Top 5 Nonfiction of 2014

So I talked top 15 fiction and my entire 2014 reading list, now it’s time for my top 5 nonfiction.

I don’t read nearly as much nonfiction, so this list isn’t quite as amazing. But I’m pickier about my nonfiction selections. Any way, on with the list!

  1. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
    This book blew my mind. I underlined about half of it.
  2. Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber
    A heavily tattooed Lutheran pastor drops f-bombs while talking about the grace of Jesus. She’s tough and gritty, but she’s also honest and real in a way that’s so refreshing. She’s a reminder of what the church needs to be, and I love that so many of her stories are self-deprecating, not in a look-at-me, I’ll tell you how I’m not perfect which really means I’m perfect kind of way. Instead she’s full of real brokenness, real mistakes, real screw ups. That’s what faith is. That’s why we come together in communion, to receive grace and healing. There’s a lot more I could say about this book, and will say as I dive into it for both book club and Church Marketing Sucks, but I think it’s enough to say I’ll be reading it again.
  3. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon
    A great little book of encouragement and advice for the creative. Quick read and full of inspiration.
  4. A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master” by Rachel Held Evans
    I was initially reluctant to read this book. I’ve enjoyed Rachel’s work, but this felt like a rehash of the A.J. Jacobs book and, frankly, I felt like I didn’t need a primer on biblical womanhood. But I’m glad I finally read it. While I’m still not a fan of the “Year Of…” approach, she offers an approachable path to an otherwise overwhelming topic. She tackles poor biblical interpretation and male patriarchy with humor, grace and a little righteous indignation.
  5. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
    Incredible autobiography of a young girl in Pakistan fighting for her right to education in the face of the rising Taliban. It’s quite a history lesson and a needed new perspective. It takes a little while to get through the history and background, but then it dives into the guts of the story and moves pretty quickly.

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