It’s hard to believe we are already 25% of the way through 2018. I’m going to try something new this year and post my yearly reading list as the year progresses (once per quarter). You can see my yearly list at any time by clicking on the upper right menu title named “reading list” on my blog.
Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2018 with my rating for them (5 being the best) along with a brief review. Any book without a number rating has been given to me by the author or publisher. In addition to this list, you might also check out my reading lists from previous years as well as my recommendations on how to become a better reader.
(Click here) to see the books I have personally written, and see below for the ones I’ve read this year. Click on any of the titles below to get to a link to buy it.
- God Has a Name by John Mark Comer (3.5). John Mark does a good job of taking a key passage of the Old Testament and showing how it affects our theology of God across the board. He applies it in some intriguing ways.
- Deep Work by Cal Newport (5). He writes about a different type of work that is increasingly rare these days yet which offers a disproportionate amount of return. As the frequency and sophistication of the distractions continue to increase around us, those people who find the time and ability to achieve deep work will stand out from the rest.
- The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt (3). This isn’t a sympathetic view of the Biblical narrative, yet it offers a historical and cultural look at the impact of Adam and Eve on everything else.
- When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink (3.5). An easy read about the scientific realities of how our bodies are wired with timing. Offered a number of practical ways I have begun to apply these ideas.
- Reality, Grief, Hope: Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks by Walter Brueggemann (4.5). This is at times a difficult read, but it provides a fascinating comparison to the fall of Jerusalem in the Old Testament with that of 9/11 in America.
- The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu (2). A study on the rise and fall of comic books. Presents an interesting parallel to much of the reactions to video games today, but ultimately feels too narrowly focused.
- The Re-justification of God by J.D. Myers (3). A short and specific dive into Romans 9:10-24 that does a great job unpacking Paul’s ideas. It would be a good commentary to anyone confused by Paul’s arguments.
- Leonardi da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (3). Does a good job highlighting the things that made Leonardi unique. Most notably, Isaacson shows the value of curiosity.
- Lost Boy by Christina Henry (3.5). This is a new backstory on Captain Hook and Peter Pan. I’ve always loved this story, so I thoroughly enjoyed where Henry took it.
- Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zahnd (4.5). I love the way Brian thinks and I appreciate the ways in which he challenges the dominant (yet often unhealthy) narratives about Christianity.
- Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine (2). This was an interesting read. Offered some intriguing ideas but also felt a bit on the bizarre self-help/new age side.
- Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday (4). This book was good for my soul. Offers a great historical perspective on the dangers of thinking too highly of yourself.
- Space at the Table by Brad and Drew Harper (3). A powerful story and perspective from an evangelical professor and his gay son. This book does a great job personalizing the topic so it isn’t an abstract issue.
- Fields of Gold by Andy Stanley (3). This is a short read about the value of generosity. Andy is an incredible teacher and offers solid content as usual.
- Giving it All Away… by David Green (1). This is the story of Hobby Lobby and how they run their company. I love the emphasis on generosity but it was difficult for me to get beyond the conservative evangelical talking points throughout it.
- Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard (4). The true story of the assassination of President James Garfield. It was a fascinating historical retelling and loaded with sad irony of how it could have played out differently in hindsight.
- Mere Morality by Lewis B. Smedes (1.5). I read this for a seminary class. It had a few intriguing sections but seems dated in the style and was a dense read at times.