My 2015 Reading List, and My 6 Favorite 2015 Reads

It’s the last week of the year, which means it’s time for our traditional end-of-year blog posts!  First up, my retrospective reading list!

2015 was a slower reading year for me than past years, for a few reasons (a tough seminary class in the spring, moving at the end of the summer, drastic reduction in reading time in the fall, and NaNoWriMo). That said, I read some good books this year, so I wanted to take a moment and share my list. So here we go:

 

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Books Read in 2015

January 
>>The Art of Work — Jeff Goins
>>Take the Stairs — Rory Vaden

February

>>Scripture Alone–James White
>>Prodigal God — Tim Keller

March

>>This Momentary Marriage — John Piper

April

>>God’s Greater Glory — Dr. Bruce Ware
>>Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — Dr. Bruce Ware

May

>>Blind Spots – Collin Hansen
>>Luther on the Christian Life – Carl Trueman
>>This Paper World – Jeff Lane
>>Theological Fitness – Aimee Byrd

June

>>Centralia — Mike Dellosso
>>The Prodigal Church — Jared Wilson
>>Strange Fire — John MacArthur

July 

>>Praying the Bible — Don Whitney
>>What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? — Kevin DeYoung
>>Right Ho, Jeeves — PG Wodehouse

August

>>The Last Con — Zachary Bartels
>>Turn Around Bright Eyes — Rob Sheffield

October

>>The Killing Floor — Lee Child
>>Know the Heretics–Justin Holcomb
>>Onward — Russell Moore
>>Star Wars: Lost Stars — Claudia Gray

December 
>>The Last Policeman — Ben Winters
>>Countdown City — Ben Winters
>>World of Trouble — Ben Winters
>>Star Wars: Aftermath — Chuck Wendig
>>Pines — Blake Crouch

 

28 books. Definitely a let-down from the 42 I worked through last year–but there have been some interesting and challenging picks this year. It’s interesting to note how this year’s reading list shifted from mostly nonfiction at the start to all fiction in December. I guess my NaNo experiment made me hungry for more stories.

Also important to note is that my 2015 goal of “reading only books I already owned” fell to the wayside almost immediately, especially when I discovered that I could get free review copies of books. In fact, 24 of the 28 books I read were either from the library, bought for school, or procured during the year for review or discussion.

Here are my 6 Favorite Reads from 2015:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by Dr. Bruce Ware: I took Dr. Ware’s Systematic Theology class this spring, and this volume on the doctrine of the Trinity was one of the required textbooks. That said, it’s a book that I have recommended and will continue to recommend to anyone seeking to understand more about the Trinity. Ware writes with clarity and devotion, and this book is both instructive and worshipful.

The Prodigal Church, by Jared Wilson: I stand by my previous comments. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read about the American Church. You need to read it. Your pastors/elders need to read it.

The Last Con, by Zachary Bartels: This novel, along with Centralia, helped to restore my hope for Christian fiction. As I wrote previously, it was a gripping read that wove in redemptive themes without coming off as preachy or ham-fisted. Definitely worth checking out. I’m definitely checking out the rest of Bartels’ novels in the future.

The Last Policeman trilogy, by Ben Winters: The biggest literary surprise for me this year was Winters’ compelling story about a policeman at the end of the world. In The Last Policeman, we are introduced to Detective Henry Palace, a young police detective in New Hampshire who is trying to solve a murder. The problem is, everyone around him knows the world is about to end in less than 6 months (on October 3, when an asteroid nicknamed “Maia” will crash somewhere on earth, causing catastrophic damage). As people all over the world are “going Bucket List” and walking away from jobs and families to go “find their bliss,” Hank Palace is just trying to do his job. Throughout these three novels, we follow Hank as he solves crimes, searches for missing persons, and attempts to do the right thing in a world quickly going crazy. It should be noted that these books are not for everyone (rate them a solid “R” for language/violence), and they’re pretty bleak at times. But Winters creates a compelling scenario and a main character I couldn’t help but root for. I was pleasantly surprised by this fascinating series.

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Your Turn: What are some of the best books you read this year? Any recommendations for me for next year? Please include them below! I’d love to hear from you.
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3 thoughts on “My 2015 Reading List, and My 6 Favorite 2015 Reads

  1. I did not read a lot this year. I plan to fix that this year. I read about 36 books in 2014 and 12 in 2015. So, my favorite nonfiction was As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. I recommend the audiobook, which is read by Elwes and the other actors/directors/writers do their parts. My favorite fiction was The Price of Salt, which was really beautiful but not one I anticipated being at the top. It was good but it wasn’t that good. Too bad Cannery Row was a bust. And The Golem and the Jinni had a weak ending.

    So, as to your goal of reading the books you own already…

    When you think about life as finite, it really puts this into perspective. As finite things do. Say you live until 80-something. You have 50 years of books, and say you read as many as 35 a year. That’s 1750 books you’re going to read. And then you die. That’s a lot of books, but it’s nowhere touching the amount of books that exist for our enjoyment and education. So please, please, never force a book.

  2. I heard the Cary Elwes book was really good! Will definitely check out the audio book version.

    Thanks for the advice. It took me a while, but I’ve definitely come to the conclusion to not force a book, for the very reason you suggest. Because of this, I periodically cull the herd and sell off books that I know I will never get around to reading.

  3. I’m a lot slower of a reader, both in terms of what’s new and what’s classic. That said, I (finally) read both “Nine Marks of a Healthy Church” by Mark Dever and “Preaching and Preachers” by Martin Lloyd-Jones. Both were fantastic.

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