End of the year best book lists are coming out so here is my list of the best books I read this year. Not all of them were new in 2015.
Best in Fiction was: Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson. My favorite of the year. Re-reading it now.
Immigration is in the news as presidential candidates debate the best way to keep people out. Mexicans in particular are not faring well. Louis Urrea writes about the border conflicts with sensitivity to Mexicans and the border patrol. He tells real stories about how and why people are coming over and his writing is unforgettable. The Devil's Highway is non-fiction. The Hummingbirds Daughter, Queen of America are historical novels. The Water Museum is a contemporary collection of short stories.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd -Southern history and the civil war as lived on one plantation.
Our Souls Night is a third in a series of novels that take place in a small Iowa town. Likewise Lila by Marilynne Robinson is a third book of a series about a small town minister and his family. This is her best one in my opinion.
Best in Non-Fiction is the already mentioned The Devil's Highway. Jacksonland by Steven Inskeep tells the story about how the Jackson administration took the land from Native Americans and profited from it. Boys of Summer and Rickey and Robinson by Roger Kahn, best baseball writer ever.
Our Only World, essays by Wendell Berry. A wise book.
Backpacking with the Saints. Theology professor is retiring and makes the transition by backpacking with his dog and reading books by the Saints of the Church.
The Great Fire by Lou Urenick. Armenian/Christian genocide by Turkish troops and a heroic American missionary teacher who saved thousands.
Best books in Theology/Church History/ Bible Studies
What Shall We Say About Evil by Thomas Long. Preaching professor hence the emphasis on speaking about evil, suffering and faith in God. Excellent. Also excellent is Fleming Rutledge's Crucifixion on how we understand the death of Christ. Great book. Well written by a preacher and teacher of preachers. She interacts with every body and every thing important to the subject. Amazing.
Seriously Dangerous Religion by Ian Provain. Ten Basic questions the Old Testament answers. Provain takes on critics both outside and inside the church.