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Tatum’s Top Ten Reads of 2017

Tatum’s Top Ten Reads of 2017

I goaled to read one book a month in 2017.  I know, I know. That’s not even that many for some of you. BUT it’s a really good place to start if you’re trying to get on the reading train. And there’s a lot of good content out there, no matter what kind of books you like to read. Here’s a run-down of what was interesting, poignant, and even life-changing for me in 2017.

  1. Anything by Jennie Allen – Jennie and her husband Zac embark on a journey after they pray the prayer, “God, we will do anything.” Their story of total submission to God’s plans for their lives is equally terrifying and encouraging. Honestly, this book is probably in my Top 5 reads of all time. It was poignant for me when I picked it up and with fear and trembling have embarked on my own “anything” journey… and it’s already been quite the ride! I caution you though, probably don’t pick this one up unless you want to see a life change. It’s that powerful!
  2. Garden City by John Mark Comer – One of the best books I’ve ever read on Sabbath. If you want to know why God calls us to Sabbath, pick this book up. But it’s called Garden City for a reason – from the garden we came (Genesis) and to a city we will go (Revelation). We were called to toil the land, to work in the places God planted us, and to Sabbath with the Creator like He asked us to. Very challenging and eye opening. What would your life be like if you took some time to Sabbath… like actually Sabbath?
  3. Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs – A new look on bravery, I appreciated Downs’ wit and humor mixed with seriousness of how, as Christians, we are called to a brave life. For you, bravery may mean staying and for me it may mean going and many things in between. Downs does a really good job of giving the reader ideas of what bravery looks like, but focusing on how our lives are to be marked by the leading of the Holy Spirit. And that’s a brave life.
  4. Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst – Terkeurst focuses this book on overcoming rejection. Not gonna lie, this one made me weep. Her writing is easy to follow, so much so that I read this one in a weekend. I appreciated that her focus and main emphasis to overcoming rejection needs to begin with our identity in Christ.
  5. Forgotten God by Francis Chan – Chan’s book on the “forgotten” God of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit – is an easy read with some very stern words about the church’s lack on including the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Why doesn’t the Church of America look like the church in Acts? We forgot the Holy Spirit. A necessary reminder.
  6. Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis – The premise is this: Uncle Screwtape (a demon) is writing letters to his nephew, Wormwood (also a demon). His letters to his nephew attempt to teach him how to get his human to make poor choice and turn him away from any faith, all from the point of view of the demonic side. It’s satirical, but if you stop to think about it, you’ll see what C. S. Lewis was getting at – there’s a dark, supernatural world that is attempting to tempt and seduce Christians back toward the darkness.
  7. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque – I picked this one up off of the shelf at the school where I work. I’m not sure I actually read it in high school. It is the story of a few German soldiers during World War I. They encounter many physical and emotional challenges. It isn’t an easy read per se because of the content, but Remarque keeps the reader intrigued by what may happen next and honestly, don’t we need to know history, so we don’t repeat it?
  8. Walking with God by John Eldredge – Eldredge writes on what it’s like to pray bold, specific prayers and to see God answer them. Oh, that we would be so bold as to pray powerful prayers. Eldredge spends the time in the novel telling his own life story and relaying a season of his life where he woke up every day and asked God, “What are you saying, Lord?”
  9. Restless by Jennie Allen – Honestly, I like everything she writes. This book was what I’ll call her “sequel” to Anything (see #1). I think people started praying that bold prayer and were like, “What’s next?” Allen is a Bible study writer first and foremost and feels called to disciple a generation. This book is much like a journaling exercise – with questions and places to write answers. It’s well written, easy to follow, and her deep desire to see the world changed comes through on the pages. I deeply appreciate the work she’s currently doing and this book speaks to the restlessness one feels in their soul when they aren’t sure of their next steps.
  10. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis – A classic. I’m sure you’ve probably seen the movie. But if you haven’t read the book, it’s a must-do. Lewis’ way with words is so fantastic that I could hear the characters in my head when I was reading. The story so clearly lines up with the Gospel it’s astonishing! I’m so glad Aslan is on the move!

I actually read 22 books in 2017, so far exceeded my own goal! Though I know many people will read a ton more than that – it was a good place to start for me. I’ve already purchased a stack of them off of Amazon to get started in 2018.

What are you reading?

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