Book Review, Books, Uncategorized

The year in books (2017)

Once again I’m going to tell you just how marvellous it is to be part of a book club. We call ourselves The Romans 12:2 Project, because we’re all keen for this “renewing of the mind” business. Especially when it comes to seeking God’s will for our lives. We’re a rabble of women, meeting every five weeks or so, spurring each other on as we sink our teeth into a feast of words, glorious words!

Here are the books I’ve read this year. Not in any particular order.

  1. Healing Begins in the Heart, by Karen Mace.
  2. Moving Mountains, by John Eldredge.
  3. The Sacred Year, by Michael Yankoski.
  4. Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist.
  5. Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity, by Kerri Wyatt Kent.
  6. Revealing Heaven, by Kat Kerr.
  7. Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  8. The Passion of Dolssa, by Julie Berry.
  9. Wearing God, by Lauren F. Winner.
  10. My Seventh Monsoon, by Naomi Reed.

(I also read Congo Dawn by Tasmanian author Katherine Scholes, which was a great fiction novel! Good for holiday escapism!)

The exercise of writing these book titles down is revealing. Each name evokes some of the learnings, a whiff of the changes that were prompted by the text. Not all of them do this, mind. But I believe that, subconsciously, every single book has contributed to who I am today, to my weltanschauung, my worldview.

I have to admit, I’ve forgotten the content of many of these books already! I have a terrible memory. But I was reading the other day that forgetfulness is a sign of intelligence, right? As in, our brain is discerning enough to ditch the information that isn’t immediately useful, and retain that which is. Sounds plausible, even if I did read it on Facebook.

That said, there are a handful of these texts that I want to mention in particular. Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity was the catalyst for a new family tradition. We try to keep Sundays free of anything that feels like work so that we can focus on family and quality time together, all without getting too wrapped up in the rules of how Sabbath was kept in Biblical days. Because we’ve been set free from the old law, after all.

The Sacred Year had a similar vein: exploring age-old spiritual practices in order to rediscover their potency for deepening our relationship with God. I loved this book. Beautifully written, Yankoski takes the reader on an intensive, year-long journey of sampling different practices to reshape and revive his faith. The benefits of silence and stillness (learning to be comfortable with it in a fidgety world) were particularly poignant to me. A book that needs re-reading every year.

And finally, real life stories always move me. Healing Begins in the Heart was a raw window into the heart of a woman who managed to reconcile her faith with the tragic death of her two daughters while working as a missionary in Ecuador. My Seventh Monsoon is another missionary’s tale, this time into the poverty and culture-shock of Nepal. Both challenged me.

So there you have it. My year in books. Looking forward to being absorbed into many more in 2018. Any recommendations?

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I am a writer, mother, wife and believer in a reality bigger than my own. I love exploring the small epiphanies of life. Nothing is humdrum. Every moment is charged with opportunity, each one mixing its ideas with the ink in my pen. You call it alchemy, I call it God.

6 Comments

  1. Brons Email says

    Hi Claire Reading your post as I await day surgery. I highly recommend Love and Respect by ? Eggerich as great marriage help. Pity I had to wait 38 years of marriage for wonderful revelations!!! Bless you and happy Christmas, Bron Baker

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Oh, I hope your day surgery runs smoothly, sending a prayer heavenward right now Bron. Thank you for the recommendation – I haven’t read a good book on marriage for a while, might be time methinks! Merry Christmas lovely x

  2. Roger Martin says

    Hi Claire!
    Greetings from Bicheno and grace and peace from our Lord and Saviour.
    I always enjoy your articles and look forward to them.

    You asked for suggestions for 2018.
    I recommend “Reimagining Church” by Frank Viola.
    It has led to us forming the Bicheno Bible Fellowship.

    • Thank you Roger, thank you for your encouragement and your recommendation. I’ll look it up! Blessings on you and your loved ones this Christmas.

  3. Hi Claire, I’m currently reading this book, which is quite fascinating and unique.
    It looks at the different covenants in the Bible and the body of Christ, which is the church.

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