First of all, if you’re a reader and you aren’t using Goodreads, then pause right now, go here and open an account. Then come back here and read this post before you lose yourself in the wonder of:
- tracking your reading
- getting great recommendations from other readers
- discovering community
- interacting with authors
Thanks to Goodreads, here’s my reading for 2017:
I read 26 books in 2017. That’s the fewest books I’ve read in a year in the past eight years, according to GoodReads, although I read more pages this year than last year (9086 vs 7494).
When you get set up on Goodreads, add me as a friend. Now, on to my top books:
- Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul by Hannah Anderson
I read a review of it by Tim Challies, and he was entirely correct. Anderson is a pastor’s wife who is also from Virginia. She is a fantastic writer. I found myself enjoying her wordsmithing as much as her encouragement toward humility. It was a book a thoroughly enjoyed and encouraged me to reflect Jesus to others.
- Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves
Last year I read his Rejoicing in Christ and loved it. Darrell Cook recommended this one to me, and I’m thankful. I was skeptical about the subtitle “An Introduction to the Christian Faith.” However, now I see better how deeply important a robust embrace and delight in a Trinitarian God enhances and informs my faith. I highly recommend it!
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
I usually shy away from books that smell too much like popular leadership culture. However, this one also had been recommended to me. I enjoyed it. Perhaps the greatest takeaway was the significance of finding clarity. You can’t make decisions and focus on the essentials in your life if you don’t have clarity. His thoughts on reducing mental clutter are invaluable.
- What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin Deyoung and The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics by Robert Gagnon
One of my 2017 goals was to do some reading in this area for the purpose of grace-filled responsive to our culture (and even many Christians) wanting to move what I consider biblical boundaries for human sexuality. The first was an informative, helpful easy read (as far as readability, not topic) and the second was DENSE. Sometimes more footnotes than text on the page. It was a thorough, scholarly treatment of what scripture says about the subject. I didn’t agree with all the author’s perspectives (he thinks a Christian can lose their salvation), but it was worth reading to be able to address opposing viewpoints with grace and truth, combined with the depth of Gagnon’s analytical work.
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This was an accidental, delightful discovery. I used Goodreads to find a new fantasy series, and Rothfuss did not disappoint. I will definitely be reading the second book in the series. He spins up a world of characters and plot that reminds me of LOTR.
Here are some series that I read:
- 2 books in C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr Series: What Angels Fear (#1) and When Gods Die (#2). This imaginative series is set in the early 19th century and leans heavily on England’s feud with France and the fear that the Revolution will sweep its way across the channel. Sebastian St. Cyr is a nobleman thrust into the role of detective.
- 2 books Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series: Havana Storm (Dirk Pitt #23) and Odessa Sea (#24). I have read #1-22 and really enjoy them. They’re clean, brainless, action-adventure-mystery books.
- I finished the second book in Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine series Hollow City.
- Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi
I was reading this account of a Muslim’s conversion to Christianity in September when the author passed away on September 16 from aggressive stomach cancer at age 34. This book is compelling, and though a little trite at some points, it’s well worth the read to understand how Muslim families respond when one of their own begins to seek Jesus on his own terms.
Books I Stopped Reading:
I rarely give up on a book. Sometimes I’ll finish out of sheer internal obligation. But these were the ones I couldn’t finish this year.
- Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore. I could not get into this book and actually found it a bit… pretentious. It was one of Christianity Today’s top 2015 books, and so I wanted to read it. I couldn’t finish it.
- Fresh Air: What Happens When You Discover the Powerful Secrets of a God-Breathed Life by Chris Hodges. If you’re a pastor and you write a book, please don’t tell the rest of us that your church is one of the fastest-growing churches in the country. It doesn’t mean anything other than revealing that you really wanted to tell us that. I put the book down after the third chapter became yet another telling us why he was writing the book.
- A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss. I was looking for a new series and thought this might be the one. Although it was good writing but the story just didn’t drag me in. Got 100 pages into it and just decided to give up.
The Full List
To see the full list of books from 2017, check out this nifty list.
Questions to Answer:
- Which books of these have you read?
- Which books were your favorites in 2017?
- Which book on the list above are you more likely to read due to interest or recommendation?