Announcing the Bookshelf Top 20 of 2021

Some of the books on the Top 20 list.

Keep family and friends informed by sharing this article.

Amid another challenging year for bookselling, Adventist bookshops across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific continue to do the good work of selling good books, whether in store—as permitted—over the phone or through the growing sales on their respective webstores. From these sales, we have compiled a list of the 20 bestselling books that have been advertised in the monthly Bookshelf catalogue across the year.

Now in its 12th year, this ranking represents sales through Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand since January 1 this year. Two books are the equally longest-standing on this year’s Bookshelf bestseller list—Live More Happy and If You Can Eat—both of which first featured on the 2018 list. And If You Can Eat is one of four books by Dr Peter Roennfeldt that appear on this year’s list.

This is your chance to discover your next great read—and perhaps to win one of the books on this list (see the details below).

  1. Sisters in Arms: Courageous Women of the Reformation

First-time author but experienced writer, Sukeshinie Goonatilleke tells the stories of eight women of the Reformation. While their names are not as well known as the men of the Reformation, these women were leaders, writers, theologians and thinkers—and they were people with fears and faith, questions and courage. The eight chapters introduce these women in long-form stories, bring together historical research, engaging narration and important ideas for living faithfully today.

  1. Called: Meet 50 Women Working With God in the South Pacific

We all have stories from our lives with God, but this book brings together experiences of calling from the lives of the 50 women told in their own words. These women are leaders in a wide variety of ways, including but not limited to pastoral and church leadership, but this kaleidoscope challenges readers with what God’s calling looks like in their own lives. With full colour photographs of the women, this is an attractive and inspiring book.

  1. Daring to Ask for More (Pocket Edition)

Since its first release in 2015, Daring to Ask for More has been one of the bestselling books in Adventist publishing and this condensed edition has extended its impact much further, continuing to be popular for personal devotional reading and for sharing an introduction to a life of faith.

  1. Canoes, Crocodiles and Christ: The Story of Haru Hariva

Now Director of Adventist Education for the South Pacific Division, Dr David McClintock collected the stories of pioneering indigenous missionary Haru Hariva from various members of his family who he worked with as a teach and education leader in Papua New Guinea. It is a story of faith, adventure and miracles, which is now being used as a resources for Bible classes in Adventist schools across the Pacific.

  1. Your Church Has Changed: Rebuilding Church and Mission Post-COVID-19

Amid the disruptions of COVID-19 restrictions, many people have had their church-going habits and assumptions challenged, raising and revealing real challenges for church. But as churches adjust and restrictions come and go, there are also opportunities to re-imagine our understanding of church and return to considering what the Bible sketches as the mission and purpose of the church.

  1. Live More Happy: Scientifically Proven Ways to Lift Your Mood and Your Life (Pocket Edition)

Number one on last year’s list, Live More Happy continues to be an important and worthwhile book for sharing in in our communities where there are many needs in relation to mental health and emotional wellbeing. The book makes a simple and scientifically supported offer: there are many things we can to do feel better, sometimes almost immediately and, if not, by no later than tomorrow. Share a copy with everyone you know—and maybe with others in your community as well.

  1. Enjoy the Living Word: Inspiration, Manuscripts and Translations

The Bible is an important foundation of our faith, but there are perennial questions fostered and festered by concerned voices, as well as opportunistic troublemakers, about the “best” or the potentially dangerous translations. Answering the key questions about the origins and translation processes of the Bible, Dr Roennfeldt urges that the most important Bible is one that is read and shared.

  1. The Promise: God’s Everlasting Covenant

Original published almost 40 years ago, this was revised and updated by the author’s son—also a Bible scholar—as a Sabbath school companion book for the second quarter of this year. It is an exploration of the covenant between God and His people as a key to the architecture of the Bible and the invitation to a relationship with God.

  1. Rest in Christ

The third quarter’s Sabbath school study this year was an exploration of the Bible’s concept of—and invitation to—rest, particularly resting in the assurance and promises of Jesus. This is the companion book that took readers deeper into this study

  1. If You Can Eat, You Can Make Disciples: Sharing Faith in a Multi-faith World

A simple, reproducible and low-cost framework for sharing our faith with our friends and neighbours, If You Can Eat draws on Dr Roennfeldt’s experiences with his multi-faith neighbours and his study of the teaching of Jesus in Luke 10. It is not surprise that this book continues to connect with readers and has now been published in multiple languages.

  1. Deuteronomy: The Book of Love

Dr Jiri Moskala’s study of the key book of the Hebrew scriptures was the Sabbath school companion book for the fourth quarter of this year. He explains how this ancient book presents God’s passion for His people, and then details how His people ought to love, admire, obey, worship, serve and follow God in return.

  1. If You Are Thirsty, You Can Be Spirit-filled: Be Empowered for Life and Witness

The Holy Spirit has long been a contested topic within Adventism and the wider Christian world, but the Bible also presents the Holy Spirit as personal and powerful, necessary and refreshing. Drawing on the Bible’s imagery of water and Dr Roennfeldt’s experiences of growing up on a farm in the southwest of Western Australia, this is an accessible study of this important topic.

  1. Remembering Mona Mona: The Mission in the Rainforest

A valuable historical study of Mona Mona Mission that was operated by the Adventist Church near Kuranda in norther Queensland from 1913 to 1962. Drawing on interviews with former Indigenous residents of the mission and historical record, the various authors seek to tell the truth of this challenging story, led by researcher Dr Brad Watson.

  1. Just Believe

David Edgren retells the story of the raising of Jairus’ daughter with imagination, heart and perceptive insight. Written for six to 10 year olds, the book also includes discussion questions for family worship, classrooms or Sabbath school.

  1. The Command: Learning to Love Like Jesus

Jesus gave us four commands to love: love God, love each other, love our neighbour and love our enemies. They sound simply but their practice is transformative. Applying this Bible study, Dr Bruce Manners shares real-life examples of what this can look like in our churches and communities.

  1. Tyra: Through Blood, Sweat and Tears

Tyra is a family story, researched and written by Dr Elizabeth Ostring about a formidable woman in her husband’s family. The story includes faith and survival amid Finland’s battles independence and eventual immigration to Australia.

  1. Cook:30

Jeremy Dixon’s “Revive Café” series has featured regularly on the Bookshelf Top 20 over the years and, this year, Cook:30 is flying the flag of this popular series of recipe books.

  1. The Sonship of Christ

Addressing the theological controversies and confusions over the doctrine of the Trinity, Ty Gibson dives deep into the biblical meaning of “sonship” and how this is best understood as presenting the loving community of God, into which we are invited.

  1. Far Away From Home

The true story of the Kavur family from the perspective of the youngest brother, including the stories of his father’s dramatic conversion as a prisoner of war during World War I and the Joe and his brothers’ escape to faith, freedom and a new life in Australia.

  1. Enough: Discovering a God Who is Enough When You’re Not

Author Tamyra Horst explains that, for many years, she understood that it was the enemy placing the feelings of being not enough into her mind. But, until she realised that in God’s eyes we are always enough, she was not able to accept a new way of seeing herself.

Visit to win a book from the Top 20. To enter, simply submit a product review for one of the products in the 2021 Top 20 list. The five reviews deemed most useful for undecided customers will win the entrant a book of their choice from the list. Entries close December 14, 2021.


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