If you asked me what books I most enjoyed this past year, this is what I'd tell you:
Barking to the Choir by Gregory Boyle: I read this book, a sequel to Tattoos on the Heart, like I would a devotional. It has so many potent ideas that I found I needed time to think things through before moving on. Boyle breaks up his thought-provoking ideas with humorous and heart-wrenching stories about his relationships with L.A. gang members. This book really convicted me regarding how I try to "help" people and how I don't see others as I would myself. An excellent read!
Self to Lose - Self to Find: A Biblical Approach to the 9 Enneagram Types by Marilyn Vancil: I have already written several posts on this book, (See Part 1 and Part 2) but it bears repeating. This book is a great, simple, and sweet introduction to the Enneagram in light of Christ's command to die to ourselves and follow him. It includes practical applications as well as prayers for each Enneagram type at the end.
The Letter to the Romans by William Barclay: I read this commentary after Grandpa Seelye passed away this past summer. Grandpa taught many Romans bible studies, some of which were taught in my childhood home. I never attended those bible studies because I was too young, but I heard great stories about them. It seemed fitting to read through Romans after he passed away. I found this commentary from the Daily Study Bible Series so accessible. Each section was fairly short and had plenty of nuggets for each day. I was greatly blessed by it.
Blow the Wind Southerly by D.E. Stevenson: This book has also appeared as The Enchanted Isle and Charlotte Fairlie. I could probably put any of D.E. Stevenson's books down here as excellent reads, but this one I read most recently. The story follows Charlotte Fairlie as she maneuvers the difficult tasks involved with being headmistress at Saint Elizabeth's school for girls. True to form, part of the novel is spent in the bustle and difficulties of daily life while the later half is spent on holiday on a Scottish Isle. I like D.E. Stevenson's novels because of how she portrays difficult characters. This book has its fair share of "villains" that harvest what they reap. Who doesn't love a story like that!