Brief Reviews, Conversations, Uncategorized, VOLUME 3

Discussion Question #3: Best Books so far in 2010? [Vol. 3, #13]

It’s hard to believe that we are already into the second quarter of 2010!

This quarter year mark is as good a time as any to pause and think about what we’ve been reading:

  • What is the best book you’ve read so far this year?
    (Preferably books published in the last year, but don’t feel restricted by that, if you’ve read something that really excited you.  And feel free to categorize if you’d like: Best Novel, Best Theology Book, etc).
  • And do tell us why.

Your input will be taken into consideration as we assemble the best books of 2010 lists later this year…

Please use the comments below to discuss.  Note: We do get hit with a good deal of spam, so we have to moderate your comments.  We ask your patience, as we try to get your comments moderated as quickly as possible.

C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at:

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  1. The best new book I’ve read this year is The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason.

    The best old book I’ve read this year is The Brothers K by David James Duncan.

  2. The best book I’ve read so far this year is Walter Brueggemann’s JOURNEY TO THE COMMON GOOD

    Reviewed here:

    Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s THE WISDOM OF STABILITY might be just as good, but it just came in the mail today…

    Chris Smith

  3. The best new book I’ve read this year is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

    A very readable, true story about medical science, research ethics, family, misunderstanding, and how one persistent person who cares can bring them all together.

  4. Link to info about the book I mentioned in previous comment:

  5. I read the first few chapters of Lost Books of the Odyssey, and I can’t wait to read the rest at some point.

    The best old book I’ve read: either Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion. Tough call!

    The best 2010 book? Probably the Bolaño one I reviewed recently. He’s amazing.

  6. The last one I wrote “The Essence of Christian Doctrine.” There may be some bias on my part, but it’s one of the best so far this year. I’m working on MacIntyre’s book “After Virtue.” The genre is different, but so far it’s great.

  7. Best book I’ve read that has been published in 2010 (so far) is N.T. Wright’s “After You Believe”.

  8. The best book I have read so far this year BY FAR is one by new author Jim Pace. “Should We Fire God?”. Just seen a few reviews on I so far, but all of them have been very strong.

  9. nuChristian by Russell Rathbun hit me like some kind of … big… hitting thing! I treasure Russell’s voice. The end where he gives space for the voice of the perspective he critiques is wonderful.

  10. Dave, I had heard of Rathbun, but hadn’t checked out any of his books until this weekend. I am really looking forward to reading MIDRASH ON THE JUANITOS (CATHEDRAL HILL 2010).

    ~Chris Smith

  11. Best book so far: that’s a tough one, but…

    Donald MacKinnon, The Stripping of the Altars may take the cake. 🙂

  12. I hardly ever read anything too recent unless I’m reviewing it for Englewood!

    I just finished Mystical Theology by Mark McIntosh (1991). A powerful, lucid examination of theological anthropology from the perspective of trinitarian Christian mysticism. McIntosh, an Anglican, is a former student of Rowan Williams, an expert on von Balthasar, and draws extensively from Eastern Orthodoxy (Lossky, Zizioulas, Yannaris) and so when we read him on mysticism we are getting a full-bodied orthodoxy, rather than the anorexic heterodoxy we often associate with the term. In the final three chapters he relates this to currents in contemporary postmodern theology interacting with Levinas, Wyschogrod, Edith Stein, and Simone Weil. Wonderful wonderful book.

  13. Leslie Starasta

    The best books I’ve read this year are Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo and The Social Justice Handbook by Mae Elise Cannon.
    Dead Aid which is being released in paperback on May 30 discusses why aid to Africa isn’t working and what can be done differently. This is particularly interesting as the author is an African educated at Harvard and Oxford who has an insider’s view. She doesn’t mince words and is very thought-provoking.

    Social Justice Handbook contains a good discussion of what social justice is (and isn’t) why it is important to God and thus Christians. The second part is laid out like a reference book with an alphabetical list of topics and articles. It also includes suggested action steps.