My Favorite Reads from 2021-2023

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling

The last blog I posted was on December 20, 2020. I’m unsure if the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 ended my writing, or if the extreme issues we were facing—issues I was writing and preaching about (and taking hits for) in 2020—took the incentive to write out of my heart. Maybe it was because I was writing my doctorate, or perhaps the simplest reason is that I was just lazy. But after that 2020 post, I stopped writing.

Well, hopefully, I’m back. I won’t make any guarantees or extreme commitments like I have done in the past (which I failed to complete), but I want to write more. Thus, I’ll state the obvious: starting is necessary to accomplish the goal of writing more.

Today, I want to pick up where I left off by giving you a list of books I have read since my last list—and last blog in 2020. So without further ado…

My Favorite Books from 2021-23 (In no particular order)

Secular Non-Fiction

  1. Deep Work by Cal Newport
  2. Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
    These two books by Cal Newport have had a profound impact on how I live and work.
  3. Running to the Edge by Matthew Futterman
  4. Romney: A Reckoning by McKay Coppins
    I was very surprised at how much I liked this biography. Biographies of the living are usually lacking, but Romney was so cooperative and willing to be judged and critiqued by Coppins that the book has an honesty that is almost always missing in biographies of living people.
  5. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    I waited many years to read this amazing book, but I finally did, and it is in my top five presidential biographies.
  6. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
    Also one of my top five presidential biographies. This book is amazing, with a conciseness that is often lacking in many history books!

Secular Fiction

  1. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
    This book is a novel, not a Christian book, and not one I am necessarily recommending for everyone. My blog is about my favorite books, not recommended books, and this Pulitzer Prize winner is great writing!
  2. New York by Edward Rutherfurd
  3. London by Edward Rutherfurd
    In 2022, I started reading Rutherfurd. I started with New York and London. I’ve yet to enjoy his subsequent books as much as these, but New York and London are both excellent works of historical fiction. Part of my enjoyment of these books comes from my love for these cities, and watching the streets I’ve walked many times develop under Rutherfurd’s descriptive words and storytelling is a delight.
  4. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
    A disturbing novel written amazingly!
  5. Plainsong
  6. Eventide
  7. Benediction (all) by Kent Haruf
    I love this series, but the best of the three is Plainsong.

Christian Fiction

  1. Project Sunlight by June Strong
    I read this book when I was a kid, and I read it again recently. I still like it. Even though it is fiction, I believe that the beliefs I hold from the Bible will result in similar events as described in this book at the end of time.

Christian Non-Fiction

  1. Paul: A Biography by N.T. Wright
  2. Fan the Flame by Jim Cymbala
    Cymbala’s writing on prayer and the Holy Spirit is worth every word read.
  3. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
  4. Live No Lies (both) by John Mark Comer
    Powerful books!
  5. A Non-Anxious Presence by Mark Sayers
    I discovered Mark Sayers through reading John Mark Comer. Both Comer and Sayers are brilliant and gifted writers!

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