It's that time of year again! Halfway through 2021 means halfway through my reading list for this year and a time to pause and share the most memorable aspect of each book. As I was looking through the list, I noticed some patterns: a lot of Star Wars and theology. I plan to remedy that a little for the second half of the year. With that said, here are the books I have read so far this year in chronological order.
1. Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule
This book is part of the new Star Wars publishing initiative set a thousand years before the prequels. For an entirely new era of storytelling and completely unfamiliar characters, it had me pretty intrigued.
2. Lost Stars, Vol. 1-3 by Claudia Gray and Yuusaka Komiyama
Lost Stars was originally a Star Wars YA novel, but this was the manga version of it. This was my first time reading a manga, and I think I will remember more about trying to figure out how to read it than the actual storyline.
3. Remember God by Annie F. Downs
I have become a fan of Annie through various podcasts, and this book is a great time spent with a great storyteller.
4. Dune by Frank Herbert
While not the first time I have read this novel, I remembered literally nothing besides sand worms from the last time I read it. I understand why it is a classic, but sometimes the plot is a little too dense and convoluted for its own good. I'm still trying to decide whether to read more in the series.
5. The Sin of Certainty by Pete Enns
The first of two books by Enns I read this year, this was probably the one I found the most impactful. The message of relying on trust instead of certainty when it comes to our faith made me think deeply about my own faith and will probably continue to impact my spiritual life long-term.
6. The Odyssey, trans. Emily Wilson
I have read the Odyssey many times, but this new translation by Wilson was fresh and invigorated with modern language and poetry. Great stuff!
7. The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi by J.W. Rinzler
I finally made my way through all of the "Making of" books for the original Star Wars trilogy, and this one was equally awesome and in depth, especially if you are a fan of how movies are made.
8. Open to the Spirit: God in Us, God with Us, God Transforming Us by Scot McKnight
I continue to grow more and more fascinated by Holy Spirit and their place in the trinity as well as our everyday lives. This books was a great primer on how to be more open and aware of the way Spirit moves in us. A challenge for me for sure.
9. Victory's Price by Alexander Freed
The Final book in the Alphabet Squadron series (Star Wars novels about a fighter pilot squadron), and it did not disappoint. The whole series did a great job depicting the feel of life as a starfighter pilot.
10. Into the Dark by Claudia Gray
Another Star Wars book in the new High Republic era of stories, but this one I actually listened to via audiobook, which is actually pretty rare for me. Despite being a YA novel, I enjoyed the story quite a bit.
11. Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian by Phil Szostak
Art of Star Wars books are amazing, and there is really nothing else to say.
12. Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by Andrew DeGraff and A.D. Jameson
I remember hearing about this book many years ago and finally got around to grabbing it from the library. The book is a compilation of an artist who turned famous movies into maps with colored lines to trace the paths of the characters. The premise is very cool and unique, even if the maps were sometimes a bit tricky to follow.
13. The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
If you want to start dipping your toe into Black theology (which you should), this is an excellent place to start. The idea that lynching is a modern parallel to the cross is one that needed this kind of exploration and makes me sad that I was never exposed to this idea in my 38 years of life.
14. How the Bible Actually Works by Pete Enns
I finished this book in the nick of time, the final hours of June 30, and it is a great, accessible exploration of the idea of using wisdom as the framework for how the Bible works. I highly recommend this if you are interested in exploring the Bible further.
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