Reading List 2016

For the last four years, I’ve had two primary reading goals. First, read the Bible each year. Second, read at least 52 books, or about 1 per week. I’ve never made this second goal, but I continue to post my results at the end of the year to keep me motivated to try. (If you like, you can see the lists from 2014 and 2015.)

And last year, I fell short on both accounts. Bummer.

This year, however, I made it, and in the process, I read 86 books! I’m pretty happy about this because I only read 34 in 2013; 50 in 2014; and 51 in 2015. For any fellow nerds out there, this year’s total page count was 19,525, which corresponds to an average of 368 pages per week and 227 pages per book.

A few things to note. First, my total number was so high, partly because many of the books were short (26 of them were under 150 pages), and partly because I did a ton of research for a book I’m writing. It’s a book to help pastors in the job search process (another 26 books fell into this category).

Second, I read more novels than ever before (21), as well as a few memoirs. I think I’ll try to keep this up; I’m enjoying it. Several were audio books, which I listened to while exercising.

Finally, my two favorite books were The Imperfect Pastor by Zack Eswine and the novel All the Light We Cannot See. I absolutely loved both.

Oh, one more thing. I read the book I co-authored (More People to Love) about 10 times, but I’m not counting that one! Nor am I counting The Cat and the Hat or Pinkalicious, which I read to my kids at least a dozen times! ;-)

Again, this post is largely for personal accountability, but if you’d like to see the books I read, below I sorted them into four categories.

In the comments, feel free to let me know if you read any of these, and if so, if you had any favorites.

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Miscellaneous Christian Non-fiction

  1. Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies (120 pages)
  2. Rules for Reformers by Douglas Wilson (288 pages)
  3. Unbreakable: What the Son of God Said About the Word of God by Andrew Wilson (80 pages)
  4. Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn by Tim Challies (108 pages)
  5. Who Am I?: Identity in Christ by Jeff Bridges (108 pages)
  6. Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World by Aaron Armstrong (110 pages)
  7. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller (256 pages)
  8. Montgomery: A White Preacher’s Memoir by Robert S. Graetz (132 pages)
  9. The Bible by God (2000 pages)
  10. How to Walk into Church by Tony Payne (64 pages)
  11. Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward by Nabeel Qureshi (176 pages)
  12. Your Best Life Now: Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential by Joel Osteen (310 pages)
  13. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan (220 pages)
  14. Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue by Matthew C. Mitchell (192 pages)
  15. Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel by Kate Bowler (352 pages)
  16. The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption by Matt Chandler and Jared C. Wilson (224 pages)
  17. Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better by Brant Hansen (214 pages)
  18. Anger: Taming a Powerful Emotion by Robert D. Jones (224 pages)
  19. Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem by Gary Chapman (208 pages)
  20. Rooted: Theology for Growing Christians by J. A. Medders and Brandon D. Smith (148 pages)
  21. Why Pastors Quit: Examining Why Pastors Quit and What We Can Do About It by Bo Lane (110 pages)
  22. A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day by Catherine Parks, Linda Strode (256 pages)
  23. Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew G. I. Hart (198 pages)
  24. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace by Heath Lambert (176 pages)
  25. How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World by Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson (208 pages)
  26. Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle by Michael John Cusick (224 pages)
  27. Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time by Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, and Mike Yorkey (336 pages)
  28. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp (240 pages)
  29. Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World by Joshua Harris (192 pages)
  30. Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus by Jared C. Wilson (208 pages)
  31. Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ by Timothy Keller (160 pages)
  32. Thank You for the Book of Mormon: A Christians Friend’s Response by Carl L George (128 pages)
  33. The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus by Zack Eswine (272 pages)

Miscellaneous Non-fiction

  1. The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness by Jeff Olson (280 pages)
  2. The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac (176 pages)
  3. Writing a Winning Non-fiction Book Proposal by Michael Hyatt (32 pages)
  4. Hiroshima by John Hersey (160 pages)
  5. Voice and Vision: A Guide to Writing History and Other Serious Nonfiction by Stephen J. Pyne (336 pages)
  6. Book Launch Blueprint by Tim Grahl (70 pages)
  7. Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About The Business of Life by James Kerr (224 pages)


  1. The Owlings: A Worldview Novella (Book I) by D.A. DeWitt (98 pages)
  2. My Antonia by Willa Cather (200 pages)
  3. The Owlings: A Worldview Novella (Book II) by D.A. DeWitt (142 pages)
  4. Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, I of III) by C.S. Lewis (160 pages)
  5. Perelandra (Space Trilogy, II of III) by C.S. Lewis (190 pages)
  6. That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy, III of III) by C.S. Lewis (384 pages)
  7. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (160 pages)
  8. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor (276 pages)
  9. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (336 pages)
  10. No Masters, Please by Fred Burton (295 pages; yet unpublished novel)
  11. Animal Farm by George Orwell (56 pages)
  12. 1984 by George Orwell (284 pages)
  13. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (288 pages)
  14. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (256 pages)
  15. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (531 pages)
  16. Tales of the Kingdom by David and Karen Mains (94 pages)
  17. Go Set a Watchman: A Novel by Harper Lee (288 pages)
  18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (251 pages)
  19. Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson (247 pages)
  20. Home: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson (366 pages)
  21. Lila: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson (272 pages)

Books about the Job Search Process

  1. How to Stay Christian in Seminary by David Mathis and Jonathan Parnell (80 pages)
  2. A Change of Pastors ... and How it Affects Change in the Congregation by Loren B. Mead (112 pages)
  3. The Minister’s Salary: And Other Challenges in Ministry Finance by Art Rainer (130 pages)
  4. How to Hire A-Players: Finding the Top People for Your Team- Even If You Don’t Have a Recruiting Department by Eric Herrenkohl (240 pages)
  5. The New Pastor’s Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry by Jason Helopoulos (208 pages)
  6. The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search: The Proven Program Used by the World’s Leading Career Services Company by Orville Pierson (288 pages)
  7. From M.Div. to Rev.: Making an Effective Transition from Seminary to Pastoral Ministry by J. E. Eubanks (232 pages)
  8. Next: Pastoral Succession That Works by William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird (224 pages)
  9. Search: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook by William Vanderbloemen (192 pages)
  10. Knock ‘em Dead 2015: The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin Yate (384 pages)
  11. The Elephant in the Boardroom: Speaking the Unspoken about Pastoral Transitions by Carolyn Weese and J. Russell Crabtree (240 pages)
  12. The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster by Steve Dalton (240 pages)
  13. How to Search for a Pastor in Todays Church by Scott K. Delashaw (112 pages)
  14. Help We Just Lost Our Pastor! A Step By Step Guide for Pastoral Transitions by Ken Moberg (114 pages)
  15. What Is Your Church’s Personality?: Discovering and Developing the Ministry Style of Your Church by Philip D. Douglass (320 pages)
  16. When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search: Biblical Principles and Practices to Guide Your Search by Chris Brauns (192 pages)
  17. The First 100 Days: A Pastor’s Guide by T. Scott Daniels (176 pages)
  18. Side-stepping Landmines: Five Principles for Pastor Search Teams by Joel Rainey (50 pages)
  19. Resume 101: A Student and Recent-Grad Guide to Crafting Resumes and Cover Letters that Land Jobs by Quentin J. Schultze (144 pages)
  20. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, and Bruce Patton (200 pages)
  21. College Grad Job Hunter: Insider Techniques and Tactics for Finding A Top-Paying Entry-level Job by Brian D. Krueger (352 pages)
  22. Pastor Search Committee Handbook, Revised by Robert L. Sheffield (96 pages)
  23. Before You Move: A Guide to Making Transitions in Ministry by John R. Cionca (314 pages)
  24. Confirming the Pastoral Call: A Guide to Matching Candidates and Congregations by Joseph L. Umidi (160 pages)
  25. The Pastor’s Start-Up Manual: Beginning a New Pastorate by Robert H. Jr. Ramey (140 pages)
  26. The Alban Guide to Managing the Pastoral Search Process by John Vonhof (123 pages)