Alan Jacobs is pretty downbeat on Christians and books, he says: “My colleague Philip Jenkins asks: “What are the most influential Christian books of the past decade?” I think the answer to that question is: There aren’t any. In our moment Christians are not influenced by books, at all.”
I think the following should prove him wrong. It’s that time of year when pretty much every blog I follow posts its list of the best books of the past year and as it’s 2019 I’m expecting some best of the decade lists soon. So I thought I’d collect them all and put them out here and as I see some more I’ll update the list.
All of which should stand you in good stead with ideas if you feel like taking on Tim Challies’ 2020 Reading Challenge or perhaps Ryan Holiday’s Daily Stoic Reading Challenge. If not then add them to your Strategic Book Reserve.
Christian Book Lists
- *The Collected Best Christian Books of 2019 is a huge list of book tips which means if you don’t want to click on all the links below, this one link will sort you out quite well
- Andrew Wilson reads an impressive amount. Book of the Year: Dominion by Tom Holland
- *Mark Meynell offers his list of fiction, non-fiction & theology.
- John Hosier’s list should be read for the pithy comments he adds.
- *Luke Davydaitas does something slightly different and offers up two recommendations for a variety of subjects and readers
- Another Wilson and this time a top ten not hundred from Jared Wilson. Book of the Year: On the road with Saint Augustine by James Smith
- Adam Bradley managed 49 books and here they are with a top three too.
- In theory, this is a top ten from Trevin Wax but like most book people he can’t manage that so squeaks in a few honourable mentions. His top book is actually two books: Pensees by Pascal and Christianity for Modern Pagans by Peter Kreeft
- Russell Moore has his 12 best books with the top prize going to What I Stand On: Collected Essays by Wendell Berry. I’m making it a pledge to read some Berry in 2020.
- David Qaoud also has a top ten which is a little more narrow than the others. His top read was by DA Carson – The Cross and Christian Ministry.
- The Gospel Coalition editorial staff throw in some books they enjoyed.
- Christianity Today’s 2020 Book Awards (I think they think these are the ones we’ll all be reading next year, maybe)
- World Magazines’ books of the year.
- The GoodBook.com staff offer up What We Loved Reading in 2019
- For the Church has book awards (don’t we all?!)
- Nigel Ring offers up three book suggestions. One from my friend Nick Priggis.
- This is David Robertson’s favourite Christian book of the year but might not be best enjoyed at Christmas.
- *Eddie Arthur’s list
- *Scot McKnight offers his books of 2019
- *Matthew Porter has a top 10
- *Brad Merchant with a top 10
- *The team at the Anxious Bench blog have their list
- **Wes van Fleet has his list and I’ve taken a book for my recommendations!
- *** Jon Coombs adds his ten
And for all Christians, these should always be the best books you read each year.
Here are the best books I read this year. pic.twitter.com/NpyZiLDQqI— Samuel James (@samueld_james) December 5, 2019
Non-Christian Book Recommendations
- Jason Kottke does this sort of thing with an incredible roundup of best book lists (a few of which are repeated below).
- Tyler Cowen adds an addendum to his best books list (links to the original are included)
- **Yuval Levin adds his list
- The Best Books of 2019 from GQ
- The 10 Best Books of 2019 from Slate
- The 20 Best Novels of the Decade
- NPR’s Book Concierge is a huge repository of recommendations
Best of the decade
If you have seen other list’s and awards and so on that aren’t here but should be, let me know!