One of my favorite parts of December is reading everyone's best-books-of-the-year lists. Sure, I love the lists by authors, theologians, and friends I respect, but full disclosure: I'll read pretty much anybody's list. (Probably because I'm nosy and like to know what people are reading...)
In that tradition, I want to share my own top 5 list.
1. These aren't all books that were published in 2017, just ones that I read this year.
2. Some of the books on this list are geared toward 16-and-up. They have some language and mature themes. I believe that in these books those instances are for the most part justified and not gratuitous. But I would strongly encourage teenagers to exercise personal discernment and run any book they’re unsure about by their parents.
With that out of the way, let's dive in!
5. Faith Formation in a Secular Age by Andrew Root – What a ground-breaking book this was for me. It summarized a few central points from philosopher Charles Taylor’s seminal work, A Secular Age (which I’m still wading through). I had a lot of thoughts on it, and if you’re interested in them, you can read my upcoming review on TGC.
4. The Lucky Few by Heather Avis – This book left me with all the feels. When Heather and her husband found out they couldn’t have kids, they adopted three precious, unique kids, including two babies with Down syndrome. This is the story of their family and the gifts God has given them.
3. One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson – This was one of the first books I read this year and as soon as I finished it, I knew it was going to be hard to top it. This is not a “Christian” book but what a delightful, melancholy, joyful roller-coaster of a book this was. Like the title suggests, the book follows the spectacular summer of 1927 in America. And what a summer it was!
2. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – This may be my new favorite novel. I laughed, I ugly cried, I devoured it on a plane, and then I just felt empty because it was over. Just wow. With brilliant, evocative language and masterful storytelling, Kristin Hannah pulled me in and didn’t let go.
1. Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle – Last year Holiness made it on my top list, this year the #1 title goes to Bishop Ryle again. I am so excited to meet this guy one day. This book is unbelievably relevant to modern-day young people (young men and women) and it’s become one I recommend to young people far and wide.
- 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke
- Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
- The Confessions of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe
- Katharina and Martin Luther by Michelle DeRusha