Sheridan Voysey - [BLOG] 'The 5 Best Books I Read This Year'

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Sheridan Voysey - [BLOG] 'The 5 Best Books I Read This Year'

Post by Aslan_HQ on Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:36 am

One of the Aslan office team spotted this blog from bestselling author Sheridan Voysey over the Christmas break and we think it's a great round-up too so wanted to share it with you.
Where we can, we've added links to the pages for each book on our website for you to find out more. (However most of these titles are now out of print and can only be purchased from used book retailers - sorry!)

There are some fantastic books on this list, and a few curve-balls too to help you get stuck into something a bit different this year if you're wanting to branch out Smile


[Taken from  Sheridan Voysey's blog, posted 30th Dec 2015]

The 5 Best Books I Read This Year (and 27 More)

Here’s a list of the books I read in 2015, some highly recommended, many worth a look, and a few disappointments. Have you read any of these too? What did you think? And what are you reading now that others should know about? Do tell. (You can read my best reads of 2014 here and 2013 here)

Particularly Recommended

Leading Lives That Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Become
by Dorothy Bass and Mark Schwehn
This 500+ page reader draws together essays, readings, stories and reflections from some of the world’s greatest minds (Schweitzer, Lewis, Bonheffer, Heschel and Sayers included) on what it means to live a significant life. Exploring questions like ‘Are some lives more significant than others?’ ‘Should my job be my primary source of identity?’ ‘Should I follow my talents as I decide what to do to earn a living?’ and ‘How should I tell the story of life?’ this is a deep read that rewards the time spent in it.

Simply Good News: Why the Gospel is News and What Makes it Good
by Tom Wright.
In this important book, Tom Wright reminds us that the gospel isn’t primarily good advice (which is how most of us understand it) but first and foremost news about something that has happened (Jesus’ resurrection) and something that will happen (Jesus’ transformation of the world), which changes everything now (calling for a response from us to take part). Wright left some questions unanswered for me, but that restatement of the gospel as news about an historical event is crucial.

Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News
by Philip Yancey.
What a gift to the world Yancey is. Always well researched, thoughtful, empathetic. Vanishing Grace is one part plea to the American church to recover grace and one part apologetic, giving reasons why Jesus fulfils the spiritual thirst of the world. My critique: the apologetic chapters felt a little out of place at times (or else the book’s title wasn’t the best choice). But my real bugbear is personal: in Vanishing Grace Yancey has written on themes I’ve been working on for years for my own book. Oh well, I guess there are other things to write about  Excellent work.

Second Journey: Spiritual Awareness and the Mid-Life Crisis
by Gerald O’Collins

Written in 1978, there is much wisdom in this slim volume despite its understandably dated sections. O’Collins maps out the inner experience of those who find their lives unexpected derailed (whatever their age), with the accompanying loss of identity, sense of failure and feelings of loneliness, while holding out hope that this crisis moment can be a time of profound growth. Did Richard Rohr draw on The Second Journey for his popular 2012 book Falling Upward? The similarities are significant, although O’Collins isn’t mentioned in Rohr’s footnotes. My advice: read this book instead.

Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life

by Henri Nouwen.
Written posthumously from Nouwen’s journals and unpublished writings, Discernment is a book on hearing God’s guidance through books, nature, people and events. Michael Christensen and Rebecca Laird have done an excellent job of maintaining Nouwen’s graceful tone of voice here. A very helpful little book.

Books I Endorsed

I wrote fewer commendations this year, mainly due to time commitments (busyness prevented me writing one for Amy Boucher-Pye’s Finding Myself in Britain but I would’ve – an excellent, fun read). These titles are all worth your time.

Reasons to Believe by Dennis Moles (ed)

Digging for Diamonds by Cathy Madavan

The Whole of Life for Christ by Antony Billington and Mark Greene

Other Books Read in 2015


The Maytrees by Annie Dillard (a deep, poetic exploration of love)

The Pearl by John Steinbech (a parable on greed)

Falscastra by Peter Baade (children’s fantasy worth the wait for publication)

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy (mortality influences morality)

The Road by Cormack McCarthy (ghoulish in places but compelling)


Scary Close by Donald Miller (a memoir about finding intimacy)

Raggamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (passionate teaching on grace)

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (incredibly brilliant, incredibly dense)

Entrepreneurs of Life by Os Guinness (a reader on living with purpose)

Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott (disappointing in places but humorous)

Longing for Home by Frederick Buechner (first chapters are the best)

Night by Elie Wiesel (powerful, haunting Auschwitz experiences)

Moments of Reprieve by Primo Levi (a ‘lighter’ side of Auschwitz)

A School of Love by Basil Penninington (Cistercian thoughts on holiness)

Living the Sermon on the Mount by Glen Stassen (I’ll post a longer list of helpful books on the Sermon on the Mount later)

[For the full blog post click here: ]

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Re: Sheridan Voysey - [BLOG] 'The 5 Best Books I Read This Year'

Post by LittleMissSunshine on Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:57 pm

Some good books on that list.
shame most are out of print though.

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