Each year, the people who put together the monthly Bookshelf catalogue compile a Top 20 of their most popular books of the year. Based on sales figures through Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand, this bestseller list shows customers’ preferences for locally produced books, with new-release books from Signs Publishing and cookbooks from Revive Café’s Jeremy Dixon in New Zealand regular favourites. On this year’s list, there are five books that were on last year’s list and one—The Man the Anzacs Revered by Daniel Reynaud—appearing on the annual list for a third year.
1. Food As Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health
It’s been a big year for Food As Medicine, after its release in October last year. It has been the inspiration for food enjoyed in homes around the world, used as a resource for health outreach programs by a number of churches around Australia, appeared on international bestseller lists, translated into a number of languages and named “Best in the World” in the health and nutrition category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in May this year. And now it’s number one on the Bookshelf Top 20—and makes a wonderful Christmas gift.
2. Following Jesus: Disciple-making and Movement-building
After its launch in March this year, Following Jesus has been used in support of the church’s focus on discipleship around the South Pacific. But it has been also used in local churches, small groups and online networks as a study guide for going deeper into the story of Jesus and His methods of making disciples and building a movement.
3. Stories from Sunnyside: Ellen White in Australia, 1891–1900
A late entry to this year’s list, Stories from Sunnyside made the list thanks to strong sales at its October launch at Sunnyside Historic Home in Cooranbong, as well as South Queensland camp-meeting and general interest from across Australia. Offering a history of Ellen White’s ministry years in Australia and New Zealand, it is also a personal glimpse into the life and ministry passions of a remarkable woman, church leader and Australian pioneer.
4. Mission Shift: Multiplying Disciples in Your Community
Mission Shift has also been shared and promoted as part of the church’s discipleship focus, focusing on the challenges for local churches in today’s world and what a disciple-making church might look like. Based on solid Bible study but also engaging with contemporary questions and thinkers, it is an important book for all church leaders and anyone interested in the local church and its mission.
5. Revive Café Cookbook 6
The most recent edition of this popular series of cookbooks inspired by the Revive Cafes in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, has a tempting focus on healthy desserts—comprising half the recipes in the book.
6. Forgive to Live (10th Anniversary Edition)
Based on a scientific study of the difference that forgiveness makes, this is a practical exploration of what forgiveness is—and isn’t. The 10th-anniversary edition includes a new chapter on forgiving oneself, as well as discussion guides.
7. 1 and 2 Peter
The first of the Sabbath school “companion books” on this year’s bestseller list, the study of Peter’s two epistles reminds us of the high calling of what it meant to be a follower of Jesus in the first and second generations of the church—and today.
8. Romans: Salvation for All
This study of the book of Romans was timed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s contribution to the Reformation, which renewed focus on the great biblical theme of salvation by faith alone.
9. Gospels in Conflict
This study of Paul’s letter to the Galatians explores the circumstances that led to Paul’s fiery letter, with important themes including authority with the church, the plan of salvation and Christian unity.
10. 40 Days: Prayers and Devotions Reflecting on the Cross of Christ
The “40 Days” series by Dennis Smith now stretches to seven books, designed for focused personal study or small-group resources. Book 5 in the series focuses on the centre of the Bible and the good news it offers.
11. Playful Worship Book 2
A musical curriculum and resource for children’s Sabbath schools, playgroups or home worship, for children aged 0 to 7. The book comes with two music resource discs, together with musical notation, interactive activity suggestions and weekly programs guides.
12. Moments With God
This popular devotional book (for 2017) from Brenda Walsh has a reading for every day of the year but is not dated, offering readers the opportunity to choose topics that relate to their life circumstances
13. Dearest Folks: Letters Home from a Missionary Wife and Mother
Drawn from letters originally written from her life as a missionary nurse in the 1950s and 1960s, Dearest Folks gives a glimpse into Marg Watts’ life of service with a sense of immediacy and unique detail.
14. There’s More to Jesus: Encountering the Fullness of Christ in Adventism
In its second year, sales of There’s More to Jesus were boosted by author Shawn Brace visiting South Queensland camp-meeting in September, as well as being used by book clubs earlier in the year.
15. Love You More
The women’s devotional book for 2017 collects true-life stories from women around the world, focused on the love of God and how that plays out in our lives in both dramatic and everyday ways.
16. The Conscientious Objector DVD
Following the publicity and success of Hacksaw Ridge, the big-screen adaptation of the story of long-time Adventist hero Desmond Doss, there has been strong continuing interest in this earlier documentary that tells the same story and features Doss himself.
Based on the TV show, this book adapts recipes from the popular Revive Café Cookbook series as a guide to preparing healthy meals in less than 30 minutes.
18. The Pathfinder Bible (NKJV)
This handy edition of the Bible includes additional material, resources and study guides tailored to Pathfinder programs, presented in a range of colours.
19. Revive Café Cookbook 5
Another colourful serving of the best from Revive Café, featuring 76 all plant-based recipes, including delicious breakfast foods.
20. The Man the Anzacs Revered
In re-telling the remarkable story of Anzac chaplain and hero William McKenzie, Avondale-based historian Daniel Reynaud offers a different perspective on the Australian legend.