“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Mark Twain
Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2020 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.
- Range by David Epstein (4.5). A really insightful look at the notion of learning from a variety of sources and allowing yourself the freedom to experiment, risk, and even fail on your way to growth.
- The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger (3.5). The story of Disney as told from the last CEO. I love hearing about the behind the scenes aspects of leadership decisions that are made.
- The Jewish Gospel of John by Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg (4). I read three commentaries on the Gospel of John in my sermon prep and this one was my favorite.
- The Second Mountain by David Brooks (4.5). A terrific read to provide perspective on what matters most in life. Don’t spend all your time on the first mountain.
- 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson (2). Peterson is a fascinating psychologist but a bad theologian. His insights into life are worth exploring but he misses the point of many of the Bible passages he unpacks.
- Handle With Care by Lore Ferguson Wilbert (2.5). I loved the premise of this book about the spiritual value of human touch more than it ultimately delivered. It’s definitely a topic worth exploring.
- Beneath a Scarlett Sky by Mark Sullivan (4.5). This was a fascinating story of a teenager in Italy who navigated World War 2. It’s hard to believe this whole thing is true but it is a captivating story.
- Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by JK Rowling (5). Rereading this series was my personal reward for finishing my Master’s degree. Now with the whole story as perspective and the last few years to see how it holds up, I’m officially rating all of them a five.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (5).
- Inspired Imperfection by Greg Boyd (4.5). Few people are willing to talk about some of the trickier aspects of the Bible and then propose real solutions with how to resolve them.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (5).
- I See Satan Fall Like Lightning by Rene Girard (3). One of the thinkers whose name has emerged numerous times in my theological studies has been the French philosopher René Girard. This is one of his gems.
- The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann (5). This was my fourth read through in three years.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (5).
- Keep Going by Austin Kleon (4). This is a great book for helping you get out of the quarantine funk.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (5).
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling (5).
- The Myth of the American Dream by D.L. Mayfield (4). A really great read from a fellow Oregonian. Challenges many of the assumptions we have as Christians in America.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (5).
- That All Shall be Saved by David Bentley Hart (4.5). A bit of a heady read, but an incredible dismantling of the traditional view of hell.
- I’m Your Huckleberry by Val Kilmer (4). Named after Kilmer’s famous line from my favorite movie (Tombstone), this is an entertaining look at his life and career.
- Danielle by Ray Kurzweil (2). This is a fictional story and a collection of applications following it (about the future of solving problems). The story felt a bit too bizarre to get into it.
- The Great Influenza by John M. Barry (3.5). A bit tedious on some of the scientific explanations, but a fascinating look at the 1918-19 pandemic and it’s correlations to today.
- Unoffendable by Brant Hansen (2). I really liked the premise of the book but some of the explanations felt cliche.
- King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild (4). A fascinating and heartbreaking story of the Congo.
- Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber (3). While I don’t agree with some of her conclusions, I appreciate her heart for people and the way she brings a fresh perspective to some Christian topics.