In this 3 part series, I will explore some of the best of 2010. These selections are based on things I experienced in 2010, not necessarily things that came out in 2010. Please feel free to discuss my list and what you would add in the comments section.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Donald Miller has not written a book that I didn’t love. I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a fan-boy. He writes about God and life in such a conversational voice you can’t help but feel like he is a friend. Miller’s latest memoir chronicles the story of his journey to transform his book Blue Like Jazz into a film, climbing Machu Picchu, and biking across the United States to raise money awareness about the water crisis in Africa. Don shares his stories and encourages readers to create their own. This book provides great inspiration for those who need some motivation to get off the couch.

Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen

In this book, the great spiritual writer Henri Nouwen, shares a series of letters he wrote to a non-believing friend who asked  Henri to make the case for the life-with-God offered by Jesus. Henri writes with compassion and depth that stirs the soul. This book holds a special place for me because I read it while I was on my first silent retreat at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House. God often speaks through other people who are further along on the journey. Henri Nouwen is always worth listening to.

Picking Dandelions by Sarah Cunningham

A teacher in my home state of Michigan, Sarah Cunningham’s memoir encourages us all to look for the remnants of Eden while identifying the weeds that sprout up in our own lives. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Cunningham for this blog. We talked about her books, spiritual growth, and her experience of weeding her own garden-soul. See what she had to say here.

Wisdom Chaser by Nathan Foster

Another killer memoir. Are you sensing a theme here? This pick is a book by first time author Nathan Foster who shares stories of climbing 14,000 foot tall, Colorado mountains with his spiritual-guru-father, Richard Foster. Nathan paints beautiful word-pictures about relationship, redemption, growth, and adventure. Read my interview with Nathan here.

Contemplative Youth Ministry by Mark Yaconelli

This pick is sort of a trade book since it’s specific to youth ministry. Mark Yaconelli sensed something critical was missing in youth ministry and began to explore the practices of the early church fathers in order to connect to God. As Mark began his own contemplative journey (learning to be with God), he discovered that much of today’s youth ministry is based on fear rather than love. Doing rather than being. This book is a practical field manual to help youth leaders begin a journey into a deeper relationship with our Creator and encourages ministry from this place of depth and connection. This is a must-read book for anyone who works with youth in a ministry setting.

What are your picks for “Best Reading Experience of 2010”?

  1. I wish I would have read this a few hours ago. I just ordered my yearly stock of books from Amazon today. The Nouwen book looks especially good. You might enjoy Greg Boyd’s Letters to a Skeptic, very similar territory.

    • When you got through the rest of your pile, let me know and you can borrow my copy of the Nouwen book. For me, it’s not so much a defense of the faith the pulled me through this book, it was the authenticity of Nouwen’s faith. Peace and grace just exude from his words.

      Enjoy working through your pile-o-books. Let me know if you come across anything worth checking out!

    • I LOVE Boyd’s Letters to a Skeptic. Came at just the right time in my life.

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