I read a ton of books in 2015. Today, I’d like to give you my best reads of the year.
While these are the best books I read in 2015, they may have been published in a different year.
And when I say “best,” I have at least four things in mind:
- How well was the book written?
- What sort of life-change did I experience in light of reading the book?
- How much of an impact will this book have on my future?
- How readily would I recommend this book to others?
First, here’s some honorable mentions:
- When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man by Ed Welch (P&R Publishing). Struggle with people-pleasing? You won’t after you read this book.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass). Every leader needs to know how to build a team. In gripping, story-telling fashion, this book will reveal common team weaknesses, and show you how to avoid them.
Now, my top ten books of 2015:
10. Calvin by Bruce Gordon (Yale University Press).
This is the best biography on John Calvin. It’s a difficult read, but it’s worth it as it depicts Calvin’s life better than anything ever written.
9. Charles Spurgeon: Preaching through Adversity by John Piper (Desiring God).
Loved this book so much I read it two or three times. What happens when Spurgeon’s preaching meets Piper’s writing? This book. (You can get the PDF version for free here).
8. What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung (Crossway).
Besides knowing that it’s a sin, I didn’t know in extensive detail what the Bible says about homosexuality before reading this book. It’s a great place to start for this topic (Read my review here).
7. Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey (Crossway).
If you’re anything like me, you’re ambitious. And you’ve probably been told ambition is a bad thing. But that’s not true. This book will show you that big ambitions for God are a must, but who you’re becoming is more important than what you’re accomplishing.
6. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt (Thomas Nelson).
This book gets too much praise from Hyatt’s fans, and too much criticism from Hyatt’s foes. I’m in the middle: I think it’s a very good book for anyone with a message to share. Guard your heart from selfish-ambition, but there’s nothing wrong with platform-building if done correctly and with the right motives.
5. The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink (Baker Books).
The more I know about someone I love, the more I, well, love them. Now picture God: A transcendent, infinite, eternal being with no flaws! This book made me fall more in love with God, and there’s no praise for a book higher than that.
4. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser (Harper Perennial).
I thought I was a decent writer before reading this book. I was wrong. This blessed me, encouraged me, and humbled me like nothing I’ve read in a while. There’s no such thing as “arriving” when it comes to writing: you and I can always get better.
3. The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good? by R.C. Sproul (P&R Publishing).
This has to be R.C. Sproul’s most underrated book. I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about it. Admittedly, I read this book during a real low-time in 2015. So learning about God’s Providence particularly helped me. Still, every Christian will do their heart much good if they dive deeper into the understanding of the doctrine of God’s Providence.
2. The Autobiography Of George Muller (Whitaker House).
This is one of the best books on prayer I’ve ever read, and it’s not a book on prayer. George Muller’s life was simply spectacular. The answers to prayer he received blew me away. And here’s the beauty of it: The same God that answered Muller’s prayers is ready to answer yours.
1. Happiness by Randy Alcorn (Tyndale).
This 400+ page encyclopedic on Christian happiness is a masterpiece. Many Christians don’t realize this truth: God is very happy, and he wants you to be very happy, too. Happy in Him, of course. This book will especially help you if you grew up in a legalistic background. Nevertheless, any Christian who reads this book will experience biblical insights to happiness they’ve never known. I suspect this book will be widely read by Christians for decades.
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