2019 Reading List

I have been hanging out in Greenville, South Carolina for the last few days while my wife Laura is attending a conference.

Greenville is a really great little city. It’s got an awesome park and river walk area, plenty of good food and coffee shops, some interesting history, and, probably my favorite part: M Judson Booksellers, an independent bookstore on Main Street in downtown Greenville. I could spend hours hanging out pursuing the books and enjoying the ambiance.

Books in general are kind of big deal for me. I constantly have 7 or 8 books in a cue to read....ambitiously all at the same time! Add to that the myriad of recommendations from friends and people I follow.

This year I decided to set a goal for the number of books I want to read. What I’ve found in years past is that, without a goal, I just don’t read many books at all. With so many to choose from I think I get overwhelmed and end up watching a show on Netflix instead. (There’s a sermon illustration in there some place…)

My goal for 2019 is to read 24 books. I read 12 books last year and 2 months in to 2019, I’m already through 5 books.

I’m putting my list out there because I do think I have some good picks on here, and also because this will be another way to hold myself accountable for this goal.

This list is a mix of leadership, church renewal, theology, discipleship, and then the fun stuff: mystery and historical fiction. Increasingly, I'm trying to listen to female and minority voices in the theological stuff I read to hear from different perspectives.

2019 Reading List

  1. For A New Generation - Lee Kricher

  2. 8 Virtues Of Rapidly Growing Churches - Matt Miofsky, Jason Byassee

  3. The Cross and the Lynching Tree - James H. Cone

  4. John Adams - David McCullough

  5. A Grace Disguised: How The Soul Grows Through Loss - Jerry Sittser

  6. Learning to Walk in the Dark - Barbara Brown Taylor

  7. Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved - Kate Bowler

  8. Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism - Deborah Jian Lee

  9. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again - Rachel held Evans

  10. How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Is God Violent? An Exploration from Genesis to Revelation - John Dominic Crossan

  11. Making Sense of the Bible - Adam Hamilton

  12. Shameless: A Sexual Reformation - Nadia Bolz-Weber

  13. Deep And Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend - Andy Stanley

  14. Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too - Ed Stetzer

  15. Leading Change - John P. Kotter

  16. Desire of the Everlasting Hills - Thomas Cahill

  17. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America - Richard Rothstein

  18. Frederick Douglas: Prophet of Freedom - David Blight

  19. A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

  20. Where Dead Men Meet - Mark Mills

  21. Shadow of the Lions - Christopher Swann

  22. To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee

  23. Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn - Gary Pomerantz

  24. The Nickel Boys - Colson Whitehead (coming July 2019)

I’d love to hear what's on your list. Reply in the comments below.

You can also friend me on Good Reads to follow my progress and see my reviews…and allow me to do the same for you!

(P.S. the last book I read in 2018 was Beneath the Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan. It’s based on the true story of an Italian family dealing with the Nazi occupation during WWII. I highly recommend it!)