Archives For Non-Fiction


Top 50 Books

Here are the top 50 books that are slated for release in 2015 and that we think will be beneficial for Christians.  Our focus is the life, health and flourishing of God’s people and we especially focus on the themes of Community, Mission, Imagination and Reconciliation.

Also note that there are many more books here from the first half of the year than from the second half, as many publishers have not released their full summer and fall catalogs yet.

We’ve broken this list up into the Top 10 books and the remaining 40, which are sorted into four categories: Christian, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Fiction…

What books are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Now Available:
[ Two-Page Printable Guide ]

[ Top 10 ]   [ Christian ]  [ Non-Fiction ]  [ Poetry ]  [ Fiction ]

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Englewood Honor Books

Here is our list of 2014′s Englewood Honor Books, the 25 Best Books of the year for the life and flourishing of the Church.

Our criterion both for selecting books to review and for honoring the year’s best books is to choose books that are “for the life and flourishing of the Church” – i.e., books that energize us to be the local community of God’s people that God has called us to be and that nurture our mission of following in the way of God’s reconciliation of all things (in all its broadness!).

[ Book of the Year ]  [ Slow and Local ] [ Theology ] [ Praxis ]
[ Fiction ]  [ Non-Fiction ]  [ Poetry/ Young Readers ]

Our Book of the Year:

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After perusing our print magazine and all the online reviews, etc. that we have published this year, here are our picks for the 25 best books from the first half of 2014, divided into four broad categories.

NOTE: Some of these books may have been released in late 2013, but weren’t covered by us until 2014.

ALSO, Watch for our list of 25 books to watch for in the latter half of 2014, coming tomorrow!

Fiction | General Non-Fiction | Poetry | Christian Theology/Praxis

Fiction Books:

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Next week, we will post our list of the best books of the first half of 2013…

Here are some of my personal favorites, which may or may not appear on our list…

How about you, what are the best books that you’ve read this year?



[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”0801035783″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”107″ alt=”Best Books of 2013 so far” ] [ Our Review ]  [easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”0674072790″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”106″] [easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”0972203567″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”116″][ Our Review ]
[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”0830836586″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”104″] [ An Excerpt ] [easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”1118203267″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”” width=”108″][ Our Review ]

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Jonathan Safran Foer - Eating AnimalsPutting Meat in the Middle
of the Plate of our Public Discourse.

A Review of

Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer.

Paperback: Back Bay Books, 2010.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Melody Harrison Hanson.

[Editor’s Note: Although this book is older than most we review, I decided to run this review given the combination of the author’s heralded appearance at the recent Festival of Faith and Writing and the vast interest of our readers in food issues. ]

“99% of the meat sold in the United States today comes from a factory farm.”

In the 1970s, my missionary parents uprooted us from the barefoot paradise of Papua New Guinea and planted us in Southern California.  My mother, suffering a bizarre set of health issues, began looking for answers in healthy eating practices.  While other kids ate Twinkies and Ding Dongs, Mother read Adelle Davis books on nutrition and force-fed us cod liver oil.

Perhaps because of this, my need to fit in urged me to become a steak-loving “normal “person. Food, for me, was always more than mere sustenance; it was a visceral, beautiful, even creative thing. But as far being a political statement or a critical health issue, well that was strictly for the weirdoes.

Reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals was the first time that I seriously considered that the Chicken Parmesan in front of me or the meat neatly stacked in my refrigerator was once a living thing.  And confronted by the horrors of modern animal farming, as recounted in shocking detail by Foer, I had to face certain facts: factory farms are disgusting and dangerous for our health.

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“Take a Walk in Their Shoes

A Review of
The Maid’s Daughter:
Living Inside and Outside the American Dream

by Mary Romero

Review by Leslie Starasta.

The Maid’s Daughter:
Living Inside and Outside the American Dream

by Mary Romero.
Hardback: NYU Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

The opening scene of the movie version of The Help asks what it feels like to raise white children when your own children are being raised by someone else.  The Maid’s Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream examines this question and many others from the viewpoint of the child of domestic workers depicting how one woman of Latina descent traverses the cultural divide between Mexican culture and a privileged white upper class while truly belonging to neither.  Mary Romero, sociology professor at Arizona State University, transforms twenty years of recorded interviews with a woman referred to as “Olivia Sanchez” into a highly readable book which juxtaposes Olivia’s story, as told to Romero, with sociological commentary, research and selected interviews with other children of domestic workers.   This thought provoking study raises many questions to wrestle with on both individual and societal levels

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“A Window into a Different Kind of Living

A review of
One Thousand Gifts:
A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
By Ann Voskamp.

Reviewed by Zena Neds-Fox.

1000 Gifts -  Ann VoskampOne Thousand Gifts:
A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Ann Voskamp.

Hardback: Zondervan, 2011.
Buy now: [ ] [ Kindle ]

[ Read an Excerpt here… ]

Ann Voskamp wrote a book.  And that’s a big deal because people wait for Ann’s words.  About six years ago she started scratching out words in the dark on a dark screen during the dark days of motherhood.  She began a daily blog that has changed as she has.  She lives on a hog farm in Canada, raising six children and writing out the daily life of waking, working and loving.  She embodies a motherhood that has struck a chord with women reading alone in the midst of the messes of their own figurative hog farms and children waiting to be fed.  Her blog became an international sensation for one reason and one reason only.  This girl can write.

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A Brief Review of

A Path to Publishing:
What I Learned By Publishing a Non-Fiction Book
Ed Cyzewski.
Paperback: Self-published, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

In his most recent book, A Path to Publishing, Ed Cyzewski provides simple, straight-forward advice from his own experiences in the world of publishing.  Cyzewski, the author of Coffeehouse Theology, serves as a guide to key facets of publishing including “developing your expertise,” “developing networks” and “working with an editor.”   From my own experiences in writing and publishing, the advice given in A Path to Publishing rings true.  Cyzewski’s broad approach, covering everything from the discipline of writing through the editing process to the marketing of one’s book is to be commended, as many authors who have tackled similar projects in the past have focused on much narrower sections of this path.  Although he does not go into great detail on any of the topics along the way, he does often mention resources to which writers can turn if they seek to explore a particular topic in more depth.  The largest section of the book addresses the topic of marketing your book, and particularly the online marketing of your book.  For people who have been longtime internet users and who are comfortable searching around for the information they need, most of the information in this marketing chapter can be found for free online, on such sites as John Kremer’s

Put simply, Ed Cyzewski’s A Path to Publishing is a clear and helpful guide for those who have an idea for a book (and particularly a non-fiction book), but who have no idea how to see that idea to fruition.  However, it is not the only book or resource of its kind, so I would highly recommend that writers get a diversity of opinions in conjunction with Cyzewski’s, from other books (e.g., Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, which – contrary to its title – has plenty of wisdom for any writer who seeks to be published) or websites.