I don’t often read books when they come out, so this list is a list of the top books that I read, not the top books published this year. For fairness, I do not consider books that I’ve read previously (otherwise the same books might make the list each year!).
That said, here’s my favorite 10:
10. Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris
This the only book on the list that didn’t get 5 stars. A couple of months later, I don’t remember why it only got 4 stars…it’s stuck with me. I love books that do that.
The image that has stuck with me is the idea of a bunch of believers sitting around telling our stories of God’s work in our lives, and the idea that we all are going to be amazed at how much we got wrong. There are issues of doctrine I will die for, and there are other issues–while important–aren’t issues to die for.
I got this back when the movie of similar name came out, so it’s been on my shelf for quite a while. It’s a very simple book full of profound truths. Things we all need to be reminded of.
The overriding metaphor that is the premise of this book is that life is like living in a old, broken house that is in the process of being remodeled. Sometimes before things are fixed, they’re broken even further. And the whole thing is a big mess. We know that one day the house will be completely restored to its original beauty, but in the meantime, there’s work to do.
I really liked this book. In fact, I liked it so much that I broke the binding writing and highlighting so much! For anyone who struggles with sins against the body (for me, overeating), I highly recommend this book.
6. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
I was burned with my first Stephen King being the mess in need of editing, Under the Dome. It’s been a couple of years, so I thought I’d give King a second chance. I was impressed at how well thought out this book was and how time travel (and its numerous consequences) was presented. I’ve always loved time traveling books: it’s such a fascinating concept, full of “what ifs.”
I’m so thankful for Jonathan Merritt, someone who speaks for my generation of evangelicals. While I appreciate the stand for truth of past generations in the church, I have also seen how the occasionally obsessive interest in being right has erected unnecessary walls between believers and nonbelievers, and between Christians of different stripes.
I’ve always loved the book of Jonah, but this helped me bring fresh eyes to the book. How great a God we serve that he doesn’t give up on us (though we repeatedly turn from Him)!
This was one of the books from my sci-fi kick that I’m still kinda in. I appreciate science fiction because it helps us discuss real issues by putting them in a different context. In the case of Red Mars: do we have the right to recreate the environment (in this case, of Mars) if it’s for the good of the human race? Or is it good for the human race? Very fascinating! I wish I enjoyed the sequel as much, but I just didn’t.
Maybe this is what got me in such a science fiction frenzy. This is actually a sequel to a book that I thought was good, but not great. But this is the rare case where the sequel is much better than the first book. In a world of dystopian-esque books, this one stands out.
This is the kind of book that I finish and think “I need to read this again.” It has changed how I view the world around me, and that’s a lot to get from a book.