I read a lot. Sometime I even understand what the author is trying to say. I have a list of my essential, go-to books. Argue about them, kvetch over them. That’s the beauty of listing one’s favorite things, I suppose. Several of the choices are head scratchers in terms of their place in the partial list of a Christian’s personal library (Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s series, for instance). These are the books that have moved and inspired me to move forward in different ways over the years. There are a lot left out (the works of Ann Tyler, for instance). This is material that has and continues to travel with me. A lot of books have gone to Goodwill, but these are my “keeper” titles.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (2011. Crossway Publishers).
The MacArthur Bible Commentary (2005. John MacArthur, Thomas Nelson)
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible (1997. Thomas Nelson)
Simply Jesus (2011. N.T. Wright. San Francisco)
Simply Christian (2006. N.T. Wright. Harper San Francisco)
Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them (2009. Ed Stetzer. B&H)
Jesus and the Gospels (2009. Craig Blomberg. B&H)
The Way to Heaven: The Gospel According to John Wesley (2003. Steve Harper. Zondervan)
Interpreting the Parables (1990. Craig Blomberg. IVP Academic)
Summer of ’49 (1989. David Halberstam. William Morrow)
Blue Like Jazz (2002. Donald Miller. Thomas Nelson)
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (2009. Donald Miller. Thomas Nelson)
The Boys of Summer (1973. Roger Kahn. Signet)
Ball Four (1970. Jim Bouton. Wiley)
Working (1974. Studs Terkel. Pantheon)
The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century (1997. The New Press)
Lake Wobegon Days (1985. Garrison Keillor. Viking Penguin)
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (2010. Eric Metaxas. Thomas Nelson)
9 Innings: The Anatomy of a Baseball Game (1985. Daniel Okrent. Houghton Mifflin)
The Other Wes Moore. (2010. Wes Moore. Spiegel and Grau).
The Other Side of the River (1998. Alex Kotlowitz. Anchor Books).
Tyndale Old/New Testament Commentaries (IVP Academic)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World the Can’t Stop Talking (2012. Susan Cain. Crown Publishing)
Thinking Through Crisis (2011. Amy Fraher. Cambridge University Press)
Radical (2010. David Platt. Multnomah
Written Upon the Heart: The Ten Commandments for Today’s Christian (2008. Anthony Tomasino. Wipf)
Primal Leadership (2002. Daniel Goleman. Harvard Business Review Press)
How to Read the Psalms (1988. Tremper Longman III. IVP Academic)
The Paraclete Psalter (2010. Paraclete Press)
Unbroken (2010. Laura Hillenbrand. Random House)
The works of James Thurber: Complete and unabridged (1986. James Thurber. Longmeadow)
The More Than Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide (1989. Douglas Adams. Bonanza)
The Tipping Point (2002. Malcolm Gladwell. Backbay Books)
Jesus Among Other Gods (2000.Ravi Zacharias. Thomas Nelson)
You and Me Forever (2014. Francis and Lisa Chan. Claire Love Publishing)
Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health (2001. Donald Whitney. NavPress)
The Miracle of Kindness (2005. James Kok. WestBow Press)
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself (2009. Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert)
Steve Jobs (2011. Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster). Yes. This is really on my influence list. I appreciate the Jobs vision of intuitive technology and hope it didn’t go the grave with him.