Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2015 with my rating for them (5 being the best) along with a brief review. Any book without a number rating has been given to me by the author or publisher. In addition to this list you might also check out my reading lists from previous years as well as my recommendations on how to become a better reader.
Click here to check out my book Crowdsourcing the Message.
- On Immunity by Eula Biss (3.5). At its base level it’s a book about our fear of vaccines. Why I enjoyed it is because it looks deeper at the moral sense we have of contamination and how something as simple as vaccines shows us the way we value and treat those around us.
- How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid (4). A totally deceptive title as this is a fictional story. The story itself is actually really good and shows the emptiness of a life searching for wealth alone.
- A Living Alternative by various authors (4). This is a collection of essays and as such, some are more on point than others. Overall, it provides a great look at Anabaptist theology and raises the questions that need to be asked in our post-Christendom country today.
- Lynchpin by Seth Godin (4.5). Seth shines in this one. Not only does he point out how you need to work differently for the future (be a lynchpin instead of a cog), but he also motivates you to do it. Caused me to see some things in my own life differently.
- I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi (4.5). Unlike #2 on my list, this book actually is about money. It’s also the best book I’ve ever read on managing your money as he teaches you how to set up your accounts to work for you and in a way that you don’t have to be obsessive about in managing it. And he’s absurdly funny (do the audiobook if you can).
- Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi (4.5). Nabeel tells his story of growing up as a devout Muslim and his journey with the God of the Bible. His story is courageous, heartbreaking, and beautiful.
- Let’s Talk About Love by Carl Wilson (2.5). Wilson examines his detailed loathing of Celine Dion’s music and why we like the things we do. While some of the chapters are great social commentary, most of it causes you to wonder why Wilson has put this much effort into a person he apparently dislikes.
- Live From New York by James Andrew Miller (3). It walks through the creation and evolution of Saturday Night Live. The book is longer than I realized and also proved tougher to read. That’s because it’s quote after quote from different people. While it’s tricky to get into the flow of reading it, taken together it provides loads of behind-the-scenes perspective into a cultural icon.
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (4.5). I loved this classic piece of literature and the dark future it depicts. In the story, firemen start fires instead of putting them out. In particular, they burn books. But what happens when one firefighter cannot stomach the way everyone is taught to think by the media he launches into a journey to find out how books can enable him to think for himself.
- The Divine Magician by Peter Rollins (3.5). Like all of his books, this one challenges the status quo and asks deeper questions to arrive at a more substantial faith at the end. His method of doing this through the three parts of a magic trick is creatively engaging. He unpacks the elements of the Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige, and makes connections to Biblical faith with each.
- The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz (3.5). This book gives a great perspective on how we are all connected together in the world and explores one person’s journey to learning how to best help others.
- Unhooked by Laura Stepp (4). A bit disturbing of a look into the hookup culture among teens and college students today. For anyone with kids that age, or who works with kids that age, this is a must read.
- Marriage Rebranded by Tyler Ward (3.5). My favorite part of the book is how he shifts the focus off of expecting marriage to make you happy, and instead focuses on the ability of your marriage helping you become the person God designed you to be.
- Black by Ted Dekker (4). Dekker creates an interesting dual world with a character who goes in between them each time he dreams. It has moments of a Narnia feel but also adds in the suspense of a modern day thriller. This book doesn’t stand alone as it’s obviously just part one of three.