For the last three years, I have tracked every book that I’ve read. My goal has been to read 52 a year—about 1 a week. If for no other reason than accountability, I publish the list at the end of the year on my blog. Often, I need this kind of pressure to perform.
So, in 2013, I read 34 books. In 2014, I read 50 (list here). This year, 51!
To be sure, this makes it look like things are trending in the right direction (34 -> 50 -> 51). And in some ways, they are. If you measure 2015 by the total number of pages, however, I’m actually down a bit. Last year I averaged 251 pages a week, whereas this year I only averaged 218, which amounts to approximately 2,000 missing pages.
This leads me to the first of 5 (brief) comments before I share my list.
First, reading a total of 51 books, which is just 1 short of the goal of 52, on the one hand, is not at all a big deal. On the other hand, it actually stings quite a bit. Here’s the reason: if you look at my list, the book that I want to re-read every year didn’t make it—the Bible is missing.
I did, of course, read a lot of the Bible, but on my list I only count “completed” books. As of this morning (12/31/15), I’m in John 20. Thus, I feel as though presenting my list is like displaying a huge puzzle that’s missing the most important piece—a piece that’s exactly 2,000 pages. Next year, by the grace of God, I hope to fix this. Please hold me accountable.
Second, this year I read more novels than ever before in my life. There were 8 that came from our church book club, which I helped lead. Another 3 came from The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. These I read aloud to my family. Both the book club and the family reading time were rich additions to life.
Third, there’s lots of Timothy Keller on the list: 6 books and 12.5% of the total pages, to be exact. He’s such a helpful writer. If you’re not familiar with Keller, his prose is very simple but the ideas are profound.
Fourth, as you can see from the chart (above), it looks as though I read the most books in the fall and the least in the late spring. I’m not sure what that tells me, except this: (Next year) after Easter, don’t slow down!
Finally, because people ask (and because it seems this like what bloggers often talk about), my 2 favorite books of the year were What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung (which I talk about here), and The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker. They were very different books, but each is excellent in its own way.
Without further ado, here’s my book list in the order I completed them…
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Reading List 2015
- Is God anti-gay? (Questions Christians Ask) by Sam Allberry (88 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality by Wesley Hill (160 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- Burning Hearts: Preaching to the Affections by Josh Moody, Robin Weekes (144 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (200 pages)
- Evangelical Convictions: A Theological Exposition of the Statement of Faith of the EFCA by EFCA Spiritual Heritage Committee (321 pages)
- The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist by Craig Groeschel (256 pages)
- A Man After God’s Own Heart: Devoting Your Life to What Really Matters by Jim George (272 pages)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (180 pages)
- The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg (288 pages)
- The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy by Timothy Keller (48 pages)
- Affirming the Apostles’ Creed by J.I. Packer (160 pages)
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (112 pages)
- Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (200 pages)
- Who is Jesus? by Greg Gilbert (144 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (192 pages)
- What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung (160 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- Porn-Again Christian: A Frank Discussion on Pornography and Masturbation by Mark Driscoll (56 pages)
- The Word Became Fresh: How to Preach from Old Testament Narrative Texts by Dale Ralph Davis (160 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung (144 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung (144 pages)
- The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness by Kevin DeYoung (160 pages)
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (72 pages)
- Themelios, An International Journal for Students and Religious Studies (Vol. 40, issue 1; April 2015) by Carson, D.A., and Others (Editors) (196 pages)
- A Time to Embrace: Same-Sex Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics, 2nd edition by William Stacy Johnson (390 pages)
- God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines (224 pages)
- God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines by Albert Mohler, Jr. (Editor) (96 pages)
- Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards, Brandon J. O’Brien (240 pages)
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (267 pages)
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller (310 pages)
- The Old Songs by Fred Burton (220 pages)
- Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters by Timothy Keller (256 pages)
- Judges For You: For Reading, For Feeding, For Leading (God’s Word for You) by Timothy Keller (224 pages)
- Judges: Such a Great Salvation by Dale Ralph Davis (240 pages)
- Book Launch: How to Write, Market & Publish Your First Bestseller in Three Months or Less AND Use it to Start and Grow a Six Figure Business by Chandler Bolt (172 pages)
- 4 (short) eBooks by various authors (100 pages)
- The Joy Project: A True Story of Inescapable Happiness by Tony Reinke (148 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker (368 pages)
- Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ by Tony Reinke (288 pages) [READ MY REVIEW]
- Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (320 pages)
- Moving On, Moving Forward: A Guide for Pastors in Transition by Michael J. Anthony, Mick Boersma (304 pages)
- What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles (368 pages)
- Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry (384 pages)
- How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler, Charles Van Doren (426 pages)
- Galatians for You: For Reading, for Feeding, for Leading by Timothy Keller (208 pages)
- Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler (272 pages)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (278 pages)
- The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller (352 pages)
- Best Wedding Meditations: An Anthology by various authors (71 pages)
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (200 pages)
- Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America’s Greatest Marathon by John Brant (256 pages)
- Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy by Gary Thomas (304 pages)