It’s sad, gang. (Funny, I basically began with the same comment last year, but it’s even more true this year.)
Every year, I post an end-of-year list of the books I’ve completed reading over the previous 12 months. Most of them are books I started reading in the same time frame, though occasionally there are volumes I’ll pick back up after a hiatus.
This year’s list is positively anemic–the lowest yearly total I’ve posted since I started counting maybe 15 or 20 years ago. You could point to various reasons why, but really it just comes down to the fact that my free time is getting shorter and my priorities are shifting. As such, my leisure reading has been fragmented and infrequent. There are over a dozen books I’ve begun this year but never finished because I ran out of time, got bored, or just moved on. However, those don’t count at year’s end, so here’s the actual finish list. Commentary to follow:
>>Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro
>>Invincible Vol.4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – Robert Kirkman
>>The Gospel – Ray Ortlund
>>The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
>>Invincible Vol. 9, 10, 11, 12 – Robert Kirkman
>>Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie
>>Strange New World – Carl Trueman
>>Sermons of the Great Ejection – Various
>>The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie
>>The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
>>The Daring Mission of William Tyndale – Steve Lawson
>>Preaching and Preachers – Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Like I told you: sad.
The Invincible books are a series of graphic novels (about 175 pages each) about superheroes that just got a bit too graphic for me to enjoy them in good conscience. I probably should have stopped much sooner, but I was intrigued by the storyline (a father and son superhero team is broken up when the father, who is essentially Superman, turns evil). No excuses, and I wouldn’t recommend it in good conscience to anyone. But there it is.
Not counting the comic books, I completed a grand total of 10 books this year: 4 books about theology/ministry, 1 book about sociology/worldview, and 5 novels. This year’s list marks the biggest swing toward fiction in my reading in easily a decade. Clearly, I was looking for escapism.
Typically, I’d give you a top-five recommendations from my list, but in a field so small, that seems almost self-indulgent. So I’ll just recommend two books, one fiction and one non-fiction, that I’m glad I finished this year:
- On the fiction side, I’m going to say Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. I decided to seek out more Hercule Poirot stories after enjoying Murder on the Orient Express last year, and this one is the best so far. I almost said Roger Ackroyd but I was a bit frustrated by the reveal at the end; it was cheeky and innovative but annoying as well. I think I’ll try to seek out more Poirot this year, as palate cleansers from some of my heavier reads on the horizon.
- On the non-fiction side, I have to say that Preaching and Preachers by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones has made and will continue to make the most impact on me, both in the practical nature of pastoral ministry as well as my perspective on the act and art of preaching. I had read portions of it in the past, but I was finally able to read it from cover to cover, and it’s worth the time for anyone who has the privilege and responsibility of preaching and teaching in a local congregation. It’s a book I’ll return to often, I think.
Next year’s reading list is obviously overly-ambitious given how I’ve been doing lately, but if I can’t shoot for the moon with my reading goals, what is even the point, right?
Anyway, there you go. The4thDave’s reading-year 2022 is in the books and best forgotten. Onward and upward!