I keep a running list all year… but for some reason didn’t publish my best books of 2018… maybe that is good… now few months in, maybe I have a better grasp of how good the books were that I read.
For example, I really underrated how good the book overrated was. But i keep on recalling it.
As for this list, I generally only count books i finished reading… I mean sometimes the end of a book can change my whole feeling on the book.
I will say the books i read in 2018 weren’t all that great. I would say 5-6 books i have read or am reading so far this year are better than any on this list from 2018… with one exception:
The most important book I read in 2018
I read a decent amount of books this year, I mean when i was younger, I probably would have considered it a ton of books. Most of the books I read were good, but not great. In the last few years there have been some books I would consider some of the best books I have ever read.
But none of those books would compare to the book I read this year – the Bible.
I don’t include the Bible in my list of best of books because that would be unfair – all other books are judged based on how well it conveys truths of the Bible after all.
But this year my perspective was a little different because I read the whole Bible this year. I have read the whole thing before… and had read good chunk of it several times- but this was the first time in a while that I read thru the whole Bible in a year.
Soo & I did a reading plan together from the youversion app. I found one that was only 3-4 ch/day, and included both OT & NT readings each day (until the last month). The reading plan took us thru the OT once and the NT twice. IT also did the OT in mostly cronological order and was purposeful in the NT readings, splitting the Gospels apart, and connecting often to the OT readings.
Going thru the Bible again – especially in a more cronological order gave a refreshed perspective. It was amazing to see just how much Justice is mentioned, how much the Gospel comes out throughout the whole book. And the depth of story that is there. There is nothing boring about it.
The Bible itself is a good book. The stories are fascinating. IT is encouraging. It teaches good habits & practices.
Yet it is supremely important because it points us to Christ, reveals who God is and what is important to Him.
The Bible is the most important book for us to read – because when we just read Christian books- we tend to choose subjects we like or topics we are already hearing about. Reading through the Bible gives depth and width. It expands our understanding. We need to continue to go into God’s Word to hear from Him, but also so we don’t stop hearing from Him – so we don’t get dulled to it. – The More we read the Bible, the more we enjoy it! We can forget how good it is, we can forget how important it is, and we can forget what it says.
Others can write things in eloquent ways, but it may not be Biblical- even if it sounds good or sounds right. The Bible is our ultimate authority. It is God’s very Word for us!
Other than the Bible, The best books i read were kids books – Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr – a must read i think in this generation & culture and God’s Very Good Idea by Trilla Newbill ( I wrote about it mid-year, you can read it here).
Most of the books i read were good ideas too, but missed the mark in some way- either too technical, not deep enough or something.
Tech Wise family and Restoring at Risk Communities should get better review from me- but it didn’t have much power in it.
I was mostly disapppointed by the books i have read in 2018. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t that good either. There were some powerful things in restoring at risk communities, but it was tedious a good part. Prophetic Lament was so hard, tho there was some good stuff in it. Even the kids sbooks which i liked weren’t thsat great. CS Lewis Dawn treader was so hard to read for most of it…. Russell Moore gave a me a lot to think about in Onward, but mostly it dragged on. I always like Larry Crabb, but Different kind of happiness wasn’t that great. Overrated had some good nuggets in it, but that too was overrated. I didn’t think much of make, matuure multiply at the time, but maybe it was better… Art of Neighboring also gave some good ideas, but also wasn’t necessarily the most practical or Biblical or Gospel-centered… Minority Report Soo loves, but i don’t relate as well…
I felt like read a diverse group, but it was still mostly white male
Including some books I worked on:
5 Asian men
1 black female kids book, 2 white female kids books
2 black male (though one is a collaboration that includes females and a white guy)
1 black female
11 white male
i read 18 books, 20 if you include those kids books (more if you include some of the other kids books)
Here is my Top Twelve (*13)
- Tech wise family by Andy Crouch 8.5/10
- Restoring at Risk Communities by John Perkins & others 8.5/10
- Overrated by Eugene Cho 8+/10
- Go, Do, Say, Give by Keith Bubalo 8+/10
- Navigating God’s wisdom by Tim Keller 8-7.5/10
- Gospel according to Daniel by Bryan Chappel 7.5/10
- Onward by Russel Moore 7.5-8/10
- A Cry of Hope, A Call to Action by Charles Gilmer 7.5-8/10
- Minority Experience by Adrian Pei 7.5-8/10
- Make, Mature, Multiply 7.5-8/10
- Art of Neighboring by 7.5-8/10
- Unbelivable Gospel by Dodson 7.5/10
- Different kind of happiness by Larry Crabb 7.5/10
i hope this helps… check out my good reads for more… maybe this year i’ll write more as the years goes on and as i am reading to be helpful to you.
- Thoughts that make the heart sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones 7/10