My five favorite books of the year…

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

If you’re looking for a last minute gift…or are already plotting how to use that bookstore gift card you know is waiting in that tiny wrapped box, I’d recommend starting with these excellent reads—my favorite of 2013: 

1.   Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber

My favorite book of the year. Pastrix reminded me of why I am a Christian at a time when I'd nearly forgotten. Read my review. 


2.    Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee

Such an important book, and probably my most recommended of the year. Read my review.  (We also discussed "Torn" as part of our Sexuality Series here, here, and here


3.    Flight Behavior: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver

My favorite novel of the year. Unforgettable characters, stunning writing, and a fascinating story. 


4. Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women by Sarah Bessey 

Best debut of the year. Bravo to Sarah Bessey for putting words to so many of our experiences and bringing such clarity and hope to our conversations around gender in the Church. This was much more than a book; it's become a movement. Read my review. 


5.    Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You're More Like Jesus Than You Think?  by Jonathan Martin

The dark horse of the year. I've returned to this book many times since first reading it. Quite a start for Jonathan Martin, whose perspective I've come to really value and esteem. Read my review. 


Honorable Mentions: 

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist and Eat With Joy: Redeeming God’s Good Gift of Food by Rachel Marie Stone 

LOVED both of these, and I'm loving them even more now that I've gotten to know the authors better. Both would make excellent gifts for the foodie, host, or chef in your life. Read my review. 

Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed By Glennon Melton 

I knew this one was going to be good, but Glennon kicked her usual insight, humor, wisdom, and vulnerability up a notch for this powerful, encouraging book. Read my review. 

Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty by Gregory Boyd

This book really helped me think through my own doubts and explain them to other people. At times I felt like Greg Boyd was reading my mind. Read my interview with Greg Boyd. 

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland

This one is absolutely fantastic. Such a strong debut from Christena Cleveland. I'm almost finished reading, (and would be already if I weren't trying to finish writing my own book).  Review forthcoming! 


So, what were your favorite books of 2013? 

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