Published: 5 months ago

2018 Year in Review: Books

No self-respecting blogger, Facebooker, or Twitterer can let the end of a calendar year elapse without waxing eloquently about their top ten lists. This year, I have two. The posts list is coming next week, but for today, I want to talk about the top ten books I read in 2018. A few of these showed up earlier this year in my summer reading list or the summer list I suggested to you.

Book nerds tend to love these lists. I don’t care how many show up in my feed…if you talk about what you read this year, I’m going to check out that list and add titles to my Amazon wish list.

See ’em all on Amazon, and then check my descriptions at the bottom:

41: A Portrait of My Father, George W. Bush. Our nation lost our 41st president just weeks ago. This biography – written by #43, his son – was understandably biased, but also a touching, unique tribute from an author who understood both the office and the man.

The Come Back Effect: How Hospitality Can Compel Your Church Guests to Return, Jason Young and Jonathan Malm. My friend Jason is a sharp thinker with all things guest services. You need this title on your shelf. See my Top Ten Quotes post.

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland, Jim Defede. A fascinating look at the days after the attack on America, The Day the World… captures a slice of time in a small Canadian town that nearly doubled in size when 38 jetliners were rerouted there.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson. This may be the most gut-punching book I read all year. Stevenson is an attorney who has dedicated his life to reforming a broken prison system, especially inmates on death row.

Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, Tish Harrison Warren. Such a good and godly reminder that every single thing we do can be an act of worship, if we choose to see what God is teaching us in the moment. See my Top Ten Quotes post.

None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different From Us (And Why That’s a Good Thing), Jen Wilkin. Jen is one of my new favorite authors, and my only regret is I waited until this year to pick up her books. See my Top Ten Quotes post.

One Second After, William Forstchen. This tops my “best fiction” award for the year. One Second After is the story of survival after an EMP bomb is dropped over the U.S., and it takes place in Black Mountain, one of my favorite little North Carolina towns.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King. I’ve never been much of a Stephen King horror genre fan, but the inarguable fact is the man can write. This book gets to the heart of how he churns out what he does, and it’s great for writers of any stripe.

Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture, David Murray. We’re all too busy. This book – written primarily to men, but applicable to both genders – serves as a heart check on the things that shrivel and sustain our souls.

What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done, Matt Perman. After ResetWhat’s Best Next will give you the practical and spiritual tools you need to keep in all in balance. See my Top Ten Quotes post.


BONUS! The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party, Daniel James Brown. This is a bonus because I’m not actually finished with it yet, but plan to be by New Year’s Eve. I know very little about the so-called Donner Party (but spoiler alert: I think someone gets eaten). Just a few chapters in, the author of The Boys in the Boat has me hooked with a really compelling read.



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