But since I have a pile of books on my shelf just begging to be read, and since I've got a clear reading plan - something that happens, oh, about once a year - I thought it was time to share this year's list with you. Better late than never!
Last year, the theme of my reading was "marriage" and "sharing your faith". This year, it's "suffering". Perhaps for obvious reasons. But not quite so obvious, because Ben has been ill for 3 years now, and Lizzy struggled a few years before that. It's been a long road. So why now?
Because my grief and sorrow have reached the point where, instead of flinging accusations at God, begging for healing (well, I'm still doing that, but with more trust in the answer he gives), and giving way to despair, he is teaching me to trust and rejoice through this time. Call it the "acceptance" stage of grief - call it what you will! - but my emotions are more settled. This trial is still hard, so hard. But God is near, and he is good.
So I now have the brain space to reflect on suffering. Everyone processes suffering differently, but I like to think through things. I want the answers God's word gives. I want to share what I learn. I'm thinking of writing an article about a few books on suffering later this year. Not sure if that will happen! But I'll read some all the same, God willing.
Books on suffering aren't the only ones on my list. And, of course, I'll keep reading novels of all kinds, because that's what I do to relax.
So here they are, the Christian books I'd like to read in 2013. (I'd love to see your list!)
Late last year, I read missionary Naomi Reed's Heading Home. I loved it, but wasn't really in the state of mind to absorb it, so I'd like to re-read it. Beautiful reflections on our true home.
Two years on, and, on my mornings off, I'm still working my way slowly and happily through King's Cross (it's now published as Jesus is the King).When God Weeps.
Suffering Well. I highly recommend it! A clear, bracing, strengthening read.
Holding on to Hope. She's a great author, so biblical and encouraging.
Don Carson's How Long O Lord deserves a re-read. There's no better book on suffering.Where is God When It Hurts. I'm guessing it's experiential in tone.
If I were God, I'd end all the pain, but I enjoy his books. I assume this will be apologetic in tone.
A book about doubt, something I battle and have been wanting to read about for some time: Os Guinness' God in the Dark.One to One. I led a seminar on this recently.
A book to read with my friend Jane, about living life as a human: Zack Eswine's Sensing Jesus. I read the first chapter and enjoyed the rich language and all-too-familiar reflections on burnout, but I have no idea what this will be like.One Forever.
Religion is for Fools.
The Course of Your Life (it's my first time through this, and it's excellent);
Growth Groups (an old favourite).
What are you reading in 2013?