2018 Reading List – 2/4

We are already halfway through 2018. This year I’m posting my annual reading list as the year progresses (once per quarter). You can see my yearly list at any time by clicking on the upper right menu title named “reading list” on my blog. Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2018 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 see the books I have personally written, and see below for the ones I’ve read this year. Click on any of the titles below to get to a link to buy it.
  1. God Has a Name by John Mark Comer (3.5). John Mark does a good job of taking a key passage of the Old Testament and showing how it affects our theology of God across the board. He applies it in some intriguing ways.
  2. Deep Work by Cal Newport (5). He writes about a different type of work that is increasingly rare these days yet which offers a disproportionate amount of return. As the frequency and sophistication of the distractions continue to increase around us, those people who find the time and ability to achieve deep work will stand out from the rest.
  3. The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt (3). This isn’t a sympathetic view of the Biblical narrative, yet it offers a historical and cultural look at the impact of Adam and Eve on everything else.
  4. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink (3.5). An easy read about the scientific realities of how our bodies are wired with timing. Offered a number of practical ways I have begun to apply these ideas.
  5. Reality, Grief, Hope: Three Urgent Prophetic Tasks by Walter Brueggemann (4.5). This is at times a difficult read, but it provides a fascinating comparison to the fall of Jerusalem in the Old Testament with that of 9/11 in America.
  6. The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu (2). A study on the rise and fall of comic books. Presents an interesting parallel to much of the reactions to video games today, but ultimately feels too narrowly focused.
  7. The Re-justification of God by J.D. Myers (3). A short and specific dive into Romans 9:10-24 that does a great job unpacking Paul’s ideas. It would be a good commentary to anyone confused by Paul’s arguments.
  8. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (3). Does a good job highlighting the things that made Leonardo unique. Most notably, Isaacson shows the value of curiosity.
  9. Lost Boy by Christina Henry (3.5). This is a new backstory on Captain Hook and Peter Pan. I’ve always loved this story, so I thoroughly enjoyed where Henry took it.
  10. Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God by Brian Zahnd (4.5). I love the way Brian thinks and I appreciate the ways in which he challenges the dominant (yet often unhealthy) narratives about Christianity.
  11. Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine (2). This was an interesting read. Offered some intriguing ideas but also felt a bit on the bizarre self-help/new age side.
  12. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday (4). This book was good for my soul. Offers a great historical perspective on the dangers of thinking too highly of yourself.
  13. Space at the Table by Brad and Drew Harper (3). A powerful story and perspective from an evangelical professor and his gay son. This book does a great job personalizing the topic so it isn’t an abstract issue.
  14. Fields of Gold by Andy Stanley (3). This is a short read about the value of generosity. Andy is an incredible teacher and offers solid content as usual.
  15. Giving it All Away… by David Green (1). This is the story of Hobby Lobby and how they run their company. I love the emphasis on generosity but it was difficult for me to get beyond the conservative evangelical talking points throughout it.
  16. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard (4). The true story of the assassination of President James Garfield. It was a fascinating historical retelling and loaded with sad irony of how it could have played out differently in hindsight.
  17. Mere Morality by Lewis B. Smedes (1.5). I read this for a seminary class. It had a few intriguing sections but feels dated in style and was a dense read at times.
  18. Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr. (5). This is a collection of some of his sermons that he turned into essays for this book. Such amazing truth and perspective that holds up over the years. I almost went through an entire highlighter on this one.
  19. The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood (3.5). A fictional story about a group of people from 14 years ago compared with now. This was a bit hard to follow at times but the story is incredibly creative and well crafted. You want to reread it after you see what happens.
  20. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight (4). Part of my Oregon acclimation was in reading the history of Nike. This makes the corporate behemoth feel personal and offers an interesting insight into Oregon.
  21. Shrill by Lindy West (3). Lindy has an incredible wit and writing style and offers a profound perspective of what is like to be a woman and to be overweight in our culture.
  22. The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath (4.5). I’ve read other books from these authors and have enjoyed them. This book shows how we can design and foster transformational moments in our lives and for the benefit of others.
  23. Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins by Miguel A. De La Torre (4). As with nearly every book I read, I didn’t agree with everything in it. But it did a phenomenal job challenging my perspective of faith from the vantage point of vulnerable people.
  24. A Season in the Sun by Smith and Roberts (3). This is a biography of Mickey Mantle. While I’m obviously a huge Yankees fan, I actually found myself liking him a bit less after reading this. That’s not a fault on the book, just the reality of learning sometimes.
  25. The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann (5). This was my second read through it and my goal is to “centiread” this book in my lifetime (reading it 100 times). As should be obvious, I’m a big fan.
  26. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham (3.5). This was an enjoyable read of an older classic. I kept expecting the story to go to some specific destination (which it never does), but it provides an interesting perspective on living life looking for something to fulfill you. I think I’d enjoy this even more the second time through.
  27. How to Read a Book by Adler and Van Doren (3). Reading a book about reading books is admittedly pretty nerdy. But this is a classic and definitely shows you there is a better way to read than what we often think.
  28. Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill (3.5). This is a good snapshot of history and where a lot of modern ideas came from. Helped me put a few things into perspective.
  29. I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown (4.5). A phenomenal read to better understand the differences of being black or white in America today. This opened my eyes to a number of things and I’m grateful for Austin’s vulnerability and passion.
  30. Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker (3). A catch-all looking at why some people succeed and why we often don’t. Incorporates a lot of good ideas and illustrations I’ve read in other books.
  31. Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki (4.5). Surprisingly, I enjoyed this far more than I anticipated. It’s an approach to minimalism and the way he writes makes it seem far more realistic than some lofty philosophy.
  32. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis (4). I had read this years ago and didn’t remember it, but I really enjoyed it this time through. Lewis presents an intriguing model of the afterlife through a short and profound novella.
  33. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (3). I confess that I’ve never been able to fully connect with this story, even after my second read. It’s obviously a classic and has withstood the test of time since its writing. Perhaps the most intriguing part is reading the character Gatsby as a parallel to our current obsession with social media.
  34. Bruce Lee by Matthew Polly (4). I’ve long been fascinated by the life and legend of Bruce Lee. This book does a great job telling the story behind the man, including the parts you rarely hear about.

Do You Want to Read the Bible Without Falling Behind?

Sign up your email and I’ll send you a PDF to download and use my custom-made reading plan system. There’s no way to fall behind on this system and every day will be different no matter how long you use it!

I’ll send future content directly to your inbox AND you can dive into the Bible like never before.

Download Your Free Copy

Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co. https://linktr.ee/JeremyJernigan