Books of 2017

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Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

This has been a good year for reading but as I rediscovered the library my problem is remembering what I read! It isn’t a case of just scanning the book shelves or my kindle anymore. This then is a list of books that are the best of the ones I either own or enjoyed so much they stayed in my evermore limited memory after I returned them…

Non Fiction

Braving the Wilderness: the quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone – Brene Brown

I love Brene Brown in a rather painful way. I want to be her best friend or better yet, be her, and the pain comes from the futility of both these aspirations. That said, this was a quite wonderful read and has given me a lot to mull regarding self-acceptance, connection and functional disagreement.

Musings of a Clergy Child Nell Goddard

Originally a blog, this is a collection of thoughts, stories, letters and poems about growing up as the child of not one but two vicars. As the mother of clergy children I found it a hopeful and revealing read.

God is Stranger Krish Kandiah

I took time to read this because I wanted it to shape my mind and my understanding of God. Deeply challenging and faith-building.

Vintage Saints and Sinners Karen Marsh

This is an introduction to 25 ancient and revered Christians and how they have shaped Marsh’s relationship with God. Her portrayals give these saints wonderful colour and texture. They all became real people in my mind as I read, people whose lives were extraordinary yes, but who were all too human as well.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire Eugene Peterson

A collection of sermons written and delivered over decades, this is a masterclass in living and teaching Scripture.

So you’ve been publically shamed Jon Ronson

I’ve had a bit of a Ronson binge this year and this was my favourite – thought-provoking, challenging, gripping and ultimately uplifting.

Unbelievable Katy Tur

Katy Tur was the first journalist covering Trump’s presidential campaign full time. Like many I’ve been rather obsessively watching, reading, thinking and talking about this unlikeliest of world leaders. This was an insightful and reflective account of how things came to pass.

I can’t believe you just said that! Danny Wallace

I found myself bringing this book into conversation rather a lot in the weeks after I read it. A really interesting investigation into the impact of rudeness, which turns out to be far more significant than I would have guessed.

Fiction

Stay with Me Ayobami Adebayo

This story swept me up from the time I read the back cover and kept me in its current as it swept around bend after bend. Just brilliant.

Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe

This was the first time I’ve read the real deal rather than an abridged version and although it was a bit of a slog at times it was well worth the effort.

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair Joel Dicker

A beautifully written crime thriller with a literary theme. My favourite book from the American road trip.

Small Great Things Jodie Picoult

A black midwife, a white supremacist, an infant death and a lawyer who firmly believes she is not racist – this is a perspective altering novel. It stayed with me long after I finished it and changed the way I look at the world.

The Women of the Castle Jessica Shattuck

Such an interesting exploration of being German in the Second World War and its aftermath. I really loved this book until the last few chapters which felt like they should have been lopped off by a harsh but kind editor.

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