The 2011 Andys

You’ve been waiting anxiously for a year since the last awards were given out. Who will receive the coveted 2011 Andys for the books from my reading list? Who will walk on stage to claim the prize, to thank their parents, their mentors, even their editors? Well, the wait is over. The winners are . . .

The Audacity Award goes to Rodney Stark’s God’s Battalions for even attempting to defend the Crusades. He actually about pulls it off in this fascinating book.

The Putting-Drama-into-Ideas Award winner is Jim Belcher for Deep Church. He shows the strengths and weaknesses of both emergent and traditional viewpoints, making us long to have this tension resolved. He skillfully supplies a resolution with his third way.

The Best Book My Boss Wrote goes this year to Robert A. Fryling for The Leadership Ellipse. Monofocus is impossible in leadership. This book explains how that’s so, why that’s so and why that’s a good thing.

The Most-Unexpectedly-Delightful-and-Imaginative Book is Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. The first third, while very interesting, may seem slow. But then, suddenly, everything starts happening and turns into a fantastic voyage.

The Most-Objective-and-Even-Handed-Book-of-Scholarship Award is James Bielo’s Words upon the Word. It would have been so easy for a scholar to turn an ethnography of evangelical Bible study into a harangue against the arrogance, ignorance, anger and hypocrisy of conservative Christians. Bielo does none of that, treating his subjects with respect while offering clear and measured analysis.

Best-Sentimental-Sports Book is awarded to Gary W. Moore for Playing with the Enemy. Yes, it’s a bit saccharine, as you might expect from an amateur author (and son of the main character), but it’s a compelling story nonetheless and very much worth your while.

Most Blogged About (in Andy Unedited) is Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows. My series of eight (count ’em, eight) posts starts here.

The Gotta-Read-It-to-Believe-It Award goes to Jeannette Walls for The Glass Castle. I gave one vignette here, but the whole book is mesmerizing.

The Setting-the-Record-Straight Award goes to James R. Payton Jr. for Getting the Reformation Wrong. He does a masterful job of setting up the misimpressions we have and then correcting them with history at its readable best.

So, now what should I read in 2011? You tell me. I await your suggestions.

Author: Andy Le Peau

I've been an editor and writer for over forty years. I am passionate about ideas and how we can express them clearly, beautifully, and persuasively. I love reading good books, talking about them, and recommending them. I thoroughly enjoy my family who help me continue on the path of a lifelong learner.

4 thoughts on “The 2011 Andys”

  1. Andy, thanks for issuing these awards. I’m especially interested in the Most-Objective-and-Even-Handed-Book-of-Scholarship.

    I have a half-suggestion for a 2011 read: “Where Good Ideas Come From” by Stephen Johnson.

    I qualified my suggestion because I haven’t read the book yet; I’m just interested in it because a lot of my friends in publishing/art/entrepreneuring are into this book. I would be very interested in your observations on this book, seeing if your experience as a published meshes with Johnson’s.

    I’m le

  2. Adam, great suggestion. I’ll put it on my list. That’s definitely a topic I’m interested in.


  3. I know this suggestion will be unpopular since systematizing seems to be out of vogue these days but I would suggest a reading of Michael Horton’s upcoming systematic theology: The Christian Faith. A review/interaction from someone of your erudition who sits outside the authors confessional tradition would be of interest to me.

    This blurb from Zondervan’s web site caught my eye as being quite audacious.

    “Michael Horton’s highly anticipated The Christian Faith represents his magnum opus and will be viewed as one of—if not the—most important systematic theologies since Louis Berkhof wrote his in 1932.”

  4. Mark, thanks for the suggestion. I know Horton’s a very sharp guy so what he writes is clearly worth paying attention to.


Comments are closed.