a bucket list (final)

[NB - I have added now the suggestions of readers to create my final ten selections]

I guess you know the movie The Bucket List. A couple of old guys make a list of things they'd love to do before they kick-the-bucket and off they go and do them.

I guess you've seen the big fat books at airport bookshops along the lines of One Hundred ... Before You Die. Movies to watch. Places to visit. Golf courses to play. That sort of thing.

I've been thinking about a bucket list: ten books of less-than-one-hundred-pages to read (and reread) before you die. But I am not quite there and need your help to finish the list...

Here are my 'first five' - I need you to suggest another five!

ONE John Stott, Your Mind Matters (IVP, 2007)

TWO Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus: reflections on Christian leadership (Crossroad, 1989)

THREE Amy Carmichael, If (CLC Ministries, 1992)

FOUR John Baillie, The Diary of Private Prayer (Prentice Hall, 1996)

FIVE Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (SCM, 1954)

SIX A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (Authentic Lifestyle, 2004)

SEVEN Lesslie Newbigin, Truth to Tell (Eerdmans, 1991)

EIGHT Francis Schaeffer, Escape from Reason (IVP, 1968)

NINE C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (Harper, 1946)

TEN Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God (Epworth, 1959)

(We'll remember the love for cricket and go for eleven...)

ELEVEN Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians (Eerdmans, 1999)

nice chatting



Reetz said…
I am actually reading a book from the Manna Store, which is actually titled '101 things to do before you go to heaven'. ha. You can borrow it after me if you like..I've written two of them so far on my blog. :)
Paul said…
Well - I guess, Rita, that ten of the 101 things to do before you go to heaven could be to read these ten books! :) ha
Sean said…
A Little Exercise for Young Theologians by Helmut Thielicke. I confess it's been a while since I've read this, but memories of his wisdom still direct my thoughts.

Trinitarian Doctrine for Today's Mission by Lesslie Newbigin would be another one.

Those two will keep your mind racing while your hands and heart figure out how to respond!
don't know if they are short enough, but they are short, and I do go back to them:

Phillip Yancy: Reaching for the invisible God

Karl Barth: Dogmatics in Outline

Anything by Sadhu Sundar Singh

Most of Tolstoy's short stories

CS Lewis: The great divorce

(which makes me look very international with a american, a swiss, a russian, and a Brit in my picks!)
Rhett said…
The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D.A. Carson.
Greg said…
My personal favourite short books of all time:

1. Lord of the Rings (Tolkein)

2. War and Peace (Tolstoy)

3. The Brothers Karamazov(Dostoevsky)

4. Church Dogmatics (Barth)

5. Romans (Lloyd Jones)

I'm not sure if these are short enough, but the problem is, they're just so good you can't help getting to the end of them and thinking to yourself, I wish they had have unpacked all that just a bit more.


Ben Carswell said…
Ooh - now you've got me thinking...

First "book" that springs to mind is "Born to Reproduce" by Dawson Trotman. It's a long time since I read it, but CT Studd's "The Chocolate Soldier" was a classic in its time.

There's not too many short books in that category that immediately spring to mind.

Are you going to do a "10 books of over 500 pages that you must read"?!
Paul said…
Remember?! Less than 100 pages :)

Happy to add Thielicke's Little Exercise as I almost put in to begin with ... and I'll throw in Lesslie Newbigin's Truth to Tell as well...

... but are any of the other suggestions less than 100 pages? Lord of the Rings?!

Lloyd-Jones had trouble keeping himself to 100 pages on one verse, let alone one book like Romans!

So we are sitting at seven out of the ten.

Keep the ideas flowing
Greg said…
You see, that's the trouble with Kiwis. They just don't get irony. (I'm not sure that means anything different from saying "Kiwis don't think I'm funny", but at least it makes me feel a bit less responsible.) My point was that we were starting to lose sight of the criteria a little!

Anyway, just to show I do get the idea, here is my suggestion: The practise of the presence of God, by Brother Lawrence. Well under 100 pages (small pages with big font as well) and yet one of the books that has probably influenced my life with God more than most.
Mark Maffey said…
Hi Paul

From The Exploring Prayer Series edited by Joyce Huggett

Finding The Still Point Gerard O'Mahony

Coming to God James Borst

The Sounds of God Michael Mitton

Finding God in the Fast Lane Joyce Huggett

And a slightly longer book by Dallas Willard

"The Divine Conspiracy"
Rhett said…
One more that is definitely under 100 pages...

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.
Richard said…
Proper Confidence by Leslie Newbigin is another short, good little book.

Kingdom Come by Chris Marshall-absolutely fantastic, very short and snappy (and unfortunately out of print!) book on the Kingdom of God and Jesus. I found it immensely helpful when trying to come to terms with what the gospels actually mean when they use that language. His little biblical book of Justice is also excellent and very easy to read, although i have a few quibbles here and there with it.
Henri Nouwen, The way of the heart,
Definately under 100 pages... well, actually 112 pages, but only 94 of text...
Paul said…
Sorry for the delay - I am travelling and currently in-transit for 9hrs in Dubai (at night!).

Greg - not always easy to pick up the irony from a few words on a page when I can't see the whites-of-the-eyes of someone I know :) But on rereading, it is there alright!

Ben - Dawson Trotman is a possibility - don't know the CT Studd one.

Mark - Joyce Huggett? A bit like Kingdom Come - a really good read, but are they classics ... for example, reprinted again and again?

I checked Pursuit of God and I thought it was 100+ pages - and happy to have just one each from Nouwen and Newbigin.

Brother Laurence is a good 'un.

[Maybe we should have RA Laidlaw's The Reason Why???]

Almost there

Rhett said…
My copy of The Pursuit of God is 93 pages including the short preface on the life of Tozer.
Greg said…
This should be easier than this!
Here's some more thoughts:

Release of the Spirit by Watchman Nee


The Cost of the Commitment by John White.

The first kind of gets overshadowed by What shall this man do, but the second I think we could call a genuine classic and a "must read".
Paul Davison said…
How about Francis Schaeffer's Escape from Reason at 96 pages? As a university student it was so useful in helping me see Christian faith on a much bigger canvas engaging with the world of history, art, literature and philosophy.
Paul said…
Yes, Paul - Schaeffer's one must make the final cut ... at least one of his anyway. I remember the one on Jeremiah being short and sharp - Death of a City?

[I am in Kampala at the moment - a bit stuck amidst the rioting and the killing ... but safe and hoping to fly out tomorrow if I can get to the airport. I shall resume this conversation at that time. Thanks again]
Tash McGill said…
Surely if we are talking Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love must feature? A great reflective work on Wholeness.. which is so key to leadership.

I know that the others are also great.. but also would content CS - the Problem of Pain is a great work to be included here.

Popular Posts