2016 Book Wishlist

Englewood Review of Books recently dropped their Fall 2016 book preview, prompting me to update my Amazon wish list / pedantically curate my Goodreads shelf / pepper my family with casual suggestions like sure, clothes are fine but you could gift me just books for Christmas this year; I wouldn’t hate it.

Here are five books released in 2016 (three from this past summer, two coming this winter) I’m hoping to get my hands on:

1. The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism by Yuval Levin (Basic Books, May 2016)

Timely title, no? As the November election looms, chewing on a thoughtful and hopeful volume about American politics seems a better allocation of my time than creating Donald Trump dumpster fire memes.

2. Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith by D.L. Mayfield (HarperOne, August 2016)

From the writer who brought you the brutally honest Christmas card that probably rendered you a tender, sniffling mess comes a memoir about a life of ministry among refugee communities. As someone who’s worked with refugees briefly before, I’m mustering the strength to endure what I anticipate to be some heart-striking stories.

3. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren (IVP Books, December 2016)

I like liturgy and I’m ordinary, so I expect this Anglican priest’s reflections on the everyday, easy-to-overlook habits that form us will provide a helpful vision for those of us who struggle with paying attention to the power at work in the little things.

4. Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines that Shape the Church for Mission by David E. Fitch (IVP Books, December 2016)

If you’re like me and are fraught with a constant humming low-level anxiety about how the church is supposed to function in the world (and how that actually plays out), you gravitate toward books like these. Fitch is a seasoned pastor, church planter, and McDonald’s patron who looks to offer valuable ideas about what faithful presence looks like.

5. The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner, August 2016)

I had just recently queued up James Baldwin’s 1963 book by the same name when I learned that a new collection of essays on race in America was about to hit bookstores. I’m preparing for a sobering and necessary read.

Who did I snub? What books are on your wish list?