Reading List 2017

My first post of the year is the list of books I read the previous year (2014,  2015, and 2016). I’m not doing this to rub it in your face. I do it for personal accountability. I have a goal of reading at least one book a week, and knowing I must write about it helps me get there.

This year I greatly exceeded that goal, reaching 104 books (see graph below for stats from other years). The two main reasons for all the reading was the extra research for book projects and the enjoyable experience of reading (almost) every Jared Wilson book.

Speaking of Wilson, my favorite of his was The Pastor’s Justification. It’s a gospel-feast served by a master chef. My over-all favorite book, though, was Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel by Ray Ortlund. It’s one of those books, that if I had let myself, I might have underlined more sentences than I didn’t. 

As for novels, I read 16 this year, including rereading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Dorr, which was even better the second time around. For 2 years in a row, it was my favorite novel. I also thought The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (published 2003) deserves an honorable mention; the book touches father-son issues with all the gentleness of a taser.

Another highlight of the year, although not explicitly of reading but closely related to it, was watching The Return of the King, the third of The Lord of the Rings movies. I watched it at an amphitheater in Philly. Members of The Philadelphia Orchestra played the music score. It would be hard to overstate how amazing it was to watch the movie while a live orchestra played. I read and discussed all three LOTR books (and The Hobbit) this year with a great friend, and he bought the tickets as a gift.

Just in case you look closely at the list, let me flag two aspects of goofiness.

First, I counted the Bible as 6 separate books, even though I firmly believe it’s one book and one story. But counting it this way helped me keep better track of how I was moving along. I didn’t use the ESV Reader’s Bible, but that is where I got the idea.

Second, I included two yet-to-be-published books I wrote. That’s a little goofy, I know. But since I read them each nearly 10 times during the editing process, I figured counting each once was (mostly) legit.

Let me know in the comments what was your favorite book of the year.

*     *     *

Books Read, 2013-17

Pages Read, 2013-17


Miscellaneous Christian Non-fiction

  1. Church Buildings: A Strategic Guide to Design, Renovation, and Construction by Katie Burch (160 pages)
  2. Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel by Ray Ortlund (128 pages)
  3. Friend of Sinners: An Approach to Evangelism by Harvey Turner (144 pages)
  4. The Prodigal Church: A Gentle Manifesto against the Status Quo by Jared C. Wilson (240 pages)
  5. The Whole Message of the Bible in 16 Words by Chris Bruno (160 pages)
  6. The Bible: Romans to Revelation, Part 6 of 6 by God (300 pages)
  7. Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis (240 pages)
  8. A Vision for Preaching: Understanding the Heart of Pastoral Ministry by Abraham Kuruvilla (224 pages)
  9. Your Jesus Is Too Safe: Outgrowing a Drive-Thru, Feel-Good Savior by Jared C. Wilson (288 pages)
  10. Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Loyd-Jones (224 pages)
  11. 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke (224 pages)
  12. For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann (151 pages)
  13. Living in the Light: Money, Sex, and Power by John Piper (144 pages)
  14. Gospel Wakefullness by Jared C. Wilson (224 pages)
  15. The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables by Jared C. Wilson (192 pages)
  16. The Bible: Genesis to Deuteronomy, Part 1 of 6 by God (300 pages)
  17. The Story of Everything: How You, Your Pets, and the Swiss Alps Fit into God’s Plan for the World by Jared C. Wilson (240 pages)
  18. The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together by Jared C. Wilson (240 pages)
  19. The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch (224 pages)
  20. None Like Him by Jen Wilkin (176 pages)
  21. The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross by Arthur Walkington Pink (142 pages)
  22. The Pastor’s Justification by Jared C. Wilson (192 pages)
  23. Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating by Marshall Segal (208 pages)
  24. Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing by Andy Crouch (192 pages)
  25. The Bible: Joshua to Esther, Part 2 of 6 by God (300 pages)
  26. The Pastor’s Wife: Strengthened by Grace for a Life of Love by Gloria Furman (160 pages)
  27. The Joy Project: A True Story of Inescapable Happiness by Tony Reinke (148 pages)
  28. Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace by John Piper (96 pages)
  29. Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul (187 pages)
  30. What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics by R.C. Sproul (272 pages)
  31. The Wonder-Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles by Jared C. Wilson (192 pages)
  32. Chosen for Life: The Case for Divine Election by Sam Storms (240 pages)
  33. Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical by Timothy Keller (336 pages)
  34. The Bible: Psalms to Song of Solomon, Part 3 of 6 by God (300 pages)
  35. Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God by Paul Copan (256 pages)
  36. How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison (128 pages)
  37. Humility: True Greatness by C. J. Mahaney (176 pages)
  38. America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation by Grant Wacker (448 pages)
  39. Sojourn Network Ebooks (four of them) by Various (160 pages)
  40. The Joy Project: A True Story of Inescapable Happiness by Tony Reinke (148 pages)
  41. The Bible: Isaiah to Malachi, Part 4 of 6 by God (300 pages)
  42. Unparalleled: How Christianity’s Uniqueness Makes It Compelling by Jared C. Wilson (240 pages)
  43. Gospel Deeps: Reveling in the Excellencies of Jesus by Jared C. Wilson (208 pages)
  44. Galatians for You: For Reading, for Feeding, for Leading (God’s Word for You) by Timothy Keller (208 pages)
  45. Blessed Are the Misfits: Great News for Believers who are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, or Just Feel Like They’re Missing Something by Brant Hansen (256 pages)
  46. Church History 101: The Highlights of Twenty Centuries by Sinclair B. Ferguson, Joel Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin (112 pages)
  47. Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff (208 pages)
  48. The Bible: Matthew to Acts, Part 5 of 6 by God (300 pages)
  49. Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional by Paul David Trip (160 pages)

Miscellaneous Non-fiction

  1. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (272 pages)
  2. Spunk and Bite: A Writer’s Guide to Punchier, More Engaging Language and Style by Arthur Plotnik (272 pages)
  3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley (320 pages)
  4. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson (447 pages)
  5. Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield (384 pages)

Books about the Job-Search Process

  1. Effective Long-Rang Strategic Planning in Churches: Mitigating Crises, Seizing Opportunities, and Executing Leadership Transitions for God’s Glory DMin Diss., (Westminster Theological Seminary, 2016) by William "Tucker" York (313 pages)
  2. Effective Staffing for Vital Churches: The Essential Guide to Finding and Keeping the Right People by Bill Easum and Bill Tenny-Brittian (176 pages)
  3. Pastoral Moves | 9Marks Journal (Jan-Feb 2011) by Various (46 pages)
  4. Looking for a New Pastor: 10 Questions Every Church Should Ask by Frank S. Page (176 pages)
  5. In Search of a Leader: The Complete Search Committee Guidebook by Robert W. Dingman (262 pages)
  6. Pastors in Transition: Why Clergy Leave Local Church Ministry (Pulpit and Pew) by Dean R. Hodge and Jacqueline E. Wenger (271 pages)
  7. Discerning Your Call to Ministry: How to Know For Sure and What to Do About It by Jason K. Allen (160 pages)
  8. Am I Called?: The Summons to Pastoral Ministry by Dave Harvey (224 pages)
  9. Don’t Just Send a Resume: How to Find the Right Job in a Local Church by Benjamin Vrbicek (212 pages)

Books about Sexuality

  1. Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free by Tim Chester (151 pages)
  2. Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction by Gary Wilson (200 pages)
  3. Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age by Jonathan Grant (256 pages)
  4. Pornified: How Pornography Is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul (320 pages)
  5. The Porn Phenomenon: The Impact of Pornography in the Digital Age by Barna and Josh McDowell (160 pages)
  6. The Gospel & Pornography (Gospel For Life) by Russell D. Moore and Andrew T. Walker (128 pages)
  7. The Social Costs of Pornography: A Statement of Findings and Recommendations by The Witherspoon Institute (61 pages)
  8. Just One Click: Christians, Pornography, and the Lure of Cybersex by Robert J. Baird and Ronald L. VanderBeck (240 pages)
  9. Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel (Resources for Changing Lives) by Edward T. Welch (320 pages)
  10. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (154 pages)
  11. Pastoring Singles | 9Marks Journal (Spring 2017) by Various (58 pages)
  12. Sex and Money: Pleasures That Leave You Empty and Grace That Satisfies by Paul David Tripp (224 pages)
  13. Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken by David Powlison (128 pages)
  14. Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity by Robert Jensen (200 pages)
  15. False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction by Harry Schaumburg (256 pages)
  16. The Art of Turning by Kevin DeYoung (42 pages)
  17. The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness by Kevin DeYoung (160 pages)
  18. What Does The Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung (160 pages)
  19. What is the Meaning of Sex? by Denny Burk (272 pages)
  20. Over Coming Sin and Temptation: Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers (1 of 3 books) by John Owen (155 pages)
  21. Over Coming Sin and Temptation: Of Temptation, The Nature and the Power of It (2 of 3 books) by John Owen (155 pages)
  22. Mere Sexuality: Rediscovering the Christian Vision of Sexuality by Todd Wilson (192 pages)
  23. Over Coming Sin and Temptation: Indwelling Sin (3 of 3 books) by John Owen (155 pages)
  24. Struggle Against Porn: 40 Diagnostic Tests for Your Head and Heart by Benjamin Vrbicek (160 pages)


  1. Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy (368 pages)
  2. Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings: Book 1) by J.R.R. Tolkien (432 pages)
  3. Dead Low Tide: A Novel by Brett Lot (256 pages)
  4. The Twin Towers (Lord of the Rings: Book 2) by J.R.R. Tolkien (352 pages)
  5. Tales of the Resistance by David and Karen Mains (110 pages)
  6. The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings: Book 3) by J.R.R. Tolkien (432 pages)
  7. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (337 pages)
  8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (300 pages)
  9. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (400 pages)
  10. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (771 pages)
  11. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (287 pages)
  12. Otherworld: A Novel by Jared C. Wilson (386 pages)
  13. About Grace: A Novel by Anthony Doerr (432 pages)
  14. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (272 pages)
  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (624 pages)
  16. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (531 pages)

Let me know in the comments what was your favorite book of the year.