Happy “New Year’s Adam” (a.k.a NYE-eve), readers!
Sorry for the unexpected radio silence. December has included a few curveballs, but I definitely wanted to get in here before the end of the year and log my annual reading list!
It’s curious to me that in a year where I had more free time due to a change in work habits and less time in transit, I didn’t seem to read as much. Honestly, I really struggled to read much at all during the middle part of the year. It just seemed easier to vege out and watch movies or TV (or my recent addiction: video game playthroughs on Youtube… don’t judge me).
Nevertheless, I was able to complete 26 books this year (thanks in part to a prolific and comics-filled December!), and most of them were pretty short reads (fewer than 300 pages). If you’re looking for something quick to burn through, you might like some of these:
- The Whole Christ – Sinclair Ferguson
- A Great and Glorious Game – A. Bartlett Giamatti
- The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa
- The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down – Al Mohler
- Budgeting for a Healthy Church – Jamie Dunlop
- State of the Union – Nick Hornby (novella)
- Susie – Ray Rhodes, Jr.
- The Final Days of Jesus – Andreas Kostenberger
- Reset – David Murray
- re:raptured – Bartels/Kluck
- 5 Minutes in Church History – Steve Nichols
- re:raptured again – Kluck/Bartels
- Church Elders – Jeramie Rinne
- The ONE Thing – Gary Keller
- We Cannot Be Silent – Al Mohler
- A Way With Words – Dan Darling
- Leadership Strategies and Tactics – Jocko Willink
- Superman Smashes the Klan – Gene Luen Yang / Gurihiru
- American Carnage – Tim Alberta
- The End of October – Lawrence Wright
- Daredevil: The Man without Fear – Frank Miller / John Romita Jr.
- Batman: White Knight – Sean Gordon Murphy
- Live Not By Lies – Rod Dreher
- Superman: The Man of Steel (vol. 1) – John Byrne / Marv Wolfman / Jerry Oroway / Dick Giordano
- Daredevil: Yellow – Jeph Loeb / Tim Sale
- Daredevil: Born Again – Frank Miller / David Mazzucchelli
It’s been a weird year, and my reading has been a bit less rigorous as a result (for example, 7 of my last 10 titles are graphic novels and/or trade paperbacks of comic-book runs). But here are 4 books that I thought were excellent and certainly worth your time:
The Whole Christ, by Sinclair Ferguson — As I mentioned during #Booktober, Ferguson’s study of the Marrow Controversy was both theologically challenging and soul-stirring. The volume will be referenced fondly by theologians for decades to come. A perfect blend of pastoral and theological prose.
American Carnage, by Tim Alberta — Tim Alberta’s meticulously researched analysis of the Republican Party in the decade leading up to the Trump presidency was both insightful and frustrating. It’s hard to argue that many of the trends he described and warnings he gave have played out in the last few months. While it seems clear Alberta is pretty critical of the GOP in general, his analysis is spot-on and shouldn’t be discounted.
Susie, by Ray Rhodes, Jr. — I adored this biographical look at Susannah Spurgeon, the perservering and long-suffering helpmeet of the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon. Rhodes does a masterful job balancing the focus between Susie’s life as the wife of the era’s most important theologian and as a woman with a long-lasting and meaningful ministry of her own. Rhodes has a follow-up coming out in February, and I’m eagerly looking forward to more like this.
Live Not By Lies, by Rod Dreher — I noted on Twitter a week or so ago that the ideas and themes of this book “rang in my head and my heart like a struck bell.” Dreher sounds the call for Christians to stand against a culture that believes and perpetuates lies, and he gives several examples from Christian dissidents under Soviet rule to describe how we can resist “soft totalitarianism” by choosing to reject lies and live in truth. This book is a must-read, and I look forward to working through it again sometime in the coming year. There was a lot to glean from these pages.
There’s my list. What’s yours? Did you have a favorite read from 2020? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!