In this 3 part series, I will explore some of the best of 2011. These selections are based on things I experienced in 2011, not necessarily things that came out in 2011. Please feel free to discuss my list and what you would add in the comments section.

 Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazerro
This fantastic book tackles the issue of the lack of maturity that can be found in much of Christianity. Scazerro points to the problems of this immaturity and offer the solution of combining contemplative spirituality with emotional health. The book lays our the symptoms of immature Christianity without making the reader feel damned for falling short. Then, it moves on to explain the pathway to an Emotionally Health Spirituality. The solution is described as a journey rather than a list of things to check off to get your life in shape. At the beginning of the year, out entire church went through this book together in small groups. While the book feels very personal it was helpful to read and discuss it as a group. The group setting helped me to articulate my own story and find places where I suffer from emotional and spiritual unhealth. Being surround by gracious, loving people helped make the findings of my self reflection a little easier to swallow. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is curious about Christianity and those who feel stuck. This book can provide a foundation for understanding  many of the short-comings of the church, and provide a grace-filled path that leads to healing and wholeness.
The Waiting Place by Eileen Button
At first, I was excited to read this book because the author is married to one of the pastor’s in my church conference and because my mother-in-law was always recommending Eileen Button’s column that was published in the local paper. But as I continued to read story after story of those in-between moments of everyday life that make us who we are, I found myself fully engaged and evaluating my own waiting place. This conversational memoir is filled with beauty, suffering, and a hefty dose of humor. Even though I’ve never met Eileen Button, I felt as if  I was reading the stories of an old friend. Hopefully, with her newspaper column recently coming to an end, we’ll get to hear more from her in the future, preferably in book form.


The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
This year, I spent a lot more of my reading time in the realm of fiction. In the past, I’ve fund it difficult to get into fiction and stick it out to the end. Maybe I just wasn’t reading the right books! A few months back, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series maybe me feel a bit like a widow for a week or so as my wife devoured the pages each night. I’ve always thought she was a fast reader so I didn’t put much thought into it and kind of blew off her recommendation that I would enjoy the books. I reminded here I didn’t read fiction and told her I’d consider it for the future in case I got bored. From the moment I opened the first book in the series, I found it hard to put the books down. The story was fast-paced, told as a first person account of a young girl from a poor district in a dystopian society who was chosen to fight to the death against 23 other children for the entertainment of the rich and to gain extra rations for the people in her district. Filled with themes exploring issues of war, violence, poverty, sacrifice, and redemption it wasn’t hard to see similarities to the ways of the world in Panem and our own world. I’m looking forward to seeing how this story plays out on the silver screen later this year.

  1. I ended up on your site because I’m a friend of Brad & Eileen Button and I saw a link to your top ten list. I read through it figuring anyone with enough taste to put Eileen’s book up there may have some good suggestions! 🙂
    I have been holding off reading the Hunger Games, despite pushing from my husband and boys. Now you may have finally convinced me to go for it!
    The closest I’ve come to a top ten list is my “drop in the bucket” list! If you’re interested, check it out at

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