A bit late, only because I was having so much fun doing nothing over the Christmas break. Every year I post up the books I enjoyed the most over the past year. This year I’ll include streaming media as well. I’m not a huge TV or film person so that list is small, but I thought I’d include it nonetheless.

The featured image is actually from my Goodreads profile which I update infrequently. I had a lofty goal of reading 50 books last year and failed to match even half. I think I’ve read more than what I recorded, which doesn’t include articles, but I’ve lowered it in 2020 to a modest 2 books a month.

Top Books of 2019

Rather than give a ranking I’ll point out three books that were instrumental in shifting my paradigm. Works of fiction would get on the list by blowing me away with a wonderful story. I don’t read a lot of fiction and no fiction books made the list this year (Game of Thrones is fine.) In non-fiction, however, here are my give books in no particular order.

  1. The Inconvenient Indian. A Curious Account of Native People in North America. By Thomas King. Not a new book, but one I finally got to. It’s a personal narrative about historical events and their application to the indigenous community today. More importantly, why we think the way we think about the Indian today.
  2. Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships. By Karen Keen. I read a ton of books on homosexuality and the church this year. It was part because the denomination I’m affiliated with was beginning a process to decide on same-sex marriages (I’m with Vineyard Canada). Also because my own church was wrestling through old formation. The critical issue is one of how we read the Bible. The single best book on the topic in my opinion is Karen Keen’s. I read all the popular ones out there in Christendom, and here’s was the best.
  3. How to be an Anti-Racist. By Ibram X Kendi. Few books make me re-think my posture on an issue, but Kendi’s certainly challenged me on the issue of race. Particularly nuancing my position so it’s less, dare I say, black and white. I don’t agree with his entire approach, but everyone should still read the book if you have an interest in anti-racism work.

Honorable mention to Robin Diangelo who penned, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. If you can get by the title then you’re ready for the contents. It didn’t do much for me but I can imagine if you’re starting to become aware to white privilege, this book will put you on the right path.

Top Canadian book: Unsettling the Word. Biblical Experiments in Decolonization. Edited by Steve Heinrichs. Definitely an experiment, definitely worth the time. I’d even rank it in the top 3 but wanted to make particular mention of this Canadian book. Loosely following the order of the books in the Bible, there are a number of authors who penned vignettes filtering decolonization through scripture. It’s a paradigm shifter for sure.

Top TV Shows of 2019

For me, I don’t like dramas, they’re too deep and life has enough trauma to watch more of it on TV. So I opt for the happy go-lucky variety. New to me, but not to the world, was:

  • Netflix’s two shows, Queer Eye, the Fab 5. Although their Japanese excursion started slow, it ended with a bang. I don’t know how much American imperialism you can export into a country, but some messages of love hold true.
  • I also finished The Office this year (I know I know). Loved it, also makes all the internet memes I see funnier.

That’s it for a quick year in review. I hope you get those books I mentioned. They’re worth the money to purchase at the local bookstore (notice no Amazon links?)

Now what does 2020 have in store?