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Unlike my fiction list, every single non-fiction read was a knock-out-of-the-park, so to speak. I absolutely loved every single non-fiction book and my one regret is that I didn't read more non-fiction. I will try to remedy that in 2014.
Each book is rated using my personal rating system:
* Mediocre ** Good *** Very Good **** Excellent
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – Eric Metaxas**** It took me over a year to finish this book. It stalled a bit in the middle. However, it was a fantastic biography. Metaxas' writing was exceptionally engaging--this was not a mere churning out of dry facts. I knew little of Bonhoeffer before reading this book, other than that he wrote The Cost of Discipleship and was killed by the Nazis. I had not idea what a talented, interesting, brilliant intellectual, and theologian he was.
In the Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord**** I wrote a detailed review of this book here. This was a fascinating, sensitive, and enlightening book about the author's life and interactions with Afghani Muslims--particularly women--as she lived and worked in Afghanistan for five years.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot**** (audiobook) I look forward to anything Rebecca Skloot puts out from this point forward. The author takes a scientifically difficult and complicated story and tells it in a riveting way. It is also the story of the life and death of Henrietta Lacks, the woman behind the now famous and important HeLa cells. This book read like a novel and was intellectually interesting and emotionally compelling. Not to mention, so much of the story was locally set that it added to my interest.
The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp**** When I found out Ann Voskamp was coming out with an Advent devotional I bought it right away. I liked it even more than One Thousand Gifts, which also impacted me. However, I get the most out of Ann's writing when delivered in small chunks, which was the way The Greatest Gift was set up, in daily readings. Her descriptive writing style had me looking at Christ's birth with fresh eyes of wonder: "What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death," she writes with beauty and insight. I looked forward to reading it first thing each morning for the month of December.
What was your favorite non-fiction read of 2013?