Interesting thread. I'm not sure why I never noticed it before. Anyway, over the last year, I have read five books. If you really knew me, you'd know that is more than I have ever read in one single year. Usually you had to read 3 or 4 in high school, but I usually bought the cliff notes and fudged my way through the reports and tests.
Here are the books I have read lately:
The Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
The Shack by William P. Young
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Each of the books has had a profound impact on the way I think and live life. I love all of these books and consider them all worthy of reading. However, if I had to strongly recommend a couple of these books to you, I would say start with Blue Like Jazz. The subtitle to the book is: Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. Don used this subtitle becuase he shares his thoughts about how churches as a whole have missed the essence of Christ's purpose on this Earth. He shares his experiences traveling across the country, interacting with all sorts of people - athiests, agnostics and Christians. What's so neat about this book is that Don doesn't speak with arrogance, but with a sincerity and authenticity that is very appealing.
The other book that I recommend is The Shack. It's a fictional book about a man's spiritual journey after he experiences a traumatic event in his life. The book is especially powerful for parents, but anyone else would find it very inspirational as well. BTW, I am a father of two young children. I will forewarn you that the first 90 pages will be difficult to get through (this is where the main character goes through his "traumatic event"). I admit, I cried a couple times while reading the book. It was very hard to put this book down because it sucks you right in, but left me on an emotional high. I am sure many other opinions will vary, but I thought the theme of the book was one of redemption, forgiveness and unconditional love.
Hope this interests people enough to go out and buy/borrow these two books (or any of the others for that matter).