Favorite Books of 2016

One of the truisms that has guided me in my writing life and which I am more and more convinced of is this: good writers are good readers. Any creative person who hopes to produce something meaningful simply must be regularly filled, provoked, challenged and inspired by the works of others. For me this takes many forms (see my favorite music of the year here, and next week my favorite movies), but as a writer it especially takes the form of books. I love books. I'm usually reading two or three at a time. This year I read more books than usual because I was researching a lot for my own forthcoming book, Uncomfortable (Crossway, 2017) as well as for other writing projects. To my shame, I did not read any fiction this year. Which is very sad. Please recommend some of the best fiction titles of the year to me, as I hope to read a novel or two over the holidays! In any case, here are my favorite 10 books released in 2016 and then 10 more that I read (but were not released) in 2016. What were your favorites? What did I miss?

10 Favorite Books Released in 2016

  1. The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire by Alan Kreider
  2. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K.A. Smith
  3. The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism by Yuval Levin
  4. Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission by David Fitch
  5. Making Sense of God by Tim Keller
  6. Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering by Makoto Fujimura (my review)
  7. The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church by Peter Leithart
  8. Biblical Authority After Babel by Kevin J. Vanhoozer
  9. How to Survive the Apocalypse by Rob Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson
  10. The Faith of Christopher Hitchens by Larry Taunton

Honorable Mention: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. VanceThe Pursuing God by Joshua Ryan Butler, Good Faith by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, The Face of the Deep by Paul Pastor, 99 Poems: New & Selected by Dana Gioia.

10 Favorite Books Read (But Not Released) in 2016

  1. Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics by Ross Douthat
  2. Joy Unspeakable: Power and Renewal in the Holy Spirit by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  3. Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom by Peter Leithart
  4. Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland
  5. The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism by Carl Henry
  6. The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction by Adam McHugh
  7. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
  8. Who’s Afraid of the Holy Spirit edited by Daniel Wallace
  9. From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity by Kyle Harper
  10. The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom