Friday, December 27, 2013

My Favorite Books of 2013

I love to read. And I love to review the books that I read. Even though there were times this past year I felt like I wasn't reading much, I did happen to make my way through quite a few books. And I wanted to summarize which ones I felt were my favorites this past year. But how do I judge whether it was one of my favorites? One simple way. It was a book I talked about to others and still think about today. Or another way to put it. I didn't have to look back through my blog roll to remember I read it. And so, with that, here are my top five books from 2013.

1. Delighting in the Trinity by Reeves
I remember thinking after I read this book, "I thought my view of God was big, but I don't even think I've touched the surface of who God is." That's how important this book was for me. It changed the way I view God. It made Him so relational. And the practical implications from this book were numerous as I seek ways to image God. I absolutely loved this book!
2. Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp
Okay, so technically, I finished reading this book about this time last year. But then I posted the review the first part of January 2013. So, in many ways, this could have been on the 2012 list. But then I took a group of pastors through this book. I went to his conference based on this book. The subject of the dangerous calling of pastoral ministry continues to ring true in my heart and mind. If you are a pastor, in church leadership, or a concerned member of a church . . . you MUST read this book for the sake of your leaders.

3. The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo
Without a doubt, this is the best book on forgiveness I have ever read. It is a book that tells the true story of a young pastors family dealing with severe persecution from someone inside their church. It is really well written. But more than that, its emphasis on how someone forgives will leave you speechless and shocked. I absolutely loved this story.

4. One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian
This is a book that I finished and posted a review just a few weeks ago. As I said in that review, it is another book by Tullian on the freshness of the grace of God in our life. I particularly appreciated how he tried to answer the accusations thrown his way on how emphasizing grace tends to lead to antinomianism. It was a fresh reminder that will stick with me for months to come. 

5. Fearless by Eric Blehm
Like anyone else, I appreciate a good story. This is a book I read on vacation and still remember being captivated by the life of Adam Brown, a Navy Seal Team Six Operator. I remember trying to steal away 10 extra minutes anytime I could by myself to read just a few more pages of his fearless life. If that happens, you know it is a good book. 

There you have it. I'd love to hear back from you. What were your favorite books of 2013?


  1. Great list Thad! I have added several of these books to my 2014 wishlist. I read Fearless also, and really liked it! As far as books I read this year that I would recommend.... I have several. I set a goal this year to finish a book every week (52 total). So picking just five will be a stretch, but here goes....
    1. Unbroken -Laura Hildenbrand. I read this book 2 years ago and loved it. In fact, I liked it so much I read it again this year. It really is one of my favorite books of all time. Amazing story, great writing, and deeply haunting. Everyone should read this book.
    2. Pursuit of Holiness -Jerry Bridges. Read this in college, this time through it impacted me far more. Loved this book!
    3. Dad is Fat -Jim Gaffigan. He is one of my favorite comedians, this book was hilarious.
    4. Ax-i-om -Bill Hybels. He is one of my favorite writers on Leadership. Great, quick, and easy read. He has a lot of wisdom to share on this subject and I appreciate more and more his genuine humility.
    5. Man in the Mirror -Patrick Morley. This classic was recommended to me, and I am glad I read it. Great book for men, and a good book for women who want to better understand the man in their life.
    Honorable mention: All of Patrick Lencioni's books. Quick and easy reads filled with great leadership wisdom. The Liberty Amendments -Mark Levin. Wheat Belly -William Davis
    -Sorry to hijack your page. -Craig Maxwell

    1. Unbroken is a great book. Hildenbrand is one of the best authors I have read. Incredible writer.

      Some other great books....thanks for commenting.

  2. That last book sounds like something my teenage boys would really enjoy. If you were to rate the content like a movie, would you say it's PG? PG-13? Or . . .?

    1. In my review of that book, I did post a warning:

      Warning: I do feel the need to put one warning in this review. There is some language in this book that might be offensive to some people. It is not pervasive, but it does exist.

      If I were to rate it according to today's standards, it's probably PG.

      Thanks for the comments


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