At the end of every year I am making it tradition to share my reading list from the previous year and give a brief summary. This year I have read more fiction than ever in my life and I think that has been impacted by my use of the Kindle app on my iPad. For whatever reason it seems to lend itself to less serious reading. Maybe that is just in my head.
I am not sharing this to show off my reading list (as you will see it may actually be quite humbling), but I am writing to hopefully share with you some of the high points and low points. Some books I would highly recommend and others I would suggest you skip, but one thing I hope this list does, is motivate you to get out and read good books.
1. The Sword (Brian Litfin)
A Christian novel set in a post-apocalyptic future in which the Bible has long been forgotten. First part of a trilogy. Fun concept and thought provoking but not the best writing.
2. Safe in the Arms (MacArthur)
A Book about where babies go when they die. Part of my pastoral search for answers to provide legitimate and honest encouragement to others on a subject I have yet to fully grasp. Helpful book, but it didn’t end the discussion in my mind.
3. The Hunger Games (Collins)
You’ve heard of this one. Riveting and well written.
4. Catching Fire (Collins)
part 2 of the Hunger Games
5. Esther (Jobes) [NIVAC]
Read this commentary for my devotions this year prior to preaching the books of Esther.
6. Mockingjay (Collins)
Part 3 of the Hunger Games. This series got progressively chickified. By the end I could barely hang on with the internal struggle of a teen girl becoming the main point.
7. Cross of Christ (Stott)
Perhaps the best book I read this year! Highly recommend this deep book to anyone. It may stretch you academically and that would be for your own good. Very comprehensive discussion of the implications of the cross of Jesus Christ and what that means for us.
8. Acts (Bock) [ECNT]
Read for my sermon series on the Book of Acts. Perhaps the best commentary on the book of Acts I have read.
9. The Acts of the Apostles (Peterson) [PNTC]
Very good commentary on Acts. Readable with good insight and depth.
10. The Book of Acts (Bruce) [NICNT]
Good pastoral commentary on Acts. Anyone would gain from it, but it might help to have a bit of Greek first.
11. Acts (Fernando) [NIVAC]
Devotional commentary on Acts. My favorite series to recommend to people in the church who want to go a bit deeper in their personal study of the books. The very format of the commentary helps guide the reader through the process of healthy and good interpretation.
12. When a Baby Dies (Nash)
Another book to help main the process of clarifying what happens to babies when they die according to Scripture. This led me to wrestle with a more reformed perspective on this subject.
13. Death by Love (Driscoll)
A book of various testimonies to the way that the cross of Christ has an impact on real life situations. Mark Driscoll does a great job in walking through some very real situations of real and raw life.
14. Romans (Moo) [NIVAC]
Devotional Commentary read in the mornings. I love the book of Romans, but it is super-hard to preach through. Not biting that off soon!
15. Choosing to Cheat (Stanley)
Deceptively titled book about time management. Either we are cheating our families or cheating our work (according to the author). He suggests we invest in our family as our top priority.
16. The Gift (Brian Litfin)
Book Two of the series I started in 1. Less intriguing as the series goes on.
17. Esther (Jobes) [NIVAC] 2nd time
Read now in preparation for my weekly sermons. Great to get a woman’s perspective on the book of Esther.
18. Esther (Baldwin) [TOTC]
Small attainable commentary on Esther.
19. Esther (Bush) [WBC]
Good academic and thorough.
20. Unspoken Lessons About the Unseen God (Prime)
Excellent book that summarizes the themes and movements of the book of Esther. Didn’t agree with all of his conclusions, but found it helpful.
21. Not Even a Hint (Harris)
A good book regarding the battle against lust. A bit more geared toward singles, but an excellent resource for all men.
22. Devil’s Gate (Cussler)
Just a good old mindless spy thriller novel.
23. A Gospel Primer (Vincent)
I want every Christian I know to read this. Very short and yet very impactful in the way that it explains the various benefits of the gospel! I need this reminder over and over again. It is all about Jesus! Not about my works, my worth, or my usefulness to God!
24. Delirium (Oliver)
Chick novel that I read to keep up with Linda. Well written and I enjoyed it in the end. What is up with dystopian techno-chick books?
25. Fearless (Blehm)
The very moving biography of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown. A real life story of redemption and the power of God to draw a person from the pit. Amazing story if it was fiction . . . But this one is real!
26. Tyndale (Teems)
Biography of an ancient dude who translated the first English Bible. Amazing what it took to finally get the Bible into the languages of us common folk!
27. The Amateur (Klein)
A very unflattering, disrespectful and unrecommended book about our current president. Don’t read it. I was tempted to leave it off but in the name of authenticity, wanted to admit that even I read some junk.
28. The Epistle to the Galatians (Bruce) [NIGTC]
Best commentary I read on the book of Galatians. Very Technical.
29. Galatians (Longenecker) [WBC]
30. Free in Christ (Andrews) [WCS]
31. Galatians (McNight) [NIVAC]
All read for the purpose of rounding out my own preparation in preaching through Galatians over the summer.
32. Taste and See (Piper)
Devotional readings by John Piper. Good and thought provoking, but I realized why I don’t often read devotional books and just stick to personal Bible Study. A little too fluffy. Not a critique of Piper, but a critique of the format. Hard to state much gravity in one page of text.
33. Real Sex (Winner)
A woman’s perspective on the state of sexuality in our current culture. Very authentic and real. She definitely is critical of the high and lofty status that sex has been given by modern culture.
34. Adam (Dekker)
Not Dekker’s best Novel. A bit too macabre and demonic. Lacked significant redeeming qualities.
35. Holes (Sachar)
Read this along with my son. Very well written and fun little juvenile novel. Some good lessons of helping others and following through on promises.
36. The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment (Challies)
I read this for a men’s group that meets on Saturday mornings. Not a bad book, but bottom line was get to know the truth so you can discern the right path. Nothing earth shattering in the final reveal.
37. A Christmas Carol (Dickens)
Sometimes it is nice to be stretched in reading the Old English. Once I got into the flow of it, I found myself caught up in the story. They just don’t write books like this anymore. Short read.