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2022 Books in Review

2022 is a wrap! I always like to see my progress as a reader when the year is finished. I log all the books I finished through Good Reads. I read 55 books in 2022 and 24,471 pages. All this is from someone who did not read a book until college.

I read much more this last year than what is listed. I read portions of and wrote small reviews for almost another 50 books. I only log books that I finish in the calendar year. I record books that I finish on audiobooks. If you think that is cheating or taking a shortcut, should you record the books you read, you are welcome to keep those off your list! With 55 books this last year, I’ve ranked third place out of three with my family who records their books! I’m counting audio books because I need all the help I can get!

A couple of notes about the books you’ll see. First, you will see books about the Bible and Bible commentaries. I preached through Matthew over the last two years. I included the commentaries that I read for the sermon series. I read almost all of those commentaries, only skipping the parts that are redundant or where they quote one another.

You will also see some fiction novels. I read fiction for two reasons. First, I enjoy it. It helps me to read to turn my mind off from thinking about church issues. It is an escape and an enjoyable one for me. Second, there are some fiction books that I read because I like stories and I am trying to learn how to write and tell stories better. As a preacher, I have a lot of growing to do. Those who teach preaching encourage reading fiction to develop as a storyteller. Oddly enough, they also encourage listening to comics to learn about speaking rate and inflection. They don’t encourage the use of jokes and gimmicks but do so for the public speaking aspect.  

There are a couple of books on non-fiction educational learning. The Body Keeps the Score and The Boy Crisis came highly recommended. I learned a lot from these books. They did not give sufficient answers to the questions and problems they posed but looking at the problem of trauma and manhood through a secular lens was helpful.

Best books:

The Bible is still undefeated. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. It’ll change your life! This next year, I’m reading the Grace and Truth NIV Bible.

A Dozen Things God Did with Your Sin and Three Things He’ll Never Do had some of the best chapters I read this year. The book is very good some chapters were excellent to think about how God deals with sin.

The Temple and the Church’s Mission this book is phenomenal. I wish I would have read it earlier. I plan to read more Beale this coming year.

Deep Discipleship is a good book that I’m not done thinking about yet. In the book, J.T. English challenges us to think about discipleship in the church as churches use small groups. He argues that we have forgotten the educational aspect of groups as we have encouraged fellowship/community in groups, think of the difference between Sunday school (education) and community groups (fellowship). I’m not sure exactly how his model works with the church I pastor but I’ll keep thinking.

Books I should have enjoyed more: The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self came as one of the highest-reviewed books of the year. There is an abridgment that I plan on reading this year. I liked this book but there was a fair amount of material that did not interest me in the slightest. The Count of Monte Cristo is the best five books in one I have ever read. I started the year with this book and it nearly killed me. It was very good in spots but I’ve never wanted an abridgment more than this book. The audiobook is a mere 52 hours and 45 minutes. Insane.

Books I learned from as a pastor: Old Time Religion in the Southern Appalachians, I found this book at Half-Price books for a couple of dollars and read it in an afternoon. It was not great but it helped me understand some of the religious backgrounds of my church members who came from mining towns in Kentucky. The Devil Is Here in These Hills taught me so much about coal miners in the Appalachians. It was almost completely new material for me and it was fascinating as it was depressing.

Books that encouraged me: The Bruised Reed is a small book by Richard Sibbes, a puritan. It is a great book that focuses on the Lord’s kindness to us. If you are struggling with your faith, this book will encourage you. Praying the Bible is a reread for me. It is a great little premier on praying through Scripture.

That’s a wrap for me. What are your plans to read in 2023?

How to Build a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
Fortress Britain by Glynn James
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Gospel of Matthew Volume One by William Barclay
Fallout by Craig Alanson
Sierra Six by Mark Greaney
The Judge's List by John Grisham
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
The Holy Trinity by Robert Letham
Celtic Empire by Clive Cussler
The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell
Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney
First Strike by Ben Coes
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
3 a.m. by Nick Pirog
3 by Nick Pirog
3 by Nick Pirog
3 by Nick Pirog
3 by Nick Pirog
Three Parts Dead by Glynn James
The Temple and the Church's Mission by G.K. Beale
Trap the Devil by Ben Coes
Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch
The Devil Is Here in These Hills by James R. Green
Rediscover Church by Collin Hansen
Convergence by Craig Alanson
A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre
A Dozen Things God Did with Your Sin by Sam Storms
The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
The Boy Crisis by Warren Farrell
Sparring Partners by John Grisham
Oath of Loyalty by Kyle Mills
The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett
The Terminal List by Jack Carr
Savage Son by Jack Carr
The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by Carl R. Trueman
Old Time Religion in the Southern Appalachians by Larry G. Morgan
By Whose Authority? Elders In Baptist Life by Mark Dever
Acts 20 by Alexander Strauch
The Gospel of Matthew by James Montgomery Boice
Matthew by William Hendriksen and Simo...
Matthew by Craig L. Blomberg
Deep Discipleship by J.T. English
Matthew by D.A. Carson
The Gospel according to Matthew by Leon L. Morris

The Gospel of Matthew by Craig S. Keener
CSB Study Bible by Anonymous
In the Blood by Jack Carr
Maximum Violence by Glynn James
The Devil's Hand by Jack Carr
True Believer by Jack Carr
Match Game by Craig Alanson
Rising Tiger by Brad Thor
Failure Mode by Craig Alanson

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