"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Books: Fast Facts, Favorite 5 & More

Bridget did a book stats post that I enjoyed so I decided to do one as well. I am taking after Amber this year and just doing things because I feel like it and the rules are as I say. At least on this blog if not in every aspect of life.  :)

Unlike a few bloggers who have nice complete lists of books they read last year, I am not going to post my whole list because I've already noted all the books I've read at the end of every month.  For your convenience, if interested you can click on the name of each month below to find those lists and my review of each book.


I read 81 books and finished the most in September (12), June (10) and October (9) while finishing the least in January (3), February, May and November (4 each). 

Andrew and I read 4 of the same books this year:
Wild Goose Chase, Primal, Children of Jihad and Stones Into Schools

35 (43%) of my books were Fiction

46 (57%) Non Fiction

Of the Non Fiction books, 6 were Biographies:

  • Jenny Sanford (ex-wife of South Carolina then-governor Mark Sanford; does Argentine mistress ring a bell?)
  • Bin Ladens (Growing Up Bin Laden discussed Osama, but moreso was the biography of his first wife, Najwa, and his fourth son, Omar)
  • Muhammad (the prophet of Muslims)
  • Stephanie SaldaƱa (concerning her time in Syria mostly)
  • Mukhtar Mai (Pakistani woman who fought against those who raped her for a crime her brother allegedly committed)
  • Bilquis Sheikh (Pakistani woman who dared to call God, "Father")

2 books I had read previously:  Wild Goose Chase and In Search of Eden

5 books I borrowed from my dad's bookshelf; they mostly dealt with the Old Testament with one focusing on the 'rules' of Leviticus.  Two of them discussed Jewish customs and culture at the time of Jesus Christ; except for the book on Leviticus, these were rather large books, but I found the information of interest


If I had to pick my favorite books of 2010 I'd probably choose these as my top 5. 

Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson -- a follow-up to Three Cups of Tea which I read in a previous year, this book shares more of Greg's story as he and his team provide schools for remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan; I just love reading about the people and culture and challenges - wow!

Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth Bailey  -- a fantastic book looking at the gospels through more culturally-appropriate eyes (i.e., not western ones such as many folks like me tend to do)

No God but God by Reza Aslan  --  a friend recommended this book and I dawdled on starting it, but once I began I was a bit sad I'd not read it before; I enjoyed the brief history of Islam provided by this Iranian-American man.

Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler  -- I enjoyed the history and contemporary tales from this American Jew as he explored the places mentioned in the first books of the Bible. I loved the interesting people he met along the way too.

and let's throw in at least one fiction book

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin. It was an interesting and "cute" way to learn more about some historical events in a fiction setting.

MONTHS -- click the month to see the complete list for that month

January -- read* 3 books; I tend to read fewer books at the begining of the year because I have more bookwork to do for the place I work.  At least that's my excuse. Maybe I am too busy doing these types of posts so the reading gets pushed aside. 

February -- read 4 books; I finished Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes after having blogged quite a few times about it. Loved that book!  Also I read Tea With Hezbollah to Samer via Skype while he's studying in Germany. We discussed the travels of Ted and Carl and the impressions Ted shared in this book.

March -- read 7 books

April -- read 5 books

May -- read 4 books; I started reading a translation of the Quran along with A Christians Guide to the Quran. The Quran notes generated a lot of posts and discussion.

June -- read 10 books; I finished the Quran and also God and Government (447 pages)  which had occupied my bookshelf for a year or two. It was actually much more interesting than it sounds ... at least to me.

July -- read 7 books

August -- read 8 books

September  --  read 12 books

October -- read 9 books

November -- read 4 books; I recommend Peace Be Upon You by Zachary Karabell if you are looking for a good historical book concerning Muslim, Jewish and Christian coexistence.  I learned a lot from this book.

December -- read 8 books

* actually I list my books according to what I finished in a particular month though I may have started the book (such as the Quran) in earlier months

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