Over the weekend, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette had an interesting section on book ideas for giftgiving this Christmas season. There were a handful of books there for any given taste, some of which I loved, some of which I'll probably still take a pass on. But I thought I'd add a few book ideas of my own for my own little niche of interest in the book market. Take it for what it's worth. The paper's fuller article isn't available online (which I see as a huge problem for when Frank Lockwood makes the move there next year), but there's a few books that overlap our lists ...
» "Where Jesus Walked: Experience the Presence of God" - Ken Duncan
This is a great illustrated book that offers a little bit of quasi-devotional text to go along with some great scenery of the geography covered in the Bible. I'm not big on what most people might consider coffee table books, but this one's readable enough and inspiring through the visuals. It's very well done.
» "Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You" - Max Lucado
One of many books new to the market on the life of David. I'm knee deep in the midst of Lucado's "Come Thirsty" right now and very much appreciating his abilities as a storyteller.
» "A Significant Life: Fulfilling Your Eternal Potential Every Day" - Jim Graff
This one should be fairly well-known to most at Lakewood as Graff is Joel's brother-in-law and gave a Wednesday sermon not long ago. The book is another of the "David"-genre as well.
» "David: 90 Days With a Heart Like His" - Beth Moore
Apparently, 'tis the season to write books on David. Houston's own, Beth Moore, does a great study-style book on David's life.
» "Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith" - Rob Bell
Confession time here. When this book initially came out, I didn't think too much of it. I was impressed enough with Rob Bell's approach to teaching and thought plenty highly of that. But the book itself looked a bit too cute by half - hip for the sake of being hip, perhaps. When the paperback came out, some of that went by the wayside - the quirky printing became less noticable and the text of the book itself stood out a bit more to me. It's great reading and very approachable, possibly even to those yet to receive Christ. Add one of the Nooma videos to the gift and I'm sure it'd make a great one.
» "The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life" - Louie Giglio
Truth be told, any of Giglio's books would make a great gift. So pardon me for listing only one that speaks to me.
» "Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality" - Donald Miller
A great book for giving to someone either early in their walk of faith or unsure-yet-questioning of faith in Christ. Miller's writing may not be for everyone and it may not reach through to everyone, but it's a great nontraditional way to break through at least a few of the barriers out there. That the book broke through the NY Times' Best-seller list recently is an indication that others are seeing it as a great Christmas gift idea, though.
» "The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out" - Brennan Manning
Clearly my favorite of the bunch. This one's great for reading and re-reading alike. I'll probably dive into it one more time over the holiday season, but it also makes for a great gift idea - possibly for someone a little bit more into their walk of faith, but you never know who else might be touched by it. There's also a "Visual Edition" of the book that's interesting to flip through, as well as a devotional version of it that I may need to look at adding to the library to cut down on my re-reading of the book itself. Of course, Brennan Manning has a lot of other great books that warrant consideration for gift-giving.
» "The Worship-filled Life" - Marcos Witt
The book is still out of print, but some resellers have a few used copies starting at $8.95. This one's hard to get and only eight copies are listed on Amazon, so get it while you can.