It’s time to celebrate the best and most popular books that have been advertised through the monthly Bookshelf catalogues of this year. This ranking represents sales through Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand since January 1, but many of these books have also been shared and sold in other ways across the year—in churches, at church events and in the wider community. Five of this year’s list have been on a previous Top 20 list, with Food As Medicine becoming a long-standing favourite in its third year on this bestseller list, equalling a record for most appearances on the Bookshelf Top 20.
1. If You Can Eat . . . You Can Make Disciples: Sharing Faith in A Multi-faith World
If You Can Eat was launched in September with a road trip through Northern Australia and a visit to the camp-meeting in South Queensland. With these launching events and strong wider interest, initial sales of this book quickly overtook all the other books on the list. It’s a small book and a simple read but with big ideas about sharing faith in our complex cultures.
2. Live More Happy: Scientifically Proven Ways to Lift Your Mood and Your Life
Dr Darren Morton has brought together the best of today’s research in positive psychology, lifestyle medicine and neuroscience. But for all this scientific weight, Life More Happy is highly readable and full of practical strategies for lifting your mood and wellbeing in your everyday life. This book will also make a difference in the lives of those you share it with.
3. Captain Jack Radley and the Heyday of the Fleet: The Story of Adventist Mission Boats in the South Seas
“The one quibble about the book may be that it includes too much information. Several lists of mission boats include their names, the years they entered service, their dimensions, and notes about their service. But the lists are easily skimmed over by casual readers, and their presence is a worthy addition for a book likely to become the definitive history of Adventist mission ships in the South Pacific.”—Review by Stephen Chavez, Adventist Review, November, 2018
4. Following Jesus: Disciple-making and Movement-building
At the heart of the church’s focus on discipleship are the stories, ministry and disciple-making method of Jesus—and Following Jesus has become one of the key resources that churches and church members around the South Pacific are using to go deeper into what it means to be a disciple of Jesus who makes disciples.
5. Engage: Faith That Matters
This collection of essays responds to the Bible’s call to “do justice” and our opportunities to engage with our communities and the wider world, particularly serving those most in need and most vulnerable. First written as a series of columns for Adventist World online, Engage urges that faith that matters is faith that makes a differences in the world around us.
6. Following the Spirit: Disciple-making, Church-planting and Movement-building Today
The third book by Dr Peter Roennfeldt on this year’s Top 20 list is a study of the Book of Acts, continuing the disciple-making movement of Jesus in the mission, experiences and theological debates of the early church. The challenge is what it means to be a disciple-making movement in our time and place.
7. Church Manual (2016 edition)
When Adventist church leaders and members from around the world meet every five years in a General Conference session, one of the regular duties is updating and revising the language of the church’s beliefs, policies and guidelines. These were published this year in the updated edition of the Church Manual.
8. Steps to Christ: Colouring Book for Kids
This colouring book, based on the principles found in Ellen White’s ever-popular classic Steps to Christ, is designed to help children take their first steps toward a personal relationship with Jesus.
9. The Book of Acts
The companion book to the Third Quarter’s Sabbath school lesson study portrays the Book of Acts as more than a retelling of the successes of the apostles, instead it is an example of the amazing things God was able to accomplish through His people.
10. Food As Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health
Celebrating its third year in the Top 20, Food As Medicine continues to sell strongly—and deservedly so. Award-winning, plant-based, practical and delicious, this cookbook is continuing to bring good health to kitchens, families and communities around the world.
11. One in Christ
With unity—and what the Bible says about this topic—an important and current debate in the Adventist Church, the church’s study in the Fourth Quarter of this year is ongoing and this companion book has added to those many discussions, conversations and studies.
12. Preparation for the End Time
The third of this year’s Sabbath school companion books on this year’s Top 20 list, Preparation for the End Time explores what it means for each of us to be ready for the second coming of Jesus and the call to prepare our minds through the study of God’s Word and an ongoing focus on Jesus.
13. No, We Don’t Only Eat Carrots
Signs Publishing partnered with author Leah Jones to share this self-published plant-based cookbook, which features more than 50 simple, healthy recipes, full-colour photos throughout and alternative Thermomix methods for most recipes.
14. Revive Café Cookbook 6
This year’s bestseller list features the fewest of Jeremy Dixon’s popular cookbooks in the history of the Bookshelf Top 20. But his books continue to share tasty, plant-based recipes—and Revive Café Cookbook 7 is coming soon.
Based on Jeremy Dixon’s popular TV series, the Cook:30 books bring together recipes from the Revive Café Cookbook series to create complete quick and healthy meals that can be cooked in about 30 minutes.
16. The Pathfinder Bible (NKJV)
The Pathfinder Bible has been available for a number of years but continues to be popular, offering Pathfinder-specific additional resources and study material in a durable and attractive Bible for young people.
17. Stories from Sunnyside: Ellen White in Australia, 1891–1900
Released late last year and vaulting onto last year’s Top 20 list, Stories from Sunnyside continued to attract strong interest across this year, sharing the stories of the ministry, leadership, travels and everyday life of Ellen White during her time in Australia in the 1890s.
18. Out of Babylon
Dr Joseph Kidder now teaches at the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary at Andrews University, but this is the story of how he found Adventist faith in Baghdad, Iraq, what that cost him, and how God continued to be with him and lead in his life.
19. End-Time Events and the Last Generation: The Explosive 1950s
Of the three major books published this year responding to “last-generation theology”, Dr Knight’s book has received the most attention, but together they show the deep concern that many of our church’s theologians have with such teaching. Dr Knight puts this issue in its historical context and call us back to focus on Jesus and how we can have assurance in what He has done for each of us.
20. Tears to Joy: One Man’s Journey Through Grief
For 40 years, Mike Tucker shared life and ministry with his wife, Gayle, including teaching seminars on grief. But when Gayle died after a brief illness in April, 2016, his teaching and faith were put to the test. This is the story of how he was right, how he was unprepared and how he survived his first year of grief.
These books are available from Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand.