Top reads during 2016

I love reading and spend most of my working days in the office delving into news about sustainability and researching all kinds of things on our global environment but when I get the chance, the odd evening I’ll curl up on the sofa with a bundle of books and read something more spiritual.

Here are just a few books out of the many I have enjoyed reading during 2016 and you might enjoy them too:

Covenant and Conversation Genesis: The Book of Beginnings– Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Thoroughly enjoyed this book and the way the author blends Jewish tradition, Western philosophy, and literature to give a highly developed understanding of the human condition under Gods sovereignty. Can’t wait to read another of his during 2017.

Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith– Sarah Bessey

This is her second book and what a treat – helping us to grabble with core Christian issues using a mixture of authentic storytelling that teaches us how to walk courageously through our own tough questions, yet remain comfortable with uncertainty as with solid answers and still be able to discover new depths of faith as we journey through the storms of life. She has a great blog too worth checking her out.

Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition– Christine D. Phol

She hasn’t written many books or may not be a familiar author to many of us but this book is simply brilliant and helped me to answer many of those searching questions. Christine takes us back to the Christian foundations of welcoming strangers and exploring the necessity, difficulty, and blessing of hospitality today. She beautifully combines rich biblical and historical research with extensive exposure to contemporary Christian communities where she has taken time to understand their ways — the Catholic Worker, L’Abri, L’Arche, Monasteries and many other others — this book shows how important it is to understand the key features of hospitality that can better equip us to faithfully carry out the practical call of the gospel.

Living into community: cultivating practices that sustain us– Christine D. Phol

Her first book was so good, I couldn’t wait to get her second book  to read. It unpacks what every church and organisation has experienced: deception, grumbling, betrayal, envy and exclusion and asks the question “how do we really nurture life-giving communities?” Christine proposes that there are four Christian practices that are key: gratitude, promise keeping, truth-telling, and hospitality that can counteract these destructive forces and help churches build and sustain vibrant communities. I do hope that she writes another book soon.

Breaking Busy: How to find peace and purpose in a world of crazy– Alli Worthington

This book has lots of humour and made me laugh from the very beginning and for all of my friends who are trying to hold it all together with  a job and a family life, with lots of kids “I hear you”. I read this book as part of an on-line book club and thoroughly enjoyed it and the interaction with many other women. Alli tackles some of life’s big questions about finding happiness and one’s God-given purpose. She draws together popular secular research from social and positive psychology with solid biblical principles to encourage us, that we too, can move from crazy busy to confident calm in a world of crazy. For any of us who are single its good to read about the challenges a mother with 5 kids can have.

Overrated: Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world – Eugene Cho

This book brings a fresh challenge to anyone who reads it and Eugene Cho founder of “One Days Wages” does just that, calling us to understand that our calling in life is not simply to change the world but to be changed ourselves and that change happens by moving from simply talking about it to actually doing something about it. If you have a heart for the poor and social justice this is a great light read.

A diary of private prayer – John Ballie and Susanna Wright

This book is a collection of daily personal prayers written by Scottish theologian John Ballie. Prayers for the morning and evening to help those who are seeking a better understanding of God and themselves. This simple book has aided my prayer life over these past number of months and has helped to change my perspective of using liturgy and books of prayer to enrich my times of meeting with God.

So now I’m in search of new books for 2017. If you have an recommendations let me know.

Happy Christmas!