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My 2022 Reading in Review

Another year full of books! (Previous summaries: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007… argh, how did I miss some of those years?)

I got through 61 books this year, which feels like a bit of a down year. My “one book at a time” practice got me bogged down in some slow theology books, and then I got sucked into a cross-stitch project and a couple web projects at the end of the year which stole some of my reading time. (I finally came to grips with breaking up the long theology slogs with some fiction, and that helps a lot.)

Here’s the full list of reading, with particular standouts noted in bold:

Theology

  • Heavy Burdens: Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church – Bridget Eileen Rivera
  • Happiness and Contemplation – Josef Pieper
  • The Aryan Jesus – Susannah Heschel
  • The Joy of Being Wrong – James Alison
  • Attached to God: A Practical Guide to Deeper Spiritual Experience – Krispin Mayfield
  • The Emergent Christ – Ilia Delio
  • The Beatitudes Through the Ages – Rebekah Ann Eklund
  • Let the Light In: Healing from Distorted Images of God – Colin McCartney
  • In: Incarnation and Inclusion, Abba and Lamb – Brad Jersak
  • Having the Mind of Christ – Matt Tebbe and Ben Sternke
  • The Dark Interval – John Dominic Crossan
  • Love Over Fear – Dan White, Jr.
  • Faith Victorious – Lennart Pinomaa
  • History and Eschatology – N. T. Wright
  • Destined for Joy – Alvin F. Kimel
  • A Thicker Jesus – Glen Harold Stassen
  • Changing Our Mind – David P. Gushee

Dr. Ilia Delio’s The Emergent Christ is the one that had me thinking the most this year, and that will stick with me longer than any of the others. Her approach to thinking about God, evolution, and universal progress within a Christian framework blew my mind, and consistently challenges me to think about God and the universe differently.

Other Non-Fiction

  • Maximum City – Suketu Mehta
  • Music is History – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
  • The Argonauts – Maggie Nelson
  • How the Word Is Passed – Clint Smith
  • The New Abolition – Gary Dorrien
  • Reading Evangelicals – Daniel Silliman
  • Fearful Symmetry – A. Zee
  • The Joshua Generation – Rachel Havrelock
  • Belabored – Lyz Lenz
  • The Method – Isaac Butler
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls – John J. Collins
  • Strange Rites – Tara Isabella Burton
  • A Different Kind of Animal – Robert Boyd
  • The Dawn of Everything – David Graeber and David Wengrow
  • Bible Nation – Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden
  • Protestants Abroad – David A. Hollinger
  • Do I Make Myself Clear? – Harold Evans
  • White Flight – Kevin M. Kruse
  • How God Becomes Real – T. M. Luhrmann
  • Salty – Alissa Wilkinson
  • Blood In The Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks – Chris Herring
  • Searching for the Oldest Stars – Anna Frebel
  • This Here Flesh – Cole Arthur Riley
  • The Invention of Religion – Jan Assmann
  • The Phoenix Project – Gene Kim, George Spafford, and Kevin Behr
  • The Late Medieval English Church – G. W. Bernard
  • The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila – Carlos Eire
  • Strangers in Their Own Land – Arlie Russell Hochschild

Three women’s books stand out here: Tara Isabella Burton’s Strange Rites, looking at how the current generation of young people are looking for religious experiences in places other than traditional religion; Cole Arthur Riley’s spiritual memoir This Here Flesh, and Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land, describing a sociologist’s quest to understand Louisianans who have been devastatingly impacted by environmental destruction and yet persistently support the businesses and political causes behind that destruction.

Fiction

  • Unthinkable – Brad Parks
  • Lent – Jo Walton
  • The Last Commandment – Scott Shepherd
  • When We Cease To Understand the World – Benjamin Labatut
  • Everything Sad Is Untrue – Daniel Nayeri
  • Once A Thief – Christopher Reich
  • A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik
  • The Blue Diamond – Leonard Goldberg
  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built – Becky Chambers
  • The Coffin Dancer – Jeffery Deaver
  • Sea of Tranquility – Emily St. John Mandel
  • Small Things Like These – Claire Keegan
  • A Prayer for the Crown-Shy – Becky Chambers
  • A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers (re-read)
  • Slow Horses – Mick Herron
  • The Last Agent – Robert Dugoni

Here the standout was author Becky Chambers. Her little Monk & Robot novellas sucked me in and made me happy. That prompted me to purchase her Small Angry Planet series and start in on a re-read. Chambers works in the best tradition of science fiction pushing for inclusion and acceptance of The Other and in using the exploration of a very different universe to make you think about how our own could be improved.

Coming Up…

I’ve continued to log on Goodreads this past year but I get the feeling it’s spooling down as it gets absorbed by Amazon. I’m working on a self-hosted book logging site – it’s actually live online right now if you know where to look but I’m going to do some cleanup on it before I publicize it. I’ll post here about it when I do!

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