2014 Reading in Review

Books are to readers what weights are to scuba divers: they take you places you couldn’t go on your own.

While I enjoy books, I’m not a fast reader. So I’ve found audiobooks to be an ally in taking me places through my reading while also optimizing my commute. About 25% of the books below were enjoyed while driving. In this, I recommend “double-speed” (referring to the speed of the listening, not the driving).

History

The Path Between the Seas

One of my favorite authors, David McCullough, tells the (long) story of the making of the Panama Canal.

The Johnstown Flood

David McCullough’s first book: the now-relatively unremembered tragedy which occurred in 1889 and could’ve been avoided.

A Little History of the  World

A charming and concise survey of world history, from a purely secular standpoint.

Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals

A short collection of essays about friendship by famed historian, Stephen Ambrose.

Soldiering in the Army of the Tennessee: A Portrait of Life in a Confederate Army

A boots-on-the-ground retelling of life in a lesser-known army during the Civil War.

Christian Living

The Gospel at Work

One of the best books I’ve read on how to work Christianly in our various vocations.

Relationships: A Mess Worth Making

Real-life examples bring home the need all of us have to live out the gospel in our relationships.

Dangerous Journey

A short re-telling for children of the classic allegory: The Pilgrim’s Progress.

John for Everyone (Part Two, Chapters 11-21)

A devotional commentary on the second half of John’s Gospel.

What Jesus Demands from the World

Goes through 50 different instructions that Jesus gave His followers: for them to obey and teach  to others.

Biography

The Preacher and the President

Narrates the sometimes significant influence that Billy Graham had on U.S. Presidents (from Truman to Bush), and sometimes the influence that the Presidents had on Billy Graham.

A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards

A short life of Jonathan Edwards, who was one of America’s most brilliant theologians.

C.S. Lewis: A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet

Recently published biography of C.S. Lewis, relying especially on his writings. An excellent place to being learning about Lewis and how to read his works.

Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship

The overlapping lives of two world leaders brilliantly told by a first-rate historian.

The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones–1899-1981

One-volume biography of one of the 20th Centuries most influential and God-centered preachers. Christ-exalting.

Theology

God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World

A helpful and reverential focus on the Person of God, with special emphasis on His holiness and compassion, and how they interrelate.

Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace

A brief treatment of the doctrines of grace from a warm and seasoned pastoral perspective.

The Heart of Christ

A 16th Century pastor writing about the loving heart of our Savior as displayed through a handful of rich biblical passages.

Mere Christianity

One of the 20th Centuries most enduring and captivating defenses and recommendations of the Christian faith.

Church

Leading from the Second Chair

A practical discussion of the challenges and priorities which accompany any kind of “second-chair” leadership.

The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ

A short book packed with vivid encouragement and application about how we can (and must) live out the Good News of Jesus in our life together as a church.

Organic Community: Creating a Place Where People Naturally Connect

A thought-provoking examination of how people naturally connect in churches, and how those relationships can be cultivated.

Fiction

Perelandra

The second book of C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, this is one of my favorite Lewis books. Entertaining, yet instructive about our walk of faith and fight against sin.

The Great Divorce

Not a marriage book, this is a fictional account of an imaginary bus trip from Hell to Heaven. Along the way, Lewis exposes many familiar excuses and reasons why people refuse Christ.