I have been reading over 100 books a year for more than 20 years and over 200 books per year for the past decade. Some books are worth reading through; some books aren’t. And rarely, you find a book that is worthy of being read and re-read again and again. So, each year, I create my top 10 list. You have to understand a few things about my reading pattern to understand my list this year. First, the more drained I feel, the more I tend to read novels and biographies – they take less energy from me and often even deposit a little emotional replenishment in me. So, this year, I read 100 novels and a bunch of biographies! It’s been a draining year! Second, my favorite people to read about in the world of biographies are Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. I have read over 100 biographies on both of them. Maybe someday I will write a book on one of them. Third, I love classics – books that have been around for a while. I tend to read Christian books that have been around for more than 100 years. If they have managed to stick around that long, there is probably a reason! Given that, let’s go! Drum roll, please.
Here is the top 10 list for 2020 – in no particular order:
1. The Lincoln Conspiracy, Brad Meltzer. This is a Lincoln biography – focused specifically on the plot to kill Lincoln before he took office. Interesting read.
2. Every Drop of Blood, Edward Achorn – My second Lincoln biography on the list; this one focused on the 2nd inaugural address. In 701 words, Lincoln talked about how both sides were wrong, and how the war may have been God’s just verdict for the nation because of the sin of slavery.
3. My Early Life, Winston Churchill – This is Churchill’s autobiography of his early life. Brilliant, funny, revealing.
4. The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson – The second Churchill biography on my list. This book focused on the London Blitz.
5. The Inklings, Humphrey Carpenter. A look into the literary group highlighted by Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
6. The Authority of the Believer, John McMillan. This is a classic book on spiritual authority and still a worthy read. By the way, if you haven’t read it, you might consider Spiritual Authority by Rob Reimer too. I heard it was pretty good too.
7. The Seeking Heart, Fenelon. Another classic by one of my all time favorite authors, Francois Fenelon. No one in the history of the church has understood death to self as the path to life like Fenelon has. He has tutored me deeper into the spiritual life more than any one else.
8. The Loveliness of Christ, Samuel Rutherford. Yet another Christian classic; one that makes me long for Jesus when I read it. Inspires my heart.
9. Prevailing Prayer, D.L. Moody. Moody was an evangelist from the 19th century and this is a book that inspires me to pray and not give up.
10. The Concrete Blonde, Michael Connelly. I had to throw one novel in the list. Michael Connelly is a murder mystery writer; Harry Bosch is his main character and this one is one of my all time favorite Michael Connelly novels.
Dr. Rob Reimer