I’ve written a list like this at the end of the year for a few years now. In 2015 I started creating a list with categories to avoid buying every new book and not reading ones I already own. This year was by far the best year of reading I have had. It seemed like every book was a joy to read and impactful on many different fronts. By no means am I listing what I think are objectively the top 5 books, but they are my favorite that I read this year. I hope you will enjoy some of these as well.
1. Echoes of Exodus by Alastair Roberts and Andrew Wilson
This little gem was incredible encouraging to read. In short devotional type chapters, the authors show the themes in the book of Exodus that are woven throughout the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. It probably made my book of the year because I specifically enjoy studying hermeneutics, Old Testament allusions, and Christ in the Old Testament. This book packs in all of those in a well written prose that caused my heart and soul to delight over and over.
2. Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Based on the true story of the 1936 rowing team, Brown follows the lives and story of a group of rugged working class boys who train to win at a sport dominated by wealthy ivy league types. I fell in love with characters but also found it incredibly interesting how Brown also includes the climate and rise of Nazi Germany, where the Olympics would be hosted. Overall it is an incredible story about underdogs, perseverance, and victory as a team.
3. Communion with God by John Owen
This was a reread for me this year. However, this time around was incredibly profound. Owen helped me to enjoy and accept the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not only does he cover so many different angles of our relationship with the Trinitarian God, he continually makes you feel what a great privilege it is to be loved by God.
4. Woke Church by Eric Mason
One thing that was incredibly sorrowful for me to witness in 2018 was the quickness that fellow believers divided and used harsh words towards one another on social networking platforms. Where it seemed like our culture was being primed for the Gospel, it appeared the church was missing this opportunity for the sake of arguing about who was right and wrong about issues regarding the Gospel and justice. Eric Mason’s book came as a helpful voice for me and opened my eyes to a host of ideas I was ignorant of. In fact, a host of my 2019 reading list comes from sources Mason cited. The book was a sober and helpful resource in helping the church be effective in our specific contexts in many needed areas of reconciliation. Great book!
5. Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life by Jason Meyer
I have read quite a few of the books in this series and they are all good. What I especially liked about Meyer’s treatment of Lloyd-Jones was the theme throughout the book of right doctrine and right living. He shows how Lloyd-Jones believed that God uses His Word to inform the mind, effect the heart, and move the will. This theme resulted in a healthy and zealous view of prayer, preaching, family, etc. I found this biography quite convicting on many levels, but also incredibly encouraging on other levels. I put this book down knowing I will return to it again and again. Meyer did a wonderful job with this one and I believe any one who reads it will be changed for the better.
-The New Heaven and New Earth by J. Richard Middleton
-Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
-Good & Angry by David Powlison
-Devoted to God by Sinclair Ferguson
-Made for Friendship by Drew Hunter