What to read in 2015?

Having listed out the books I read last year it seemed appropriate to look ahead at 2015. I’ve had a look at all the books that I have on my living room floor (in several piles) and in my desk drawer at work to see what I could read this year. Below, I’ve split the books out into my normal 4 categories. They aren’t necessarily in the order that I will read them but a rule of thumb would be that those nearer the top of each category are more likely to be read before those near the bottom of the same category.

As you can see, there are imbalances all round. For example, I’ve got far more christianity books than fiction books and far more books by men than by women. So I have a few questions for you that will help shape my reading for the forthcoming 12 months.

  1. Can you suggest some science and fiction books to even up the categories?
  2. Can you suggest some more books by women to even up the gender imbalance?
  3. Of the books listed, are there any that you particularly recommend (i.e. that I read them sooner rather than later)

The fourth question is a bit more convoluted. While I aim to read books that I think I will enjoy, I also want to stretch myself by reading things that I may well disagree with. In 2014, I read several works by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, where I didn’t expect to agree wholly with them, though I sit towards the same end of the political spectrum as they do. As a complete opposite, you will spot Friedrich Hayek’s most famous work, The Road to Serfdom, on my list. So the 4th question is this: What book would you recommend as something to challenge my views, something you think I will disagree with? This comes with a couple of caveats: first, no extremist literature; I have no intention of reading Mein Kampf or anything like that. Secondly, if you make a suggestion that I take up, you must take up a reciprocal suggestion from me. Thirdly, it must be a reasonable price and length; I would be hesitant to take up a book that is 500+ pages long or costs in excess of £25.

Christianity (24)

  • The History of the Church – Eusebius (already started)
  • The Making of the Creeds – Frances Young
  • Jesus the Jew – Geza Vermes
  • Quaker Writings – various authors
  • How Jesus Became God – Bart Ehrman
  • Cranky, Beautiful Faith – Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • How God Became Jesus – various authors
  • Baptism in the Holy Spirit – James Dunn
  • Imitating Jesus – Richard Burridge
  • Dazzling Darkness – Rachel Mann
  • Zealot – Reza Aslan
  • Theology of Hope – Jürgen Moltmann
  • Letters to London – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • God’s Smuggler – Brother Andrew
  • Simply Jesus – Tom Wright
  • The Return of the Prodigal Son – Henri Nouwen
  • The Inner Life – Thomas a Kempis
  • Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Why Did Jesus, Moses, The Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road? – Brian McLaren
  • A New Monastic Handbook – Ian Mobsby & Mark Berry
  • The Go-Between God – John Taylor
  • The Bible: A Very Short Introduction – John Riches
  • Thomas Aquinas: A Very Short Introduction – Fergus Kerr
  • Protestantism: A Very Short Introduction – Mark Noll
  • Pentecostalism: A Very Short Introduction – William Kay

Science (10)

Fiction (8)

  • Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  • Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Dear Life – Alice Munro
  • The House on the Strand – Daphne du Maurier
  • The Black Prince – Iris Murdoch
  • War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

Other non-fiction (20)

Total                      (62)

You may also place a wager as to how many of these I will get through.

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8 responses to “What to read in 2015?

  1. I think you might enjoy Neither Here nor There by Miriam Drori. http://miriamdrori.com/2014/06/17/launch-day/ What do you suggest I read? Sue

  2. I read ‘Life Together’ by Bonhoeffer recently (within the last year or so) and it’s wonderful – so I’d say read that one first!

    May I suggest a couple of books which came out recently, both in the ‘Christianity’ section:

    Simply God, by Peter Sanlon – it’s a book about the classical doctrine of God and why it matters. I really benefitted from studying the Doctrine of God at college and I’m recommending this as widely as possible. (I should say, Pete is my former tutor at college but it’s an excellent book and I would recommend it regardless!)

    Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung – a fairly short and concise book about the doctrine of Scripture from a conservative perspective. We’ve had discussions about Scripture before on this blog and I thought this might be something for you maybe to disagree with but find interesting anyway 🙂

    I’m happy to reciprocate if you would like to read one or both of those – maybe it would be good to commit to blogging a book review after reading? I’d also apply the same caveats as you – not too long, below about £25!

    • I shall certainly bump up the Bonhoeffer. I’ll keep an eye out for those two; I’ve come across Kevin DeYoung but not read any of his work (I think Just Do Something is on one of my wishlists) so I might try that. As a reciprocal challenge, I would recommend something from the anabaptist side of things. So how about Benefit of the Doubt by Greg Boyd?

      • Good call on Greg Boyd – I’ve read one or two of his blog posts but haven’t actually got round to reading any of his actual books – I’ll look it up 🙂

  3. losthaystacks

    I mainly read fiction. And get through about 2, possibly 3 books a year. I’m not a great reader! On the fiction list, Cold Comfort Farm & The Great Gatsby are both classics that are well worth reading. If you like crime fiction, to balance out the gender issue you might like P D James’ Adam Dalglish novels. On the Christianity list, I recommend Rachel Mann’s book goes higher up the list. Feel free to recommend me something. I might just finish it by 2017…….!