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By Title By Author
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• 84, Charing Cross Road
• A Brief History of Everything 
• A Christmas Carol

• A Fine Balance
• Anam Cara
• Angela's Ashes
• Awakening the Buddha
• As A Driven Leaf
• Being Dead
• Bleak House
Briefing for a Descent into Hell
By the River Piadra I Wept
• Calculating God
• Cold Mountain
• Crime and Punishment
Desire of the Everlasting Hills
• Divine Milieau
• East of Eden
• Elegy for Iris
• Evening Class
• Fall On Your Knees
• First Things First
• Frankenstein
Freedom in Exile
Gates of Fire
Gaudy Night
• Grace and Grit
• Grendel
• Headlong
• Holes
• How to Read a Book
Huckleberry Finn
• Hymns to an Unknown God
• I Know This Much is True
• Into Thin Air
• Jack Maggs
• Jesus of Nazareth
• Kidnapped
Lord of the Rings
Love: Foundation of Hope
Lucky Man
• Martha Peake
Meeting Jesus Again
• My Name is Asher Lev
• Mysticism
• Number The Stars
• Oliver Twist
• On Beulah Height
• Open Mind, Open Heart
• Oscar and Lucinda
• Palace of Nowhere
• Paul and the Thessalonians
• Pilgrim
• Post Office
• Rabbi Jesus
• Rebel Angels
• Resurrection
• Robertson Davies Biography
• She's Come Undone
• Silverwing
• Stones From the River
• Such A Long Journey
• Telling The Truth
Telling Secrets
7 Habits for Teens
• The Alchemist
• The Alienist
• The Art of Happiness
• The Artist's Way
• The Awakened Heart
The Bell
• The Book of Secrets
• The Chattam School Affair
• The Contemplative Heart
• The Cost of Discipleship
• The Cross and the Prodigal
• The Disappearance of God
The Divine Ryans
• The Endurance
• The Englishman's Boy
• The Fifth Mountain
• The Giver
• The Hobbit
• The Holy Man
• The House of The Soul
The Immaculate Deception
The Outsiders
• The Quotidian Mysteries
• The Read-Aloud Handbook
The Source
• The Spiritual Life
The Two Towers
• The Undertaking
The Way of Jesus Christ
Theology of Hope
True History of the Kelly Gang
• Tuesdays With Morrie
Walking on Water
• Watership Down
• Wherever You Go
• Why Christianity Must Change
• Why Religion Matters
• Will and Spirit

• Current Readling List


Adams, Richard. Watership Down.

After seeing the movie (a wonderful movie by the way), I put it in the back of my mind as a "someday must-read". But low and behold, there it was under the Xmas tree. (more)

Adler, Mortimer. How to Read a Book.

First published in 1940, and then again in 1970, this is a great book for any college or university student who would actually like to learn and not just jump hoops. (more)

Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays With Morrie.

A truly inspiring work about the sportswriter Mitch Album's deepening relationship with his dying former college professor, Morrie. I was moved by (more)

Alexander, Caroline. The Endurance.

An astonishing book about Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition to Antartic in 1913. Shackleton is a remarkable tragic hero whose story is told with great care by Alexander.(more)

Bailey, Kenneth E. The Cross and the Prodigal.

Bailey's knowledge of Middle Eastern peasant culture illuminates the parable of the prodigal son. (more)

Bayley, John. Elegy for Iris.

The Iris of Elegy for Iris is Iris Murdoch, author and modern-day philosopher. This one book, although not a page-turner, caught my attention .(more)

Binchy, Maeve. Evening Class.

I've enjoyed her observant descriptions of ordinary people. Her novels also have this optimism in them that I enjoy.(more)

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship.

As much as I don't feel a total affinity with his theology, I felt drawn to what lay underneath Dietrich Bonhoeffer's words and beliefs. (more)

Borg, Marcus. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.

I read this book in a very unlikely location – the waiting room of a Winnipeg hospital. Borg’s words were a balm that day. Borg stresses that relationship to Jesus (more)

Buechner, Fredrick.Telling Secrets.

In his third memoir Fredrick Buechner tells of how after making a career switch from teacher to writer he stopped living his own life and instead tried to live his children’s lives. (more)

Buechner, Frederick. Telling the Truth.

A pastor weeping, his face in the mirror reflecting back to him the demise of his life... An old woman laughing dizzily at the preposterous news of pregnancy... Is this the gospel you know?(more)

Bukowski, Charsles. Post Office.

This is an autobiographical novel of Bukowski's 12 years (the entire 60's and more) working for the U.S. Postal Service. (more)

Cahill, Thomas. Desire of the Everlasting Hills.

The life of Jesus of Nazareth comes alive in this historical work that reads like a novel. Cahill is an historian but his writing style is catchy and inviting (more)

Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way.

Julia Cameron's book takes its reader on a journey of self-discovery and self-recovery. (more)

Carey, Peter. Jack Maggs.

Literary scholars have called Jack Maggs a post-colonial re-telling of Dickens' Great Expectations. (more)

Carey, Peter. Oscar and Lucinda.

I had heard about this book first as a movie and after seeing it twice in one weekend, I vowed to myself that I would read the book version as soon as possible. (more)

Carey, Peter. True History of the Kelly Gang.

Carey takes us inside the life of Australia’s favourite outlaw, Ned Kelly. Carey uses broken English and little punctuation to tell the story of how Ned Kelly became wanted and hunted by the police. (more)

Carr, Caleb. The Alienist.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's a murder mystery set in the late 1890's in New York City. The plot revolves around a psychologist who (more)

Chilton, Bruce. Rabbi Jesus.

An imaginatively vivid yet informed biography of Jesus of Nazareth by the noted scholar Bruce Chilton. Jesus is lifted out of the two-dimensional stereotype of tradition (more)

Coehlo, Paulo. The Alchemist.

Coehlo provides an interesting fable of the ins and outs of a spiritual journey. His book reminded me of the spiritual reality that surrounds our everyday life. (more)

Coehlo, Paulo. By The River Piadra I Wept.

A love story with a spiritual twist or a spiritual tale with a love twist - the coming together of these two themes creates a myth that stands in and above life. (more)

Coehlo, Paulo. The Fifth Mountain.

The Fifth Mountain tells the story of the biblical prophet Elijah, bringing to life the conflicted thoughts and actions of a gifted man known otherwise only through the Old Testament. (more)

Cook, Thomas H. The Chatham School Affair.

I found The Chatham School Affair by Thomas Cook to be an engaging read. The author tantalizes us by weaving the past and the present into a mysterious pattern that draws us in. (more)

Covey, Sean. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.

A book for teens in my top three picks of the year, you may wonder? Yes it’s true. Before you write me off as juvenile, hear me out, because it’s a great book for adults too. (more)

Covey, Stephen R. First Things First.

I found a wise guide this year in Stephen Covey whose books The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First put principles to work (more)

Crace, Jim. Being Dead.

From the author of Quarantine, a bizarre, intriguing tale about a naked couple found dead on an American East Coast sand dune. (more)

Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler. The Art of Happiness.

I found my heart being warmed as I read this down-to-earth, practical, wise book. Definitely written for "everyone" in mind, it is not difficult to read, and has (more)

Davies, Robertson. Rebel Angels.

A delightful comedy about a group of professors, students and one millionaire and their work to create an opera. (more)

De Chardin, Pierre Teilhard. Divine Milieu: An Essay on the Interior Life.

A small and unassuming book but intensely packed with a theology of grace, love and an openness to creation and the movement of God that reaches down into (more)

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol.

I found Charles Dickens' classic tale of old miserly Ebenezeer Scrooge's tragedy and redemption to be evocative. Scrooge's unyeilding cynicism and stubbornness (more)

Dickens, Charles. Bleak House.

I was apprehensive at first, thinking the 19th Century language would be inaccessable but was surprised at how drawn into the story I became (more)

Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist.

For me, reading Twist was a welcome revisitation of the very fine "Oliver Twist" TV-movie presentation by the BBC broadcast here during Christmas week 1999. (more)

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment.

I had this novel sitting on my shelf waiting to find the courage to read it. I assumed the writing would be daunting, but because Crime and Punishment was a classic it was important to read (more)

Eliot, George. The Mill on the Floss.

Written in the 1850's by a woman, this novel tells the story of a young woman trying to live with authenticity and integrity at a time when respectability mattered more (more)

Findley, Timothy. Pilgrim.

Pilgrim is an intriguing character in Timothy Findley's latest novel, Pilgrim. He appears in1912 as a suicide survivor in the swiss clinic of Burgholzi, run by Carl Jung. (more)

Finley, James. The Contemplative Heart.

My annual two-month summer vacation is usually plagued by a lack of focus. Not this year, thanks to The Contemplative Heart by James Finley (more)

Finley, James. Palace of Nowhere.

James Finley writes a concise compilation of Thomas Merton's thoughts on contemplation. (more)

Fox, Michael J. Lucky Man.

The paradox of this book caught me immediately – Michael J. Fox, beset with early onset Parkinson’s Disease, considers himself a lucky man. (more)

Frayn, Michael. Headlong.

A comic yet ultimately serious novel by British author Michael Frayn about a middle-aged art historian/philosopher, Martin Clay. (more)

Frazier, Charles. Cold Mountain.

An enchanting, unconventional love story of an injured, solitary veteran who learns about human character while walking home from the Civil War. (more)

Fredriksen, Paula. Jesus of Nazareth.

This book reads like a historical “whodunnit”, exploring two odd facts about Jesus’ life: that he was killed by the state for sedition, and that his followers were not. (more)

Friedman, Richard E. The Disappearance of God.

Through careful examination of the Hebrew Bible Friedman shows how miracle, divine control, and divine presence gradually occur less and less in the Bible. (more)

Gardner, John. Grendel.

Grendel struck me deepest about the struggle to hope and the temptation to despair. It is so easy to allow the dragons of external circumstances to distort our humanity (more)

Grant, Judith Skelton. Robertson Davies, Man of Myth.

Because Davies is one of my favourite authors, it was a labour of love to read this tome. (more)

Gyatso, Tenzin. Freedom In Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama.

Trixie, my purring cat, made a habit of sitting with me as I read Freedom in Exile, the story of the Dalai Lama. Her ritual was so regular I started wondering if the cat felt she was sitting in the presence of the Dalai himself. (more)

Hegi, Ursual. Stones from the River.

Ursula Hegi writes a gripping novel set in a small German village during WWII. Trudi is the dwarf narrator of the story (more)

Henff, Helene. 84, Charing Cross Road.

I read this book and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street and got inspired by Helene's desire to read. She was self-taught, guided largely by a love of English literature. (more)

Hill, Reginald. On Beulah Height.

On Beulah Height was one of the year's best reads for me. Hill's exceptional writing style was at once vividly comic and dramatic. The characters are so well (more)

Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders.

The Outsiders claims best book of the year in my mind because of its disturbingly real portrayal of lives in gangs. (more)

Johnson, Wayne. The Divine Ryans.

What looks like a short and fast read turns out to be packed full of quirky characters that carry both humour and meaning. It is rare that I laugh out loud when reading but delving into (more)

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Wherever You Go, There You Are.

A wealth of practical images are offered in the hope of practicing the discipline of mindful observation. Watch your breath, and imagine the world in you!(more)

Keating, Thomas. Open Mind, Open Heart.

This book by "Father" Thomas Keating helped to clarify and inspire me to explore again the practice of contemplation or "interior silence". (more)

Keen, Sam. Hymns to an Unknown God.

I was struck by Keen's integrative maturity which weaves the mythological truths of traditional religion with our individual thirst for the sacred (more)

Krakauer, Jon. Into Thin Air.

A riveting story of the tragedy surrounding the 1996 Mount Everest ascent. (more)

Lama Surya Das. Awakening the Buddha Within.

My overwhelming memory of this book is that it evoked a meditative awareness as I read it. I remember sitting on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, on my holidays, (more)

Lamb, Wally. I Know This Much Is True.

I was intimidated by the sheer size of Wally Lamb's book- nine hundred pages. I read it quickly, in fact, frantically because I got caught in the truth of it.(more)

Lamb, Wally. She's Come Undone.

Hands down winner for the most engaging novel of the decade. Its a dark story of areally screwed up woman, but if you can be patient through the darkness, it's worth it.(more)

L’Engle, Madeleine. Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.

Perhaps we can walk on water, we’ve only forgotten how. It is this type of faith that Madeline L’Engle exudes. In Walking on Water, L’Engle reflects on the question of what it means to be a Christian artist. (more)

Lessing, Doris. Briefing for a Descent into Hell.

Another self-taught woman. This is a riveting novel that unfolds on several levels: an intriguing story, a disturbing psychosis, a confrontation with the reader. (more)

Lowry, Lois. Number The Stars.

This is a historical fiction about a family in Holland in World War II, and how they help some Jewish friends. It is dramatic and engrossing. (more)

Lowry, Lois . The Giver.

The Giver by Lois Lowry is a book about a fictional community where sameness and lack of pain is engineered and highly revered (more)

Lynch, Thomas. The Undertaking.

An undertaker recounts some of his many experiences with death. Lynch uses his poet's eyes to see the meaning and depth hidden within different people's experience of death. (more)

Macdonald, Ann-Marie. Fall On Your Knees.

Fall On Your Knees breaks out of the "Canadian Novel" into something universal. A story full of sadness and grief but one that avoids the typical approach to lives "hard done by".(more)

Malherbe, Abraham. Paul and the Thessalonians.

The reason I enjoyed this book so much was that it took me behind the scenes of the apostle Paul's book to the Thessalonians (more)

May, Gerald G. The Awakened Heart.

We all carry a thirst within us - our desire for love. May calls it "the great yearning of life". Yet ironically, what we most long for, we already have. (more)

May, Gerald . Will and Spirit.

I re-read this book this year because I didn't feel that my reading last year did it justice. I was happy that I did because in a small way this book changed my life. (more)

McCourt, Frank. Angela's Ashes.

This was a very engrossing story, a memoir about the author growing up dirt poor in Ireland. As you read of the terribly tragedy of their lives, you don't know (more)

McGrath, Patrick. Martha Peake.

Martha Peake by Patrick McGrath is a gothic tale of a monster of a man whose daughter Martha turns out to be an American Revolutionary War heroine. (more)

Miles, Jack. Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God.

Ideas, especially theological ideas, are usually inviting and excite my imagination and so when I started to feel at odds with the character of Christ I didn’t quite know how to interpret my experience. (more)

Mistry, Rohinton. A Fine Balance.

This amazing novel set in 1970’s India is about the lives of four unlikely friends who meet each other by chance. (more)

Mistry, Rohinton. Such A Long Journey.

Such A Long Journey is a richly textured prodigal father story set in Bombay, India that seems relevant basically in any culture. A well-intentioned father alienates (more)

Moltmann, Jürgen. The Source.

I enjoyed this hope-filled theology of the Spirit. Moltmann speaks out of a transforming experience of grace in his own life. His learning comes alongside, and facilitates life-stirring interpretation. (more)

Moltmann, Jürgen. The Way of Jesus Christ.

A thoughtful look at who Jesus is in the Christian tradition and who he continues to be for his disciples. Moltmann presents a Christology for people who are on the way, (more)

Moltmann, Jürgen. Theology of Hope.

Theology of Hope is one of the most complex theological books I have ever read. I’m sure I could read this many times and still go away baffled. (more)

Murdoch, Iris. The Bell.

Iris Murdoch weaves threads of well-intentioned but awkward relationships in exploring the idea of whether a modern person can live ethically and with meaning outside established religion. (more)

Norris, Kathleen. The Quotidian Mysteries.

This is a small inspirational book in which Norris writes of her understanding and experiences of the spiritual in the daily or "quotidian", in the Benedictine tradition. (more)

O'Donohue, John. Anam Cara.

During Christmas break last year, I decided to read a book that would not be a direct part of my research and writing. (more)

Oppel, Kenneth. Silverwing.

Silverwing and Sunwing, by Canadian author Kenneth Oppel, is an excellent series of books about a colony of bats (more)

Pears, Iain. The Immaculate Deception.

An excellent, morally ambigious, art mystery tale on two fronts, from the Jonathan Argyll, Flavia di Stefano series by Iain Pears. An exhibition painting is stolen (more)

Potok, Chaim. My Name is Asher Lev.

Both Gerald May and James Fowler mentioned this book as a good example of faithfulness. I was intrigued by the premise of a young Jewish artist being (more)

Pressfield, Stephen. Gates of Fire.

Gates of Fire is the historical retelling of the Greek Spartan’s battle with The Persian king Xerxes’ armies at Themopalae. On his deathbed the squire Zeo recounts the story of this battle and the story of his life.(more)

Sachar, Louis. Holes.

Holes steals the best book honour in my mind because of the perfect parallel of comedy and seriousness. If there is an amazingly moving part, alongside there is sure to be some humour to lighten you up. (more)

Sawyer, Robert. Calculating God.

I really enjoyed this science fiction book. It's about aliens coming to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto to compare notes on evolution (more)

Sawyer, Robert. J. Hominids.

Called the opposite of the Planet of the Apes, Hominids revolves around an evolved Neanderthal called Ponter Boddit, a quantum physicist, who makes an accidental visit to Sudbury, Ontario (more)

Sayers, Dorothy. Gaudy Night.

I've wanted to read something of Dorothy Sayers for a long time. What a great read! Like Iris Murdoch, you get the sense of a lively intelligence informing the story. (more)

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein.

Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus is a phenomenal book that explores many themes that are relevant for today including the relationship between parent and child, (more)

Smith, Huston. Why Religion Matters.

What struck me first about this book was the ease with which Huston Smith brought the reader into the complex and often hostile relationship between spirituality and science. (more)

Spong, John Shelby. Why Christianity Must Change.

I enjoyed reading this book, particularily reading about scripture again. It was like rediscovering a world I left behind in 1990.(more)

Steinbeck, John. East of Eden.

An epic, mythic tale of the Trask and Hamilton families in 19th Century America that reaches far into the issues of love and hate, fate and choice. (more)

Steinberg, Milton. As A Driven Leaf.

One of my most satisfying reads this year; I read it twice. Click here for my response to the book. (more)

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Kidnapped.

This classic book was an intriguing read. It's a wonderful romping adventure story of a young man who comes upon poverty and must look for help from his rich (more)

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit.

Joel and I are in agreement that probably the most exciting book we’ve read in 2001 (which we’re not quite done yet), is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. (more)

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Two Towers.

The Two Towers, how could I reject this book? Wonderful morals are hidden in each page. Amazing adventure and peril keeps you excited and frightened even after the end. (more)

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings.

I was particularly intrigued by Tolkien’s choice to change the focus from Frodo to Samwise in The Two Towers and The Return of the King. (more)

Trelease, Jim. The Read-Aloud Handbook.

Trelease makes a very inspiring and convincing case of the value of reading aloud to children. (more)

Trott, Susan. The Holy Man.

When someone at my yoga class mentioned she had enjoyed reading The Holy Man, several others chimed in, saying this was a book everyone should read. (more)

Twain, Mark. Huckleberry Finn.

I read this book to my 11 year old son Erik and it had us in stitches much of the time. I liked the irony and humour with which Twain critiques society in this novel. (more)

Underhill, Evelyn. The House of The Soul.

Months after I had read The House of the Soul, I kept returning to Underhill's helpful comparison of our lives to the two stories of a house. It's the work that she (more)

Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism.

Evelyn Underhill's indepth study of the Christian mystic tradition and practice is still considered a classic, even though it was first published in 1911. (more)

Underhill, Evelyn. The Spiritual Life.

Underhill explores an understanding of the spiritual life which is neither self nor achievement focused but rather points us beyond the narrow ideological and (more)

Vanderhaeghe, Guy. The Englishman’s Boy.

Set in the 1920’s in Hollywood and the Canadian West, this historical work of fiction gives flesh and bones to a tragic part of Canadian history - the Cypress Hills Massacre. (more)

Vassanji, M. G. The Book of Secrets.

The Book of Secrets is a richly layered novel from the beginning. The narrator, a retired Asian school teacher living in East Africa, is given the discovered diary (more)

Wilber, Ken. A Brief History of Everything.

I liked this book because it was accessible and humorous. I found the stages of individual and collective evolution to be helpful. And I deeply appreciated the union of (more)

Wilber, Ken & Treya Killam Wilber. Grace and Grit.

The day that I finished this book, I went for a walk and on the ground, I spied the "queen of hearts" from a playing card deck. (more)

Williams, Rowan. Resurrection.

I read this book to do some thinking about the meaning of Easter for myself. I really enjoyed the way Williams portrayed the Easter experience in a very human (more)