THE BOOKS OF 2013

December 27, 2013

Since 1991, the song “Books Check’em Out” by the California Raisins has been stuck in my head. I will pause while you follow this link and watch the video on YouTube.

Okay, you’re back.

This year’s coveted Best Newcomer award is easily going to the I Love to Read feature. Talking about whipping up frostings and broiling potatoes is fun (and food totally bonds people), but I feel our book reviews have made this place even more of a community. And I love the opportunity to talk and think more deeply about theology and religion together.

This is the list of the books I covered in 2013, plus a few bonus never-before-seen recommendations I read this year before starting the feature. Listen to the raisins video and go pick one up. (The links below will take you to amazon). Meanwhile, I’m going to do my own mini raise the roof for meeting my goal of reading 20 books this year. Thanks for cheering me along!

The Everlasting Righetousness

The Everlasting Righetousness by Horatius Bonar
A rich and dense look at the fundamentals of Christianity. Every sentence is quotable – like you could make it your Facebook status or just sit and meditate on that one thought for an hour. (My full review here.)

The Good News We Almost Forgot by Kevin DeYoung
An un-intimidating and rewarding read. The chapters are short (usually 2-3 pages) and take the reader through a discussion and dissection of The Apostle’s Creed, The 10 Commandments, and The Lord’s Prayer. (My full review here.)

From Fear to Freedom

From Fear to Freedom by Rose Marie Miller
Rose’s writing has brought tremendous growth and healing to my soul. From Fear to Freedom centers around our need to understand God’s love for us is based only on Christ. Although much of the book is about her life, I appreciate Rose’s care to make the focus God-exalting rather herself or her experiences-exalting. This is easily in my top five of all time favorites. (My full review here.)

Sacred Marriage

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
If you are married, engaged, ever want to be married, or even if you can just spell marriage, this is an fantastic book on the topic. Thomas’ writing challenges me with the question: “what if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” (My full review here.)

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Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
What does the Bible say about gender roles? What are my duties as a wife? Mahaney was immensely helpful in refining my view of what it means to be a woman. From Titus 2, she outlines seven attributes of true femininity: loving one’s husband, loving your children, self-control, purity, working at home, kindness, and submissiveness. (My full review here.)

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The Fruit of Her Hands and Building Her House by Nancy Wilson
If you liked or are interested in Feminine Appeal, these are the next level of intensity on the same topic. Sometimes it’s easy to think our command of being characterized by working from home as just another stance Christians have on a social issue, but real talk, the truths of Scripture applied in this book gave rest to my soul. (My full reviews here.)

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Holiness by J.C. Ryle
This has earned the place in my heart of a literary classic. You could probably say Holiness is hitting on the “basics” of the Christian religion, but I found it new, refreshing, and accessible in so many ways. That’s even more cool because it’s coming to us all the way from the 1800′s. (My full review here.)

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Nothing is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller
Quite the smattering of many things. It has the feel of  journals, talks, stories, and reflections all balled up into one crazy book. It does not disappoint. There’s nothing Rose will write that I won’t read. What I most glean from her is how she interprets every event of her life with/through/because of God. Which I totally need. (My full review here.)

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A Praying Life by Paul Miller
Have you ever read a book or heard a sermon about prayer? If you’re like me, that book or sermon may have left you feeling defeated and guilty. Yes, every Christian feels like they should pray more. A stand out feature of A Praying Life is that it will convict you, without condemning you. Just start praying is one of his main points. (My full review here.)

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Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper
You are always teaching your children, whether you mean to or not. Noel talks about “everyday” traditions (Bible reading, prayer, singing hymns, etc.) and the “especially” traditions (Easter, Christmas, birthdays, etc.) All of this is for the purpose of learning – that God’s Word is important, who God is, and how to relate to Him. (My full review here.)

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Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
It is a rare occasion where I  recommend (or even read at all!) a work of fiction. Think of it as a Christian Little House on the Prairie meets Pride and Prejudice. The format is a diary through the life of a woman living in the 1800s. It begins on Kate Elliot’s 16th birthday and takes us through to moments before her death. And at the risk of sounding like an info-mericial it’s a great read for women (or men?) of all ages. (My full review here.)

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Why We’re Not Emergent by Kevin DeYoung & Ted Kluck
The emergent Church is a movement that has grown in prominence over recent years. This is a look at why much of the teaching of this movement should be rejected. I’m side-stepping the difficult task of of defining the term “emergent” because it is quite hard to nail down. But the book spells it out well. (My full review here.)

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Galatians for You by Tim Keller
A very helpful in-depth study of Galatians. (And while being in-depth, it’s a mere 185 pages with huge print.) Through his survey of this short letter, Keller hits on many of scripture’s main themes. If you’ve ever been confused by covenants, laws, circumcision, (!) chosen peoples, and the like, this is a great, elementary start. (My full review here.)

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Living The Cross Centered Life by CJ Mahaney
The Cross Centered Life beautifully describes our need for a savior, the person of Christ, and our assurance and joy as believers. I particularly found the chapters on legalism and condemnation relevant. (My full review here.)

A NEGLECTED GRACE review from Rachel Schultz

A Neglected Grace by Jason Helopoulos
Written to Christians for the purpose of giving “an encouragement to the reader to have a true resolve to engage in family worship, but only by, in, through, and because of the grace of God.” I walked away resolved, stirred, and refreshed. (My full review here.)

AND! As promised, the bonus books I read in 2013. I give all of them a whole-hearted thumbs up.
What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anywabwile
The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung
Salvation Belongs to the Lord by John Frame
Easy Chairs, Hard Words by Doug Wilson
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp
Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible by Robert Plummer

What are y’all reading? Is it good?

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Comments

  • I have been perusing your blog {it is adorable and the recipes look delicious and I have printed a couple to try out soon!} and then saw this book list and, having either read a great deal of these or having them on my shelf to read eventually, I loved your place over here all the more :)
    I am in the middle of Will Our Generation Speak (on witnessing) and Ida Early as a read aloud with my boys :)
    Happy New Year!

    • Rachel Schultz

      How fun! Thanks Jessica.

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