- 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.
- 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):
- God, That’s Not Fair (Dick Dowsett) – a discussion of hell, written as a correspondence between a teacher and student.
- Courageous Leadership (Bill Hybels) – a long time pastor shares his secrets to successful church leadership.
- A Journey (Tony Blair) – Blair describes his ten years as Prime Minister along with the crisis points and political relationships along the way.
- Pioneer Ministry and Fresh Expressions of Church (Angela Shier-Jones) – An introductory overview of fresh expressions and pioneer ministry with a pseudo-theological framework.
- For the Love of God (Don Carson) – reflections on daily Bible readings.
- The Suburban Christian (Albert Hsu) – Finding Spiritual significance in suburban society.
- Surprised By Hope (Tom Wright) – what is Christian hope and why does it matter? How the resurrection impacts everything.
- How to Read Exodus (Tremper Longman III) – Excellent introduction to the book of Exodus which covers all the major themes and theology and explains them in an accessible way.
- Mass Culture (ed. Pete Ward) – a series of essays investigating the importance of the Lords Supper and it’s intersections with contemporary culture. Some thoughts here.
- The Blue Parakeet (Scot McKnight) – Reading the Bible as story can help us understand key texts and help us reveal our place in God’s plan.
- God At Work (Ken Costa) – A christian perspective on the office-based workplace.
- Simply Christian (Tom Wright) – on the fundamentals of Christianity. Well written and thoughtful. Useful for the thinking Christian or skeptic.
- The Dawkins Letters (David Robertson) – transcripts of letters written by a Christian pastor to Richard Dawkins following his publication of ‘The God Delusion’. A great introduction to issues of Science and Religion.
- Total Church (Steve Timmis and Tim Chester) – A fresh vision of church and community. My thoughts are here.
- Dreams from my Father (Barack Obama) – a wonderfully written auto-biography describing how Obama came to understand himself, his race and his identity.
- The Life and Work of a Priest (John Pritchard) – the new Bishop of Oxford writes about the role of a priest in today’s society. Practical more than theological.
- Visualising Hope (Sarah Dunlop) – what do young people actually believe? Sarah Dunlop investigates by actually asking them, and compiles the results into a book the church should read. Well researched and the conclusions are enlightening for the church. See my review here.
- Velvet Elvis (Rob Bell) – a fresh take on an old message – the gospel in Rob Bell’s words. He opens it out and brings it to life as he explains the point of being a Christian.
- True Worship (Vaughn Roberts) – discussion of the elements that contribute to a life of worship for the Christian.
- Luther and his World (Graham Tomlin) – short biography of the church reformer Martin Luther.
- Mission Shaped Questions (Steve Croft, ed) – a follow up to Mission Shaped Church, it explores the basis for fresh expressions (emerging) forms of church and what aspects they should possess. My six part series starts here.
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):
- Redemption (Ian Murray) – the work of the cross described.
- The Audacity of Hope (Barack Obama) – Obama sets out his political ideals before he started his run for the presidency.
- The Imitation of Christ (Thomas A Kempis) – thoughts on discipleship and holiness from a 15th century monk.
- The Because Approach: Innovating Church for all (Andrew Baughen) – discussion on communicating the gospel and making church more relevant and appealing to the general population.
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.