I read a lot of books, and since my teens I’ve been writing about them. My old notes are tucked away in ancient stacks of papers, but in the last few years my notes have been appearing on this blog as book reviews. Thank you for reading them!
I try hard to read only worthwhile books, and therefore love people’s Top Ten Books of the Year lists. So here, after lots of deliberation, is a list of the ten books that meant the most to me in 2013. (All links are to my reviews, either here or on GoodReads where I listed everything I read in 2013.)
The Bible, first and foremost. We read it after each meal, and for almost 40 years I have read it on my own as well. It is truly the source of all hope, wisdom, and comfort.
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Thankfulness is our response to God’s salvation; it also brings an answer to unanswerable questions.
Pilgrimage by Lynn Austin. A devotional journey through the Holy Land and also through the author’s broken dream, from the desert of resisting God’s will to the joy of accepting it.
The Soul of Science by Nancy Pearcey and Charles Thaxton. I have not reviewed this book yet, partly because I want to reread it first, but it is full of profound insights on the relation between Christian faith and science. I highly recommend it for any Christian interested in science.
Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma. A moving, deeply Christian story of the Dutch in World War II that addresses the real questions of faith, duty, and courage.
The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good by Peter Greer. Our hearts are desperately wicked, and hardly ever more so than when we are trying to do good. This book is full of helpful warnings.
Mathematics: Is God Silent? By James Nickel. The first book about the philosophy of science that I read. It is not easy to read, but it is very worthwhile for anyone interested in math, science, or philosophy.
Madame Curie by Eve Curie. This is a great classic about a great woman. Obviously, the book reminded me about the woman and her life, but this time around it also illuminated how sad (and silly—we laughed a lot) it is to live for man-made ideals as especially Pierre—but also Marie—did. I read this adult book aloud to my children (10-18), all except for the last few chapters which would have stretched my youngest’s patience too far.
Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey. All about the philosophy of culture, now and through history, and how Christians need to understand the culture to change it. Full of essential insights for anyone who watches movies, reads books, or enjoys art. This, too, will need a second reading before I can review it.
So, those were the top ten. A bonus book that I can’t leave out is: My Beloved and My Friend by Hal and Melanie Young. It’s about being friends with your spouse.
So these were the books that enriched me the most in 2013. I think of them often, and they have deeply influenced my life.
This list does not include any of the many wonderful children’s books we read, and I hope to post a list of our favorites soon.
Which books meant the most to you in 2013?