My Ten Favorite Reads of 2011

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Every December, I select the ten books that I most enjoyed reading during the year. Please note that I am not giving a blanket endorsement to everything in these books (after all, some of them contradict each other at points). I choose ten books a year based primarily on how much I enjoyed reading them.

Here are my top ten picks for 2011.

#1. GOD’S GLORY IN SALVATION THROUGH JUDGMENT: A BIBLICAL THEOLOGY – James Hamilton

Hamilton puts the Bible together in a way that leads the reader to marvel – not at his own theological acumen, but at the majestic and loving God whose saving actions are at the heart of the Bible’s grand narrative. See an excerpt here.

#2. UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION – Laura Hillenbrand

… the riveting life story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, is easily one of the best books I’ve read… I was moved to tears by the wondrous power of the Holy Spirit to change a heart. For more information, check out: “What Finally Broke Louis Zamperini.” 

#3. NOTES FROM THE TILT-A-WHIRL: WIDE-EYED WONDER IN GOD’S SPOKEN WORLD N. D. Wilson

… while guys like me are blabbing on about the need for beauty, guys like [Nate] are already delivering thoughtful, rich, dare-I-say exuberant prose that stirs up a sense of wonder at life, love, and the beauty of Christian truth. Check out my interview with Nate here as well as some great quotes from the book (here and here).

#4. THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS: THE EPIC STORY OF AMERICA’S GREAT MIGRATION Isabel Wilkerson

By interweaving three individuals’ lives and the larger narrative of the Migration, Wilkerson paints a stunning portrait of life in the Jim Crow era… Read my full review here.

 #5. READ THE BIBLE FOR LIFE: YOUR GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING AND LIVING GOD’S WORD George Guthrie

… an easy-to-read yet in-depth approach to hermeneutics that focuses on connecting the dots of the big story line of the Bible. See my review for Christianity Today here or my interview with George Guthrie here.

#6. THE LORD OF THE RINGS J. R. R. Tolkien

Frodo’s humble devotion to a cause and Sam’s unflagging devotion to Frodo is the foundation of this epic battle of good versus evil. Read one of my favorite passages here. 

#7. HERETICS G. K. Chesterton

 It’s ironic that Chesterton’s literary foes who believed him backwards and old-fashioned are largely forgotten today, while we are still reading Chesterton a century later. Read some of my favorite quotes here, here, here, and here.

#8. GOSPEL: RECOVERING THE POWER THAT MADE CHRISTIANITY REVOLUTIONARY J. D. Greear

[J. D. has] expressed in laypeople’s terms the type of confidence and security that comes from believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ… Check out my conversation with J. D. here.

#9. DESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC: A TALE OF MADNESS, MEDICINE, AND THE MURDER OF A PRESIDENT Candice Millard

Not only did I finish it feeling like I knew James Garfield, I also enjoyed the thrilling pace of the plot development… See my full review here.

#10. GOSPEL WAKEFULNESS Jared Wilson

Anyone hungry and thirsty for righteousness will be refreshed by the invigorating streams of truth that flow from Gospel Wakefulness. Jared Wilson wants us to delight in the gospel to the point that sin becomes bitter and Christ becomes our supreme treasure… See my full review here.

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