Top 10 Books of 2018
I read a lot. It has significantly shaped my life. For the past ten years I have averaged 200 books per year. Next blog I’ll talk about reading in general and give my top 25 list from all time. But in this blog I will give the top 10 books from 2018. I won’t choose any all time greats because I’ll cover those next blog. I didn’t choose many books that I’ve re-read this year; mostly they were books that I read for the first time. Not all of the books on the list are new books - lots of old books are worth reading!
I have been creating a top 10 list at the end of each year for a while now and people often ask me about it. In the past I posted it on FaceBook. Since I wasn’t blogging before, I’ll do the top 10 list for 2018 and then I’ll do an all time favorites list to catch some of my new friends up to previous great reads.
Here is my top 10 for 2018, not listed in any particular order. Down below I put a link to Amazon to each of these books, in case you want to purchase any of them.
1. How to Grow: What the Bible Reveals about Personal Growth, Henry Cloud. Henry noticed that people weren’t growing just because they read their Bible, prayed and went to church. It frustrated him. He learned key principles to growth and then read the Bible more carefully, only to discover that the principles were there, but He had missed them and/or hadn’t applied them. It seems to me that often we fail to integrate the principles of life change that God offers. The book has some good insights.
2. Invitation to Retreat: The gift and necessity of time away with God, Ruth Haley Barton. I am not sure anything has helped me to grow more and go deeper with God that spiritual retreats. For many years I went to a monastery every other month to spend extended periods of time alone with God. It changed me. I have moved farther away from the monastery that I went to, so I go less often now, but I retreats are still part of my life. Ruth Haley Barton invites us to retreat and offers us some key insights into the journey.
3. In Pieces, Sally Field. I’ve always liked Sally Field as an actress. In this autobiographical work she is open, honest and vulnerable. It’s a story of human triumph and tragedy. It’s a story of pain and suffering. When I read it, I was moved and I wanted to contact her to offer her some Soul Care help. It reminds me of why I do what I do. And I am always moved by people’s honesty reflections about their stories.
4. Churchill: Walking with Destiny, Andrew Roberts. I have read nearly 100 books, biographies and autobiographical works of Winston Churchill. He is simply one of my favorite people in history. I love his courage, his passion, his conviction, his leadership in crisis. He moves me; he inspires me. This is a terrific biography on Churchill. I’ll likely read it again.
5. Leadership in Turbulent Times, Doris Kearns Goodwin. I like Goodwin’s writing a lot; she is one of my favorite biographers. She has written on leaders like Lincoln (A Team of Rivals), Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and FDR. Everything she writes is worth reading. Here she draws leadership insights from all four of these presidents. This is a another winner by Doris Kearns Goodwin. And we certainly need some quality leadership in our turbulent times. True statesman are rare to come by and desperately needed.
6. Hard Places in the Way of Faith, A.B. Simpson. Simpson is the founder of my denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance. This isn’t one of his better known books, like The Fourfold Gospel, but I found it interesting and insightful. The man had depth to his soul. If you have never read Simpson, you can pick up this volume down below that has 50 works in one volume for $2.99 on Amazon Kindle. Good buy, good books!
7. An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest, Alan Fadling. We live in a busy society where hurry sickness rules our lives. Fadling makes a necessary call to live life at a sustainable, replenishable pace. He has some insights. The conversation is worth having. The adjustments are worth making. The thoughts are worth reflecting on. Everyone needs to figure it out with God, but books like this can help you to begin wrestling with the topic.
8. Power from on High, Charles Finney. Finney was the key human figure in the Second Great Awakening. God used him greatly and the man saw an amazing move of God - perhaps the greatest our country has ever seen. He has many insights worth pondering. His ideas are old fashioned at times, a product of his times, so you’ll have to sort out some of the temporary principles from the universal principles. But it is well worth the read, and he has some great wisdom that came from a powerful move of God. I’ve read this one before and I’ll read it again.
9. Lincoln and Churchill: Statesman at War, Lewis Lehrman. These are my two favorite politicians. This book looks at their war time leadership and compares some of their common traits as leaders in critical times of war. Neither of them was perfect, but they were both critically important leaders in dire times. A good read.
10. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership, Henri Nouwen. I like Henri Nouwen a lot. I have recommended other books of his over the years. I’ve read most everything he has written. He is vulnerable, and has depth and wisdom. His writing is simple, his thoughts are profound, and he draws me to Jesus. This is another good read from Nouwen.
Here are ten of the best books I’ve read in 2018. Next I will do the best books I’ve read over time.