime (Cohen) & The Sherlockian (Moore)
Love Is an Orientation (Marin) & A Time to Embrace (Johnson)

Love You Forever (Munsch/McGraw)
Quiet LOUD (Patricelli)
I Love You This Much (Hodges/Buchanan/Brunelle)
Heaven is Having You (Andreae/Cabban)
If I Ran the Zoo (Seuss)
Everyone Poops (Gomi)
Bartleby’s Book of Buttons, vol. 1
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (Joyce)
Prayers from the Ark (de Gasztold)
Just For You (Mayer)
Garbage! Monster! Burp! (Watson)
What Can I Give Him? (Gliori)

Helps to Holiness (Brengle)

When the Trees Say Nothing (Merton)

Listen (Gutteridge)
All Through the Night (Bunn)
The Brotherhood (Jenkins)

Stalina (Rubin)
The Heritage of the Desert (Grey)
Damp Squid (Butterfield)
Do the Work (Pressfield)
The Bag Lady Papers (Penney)*
Thirteen Moons (Frazier) *
Hannah Coulter (Berry)*
Grendel (Gardner)*
Way off the Road (Geist)*
Water for Elephants (Gruen)*
The Gathering (Kienzle)
The Great Typo Hunt (Deck, Herson)

Mule choker:
Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant (Grant)
No Ordinary Time (Goodwin)
Ben Hur (Wallace)*

That’s 101 books, 31 more than last year (some are listed in multiple categories). More memoirs than I’ve ever read in a year. And fewer ministry/leadership books than in recent years. Twenty-three novels. Six classics. Six history, which is a bit surprising. Pleasantly so. Three plays. I think 26 or so were read as ebooks. And 15 or so as audiobooks. I’m sure both of those numbers are the most ever for me. And some surprising twists and turns, but altogether a wonderful year of discovery and enjoyment.

Tomorrow I'll post my ten favorite books of the year.


  1. Amazing that you read that many books and found time to write one. You go Bob. -- Willa

  2. Wow...an impressive listing. I read Grant's Memoirs last year and enjoyed them. I've never read Ben Hur but it was written by Civil War general Lew Wallace.

  3. Thanks, Willa! And thanks for reading my blog!

  4. Yeah, Tom, that was part of the reason I decided to tackle Ben Hur this year. After reading Grant's memoirs, in which Wallace is mentioned repeatedly, I thought it'd be fun. And it was.

  5. I have a new book to add to my 2012 reading list. It's called "The Quest." Plus, since my husband didn't realize that I ordered my own requested Christmas gift with another Amazon order, we were also able to give a copy of the book to my mother. Ha!