In a slight variation of the “books I read this year” type post, here are 2 lists: the last five books I read in 2015, and the first five books I intend to read in 2016.
The Last Five (starting from most recent)
Looming Transitions: Starting and finishing well in cross-cultural service, by Amy Young
This one was written by my good friend and former teammate in China. Three years ago we were sitting in a Starbucks in Beijing talking about books that were bouncing around in our head, and I commented that I’d have to kill myself is she published hers before I published mine. Don’t worry; that’s not a promise I intend to keep. If you have, are, or will be making a transition, then this book is for you!
The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia–and How It Died, by Philip Jenkins
I love all things Middle East and Central Asia and Church History, and here they all are in one book!
The Little Book of the Icelanders: 50 miniature essays on the quirks and foibles of the Icelandic people, by Alda Sigmundsdottir
I read this on my flight to Reykjavik earlier this month, which means I chuckled all the way. If you’re headed to Iceland for any reason, this is a fun little primer.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford
What can I say? It’s a bittersweet novel set in Seattle as the Japanese were being rounded up and sent to internment camps.
China’s Urban Christians: A Light That Cannot Be Hidden (Series: Studies in Chinese Christianity), by Brent Fulton
This was written by my colleague at ChinaSource. If you want to have your perceived notions of the church in China challenged, read this!
The Next Five
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, by Dava Sobel
This one just sounds so interesting!
The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels, by Janet Soskice
This one is in keeping with my interest in all things middle east and Central Asia! It also comes highly recommended by my brother-in-law and niece.
Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers, by Simon Winchester
With a subtitle like that, how can it be anything but a great book? Also, as a general rule, anything written by Simon Winchester is worth reading.
The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance, by David Herlihy
In 1880, a cyclist set out to ride around the world and disappeared somewhere in Turkey. Sounds like a fantastic story!
In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China, by Michael Meyer
I lived in Manchuria (northeast China) for 8 years, so there’s no way I cannot read this book. Besides, the author is a fellow Minnesotan!
What are you reading these days?
Four Days, Four Books
Books to Read in 2014
My Favorite China History Books
Three More Books
Road Trip Reading
Reading Up on South Africa