Reading List

My thoughts on some of these books can be found here (all books) and here (novels only). The integrated links, for the most part, take you to my thoughts on the books.

2012 (non-fiction)

  • The Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann – current
  • Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller – current
  • The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg – a description of the character of community spaces (third places), their importance to society, and the reasons for their decline.

2012 (fiction)

  • Rabbit, Run, Joh Updike – current.
  • The Confession, John Grisham – Another page-turning Grisham. A Lutheran minister makes a last gasp dash down to Texas to stop the execution of an innocent man on death row. He is accompanied by the real killer.
  • The Novel in the Viola, Natasha Solomons – current
  • Playing for Pizza, John Grisham – a charming non-legal novel about a washed up American Football player who can only get a job in the Italian amateur league.
  • Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro – A girl looks back at her friendships made at a seemingly-idyllic private boarding school. But this is a darkly skewed version of our world and Ishiguro’s genius allows it to unfold slowly to the reader. Wonderful and disturbing
  • So Much For That, Lionel Shriver – Grand plans of retirement have to be put off as Shep Knachers wife and friends all need expensive medical treatment. My review here.

Have read in the past (non-fiction):

Have read in the past (fiction):

  • The Associate (John Grisham) – another fast paced law novel about a young law graduate who gets himself on the wrong end of a blackmail, and gets himself out. A fun read!
  • The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green (Joshua Braff) – a novel which follows a 10-year old Jewish boy as he deals with an overbearing Father. Not a great read but it’s an excellent lesson in how to be a bad parent.
  • The Last Juror (John Grisham) – the best Grisham I’ve read so far. The story covers 10 years in the life of a small-town newspaper editor as the town battles through and recovers from a violent murder. Characters are well rounded and it’s wonderfully written.
  • The Street Lawyer (John Grisham) – a corporate lawyer gets held a gunpoint by a homeless guy and this leads to a dramatic re-evaluation of his life as he switches to defend the little guys. Another good read which opens up ones eyes to the problems of homelessness.
  • The King of Torts (John Grisham) – a federal prosecutor gets some lucky tips which start a meteoric rise to the top of corporate law. Good story without much depth.
  • War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy) – Epic novel with the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars and Russian high class. Some thoughts here.
  • The Broker (John Grisham) – A former Washington insider is released unexpectedly from prison and is given a new life in Italy. However, the FBI only want to see who kills him to reveal information about the secrets he is hiding. Fast paced, gripping and a lot of fun.
  • No Country For Old Men (Cormac McCarthy) – loved The Road so much I’m starting on more of McCarthy’s stuff. A man stumbles upon a failed drug transaction and ends up on the run from one of the perpetrators.
  • Emma (Jane Austen) – classic novel in which a young girl dabbles in matchmaking and, of course, gets the guy in the end.
  • The Road (Cormac McCarthy) – a wonderfully written tale of a man who takes care of his son in a post apocalyptic world. My review here.
  • Before I Die (Jenny Downham) – story of a teenage girl getting to grips with life as she suffers from cancer. Some thoughts here.
  • Deep Stuff (Mike Riddell) – a new housemate moves in all of a sudden the whole group of 20-somethings start thinking about big questions of life. See my review here.
  • The Shack (William Young) – A man suffering from depression after the disappearance of his youngest daughter meets God. Described on the cover as “the new Pilgrims Progress”. See my review here.
  • Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) – Big. Russian. Classic. A look at two families and their marriages. Some thoughts here.
  • Two Caravans (Marina Lewycka) – Another novel from the author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. Many-layered, funny, dark and wonderfully written.
  • Good Omens (Terry Pratchett) – An agent of God and an agent of Satan team up to stop the world ending before its time. An amusing fantasy novel.
  • Slam (Nick Hornby) – The story of a teenage skateboarder who comes to terms with getting his girlfriend pregnant. Not as good as some of Hornby’s other books, but it deals with some interesting themes.
  • The Gum Thief (Douglas Coupland) – a great novel about two employees of Staples battling their way through their everyday existence. Coupland again makes an excellent critique of western culture and the meaning of it all.
  • Microserfs (Douglas Coupland) – a novel about computer programmers thoughts on life, the universe, and everything, set in the mid-1990’s at Microsoft.
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (Paul Torday) – A novel about a British scientist who gets sucked into a project to introduce Scottish Salmon to Yemeni rivers. Very funny. Best new novel I’ve read for ages.
  • The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) – set in the 1950s-60s Deep South, a young girl finds herself and her spirituality by running away from an abusive parent
  • For One More Day (Mitch Albom) – a former baseball star attempts to commit suicide and instead finds himself spending one more day with his (already dead) mother.
  • Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen) – classic tale of one two young ladies exploits in love and life.

Books I’ve started but haven’t got around to finishing (yet):

Am about to read (one day hopefully):

  • What are we waiting for? (Stephen Holmes & Russel Rook – editors) – What is the purpose and relevance of eschatology in today’s culture.
  • Blind spots in the Bible (Adrian Plass) – puzzles and paradoxes we tend to avoid.

Feel free to browse my wish list.

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