new to you friday—book it

This week I was reminded once again that I really need to make more time for reading.

I spent Tuesday through Thursday in sunny Orlando with the Christian Standard contributing editors team (arriving home just in time to scrape an inch of snow off my car at the airport). As always, I was challenged, inspired and encouraged by our time together. As always, I left with the names of six more books I need to read.

As long as I’m updating my list, I’d love to hear your suggestions as well. What magazines and blogs consistently give you new insights? What are the three can’t-miss books from the year we just ended?


December always brings lists; Time magazine just released an entire issue devoted to the “top 10 everything of 2008” and many other magazine and blog authors create their own best-of lists this time of year. These always sell well—with the incredible amount of information available to us, it’s helpful to sort out the events, people, movies, music or activities worth our time.

We also enjoy these lists because they provide new insights into our culture. (This year the top two Yahoo! Searches, ahead of any presidential candidate or news story, were Britney Spears and the wrestling league WWE. No wonder the rest of the world hates us.)

If you haven’t already, you need to check out Christian Standard’s recent list of books that made a difference to our contributing editors this year. They include history, theology, business leadership and current events and I’ve added several to my own must-reads list for 2009. N.T. Wright’s books, of course, were already there, but some others—including Nancy Karpenske’s mention of God Talk: Cautions for Those Who Hear God’s Voice and Doug Priest’s recommendation of Saving God’s Green Earth—are books I will benefit from and wouldn’t have found on my own.

Let me know what books influenced you this year. But if they involve Britney or professional wrestling, keep it to yourself.

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