Continuing the list

While I was growing up, my parents would make me hand-write a wish list every Christmas. This exercise was part torment as I hated writing. But there was an upside.

One of my aunts worked at JC Penny. Because of her employment, my parents' rules for my wish list was that every item had to be available in the annual JC Penny Christmas Catalog. As much as I dreaded the prospect of putting pen to paper, thumbing through the catalog was one of my favorite holiday traditions.

I'm not sure if it was the crisp feel of the new glossy pages, the smell of ink, or the pipe-dream wonder of all the toys that could (but likely would not) be mine. Clothes, toys, video games, random swag... all of it cooler than what I all ready possessed. It was the candy store of my childhood imagination. By junior high, I realized that I had (roughly) a 2.7% chance of finding something from that list wrapped under the tree on Christmas morning. Yet my parents continued to subject me to the ritual of writing that list with the same arbitrary regulations until I moved away.

As special as that catalog might be considered, it had one flaw: no books. That is where part 2 of my grown-up Christmas list is headed: the readable. Books I long to read and would love to add to my book shelves. (ps: This list was too epic for my typical Five for Friday posts, so you get it on a Saturday.)

Donald's account of his personal search for faith
Essays and stories about the relationship between suffering and creativity

A collection of observations of the horror genre from a Supernatural Liturature class King taught at the University of Maine

4. The Hip-Hop Church: Connecting with the Movement Shaping Our Culture by Efrem Smith and Phil Jackson
A look at how hip-hop has impacted the modern church and what the church can do to engage hip-hop culture

5. Decoded by Jay-Z
The stories behind many of Jay-Z's songs and his perspectives on the music industry

6. The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons
A challenge for Christians to be "provoked, not offended; creators, not critics; called, not employed; grounded, not distracted; in community, not alone; and countercultural, not relevant"

7. Spiritual Journeys by various authors and contributors of Relevant Magazine
A profile on the lives of 12 musicians (Johnny Cash, Moby, Wyclef Jean, etc.) and their relationships with God

8. Giving by Bill Clinton
The former president's challenge to change the world through the giving of our time and resources

9. Gazelles, Baby Steps And 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt by Jon Acuff
The financial lessons of Dave Ramsey told through the satirical wit of the author of Stuff Christians Like

10. Hipster Christianity by Brett McCracken
A warning against altering the message of the gospel in an attempt to make the church cool

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