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The Best Books of December

December proved to be another month of great books of a varied, somewhat eclectic variety.

My favorite book of the month as well as one of my favorites of the year was Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan.  She describes her quick descent from reporter to a nearly catatonic state with numerous convulsions (Note:  She was able to do so from doctor’s reports, journals of her parents, and interviews she conducted with family, friends, and medical staff).  Doctors were baffled and most wanted to write off her dramatic change to some sort of psychotic break.  Her parents and boyfriend pressed the issue until they found a doctor who diagnosed her with a rare disease.  A riveting story.

Next up was Seven Deadly Sins by David Walsh.  I knew most of the story as David Walsh had been one of the reporters who’d been challenging Lance Armstrong as a drug cheat since Armstrong’s first Tour win.  Seven Deadly Sins is a behind the scenes look at the professional and personal ramifications of Walsh’s search for the truth.

Rob Bell and a New American Christianity by James Wellman Jr.  Wellman provides the first work to look at the life and work of Bell, how he came to be the pastor of Mars Hill as well as his reasons for leaving.  Wellman provides insights on the beginning and ending of Bell’s Nooma video series as well as some brief examinations of Bell’s books.  At times, Wellman seems to focus too much on particular sermons while giving little attention to the lecture tours Bell put together.  What makes this work interesting are the numerous interviews the author conducted with Bell.

A few other books I read this month:
APE:  Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur- How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch
Mercury by Lesley-Ann Jones
The 4 Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss
Lay the Favorite by Beth Raymer
Sin Boldly:  A Field Guide for Grace by Cathleen Falsani
The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse by Michael Gungor

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