Books of 2017

The following are the books I read this year, and a quote (or two) from most of them.  Let me know if you want to discuss any of them in more detail, if you have suggestions for books for next year, or if you think I should post reviews/thoughts on books as I read them!

Between the World and Me – Ta Nehisi Coates

“So you must wake up every morning knowing that no promise is unbreakable, least of all the promise of waking up at all. This is not despair. These are the preferences of the universe itself: verbs over nouns, actions over states, struggle over hope.”

“You have been cast into a race in which the wind is always at your face an the hounds are always at your heels. And to varying degrees this is true of all life. The difference is that you  do have the privilege of living in ignorance of this essential fact.”

Torn – Justin Lee

“More and more, I felt like the gay people out there maybe weren’t so different from me. I was still a Christian and  I still stood for Christian values, but I was gay too. This polarizing language didn’t sit well with me. It didn’t seem very much like Jesus.”

Struggle Central – Thomas Zuniga

“I gradually opened up to others – other guys – and for the first time in my life, I found unhindered freedom to be me. To struggle and be okay with struggling, because everyone struggles and everyone exists to help everyone else”

Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannan Hurnard

“When you wear the weed of impatience in your heart instead of the flower Acceptance-with-Joy, you will always find your enemies get an advantage over you.”

Let Your Life Speak – Parker Palmer

“But before we come to that center, full of light, we must travel in the dark. Darkness is not the whole of the story – every pilgrimage has passages of loveliness and joy – but it is the part of the story most often left untold.”

To Own a Dragon – Donald Miller

“I have a sense that wounds don’t heal until you feel them. What I mean is, I could lash out against the world for the rest of my life and nnerver stop to do the hard work of asking why I am angry or why I feel pain, then come to the difficult truth thtat the pain is there because I wanted to be loved, and I wasn’t… I wanted to be guided, but I wasn’t. And then, honestly, to feel whatever it is that hard truth created – to respond in the I needed to respond.”

Abba’s Child – Brennan Manning

“… the heart of it is this: to make the Lord and his immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.”

Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky

“It’s much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can’t just sit their and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things. I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. And I’m going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn’t do or what they didn’t know. I don’t know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It’s just different. Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.”

Black, Red, White – Ted Dekker

“We love love because Elyon loves love. And we love to be loved because Elyon loves to be loved. In all these ways we are like Elyon. In one way or another, everything we do is tied to this unfolding story of love between us and Elyon.”

“The Great Romance is for you. If only one of you would have followed me, the heavens would not have been able to contain my cries of joy.”

Single, Gay, Christian – Gregory Coles

“When I allow myself to be known – when I tell the most baffling parts of my story to trusted friends and encounter their unconditional love in return – I begin to understand the love of God. A love that knows me fully. A love that, when I feel too weak to hold on to it, is strong enough to hold me instead.”

Green – Ted Dekker

“What was once obvious to them was no longer quite as obvious. Why was it that humans lost sight of truth so quickly?”

Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer

“…the very basic core of a mans living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon…”

“…how difficult it is for those of us preoccupied with the humdrum concerns of adulthood to recall how forcefully we were once buffeted by the passions of youth.”

From Scattered Ashes – Markus Garnett

“According to what I could gather … that Kingdom knows no racial boundaries, no language barriers, no timidity, no strangers, no greed, no isolation in the midst of community.”

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle

“If you aren’t unhappy sometimes you don’t know how to be happy.”

“You mean you’re comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it? Yes. Mrs. Whatsit said. You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.”

Pilgrim’s Progress – Paul Bunyan

“For to speak the truth, there are but few that care thus to spend their time, but choose rather to be speaking of things to no profit.”

“I have given Him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to Him; how, then, can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor?”

 

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