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It’s been a good year for books.

So far I’ve completed 68 books this year and I have a few more in the hopper.

Here, in order, are some of my favorites this year. Most of them were published this year, but not all of them.

1. On the Road with Saint Augustine

This book is less a biography on Augustine and more of an exploration of issues we all face with some help from Augustine. It’s what you’d expect from James K.A. Smith: profound and yet accessible.

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2. Surprised by Paradox

Surprised by Paradox

I’m a big fan of Jen Pollock Michel, and this book is characteristic of her writing: artful and truthful at the same time. Michel helps us preserve room in our faith for mystery and leads us into worship. You can read my review here.

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3. Confronting Christianity

I love apologetics books that answer questions being asked by people in my context. Confronting Christianity is one of those books: clear, winsome, and one that I would not hesitate to give to anyone in my community.

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4. Change Maker

I shouldn’t recommend this book because it’s geared to fitness professionals, not pastors. It includes so much practical wisdom, though, that I think anyone can benefit from it. If you want to learn from a smart entrepreneur, even if only on focus and time management, you’ll appreciate this book. You can read my review here.

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5. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

Hurry is one of my perennial struggles. This is one of the first books that gave me hope that I could change. I bought a hardcopy version to keep beside my desk, because I think I’ll need to review it often. Simple but profound. You can read my review here.

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6. Your Future Self Will Thank You

Humor, honesty, and habits. I like it all. I enjoy Drew Dyck’s writing, and this book touches on one of my favorite subjects.

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7. The Common Rule

The Common Rule

James Earl Whitney is helping us recover the role of a rule of life. I admire his advice in this book, but I also admire his honesty about the complexity and messiness of life, and his epilogue on failure and beauty. “Look for beauty, and you’ll see that failure is making you the work of art. You are God’s pot, with cracks inlaid with the gold of grace. You are more beautiful now because of the fault lines.” You can read my review here.

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8. Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism

We live more and more of our lives online. I don’t know if you can call it an addiction, but you can at least call some of our behaviors compulsive. Digital Minimalism explains what’s at stake, and helps us develop some habits around our use of technology. A good read on an important issue. You can read my review here.

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9. Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers

This may be the easiest book I read this year. Nobody can put together stories like Malcolm Gladwell. He helps us explain why we’re inclined to trust others even though we get duped, and why that’s okay.

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10. Space at the Table

I read a lot of good books on sex this year. Many of them were helpful, but this one stood out. It’s written by an evangelical professor and his gay son. If you want to understand both sides of the divide, and what it looks like to be in relationship with those who disagree, you’ll appreciate this book.

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11. The Personality Brokers

I’ve long known my Myers-Briggs Personality Type (INFJ), but I never knew the fascinating and shady story behind this personality inventory. Light but interesting reading on a schema that’s probably more accepted than it should be.

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