Hello and Welcome Back! Today’s category of the Karissa Reads Books Literary Awards is focused on the best non-fiction books I read in 2022. I am definitely a fiction reader. It takes a lot for a non-fiction book to really jump out at me and onto my TBR. When I do read non-fiction, I tend to focus on Christian writers and books about theology and faith. Looking over the books I selected for this category this became abundantly clear.
HONOURABLE MENTION goes to:
Liturgy of the Ordinary – Tish Harrison Warren (InterVarsity Press, 2016)
This was a simple book but with its focus on incorporating liturgical rhythms into your daily life, it was a very helpful one. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been growing in a new appreciation for liturgy in the church in the past couple of years. This book was a helpful one to me for thinking about how and why I can re-focus my daily habits to better involve prayer and Bible reading.
The Beauty Chasers – Timothy D. Willard (Zondervan Reflective, 2022)
This was such a cozy book. It made me want to go for a walk on a blustery day and then have a drink by a fire with a very good friend. Willard focuses on beauty and why it matters to Christians. What does it meant that God made the world not just functional but beautiful? What does it say about us that we have the ability to have our breath taken away by the natural world or by another person? Why does it matter? How can we foster an enjoyment of beauty and its creator in our often mundane lives? Lots of good thought here.
I’m Still Here – Austin Channing Brown (Penguin Random House, 2018)
I thought this was going to be a book about Black experience in a white majority culture and it was but Brown also highlights Black experience within the Christian church. I found it fascinating and eye-opening and learned a lot more about that intersection of faith and race. I listened to this on audio and it is read by Brown herself (yes, Austin Brown is a woman) and that added a lot to my experience too.
Hope in Times of Fear – Timothy Keller (Viking 2021)
Chances are good that if I read a book by Timothy Keller in the year it’s going to end up on some favourite list. And he still has a few books I haven’t read plus new books coming out so expect to see him here next year too! This book isn’t about the past years of pandemic experience but it is written in the shadow of the early pandemic. Fear and hope aren’t new topics and Keller approaches them both with a steady wisdom and a clear eye. His perspective is always appreciated.
Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This is a book that found me at the right time. Almost literally because it had actually been hanging out in my house for years and I happened to be reminded of it during a period of time in which I was massively re-thinking what church and Christian community might look like for me and my family. Thinking back now, I don’t remember much specifically but I know that it was a book of encouragement and reminded me of why faith communities can be so wonderful and so necessary.
Where the Light Fell – Philip Yancey (Convergent, 2021)
Like Life Together, this was a book that I read in a period of time when I really needed to hear stories of people hurt and confused by the church and other Christians. I needed to hear those stories of people who made tough choices, who stayed focused on Christ, and still believed that there was hope and redemption. Yancey’s life story is exactly that and having read so much of his theological writing and knowing what a focus on grace his work has had, it is all the more powerful to read about his background.