2022 Reading List – 2/4
I’m currently driving home after five weeks in Oregon. That means my kids will be starting back at school in a few weeks and we are about halfway through the year. It’s a good time to check in on this year’s reading list and share my thoughts so far.
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- The Storyteller by Dave Groehl (4). Dave is such a likable dude and does such a great job telling stories of his incredible journey as a global rockstar. This is a fun read (or listen).
- Drunk by Edward Slingerland (3). This book does a solid job arguing for the logic of why alcohol has played such a key role in our lives throughout history. Takes a scientific look at why we drink.
- Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (2.5). I loved Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyl so I figured I should read more by Stevenson. This one was especially fun for anyone who has watched Outlander and is familiar with this part of Scottish history. Ultimately I found it very hard to follow.
- Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson (2). This is part 2 of Kidnapped. It was still hard to follow and was not as engaging as the first one.
- How to Fight Racism by Jemar Tisby (3). This is a good primer on how to engage in the work of racial reconciliation, especially from a practical point of view.
- Out of Office by Charlie Warzel (3). Touted as a guide for working from home, this is actually a book about how to approach your work with healthy boundaries.
- How Lucky by Will Leitch (3). An engaging fictional story about a man unable to speak or move without a wheelchair who witnesses a kidnapping and then tries to help.
- Embodied by Preston Sprinkle (4.5). Such a great exploration of sexuality, gender, and transsexuality in particular from a Christian point of view.
- The Moral Animal by Robert Wright (3). Looks at the science of why we are the way we are and explores the nuances of Darwin’s legacy and work.
- Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn Glei (2). I read this for a new class I’m teaching in the fall. It’s a good compilation primer from a variety of authors on how to structure your life to produce creative work.
- Die with Zero by Bill Perkins (5). Total game-changer of a book with an idea that will cause you to reflect and reanalyze many of the life decisions you are making.
- Stay Hungry by Sebastian Maniscalco (3.5). I enjoy Sebastian’s stand-up comedy and it was fun to hear more about his journey.
- Dedicated by Pete Davis (3.5). A helpful look at why we need less multitasking and distracted people and more of dedication to the things that matter most.
- How to Hide an Empire by Daniel Immerwahr (4.5). This is a fascinating look at the history and perspective of the US that most of us (myself included) are not aware of.
- Everyone You Hate is Going to Die by Daniel Sloss (2.5). I found this humor book at my local library. I almost didn’t make it through it as he can be a lot at times.
- The Book Direct Playbook by Mark Simpson (3.5). A very niche book on how to get direct bookings to a short-term rental.
- The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann (5). This was my sixth read-through since 2017.
- If God is Love Don’t be a Jerk by John Pavlovitz (4). This was another library find and I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. This was not the “feel good” Christian book it might seem and instead challenges Christians to engage differently in living out our faith.
- The Sword and the Shield by Peniel Joseph (3.5). An intriguing behind-the-scenes look at Malcolm and Martin beyond the stereotypes we often think of them.
- The Wine Witch by Natalie Maclean. I got invited to be an early reviewer for Natalie’s third book. She does a fantastic job exploring her role in the wine world during a time when it seems her world as she knows it is falling apart.
- Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq (3). Snagged a used copy of this at Powell’s Books. It’s a French novel about a man literally dying of sadness. It’s irreverent and deep at the same time.
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (4). I decided to revisit this one (I read it in school) and I’m glad I did. Such a good story and I was surprised how much it sounds like a Dickens’ novel (which I like).
- Aloha Rodeo by David Wolman (2.5). An interesting (albeit super-specific) part of history. Tells the story of cowboys from Hawaii.
- Van Gogh by Steven Naifeh (3.5). This book was massive (and slightly depressing) but does a great job of doing a deep dive on the bizarre story of one of history’s most famous artists.
- White Guilt by Shelby Steele (3). Offered some interesting perspective on the issue of racism but ultimately I found most of the arguments to be uncompelling.
- Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler (2). Takes a look at the concept of the growth mindset in learning. It’s a good read but I’ve already read most of it elsewhere.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (3). I remember loving this book as I kid so I thought I’d revisit it. Didn’t have the same effect on me this time but it’s still a great story.
- The Pioneers by David McCullough (3). I was excited to read this history of the PNW—especially from an author of this magnitude—but it often felt stereotypical and cliche at numerous points.
- Leave Out the Tragic Parts by Dave Kindred (3.5). A surprisingly beautiful story of a grandfather trying to love his grandson who suffers from a life of addiction.
- Eat Like a Human by Dr. Bill Schindler (2). Nothing groundbreaking here but does a solid job exploring concepts of nutrition.
- Rise and Fall of the Borgias by William Landon (4). Does a balanced job looking at the truth and fiction of one of the more notable families in history.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (4.5). I enjoyed this when I first read it years ago and enjoyed it even more reading it again.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (5). This is my third read-through and I’m going through it with my three oldest kids.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (5). This is my third read-through and I’m going through it with my three oldest kids.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (5). This is my third read-through and I’m going through it with my three oldest kids.
- The Last Emperor of Mexico by Edward Shawcross (4). I had no idea of this history and I thought it was a fascinating story.
- The Homiletical Plot by Eugene Lowry (2). I read this for a new class I’m teaching this fall. Covers some of the basics of preaching.
- The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurty (1). I love Tombstone and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. But this was a bizarre fictional story about them that honestly didn’t make much sense to me.
- Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan (4.5). I totally loved this book. Jessica tries a number of extroverted things for a year and then writes about what she learns. It allows introverted readers to vicariously live through her insights.
- North by Shakespeare by Michael Blanding (2). This was way more niche than I was expecting (Shakespeare authorship). But it’s a fascinating case study on real-life journalism.
- The Night Always Comes by Willy Vluatin (3). This is an Oregon author that I found at Powell’s. Tells the story of a woman who’s life seems to be falling apart and what she does about it.
- The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann (5). This was my seventh read-through since 2017 (and the second of 2022).
- A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards (4). I think this is my third read-through. I think he’s too kind on King David, but this is a fascinating read on leadership and ambition.
- Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill (3.5). This is a reimagining of different fairytales and some of them were absolute gems. I’ve started reading the Moon Dragon to my daughter regularly.
In addition to this list, you might also check out:
- my reading lists from previous years
- recommendations on how to become a better reader
- my top 15 theology books
- the 2 books I’ve personally written
- my goodreads account
- a Bible reading plan you can download and use
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