These lists highlight some of my favorites in two categories: books I read in 2018 that were 1) released this year and 2) not released this year. Perhaps some of these will make it onto your bookshelf in 2019. I recommend them all!
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)
I try to read new books at least as much (and hopefully more) as I watch new films and television or listen to new music, and this year there were quite a few books that I loved or greatly admired. Below are my favorite books released in 2015 and then my favorite books that I read (not necessarily released this year) in 2015.
Gray Matters is the culmination of ideas I've long contemplated—perhaps dating back to high school when I first starting really getting into movies and "secular" music. How and why should Christians enjoy art and culture? Is our consumption of culture simply a "diversion" with no meaningful bearing on our faith? Or should our faith inform, deepen, and open up new layers of enjoyment in our consumption of culture? And how does a Christian evaluate and interact with the thornier areas of culture? Is it better to just flee from anything potentially hazardous and consume only the safe, sanitized or "Christian" cultural items? Or does Christian liberty (e.g. Romans 14) make it possible for us to consume anything and everything as it pleases us, without worrying about it?
The following are five books that have either come out recently or will be released very soon. They are books that I think are particularly inspiring and motivating for those of us who may be in a transition moment in life but still doggedly in pursuit of the good life: living, growing, thinking, believing and questioning well.
My 2011 recaps ends here, with my list of the best books I read in 2011. I read 42 books, of vast variety—some old, some new, some fiction, mostly nonfiction—many of which were in some way research for the book I am currently writing. About half were for no other purpose than pleasure. Here are my picks for the ones that stood out the most.
One of the best ways to learn about the type of person someone is is by looking at the books that populate their bookshelves. Books, I've found, play a large role in shaping how any of us understand and inhabit our worlds--so naturally they are a good place to go when seeking to understand a subculture. For example, the following is a list of the types of books that define the Christian hipster subculture.