2004 Reading List

It’s time once again for the annual reading list. Well, actually it was time two weeks ago, but I’m just now getting to it. Yet again my reading list numbers are low. It seems not riding the bus to work every day really hampers my ability to read. And starting my own review blog hasn’t seemed to help abolish the need for this list. Meh.

This list is also full of business books, which are sometimes mildly interesting, and books I had to read for reviews, which often times aren’t as interesting.

So here we go.

1) Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer is Awakening a Generation by Pete Greig & Dave Roberts
Great book aboutt he 24-7 prayer movement. Read my review.

2) Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog by Raewynne J. Whiteley and Beth Maynard
An interesting book about the spirituality in U2’s songs. Read my review.

3) The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
After watching Return of the King, I had to go back and see how it was originally done.

4) On Target by Laura Rowley
The first of many business reads this year. This one fawns over Target, which isn’t such a terrible thing. It gives a nice overview of their history and how they’ve found success by offering high style at a cheap price.

5) Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Probably the business book to read. This one’s all about coming up with out-of-the-box ideas.

6) Storm Front: The Good News of God by several dorky guys
Worst. Book. Ever. Had to read it for a review and came up with a harsh criticism before the editor told me if the book was that bad they shouldn’t review it. Doh!

7) New Way to Be Human by Charlie Peacock
It’s not an easy read, but it’s full of deep insights. Read my review.

8) What’s So Amazing About Grace (visual edition) by Philip Yancey
This is eye candy and, frankly, list padding. Read my review.

9) Purple Cow by Seth Godin (again)
Is it really fair to list the same book twice? I did read it twice since it was required reading for a meeting and I needed to freshen up.

10) Jesus Sound Explosion by Mark Curtis Anderson
This is a great book about discovering what your faith means to you. I blogged incessantly about this book and I really wish it would get the attention it deserves. Read my review.

11) Free Prize Inside by Seth Godin
It’s the new book from marketing guru Seth Godin, though I didn’t think it was jaw-dropping amazing. He basically talks about the idea of giving away something free as a bonus that makes you stick out in your customers’ mind.

12) What Should I Do With my Life by Po Bronson
Everyone talked about this book and when I saw it in the used section at Barnes & Noble I thought I’d pick it up. I don’t think I ever finished it. While it was interesting, his style just got to me and started boring me into the ground. It’s not often I don’t finish a book, but this is one that didn’t make the cut. (so why did I include it on the list? wishful thinking.)

13) A Faith Worth Believing by Tom Stella
Another book review book. Eh.

14) Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor
Worst. Book. Ever. And I mean it this time. I read it for possible review, and after the first few pages I knew I couldn’t encourage anyone to seriously read this book. But I kept reading so I could thrash it in good conscience. Read my review.

15) What Would Buffy Do? By Jana Riess
Another great book I wish would get more attention. The cover design could use some help, but the book itself is great. Read my review.

16) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
After seeing the movie I wanted to relive the book again. The movie was the best Potter film yet, but it was still rushed and I wanted to remember how they’d done it in the book.

17) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
And once you get started with a series like that, why stop?

18) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
So I just kept right on going, mainly because Rowling’s books are such fun to read.

19) So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star by Jacob Slichter
A behind-the-scenes look at the music industry from Semisonic drummer Jacob Slichter. Read my review.

20) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
After finishing what was currently available I decided to start from the beginning.

21) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
And why not read all five in one year?

22) Reimagining Spiritual Formation by Doug Pagitt
An interesting look at a week in the life of a not-so-ordinary church. Read my Church Marketing Sucks review.

23) The Christian Culture Survival Guide by Matthew Paul Turner
I had high hopes for this one, but alas. Read my review.

24) Church: Why Bother? by Philip Yancey
A good book about the purpose of church. Read my Church Marketing Sucks review.

25) The Wizard of Ads by Roy H. Williams
It’s basically two-page riffs on advertising strung together to make a book. It makes for a quick read and a few insightful ideas.

26) Making Sense of Church by Spencer Burke
A lot of interesting stuff about the emergent church. Read my Church Marketing Sucks review.

27) Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
Ah, Bill Cosby. Where would we be without him?

28) High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
When I wanted a character-driven book to read as inspiration just before National Novel Writing Month, I turned to Nick Hornby. I’ve loved Hornby’s other novels and I love the movie, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I was definitely not disappointed.

29) No Plot? No Problem! By Chris Baty
If Hornby offered the inspiration, Chris Baty offered the how-to. This is an awesome book about how to write a novel in 30 days. I highly recommend it.

30) A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren
It’s great to see Amazon stretch the subtitle to five lines. This is a brilliant book that I read to quickly so I’d be prepared for the interview. I should really go back and read it again. Read my Church Marketing Sucks review.

31) The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind by Relient K
A thinly-veiled attempt to sell books to girls smitten by the band. The guys should really stick to music, or else go all out and write their own book, not one a publisher asked them to write.

32) The Other Side of the Sun by Madeleine L’Engle
I wanted some L’Engle in my year, so I picked this one at random. Not L’Engle’s best. I lost interest halfway through but pressed on just to see how it came out.

33) Understanding God�s Will by Kyle Lake
Not nearly as boring as I thought it would be. It was actually a fresh and helpful perspective.

34) Cheese Monkey by Chip Kidd
The book design was great, the characters were interesting and the plot had me hooked. It was a bit out there at times, telling the story of a lost college student finding himself in the art department, but I was liking it. Towards the middle a graphic design instructor is introduced who completely steals the show. But then comes the ending. Absolutely terrible. The author took everything that was working and deconstructed it to be completely unsatisfying. Bleh.

One thought on “2004 Reading List”

  1. Hi Kevin,

    I too love Nick Hornby’s novels, and read High Fidelity after seeing the movie. I was actually surprised by how closely the movie followed the book – it’s gotta be one the closest adaptations ever made.

    And I read all the Harry Potter books during one summer, so I can vouch for how they really are difficult to put down. Of course, while I wait for the next one to come out I can practice on my real life sorcery and witchcraft. But I kid. I still don’t get the people who attack them without ever reading them to see how harmless they really are.

    Anyway, thanks for the list. I think some of your recommended books will have to make it on to my reading list for 2005.

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