Books I Read in 2009

I’ve just posted a list of all the books I read in 2009, and I hope to make this a monthly habit in 2010.  A few highlights:

Christian Smith and Patricia Snell – Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults
The second in a planned three-book series, Smith follows the teens he surveyed in Soul Searching into their early adult years (ages 18 to 23). Smith looks at how their religious lives change, as well as the factors (parents, friends, church) that affect their religious attitudes and beliefs. A must-read for anyone working this age group.

Augustine – City of God
I’ve been reading Augustine’s 1,000 page masterpiece a few pages at a time for something like a year now, and it continues to reward. Written in response to the fall of Rome, Augustine takes on accusations that Christianity weakened the Roman Empire, then goes on to describe the “two cities” that coexist in history: the city of man and the City of God. I’m up to Book 13 (out of 22).

N. T. Wright — Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
What does the resurrection of Jesus tell us about our ultimate destiny? What does the resurrection tell us about our life in the present? Wright combines world-class scholarships with a pastor’s tone.

Stephen Carter
The Emperor of Ocean Park
New England White

One of my new favorite authors. Carter, a leading legal scholar who teaches at Yale, started a new career as a novelist several years ago, with a specialty in complex mysteries set among upper-middle class African American families involved in higher education and politics.

David Halberstam – The Breaks of the Game
Recommended by sportswriter Bill Simmons as the best sports book ever written,it did not disappoint. David Halberstam follows a year in the life of the Portland Trailblazers, illuminating both the individuals who play, coach, and manage basketball and the larger forces of race, money, and fame that shape their lives.

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