My Pick for Best Book of 2011


Steve JobsTony Jones posted the list of the Best-Selling Books of 2011, and looking it over, I realized that I’m not much for reading popular books. I’ve listened to about half of the audio book of Bossypants by Tina Fey (my review: hilarious!), and I’m about half-way through one other book on the list: the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. (Here’s my review so far: What a guy!)

My kids have read far more of the best-selling young adult fiction books than I’ve read (or even seen the movie adaptations of) the best-selling adult non-fiction and fiction books. The Wimpy Kid and Hunger Games books are both popular in the Knight household, that’s for sure.

What I Read in 2011
I did read some really good books in 2011 (not all published in 2011), and here’s a rundown of the ones I would definitely recommend (in no particular order):

Down We Go: Living Into the Wild Ways of Jesus by Kathy Escobar – more here

Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love by Mark Scandrette – more here

Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All by Landon Whitsitt – more here

Journey in the Wilderness: New Life for Mainline Churches by Gil Rendle – more here

The Church Is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement by Tony Jones – more here

Toward a Hopeful Future: Why the Emergent Church Is Good News for Mainline Congregations by Phil Snider and Emily Bowen

A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith by Brian McLaren

Poke The Box by Seth Godin

My Top Pick of 2011
But my pick for best book of 2011 would have to be …

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me
Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me by Ian Morgan Cron

Subtitled “A memoir … of sorts,” Ian’s second book (Chasing Francis was his first) is the powerful true story of his own childhood, growing up in the northeast with a mostly absentee father — who just happened to work for the CIA. True story. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s just an amazing read. But I’m not doing justice to how great this book is, so go read the review by David Zimmerman, who sums it up with this: “We join Cron in his search for a safe home, a caring father, redemption from a deeply scarred past, even though his story is entirely unique; it is in fact through his unique story that his readers are graced with a fundamental truth of the universe: love always stoops, and faith always jumps.”

Yeah. That’s good.

For something a little serious, check out this clip of Ian doing a reading at megachurch Willow Creek Community Church. Or for a good laugh, watch Ian doing a reading from the book at an Evening of Stories at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville:



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Posted on 01-08-2012


  1. cara says:

    January 8th, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Ok that’s it! i’m ordering the CIA book for jeff’s birthday next month. heard too many good things about it!

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