It’s 2021 baby! We’re just about a fourth of the way through the new year and the world feels like it’s starting to come back to life. It finally feels as if more people are getting the vaccine than are getting Covid and we can start figuring out how to exist together again.
Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2021 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
- recommendations on how to become a better reader
- my top 15 theology books
- the 2 books I’ve personally written
- my goodreads account
- a Bible reading plan you can download and use
Click on any of the titles below to get to a link to buy it. (Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com).
- The Spirit of Wine by Stephen Lloyd-Moffet (4). There are a few books that do a really good job of exploring the intersection between wine and theology and this is one of them. It’s become one of our recommended reads for Communion Wine Co.
- The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann (5). Perpetually rereading this profound beauty.
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (4). I’m going to tackle some of the Russian classics this year. This book lives up to the hype.
- Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain (3). I’ve been more interested in how food is made and Bourdain was legendary for taking people on a journey with food. Although there isn’t much depth to it, this book is wildly entertaining.
- Is This Anything by Jerry Seinfeld (3). A collection of jokes spanning decades from one of the greats.
- Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King Jr. (4.5). A behind-the-scenes look in the midst of much of the conflict King faced. Offers more of a real-time perspective into what he was doing.
- The Unusual Suspect by Ben Machall (3). An interesting look at a guy who attempted to be a modern-day Robin Hood.
- The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale (4.5). Offers a nuanced look at how and why we need to change the way we view police in our culture.
- The Life Written by Himself by Avvakum Petrov. I was surprised how interesting this old classic of Russian theology proved to be.
- Work by James Suzman (3). A history of the concept of work. It offers a unique perspective on the subject and was interesting to consider in light of my recent radical career change.
- The Invisible Hook by Peter T. Leeson (3). This book explores the economy of the pirates of old. It offers a surprisingly interesting way to view this part of history.
- How I Built This by Guy Raz (3). This is a good overview of some concepts of entrepreneurs. It doesn’t dive deep as much as offers you a helpful collection of stories for examples to draw from in your own journey.
- Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins (4). An insane look at the life story of a Navy Seal and one of the toughest dudes I’ve ever heard of. Provides a good motivation boost for whatever you are working on as well.
- Living With a Seal by Jesse Itzler (4). Jesse invites David Goggins to live with him and train him for a month. I’d recommend reading numbers 13 and 14 on this list back-to-back.
- Zero to One by Peter Thiel (3). This takes a look at the nature of progress and how to tap into it if you want to build something new.
- Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond (4). This is the book that gave me my “only fruit till noon” axiom. Very interesting look at how your body digests food.
- The Sprout Book by Doug Evans (3.5). Sprouts have become my new secret weapon and I have even been growing them myself. If you read this book you’ll realize how healthy they are for you and why you need to figure out a way to get them into your life.
- Weird by Olga Khazin (4). This is a good cultural perspective book that explores the nature of people who never quite fit in with others and why.
- Integral Christianity by Paul R. Smith (3.5). This book has parts that make you think (a lot) and other parts that don’t make much sense. While it may be difficult for a new Christian to navigate, I think this is one to ponder together with others.
- American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (4.5). Such a brilliant book that allows you to get into the shoes of someone who risks it all to cross over the border into America.
- Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner (3). This is something that Michelle and I want to get more into in the future and Turner’s book offers a great 101 level introduction into the idea.
- The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (4). I read this a number of years ago but thought I’d revisit it in this new season of mine. It’s hard to apply many of the ideas, but Ferriss thinks in such a different way that it prompts you to challenge many things you consider to be normal.
- Jesus and John Wayne by Kristen Kobes du Mez (5). A brilliant journey through the history of Christianity in America over the last handful of decades. A must-read for all my Christian friends living in the states.
- The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson (4). At this point, I’ll read whatever Larson writes next. This book is a great look at how Churchill handled the war with Germany.
- Still Learning by India Oxenberg (3.5). A riveting story from someone caught up fully in a bizarre cult. Allows you to see inside and get a glimpse into how certain leaders manipulate and abuse others.
- The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon (4). This is technically a cookbook, but it is so beautiful and so unique and so worth your time!
- A World Without Email by Cal Newport (3.5). While this isn’t Newport’s best work, he does a good job showing why we shouldn’t be as dependent on email as we are.
- Sphere by Michael Crichton (4). I read this years ago and decided to revisit it. This is a great novel and a really unique story with great character development.
- Secrets of the Sommeliers by Rajat Parr (3). This was interesting for me in my current line of development but admittedly would be a bit much for the typical person.
- The Stand by Stephen King (3). This sucker was 47 hours on Audible and didn’t need to be. A decent story of a post-plague world but it didn’t wow me after all of that investment.