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Many “book people” already listed their top reads for 2013. I read 48 books last year, as well as 19 books of the Bible. I was hoping to reach 50 books, as I had 2 books in progress in December but didn’t finish either. Oh well. It will put me ahead for 2014 as I complete them this month! I wanted to list my top 10 books for 2013, but it has seemed harder to do than usual for some reason. While I read good and worthwhile books, books just weren’t jumping off the list to me as “the best.”  Also, books can be good in different ways almost requiring differing categories of the best books, and I do read a variety of book types. But with that, here is my attempt to pick 10 books (in no particular order):

1. Who moved the Stone? by Frank Morrison. Read my review here.

2. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

3. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

4. Humility by Andrew Murray. Read my review here.

5. Towards an Old Testament Theology by Walter Kaiser.

6. The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey.

7. The Desert Year by Joseph Wood Krutch. (a nature classic)

8. In the Heart of the Sea, Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

9. Homer’s Odyssey (The Blind Wonder Cat) by Gwen Cooper

10. Connecting Christ, How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths by Paul Metzger.

Okay, this will now be the top 15 as several others books should be in the top 10 – haha.

11. Surprised by Jesus by Tim Stafford

12. He Humbled Himself: Recovering the Lost Art of Serving by Kenneth Flemming (review here)

13. Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt by Anne Rice

14. The Triumph of Christianity by Rodney Stark. I interacted with this book in several posts. Here is one: Faith vs Reason? The terrible Dark Ages? Christianity squashed science?

15. The Cats of Shambala by Tippi Hedren.

I really liked the classic Ragamuffin Gospel.

“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last ‘trick’, whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.

‘But how?’ we ask.

Then the voice says, ‘They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’

There they are. There *we* are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.

My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.” (Brennan Manning)