End of year lists seem a popular thing to make. Movies, music, books, video games, sports moments, news stories, nothing seems left untouched by such lists. After reading a few of these, I decided it might be kind of fun to go over my top 10 reads from 2012. Keep in mind, these sort of lists are ridiculously subjective, but isn't that what makes it fun? Bear in mind, unlike many such lists, mine is not of books published in 2012, but of books I personally read this past year.
1. The Man Who Was Thursday- G.K. Chesterton
This book tops my list for one reason-it was simply the most enjoyable read I have ever enjoyed enjoying; and I don't care if that's redundant. I was glued to the pages, which is an affect fiction generally does not have on me. Good story, a gripping style of writing.
2. Radical- David Platt
I had put off reading this book. Not for any reason other than it was very popular, and I am rather leery of the popular. I have never highlighted and underlined a book so thoroughly. My copy looks like a little kid got ahold of it. Platt's call to authentic (or rather, Radical) discipleship was refreshing, and is needed.
3. A Sweet and Bitter Providence- John Piper
The first of three Piper books, and the only re-read on the list. This was the first Piper book I ever read, and it had me hooked from the first time I picked it up in 2009. Glad I read it again.
4. Future Grace- John Piper
The hardest book on this list for me to read. Also the most deeply helpful book on the list. This book showed me more of God than any other, even though reading it at times felt like I was in a mental and spiritual slug-fest. The relation of faith and works, faith and assurance faith and living as a Christian are but among many of the issues Piper tackles in this weighty classic.
5. Preaching and Preachers- Dr. Martin Llyod-Jones
My first exposure to Llyod-Jones; I went back and forth between laughing hysterically and being deeply convicted by his pointed style. Probably not something the average reader will find interesting, but a good and enjoyable read for anyone in vocational ministry.
6. Basic Christianity- John Stott
One of the most important Christian books of the 20th Century (named Christianity Today's "Book of the Century"), Stott's work is an excellent one. It also is exceedingly clear and simple to understand. A good read for those curious about Christianity, new to the faith, or who need a refresher course - as I did.
7. Heretics- G.K. Chesterton
The precursor to Chesterton's better known "Orthodoxy," this book was an absolute blast for me to read. And even though many of the people he addresses are long-forgotten, the issues which he tackles remain, for the most part, timely and relevant.
8. A Grief Observed- C.S. Lewis
Written after the death of his wife, this book is raw emotion. Things we all feel, but put into words in a way few but Lewis could.
9.Date Your Wife- Justin Buzzard
Like a self-help book for men, except his whole point is that you can't help yourself. You need Jesus. Buzzard does a good job of pointing men to Jesus, not simply to tell them to conform to a religious pattern, but rather to fall down in worship and cry out for help.
10. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals- John Piper
Rounding out the list is another classic from Piper. A call for a radically God-dependent ministry, rather than one dependent on so-called "professionalism".