I set out to be more of a reader this year and I think I read more books in one year than I ever have. Having completed 30 books this year, I figured I’d do the popular thing and put out my top 10. For clarity, these are not solely books that released this year (although many are), but some have been out a very long time. I had a lot of books on my list that I didn’t read so they’re on deck for next year. I had some I started reading and wasn’t faithful enough to finish.
The books below are in no certain order because ranking them would be very difficult. However, the first book listed is what I would consider the best book I read this year. Many of the books I read are theological or have to do with Christian living although one fiction book made the cut. I hope to branch out in genre more next year even though I have a whole lot on the shelf that are still in the Christian living/theology category. Without further ado, here are the top 10 books I read in 2018.
The Storm-Tossed Family by Russell Moore
This is the best book I read this year. It is so good that I plan to read it once a year. No matter where you are in familial life, this book has something for you. I have honestly never read a better treatment on all the stages of family life for Christians. This is an excellent work and I highly recommend it.
The Gospel Comes With a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield
This is the book that I thought would be number one on my list. Hospitality has become a hot topic in Christian circles and Butterfield does a masterful job in explaining the biblical necessity of it. Not only that, the thing I love most about this book is that she is actually doing it in her day to day life and she tells you how. I love books that advocate behavioral change by giving you real life, concrete examples of how it plays out.
Gay Girl, Good God - Jackie Hill Perry
I debated between this book and a book called Same-Sex Attraction and the Church by Ed Shaw. Both are excellent treatises on this topic. Perry is such a phenomenal writer that I had to put her on the list. This is a topic that many Christians, if they’re honest, would say they’re uncomfortable with or don’t know how to deal with it. I think this book should be a mandatory read for church members because this topic isn’t going away, it’s getting more prevalent and many of us don’t know how to love gay people well. Jackie gives us the help we need.
Love Came Down at Christmas - Sinclair Ferguson
My wife and I read this together for Advent this year and it was our favorite one we’ve ever done. Ferguson goes through 1 Corinthians 13 showing us that the famous “love chapter” directly relates to Christ and His coming. This was a powerful book and I’d recommend you read it for Advent next year.
The Holiness of God - R.C. Sproul
R.C. Sproul passed away last year. I was ashamed to say I’d never read any of his books. I changed that this year and read his “big two”. If you can only read one book by him, this should be the one. It’s the book he’s known for and I promise it will convict you.
The Imperfect Disciple - Jared Wilson
I read this book at the beginning of the year and became a big Jared Wilson fan. Wilson is such a good writer and some of his stories had me laughing out loud because I could relate so much too him. This book was so encouraging and you’ll be glad you read it.
Living Life Backwards - David Gibson
This is another book that I thought would be the best that I read. It was so good that I lent it out to others and encouraged other people to buy it. I honestly should probably be getting commission for this one. This book is all about Ecclesiastes and the lessons we can reap from it. Ecclesiastes was a book in the Bible that always confused me and this book helped me greatly. It’s written in a very approachable way so I’d recommend you read it.
The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
I had never read any of The Lord of the Rings books. I had only watched the movies. They’re long books and I’m still in the middle of the second one, but the first was great. There’s so much in there that wasn’t in the movies (obviously). These are classic works and this is my only fiction book to make the list. If you like the movies, you’ll love the books.
The Pleasures of God - John Piper
I used to think that if John Piper had a must-read book it was Desiring God. I’ve changed my mind. Piper has released a ton of books! If you can only read one, make it this one. It is all about what God delights in. You get a lot of what makes Desiring God great with even more! This is definitely Piper’s masterpiece.
Prayer - John Onwuchekwa
There are a lot of books out there about prayer. John O’s book sets itself apart because it focuses on corporate prayer and praying together with others. This is a unique and important book. It’s really short, but really powerful. I highly recommend this one to you.
There’s my list. I hope to read more than 30 books this next year. What books made an impact on you this year? I’d love to know! Maybe I’ll pick one up in 2019.