It’s been a good year for reading. I’ve been excited by the books that I have been able to read, whether it be those words that bring forth Scripture for spiritual growth or even some of my exciting fiction reads have been enjoyable and even caused me to consider certain aspects of life more deeply. Therefore, I find it a great joy to share with you some of my favorite reads of 2017.
While this time of year brings forth many lists, there is a key distinction with my list. Not all of the books mentioned here have been necessarily been published in 2017. Some are from 2017 while many are from years past and you will notice that they are divided into four categories. Please note that these are not in any particular order. I pray that on this list you will find some encouragement to read, perhaps by a particular book that entices your interests (you can click the links to see them on Amazon). Enjoy!
Biblical Studies/Christian Living
- ESV Reader’s Bible: I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Bible in this format in my daily devotions this year.
- Reading the Bible Supernaturally by John Piper: A great read on simply studying Scripture. Read my review here.
- What About Free Will by Scott Christiansen: By far the best treatment I have ever read on the subject of free will and election.
- Missions by Andy Johnson: Andy Johnson says many things about missions that as a missionary, I wish everyone knew. You can read my book review here.
- The Expositor’s Bible Handbook: Old Testament by Greg Harris: Admittedly I am biased here because I would recommend anything from Dr. Greg Harris. His insights are profound. This work, in particular, is helpful in how to study Scripture. You can read my review of it here.
- Reset by David Murray: An incredible book dealing with burnout for those in ministry. Read my review here.
- Portraits of a Pastor edited by Jason K. Allen: A highly recommended and needed book consisting of 9 chapters expounding upon the various roles that pastors fulfill. Read my review here.
- God Is by Mark Jones: Mark Jones does a great job at answering the question, “Who is God?” Read my review here.
- The Curious Christian by Barnabas Piper: Piper brings up a concept that few of us think about and he does so both biblically and engagingly. You can read my review of the book here.
- The CSB Spurgeon Study Bible edited by Alistair Begg: Alistair Begg has put together a tremendous resource; it is a fascinating to see Spurgeon’s notes placed directly alongside Scripture. You can read my review of it here.
- J.C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone by Iain Murray: It’s hard not to recommend a biography written by Iain Murray. Murray does well at capturing some of the battles Ryle faced in his defense of Christianity.
- Four Princes by John Julius Norwich: Individually Henry VII, Francis I, Charles V, and Suleiman the Magnificent are well-known for leading their people. Norwich though brings them together and discusses how their reigns overlapped.
- Killers of the King by Charles Spencer: What happened to the men who executed Charles I? Spencer tells us.
- The Greatest Knight by Thomas Asbridge: We have romantic notions of what it means to be a knight and Thomas Asbridge gives a glimpse into the life of William Marshal
Cultural Studies (usually research-oriented books that give us insight into the culture)
- 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke: Reinke’s research, extrapolation and application of biblical points in cultural events is quite fascinating and worth the read. You can read my review here.
- The Death of Expertise by Tom Nichols: While I don’t agree with all the points made, this is a fascinating read about how our culture can have so much information and yet be so little informed. You can read my review of it here.
- The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: I know Christians automatically have an adverse reaction to these books, but I found them enjoyable (although at points the author inserts unnecessary vulgar language). You can read more of my thoughts about that here.
- The Battle of Seattle by Douglas Bond: Bond uses fiction to tell a story of a battle between Indians and Caucasians that cause readers to look at others differently.
- 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson: Reminiscent of C.S. Lewis, Wilson’s story is fascinating.
- Camino Island by John Grisham and/or A Great Reckoning by Louise Penney: The stories were enjoyable and in Penney’s case the literary aspect for a book of this genre was deep; unfortunately in both cases I have reservations about recommending them because at times there is vulgarity and unnecessary explicitness., which is why they are listed together.