Avid readers (who also blog) often share their favorite or “top 10” books for the year. Many do this in December, but wait, don’t we have until December 31st to finish reading? I only read 36 books this year, plus the New Testament. Normally my book number is in the 40-60 range. But this year I also wrote a book, so that consumed me. In no particular order, here are 10 books that jumped out to me from the 36 I read in 2015.
The Mortification of Sin by John Owen (Edition with an intro by JI Packer)
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
A Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent
God with Us by Glenn Kreider – Review here.
Worship His Majesty by Jack Hayford (Remember him?)
The Church in Exile by Lee Beach – Review here.
Communion with God, The Divine and the Human in the Theology of John Owen by Kelly Kapic
Alone in Majesty by William MacDonald
Christianity for Modern Pagans, Pascal’s Pensees Edited, Outlined and Explained by Pascal and Peter Kreeft (Note that my blog’s name, Enough Light, is from a Pascal quote.)
One Simple Idea, How Positive Thinking Re-shaped Modern Life by Mitch Horowitz
You’ll notice that most in the list are Christian non-fiction, but there are 2 not in that category. It is always hard to narrow down the list of “best” books! I read an antique book of true nature stories by the Audubon Society that I really enjoyed. Initially I planned to donate this book after reading it, but I so enjoyed the stories that I would like to read them again sometime.
A few thoughts on Bleak House: It is long, but a very engaging story. The first half of the book was a bit challenging because I found it hard to keep straight who the characters were! There are a lot of characters, whose lives eventually intersect, but not until the second half the book (when their lives began intersecting) did it become an easier read.
Two books involve John Owen – one by him and one about him. Two modern Christian authors that have been very helpful and influential for me are Jerry Bridges and JI Packer. Bridges and Packer frequently reference Owen, so I finally decided to read Owen myself. I have another book by Owen to read in 2016. The theology of this 17th century Puritan really resonates with me.
The final book, One Simple Idea, was one I read thoroughly as research for my own book. The history of the positive thinking movement was fascinating, and Horowitz did an exceptional job researching and presenting it. Using Horowitz, and other sources, I present a brief history of the positive thinking movement, and apply it specifically to a Christian audience. We have all been influenced by it, like it or not, and whether you realize it or not. This movement changed American culture. My book cover is below. Click on it to read the back-cover description. It will be available SOON from WestBow Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
**Update, 01/08/2016: available on amazon**