My top 10 favorite books that I read in 2013, in no particular order:
1. The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery. This is a novel for literature nerds, no doubt about it, and I loved every minute of this book. It's like Roald Dahl's Matilda, only in an apartment building in France.
2. Who is This Man?The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus, John Ortberg. This guy does good work, and this book was no exception. I haven't read Bill O'Reilly's book about Jesus, but I would say to read this book instead.
3. What We Talk About When We Talk About God, Rob Bell. Again, another book that did not disappoint. I have used this book in at least one sermon this year.
4. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas Kristof. Not at easy read, but one of those eye opening books I'll never forget.
5. Pastrix, Nadia Bolz-Weber. Saw her speak just over the river in PA. My only complaint was that the book was not longer!
6. Buck: A Memoir., MK Asante. A young black man finds his way in out of drugs and violence through education. A must-read if you are a human being.
7. The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman. How a no-win situation tears everyone's lives apart. Couldn't put it down.
8. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy. I actually started this one last year just after the movie came out. It takes awhile, but it's ok to skim some of the philosophical bits
9. State of Wonder: Ann Patchett. Sort of weird, in a really interesting way. A scientist living in MN finds herself in the Amazon searching for the female version of Dr. House.
10. A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Rachel Held Evans. A great blend of humor and sound Biblical scholarship.
And one that disappointed:
Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver. The premise of this book was interesting, and she has some lovely characters with a couple of great scenes. But the rest of the book is pretty unfocused and feels like a paper that I once had to write for history class my Junior year - the assignment was to write a narrative that incorporated five world cities and important historical and geographical information important to each. Sometimes it felt like a bunch of important facts about climate change that just so happened to be coming out of a character's mouth. It had almost no plot and the ending was such a let down.