Reading List

Two frequent questions I get asked are, what am I currently reading or what books would I recommend.

To that end, I created this list of books that I have read and would pass on. This is not a comprehensive list of everything that I have read each year, but they are the books that I believe are most worth the time. (I have wasted a lot of time on pretty worthless books. I’m saving you the trouble by not added them to these lists.)

*In previous years I’ve listed books in “Top 5” and “Honorable Mention”. I got lazy in 2017.

** (10/18) I keep my reading list in Evernote and in the past would update this page as often as I would remember. But, again, I’ve gotten lazy or maybe it’s the four kids, but instead of updating this page you can now just click on the link and read the list in Evernote.

*** (10/18) I’m in the process of working on an Airtable Base that has all this information as well as my personal ratings of each book, but honestly, I’m not sure that I will ever actually finish it.

**** (01/21) My wife finally convinced me to join Goodreads, so you can follow along there in “real-time” what I’m reading. I will still keep the Evernote page updated as best as I can. I keep the list below updated as time allows.


Here is a list of books that I think EVERYONE, especially those who are in “organized” ministry in any way should read:

  • “A Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards
  • “Return of the Prodigal Son” by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • “The Pastor” by Eugene Peterson
  • “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard J. Foster
  • “The Naked Now” by  Richard Rohr
  • “Humility” by Andrew Murray
  • “Falling Upward” by Richard Rohr
  • “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” by Eugene Peterson
  • “The Art of Non-Violent Communication” by Marshall B. Rosenberg
  • “Dark Night of the Soul” by John of the Cross
  • “Night” by  Elie Weisel
  • ” The Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard
  • “The Way of the Heart” by Henri J.M. Nouwen

2020

“The Spirit of Disciplines” by Dallas Willard
“George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans” by Janet & Geoff Benge
“The People of the Lie: The Hope of Healing Human Evil” by M. Scott Peck
“Jesus: A Theography” by Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola
“City of Prayer: Transforming Your Community Through Praying Churches” by Trey Kent & Kie Bowman
“Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality” by David G. Brenner
“The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery” by David G. Brenner
“St. Francis of Assisi: His Life, Teachings, and Practice” by Jon M. Sweeney
“Desiring God’s Will: Aligning Our Hearts With The Heart of God” by David G. Brenner
“Punk Monk” by Andy Freeman
“If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Views of Jesus” by Philip Gulley
“The Way of the Heart” by Henri Nouwen
“the Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending the Scripture Has Made us Unable to Read It.” By Pete Enns
“Restoring the Woven Cord” by Michael Milton
“Emergence Christianity: What it is, Where it’s going and Why it Matters” by Phyllis Tickle
“A Quaker Book of Wisdom” by Robert Lawrence Smith
“Following the Celtic Way” by Ian Bradley
“Farewell to Mars” by Brian Zahnd
“A Generous Orthodoxy” by Brian McClaren
“The Universal Christ” by Richard Rohr
“Everything Belongs” by Richard Rohr
“The Naked Now” by Richard Rohr
“Surprised by Hope” by N.T. Wright
“A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life” by William Law
“Jesus and the Disinherited” by Howard Thurman
“Sober Intoxication of the Spirit” by Raniero Cantalamessa
“The Chronicles of Narnia” by  C.S. Lewis

  • “The Magicians Nephew”
  • “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”
  • “The Horse and His Boy”
  • “Prince Caspian”
    “The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers” by Amy Hollingsworth

2019

“Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg
“The Red Sea Rules: Ten God Given Strategies for Difficult Times” by Robert J. Morgan
“The Pilgrim’s Regress” by C.S. Lewis
“The Boy Crisis: Why our boys are struggling and what we can do about it” by Warren Farrell PhD and John Gray PhD
“The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis
“Punk Monk: New Monasticism and the Ancient Art of Breathing” by Andy Freeman
“The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron  and Suzanne Stabile
“The Naked Now: Learning to see as the mystics see” by Richard Rohr 
“Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton
“Simplicity: The Freedom or Letting Go.” By Richard Rohr
“The Lord and His Prayer” by N.T. Wright
“Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life” by Henri Nouwen
“Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer” by Richard Rohr
“Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life” by Henri Nouwen
“Everything Belongs to God: Discovering the Hidden Christ” by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
“Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life” by Richard Rohr
“Humility” by Andrew Murray
“The Return of the Prodigal Son” by Henri Nouwen
“A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” by Eugene H. Peterson
“The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Own Unique Path to Spiritual Growth” by Christopher L. Heuertz
“How the Bible Actually Works” by Peter Enns 
“Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image” by Dr. Paul Bland and Philip Yancey
“How To Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People.” by Pete Greig
“No Man Is an Island” by Thomas Merton
“Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved” by Kate Bowler
“The Lord of the Ring” by Phil Anderson
“The Jesus Way” by Eugene Peterson
“Blessed Broken Given” by Glen Packian
“Letters from a Modern Mystic” by Frank C. Laubach
“The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer


2018

“1984” by George Orwell
“A Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards
“The Forgotten Jesus” by Robby Galaty
“When to Speak and When to Shut Up” by Dr. Michael D. Sedler 
“Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back from the Brink” by Anthony McCarten
“Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” by Jared Diamond
“Goodbye, Things” by Fumio Sasaki
“Nevermoor, the Trials of Morrigan Crow” by Jessica Townsend
“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek
“Emotional Agility” by Susan David
“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.”  By Daniel H. Pink
“Paul: A Biography” by N.T. Wright
“How Not to be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking” by Jordan Ellenberg
“Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives” by Richard A. Swenson
“The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” by Steven Pinker
“What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures” by Malcom Gladwell
“The Art of Thinking Clearly” by Rolf Dobelli
“Dark Night of the Soul” by St. John of the Cross
“Into the Silent Land” by Martin Lairdu
“Dirty Glory” by Pete Grieg
“On Tyranny: Lessons from the twentieth century” by Timothy Snyder
“The Way of the Heart” by Henri J. Nouwen
“In the Name of Jesus” by Henri J. Nouwen
“A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis
“A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” by Eugene H. Peterson
“Run with the Horses” by Eugene H. Peterson
“Celebration of Discipline” by Richard J. Foster
“The Pastor: A Memoir” by Eugene H. Peterson
“Red Moon Rising” by Peter Grieg
“The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God’s Mercy” by Tim Keller
“A War of Loves: The Unexspected Story of a Gay Activist Discovering Jesus” by David Bennett
“Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview and Cultural Formation” by James K.A. Smith


2017

“Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight
“Stuff Matters” by Mark Miodownik
“The Road to Character” by David Brooks
“Jesus Among Secular Gods” by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale
“In Constant Prayer” by Robert Benson
“The Tao of Bill Murray” by Gavin Edwards
“Against the Wind” by K.P. Yohannan
“The King Jesus Gospel” by Scott McKnight
“Necessary Endings” by Henry Cloud
“Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
“Finding Our Way Again” by Brian Mclaren
“Praying With the Church” by Scott McKnight
“The Pastor” by Eugene H. Peterson
“You Are What You Love” by James K. A. Smith
“A Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards
“The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson
“Prevailing Prayer” by D.L. Moody
“Eat This Book” by Eugene Peterson
“Night” by Elie Wiesel
“Red Team: How to Succeed By Thinking Like the Enemy” by Micah Zenko
“The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi
“God and Stephen Hawking” by John C. Lennox
“Does Prayer Change Things” by R.C. Sproul
“An Eyewitness Remembers the Century of the Holy Spirit” by Vinson Synan
“Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World” by Alec Ryrie
“Animal Farm” by George Orwell
“The Lord and His Prayer” by N.T. Wright
“The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world.” by Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman
“Surprised by Hope” by N.T. Wright
“The Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Williard 
“Prayer: Finding the Hearts True Home” by Richard J. Foster
“Intercessory Prayer: How God Can Use Your Prayers to Move Heaven and Earth” by Dutch Sheets
“Streams of Living Water” by Richard J. Foster


2016

1) “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown
2) “The Way of the Heart” by Henri J.M. Nouwen
3) “American Icon” by Bryce G. Hoffman
4) “Humility” by Andew Murray
5) “Reclaiming Conversation” by Sherry Turkle
“Originals” by Adam Grant
“Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson
“Adventures in Prayer” by Mary Jo Pierce
“Deep Work” by Cal Newport
“How Google Works” by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg *Re-read from 2015 (Probably should be top 5 since it’s the second year I’ve listed it.)
“Sprint” by Jake Knapp
“Finding Eve” by Rita Springer
“The Wisdom of the Desert” by Thomas Merton
“The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Church Monks” by Benedicta Ward
“Sacred Listening” by James L. Wakefield
“Prayer Primer” by Thomas Dubai
“The New York City Noon Prayer Meeting” by Talbot W. Chambers

Honorable Mention:
“Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday
“Poets and Saints” by Jamie George
“The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” by Benjamin Franklin
“The Leader Who Had No Title” by Robin Sherma
“The Lives of the Desert Fathers” by Norman Russell


2015

1) “Creativity Inc. : Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull
2) “Work Rules! : Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead” by Laszlo Bock
3) “The Year Without Pants” by Scott Berkun
4) “The Orbital Perspective” By Astronaut Ron Garan
5) “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg
“Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words” by Rod Bennett
“Truely Free” by Robert Morris
“Manage Your Day-to-Day” by Jocelyn K. Glei (Editor)
“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
“Creating Magic” by Lee Cockerell
“How Google Works” by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle
“Simplify” by Joshua Becker
“Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennen Manning