Before 2009 gets too far behind me I wanted to write a few posts about some of my favorite things from the year. This post will examine the best works that I read during 2009. Please note, I read a lot but I don’t always read contemporary works. I do not claim that these were published in 2009, only that I read them during 2009. Those of you that know me may be surprised to find that I did not include the Bible on this list. That just seemed trite.

So, without further ado here is my list:

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearn – This was by far the most challenging book I read during 2009. My review of this book can be found <a href=””http://www.chuckallen.us/The_Hole_In_Our_Gospel.htm””>here</a>. I am so impressed with the work of World Vision and this book, written by its CEO, affirms the passion that the organization has. The story of how Richard came to work for World Vision was interesting and inspiring, but his information about the current state of world poverty is the true gem of the book. I challenge you to read it and see if it doesn’t change your life attitude or desires in some way.

The Naked Gospel by Andrew Farley – This book is a great reminder of what the gospel is all about. It strips away the “”churchy things”” that have been added and points to a Saviour that came to make us righteous. Read this book and I bet you will go back and reread Romans, Galatians and Hebrews.

Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni – This is probably the best business book I read this year. Most business books I read are focused on cross cultural interactions or International business, but this book is focused on one thing- meetings. I’m not a formula type of person so I didn’t apply everything from the book. What I liked best about it was the freedom it gave the reader to rethink meetings and be intentional in the way we conduct business.

So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen – I have been studying and planning for the past few years in preparation for a new church plant. I picked up this book expecting to learn a little bit about why people do not go to church. What I found was the permission to truly ask the questions that were surfacing from my church planting study. The book is a novel and nothing more, but it is definitely worth your time to read.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson – I read this book at the recommendation of a friend. He recommended it as a result of some conversations we were having about poverty and how to get involved. The book is fantastic. The book is about Greg’s failed attempt to climb the worlds second largest mountain, K2. I have no desire to climb a mountain and cannot understand people’s passion for such activity, but I easily fell in love with Greg’s passion for the people he found.

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore – This is another book that challenged my assumptions. The book tells the story of two men, Ron and Denver, who are brought together by the vision and compassion of Ron’s wife. I can honestly say that this book made me cry, it made me pray and it made me think. Not too many books can do all of those things.

You can find several reviews of books I’ve read on my site. I don’t post as often as I would like, but when you read about 20-30 books a year it’s hard to write about them all. Let me know your thoughts on these books. Also, let me know if you found something new from this list. I’d love to hear from you!