Things stay the same. Things change. Both of these statements are reflected in my 2022 reading list. Things stay the same: (1) I am once again publishing my yearly reading list and (2) my reading list is divided by category. Several years ago I began to read more intentionally by focusing on reading categories rather than individual books. Reading categories ensure a broader spectrum of reading leading to a more well-rounded mind and education.
Things change: my reading list is significantly shorter. Over the past few years, I have posted 19 books in 2019, 20 books in 2020, and 21 books in 2021. This year I decided to scale back my reading list for two reasons. First, I began a journey toward becoming a certified Biblical counselor which will continue into 2022 which will comprise much of my reading over the next year. Second, I wanted to provide more opportunity for whimsical reading. By whimsical, I do not mean fantasy; but rather, choosing books in the moment based on what is interesting to me at that time. Over the past year I have tried to find a balance between reading intentionally and reading whimsically. My solution is to reduce my reading list to fewer categories that are more broad and encompassing.
I share my reading list with the hope you might find a good book or reading category to add to your own 2022 reading list.
The Mortification of Sin by John Owen. The Mortification of Sin checks off several boxes on my categorical reading list. First, it is a book about growing in our understanding of sin and Christ-likeness (a.k.a. discipleship). Second, it was written by a Puritan and I always like to add a little Puritan reading to my list each year. Third, it is a reread. Many years ago I was advised to reread a book before reading a new book. While I understand the wisdom behind that advice, I struggle because there are so many books out there to read. Instead of rereading a book before every new book, I like to reread at least a couple of books each year.
Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ edited by Thomas Schreiner and Shawn Wright. Last year I intended to do significant reading on baptism; however, once I began the counseling certification my study into baptism was set aside. While I do not intend to do an intensive study on baptism, I do want to take another look at the doctrine of baptism. Believer’s Baptism traces the doctrinal roots of the doctrine of believer’s baptism through both the Bible and church history.
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (4th Edition) by Mark Dever. 9Marks released a new and significantly revised edition of their flagship book, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, this past year. The new edition combines some of the marks and adds two new marks: prayer and missions. Since there were significant revisions of the book, I decided to give the new edition a read. This category also checks the box on another category of reading for me: read a book with someone else. I’ll be reading this book with a pastor of another local church in my area.
When God Shows Up: A History of Protestant Youth Ministry in America by Mark Senter III. My heart has always been in student ministry and my earthly love (outside of Christ) has always been history. These two loves come together in When God Shows Up.
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change by Paul David Tripp. One of the themes of my reading plan for 2021 and 2022 is counseling as I pursue a biblical counseling certification. This is one of many counseling books I intend to read this coming year. A few additional counseling books I hope to read include:
- How to Help People Change by Jay Adams
- Putting Your Past in Its Place by Steve Viars
- A Fight to the Death: Taking Aim at Sin Within by Wayne Mack
- When People are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man by Ed Welch
- Counseling One Another: A Theology of Inter-Personal Discipleship by Paul Tautges
If you are looking for a good book or several good books on biblical counseling, I strongly recommend ACBC’s Approved Reading List.
Extreme Ownership: How the U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin. Extreme Ownership has been on my digital bookshelf for several years. If you know me, you know I am fascinated by military special operations. One of my top 10 leadership books is Leadership Lessons of the Navy Seals: Battle-Tested Strategies for Creating Successful Organizations and Inspiring Extraordinary Results by Jeff and Jon Cannon and I am hoping Extreme Ownership measures up.
God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation by Andreas J. Köstenberger and David Jones. In the past, my reading list included family discipleship, marriage, fatherhood, and manhood. In reducing my reading list categories for 2022, I combined all these categories into one: family. However, this book combines several of these topics into one book, which is why I decided to make this my family book this year.
Hellbound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Hunt for His Assassin by Hampton Sides. I love history. One of the reasons I began my intentional reading list is because I found myself almost exclusively reading history. When searching for a good history book I begin by going through a list of my go-to history authors. Hampton Sides is one of those authors. Over the past few years I have become increasingly interested in Martin Luther King, Jr. Put these two interests together and Hellbound on His Trial was an obvious choice for my 2022 history book selection. A few other books under consideration, which are also written by my go-to history authors, include:
- Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice by Adam Makos
- Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany by Stephen Ambrose
- The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914 by David McCullough
- The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson
- The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football by S.C. Gwynne
The Life of Andrew Jackson by Robert Remini. Several years ago, I set a goal to read a biography on each president of the United States. I began with presidents I liked or intrigued me. Over the past few years I have begun reading chronologically through the presidents and Andrew Jackson is the next president in line.
Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore. Dallimore’s biography of Spurgeon was on my 2021 list, but I had difficulty finding a copy; therefore, I am hoping to secure a copy and give it a read in 2o22.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I am not a big fiction reader. I have difficulty finding good fiction that intrigues me. When looking for good fiction books, I often consult reading lists which is how I came across The Road (Undaunted Life’s 100 Books Every Modern Christian Man Should Read). While I do not necessarily agree with the list of books as “must” reads for Christian men, I did discover and was intrigued by the story line of the The Road.
Have a great book recommendation? Send me a message by clicking HERE with the title, author, and one sentence why you think it is a book worth reading.