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Best Reads of 2011

I read some great books this year. Here are the books that made my year-end review of bests.

The Help: Wow! What a great story this was to read. This book was an entertaining page-turner. Set in the south during the 1960’s The Help captures the voice and perspective of the white women who employ black women as the help and the black women who work for them. The Help captured some of the realities of that time and managed to bring out some humor in doing so. Check out the movie too if you haven't seen it yet. 

Unbroken: Looking for an adventure story? Unbroken is your book. Unbroken is the true story of Olympian, WWII veteran and POW survivor, husband and father and broken spirit who found God at a Billy Graham crusade Louie Zamperini. Zamperini’s life is something out of a movie. In fact, I believe a movie is in the works.  Zamperini’s story is one of resilience in the face of great danger and intense threats upon his life whether by a plane crash over the Pacific, stranded at sea for over a month, shark attacks and capture by the Japanese. Throughout the story it is unmistakable that God holds Zamperini’s life in the palm of his hand.

The Dangerous Act of Worship: Mark Labberton, pastor and author writes about justice as worship to God. Labberton believes the American church by in large is taking a nap. He says, “Waking up is the dangerous act of worship. It’s dangerous because worship is meant to produce lives fully attentive to reality as God sees it, and that’s more than most of us want to deal with.” Elsewhere he says, “God intends that from true worship will flow lives that are the evidence of his just and righteous character in the world.”  I’ll be reading The Dangerous Act of Worship again. For anyone seeking to understand what it means to live lives of justice and lives that reflect the character of God, this book is a great help to what we find in the Bible on justice and worship.

Mark of the Lion trilogy: Okay so I’m a little late in the game. While this trilogy has been around for quite some time, I finally got around to reading the three books in 2011. I loved these books. Set in the first century when the Romanian Empire was in full force, the story follows very realistic characters, namely Hadassah, a young girl who looses her Christian family at a time when Christian persecution was extremely high. She ends up serving a Roman family as a slave and her faith is tried time after time as she lives out her new lot alone among a family of idol and pagan worshipers. Hadassah exemplifyes what it means to take up your cross and follow Jesus. The Mark of the Lion books are full of adventure, suspense, drama, passion, love, sorrow and what it means to truly follow Christ.

I am currently reading Half the Sky by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn. The subtitle of the book says it all: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. The book is comprised of stories of girls and women who Kristof and his wife have met along their travels as journalists. They tell the stories of these girls so that the voices of the oppressed are heard. Not only are their stories told, Kristoff and WuDunn then go on to share about who and what has led these girls and woman to transform their lives out of oppression and into opportunity for themselves, their families and their communities. The reason for the transformation in the majority of cases is education, namely the education of women. The Skirball Center, a Jewish cultural museum in Los Angeles is currently hosting an exhibit on Half the Sky now through May 2012.

That's it for me this year. What were some of your favorite books of 2011?


Thank you for sharing this one. The books looks good. I will read this during the long weekend. - Madison Pharmacy Associates

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I drink coffee, read books, and travel. I’ve been able to drink coffee and discuss books with friends all over the world, simply because someone built a bridge and I made it east of the Mississippi and beyond. For this reason, I love bridges.