Books: The Last Five and the Next Five

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

Looming Transitions: Starting and finishing well in cross-cultural service

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

The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died

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

The Little Book of the Icelanders: 50 miniature essays on the quirks and foibles of the Icelandic people

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

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

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

China's Urban Christians: A Light That Cannot Be Hidden (Series: Studies in Chinese Christianity)

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

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

This one just sounds so interesting!

The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels, by Janet Soskice

The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels

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

Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers

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

The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance

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

In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China

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?

Related Posts:

Four Days, Four Books

Books to Read in 2014

My Favorite China History Books

Shanghai Books

Three More Books

Road Trip Reading

Reading Up on South Africa

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