Favorite Books I read in 2016

In Books, Life, Reviews, The Big Picture by Vijay Jayaraj0 Comments

Books carry with them the immense potential to shape the lives of the people who read them. My life was largely devoted to academic books until 2009. Since then, books became my treasured possessions. 2016 was not a particularly good year for book reading because of my busy schedule. However, some books were too good to miss. The reality of the broken world around us had a major influence on the choice of my books. The unrest in the Middle East, the political climate in Europe, the persistence of abject poverty in the developing countries, my own journey towards the supernatural, and the constant rhetoric against fossil fuels—all lead me to choose the following books:

Author: Kveta Rose
Genre: Biography, Religion, Spirituality, Church

This book captures the true story of a teenage woman’s extraordinary journey through the red lands of Africa, where her faith in God leads her to adopt an abandoned young child. The faith, grit, and determination of a human being rooted in the love of God and empowered by the call of God is inspiringly contagious. The book is written by a member of a church I used to attend in Canada. Kirabo would challenge every Christian who reads it.

The Grand Weaver
Author: Ravi Zacharias
Genre: Religion, Spirituality, Culture, Travel

The Grand Weaver is about the journey of a young man from India to North America and then to the entire world. This book captures how God—the grand weaver—weaves the threads of our life, even when we are unaware of it. The author, probably one of the finest Christian apologists of his generation, gives illustrations and stories to hit home the main theme of the book. Remarked as his personal favorite by the author himself, the book is edifying and enthralling. Even those who do not share the Christian faith will be able to acknowledge the work of the supernatural in people’s lives. And for the Christian, it reminds that every step of their lives is held in the loving arms of their savior.

Kisses from Katie
Author: Katie Davis
Genre: Travel, Auto-biography, Missions, Religion, Adoption

Katie Davis is a pioneer of her kind. A kind whose lives have been radically shaped by their faith in God and His call to care for the poor and needy of the world. In this book, Katie takes us through her life’s important moments that led her to permanently move to Africa in service of the orphans there. The autobiography is unique in the way it describes challenges posed by God to young people. It is a clear and well-written book that will leave the readers spellbound. A narrative style that is very personal and will take the readers right to the stage where the events took place. This is my favorite book ever, next only to Confessions by Augustine.

Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism
Author: Robert Zubrin
Genre: Science, History, Politics, Society, Philosophy, Governance

This book was an eye opener for me. Zubrin is well qualified to address the most important environmental and philosophical issues that have been hijacking the world in the past 50 years. He unearths the radical philosophy behind the modern environmental movement (including the Global Warming agenda), and how it seeks to curtail the well-being of humanity. The book also addresses the common myth surrounding various environmental issues such as the use of fossil fuels and the much-hyped dangers of nuclear energy. Special attention is given to the radical environmentalists within the academic and global governance entities, and their twisted philosophy of branding humans as the evil cancer of the world. A must-have for any citizen who is concerned about his own future and that of the world.

Looking ahead, I wish to study the following books in 2017:

Future Grace by John Piper
Piper has been a great inspiration to me since my days in England. A gifted communicator, he is blessed with the ability to exposit and explain the ways to attain eternal and lasting joy in life.

The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution by Barry Asmus and Wayne Grudem
Nothing strikes me more than the plight of the poor in India. I see it every day and wonder where we humans have failed collectively in addressing poverty. And I hope this book, by an economist and a theologian, sheds light on what is holding us back from alleviating poverty.

On the Incarnation and Letters to Serapion  by Athanasius of Alexandria
Athanasius was a very significant figure in the history of Christianity. He defended the orthodox faith and fought against heretical teachings by powerful people of his era.

And to have a bit of humor in life, I am planning to read The Code of the Woosters and Joy in the Morning by P.G.Wodehouse.


Vijay Jayaraj (M.S., Environmental Science) is the Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. He currently lives in Udumalpet, India.

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