I don’t really consider myself to be an avid reader of anything but record album liner notes. I know too many voracious readers to think highly of my own reading lists, but I was a little surprised when I compiled one for a recent job application for a Christian school. I averaged about one book a month. (I probably would have read more if I hadn’t recorded two solo albums last year.)
Q: What books have you read in the past 12 months? Please provide a complete list of titles and authors. Include a brief report on the book that had the greatest impact on you and why.
A: Alright, in no particular order…
- Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance by Os Guinness
- Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures (Thirty Three and a Third Series) by Chris Ott
- The Foolishness of God by Ferenc Visky
- While Waiting by George E. Verrilli and Anne Marie Mueser
- Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden
- The Vertical Self: How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in an Age of Self-Obsession by Mark Sayers
- The Smiths: Songs That Saved Your Life by Simon Goddard
- A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul E. Miller
- Footprints: The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter by Michelle Mercer
- Subculture: The Meaning of Style by Dick Hebdige
- The Church: One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic by Richard D. Phillips, Phillip G. Ryken and Mark E. Dever
- Psychedelic Furs: Beautiful Chaos by Dave Thompson
Because of the wide variety of books, it is difficult to decide which book packed the biggest punch. (How do you really compare the impact of a books about pregnancy, theology and obscure eighties British rock bands? They’re all important, right?) The book that impacted me the most was probably Paul E. Miller’s A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World. At first glance, it seemed like another cheesy, christian-y book about prayer.
What I found, however, was that Miller wasn’t afraid to attack his pride and self-sufficiency that results in cynicism, hampering his dependency on God. Because my wife got pregnant while we read the book she and and I began to see ourselves in his story, as Miller described his dependence on God in parenting.