“Books,” John Piper says, “don’t change people, paragraphs do — sometimes sentences.” The more books I read, the more convinced I am that Piper is onto something. I’ll grant that particular paragraphs and sentences have the immensity of their impact because of the ideas and context the rest of the book provides, but it’s the individual sentence or thought that sticks with you. After spending hours with a book, you walk away with five to ten great thoughts or quotes that serve as a summation of all you learned.
Such is the power of a good book. It stays with you. It bounces around inside your head, just waiting for the right moment. Then all at once it comes running to your rescue. What’s most exhilarating is that when you crack the spine on a new book, you have no idea how it’s going to shape you or what nuggets of gold you’ll be leaving with. That excites me, and I hope it excites you. It’s early January which means I’m putting the finishing touches on my 2017 reading list. It’s never too early to start thinking about what you’ll read this year. Here are four I’m looking forward to having shape me over the next twelve months:
This one was near the top of my list for books I was most excited to read in 2016. Needless to say, I didn’t get to it. My wife and I walked through a miscarriage not long after I wrote a similar version of this post last year. So this book remained on the shelf all year long. Now that my wife and I are entering the third trimester of her pregnancy, I am growing more and more excited to pick this one up. My hope this year as it was last, is that this book will become a resource that helps me be the godly parent I so desperately want to be.
A little over a year ago, Jack Reacher brought me back to the fiction reading world. Night School is the next in the long line of Reacher books written by Lee Child. This one is on my list for the pure joy of it all. If you’re unfamiliar with the Jack Reacher series, check out Killing Floor by Lee Child. If you like rooting for a good guy who’s bigger, stronger, and smarter than the bad guys, you’ll love Reacher.
The most compelling argument I know for the Christian worldview is the way the world actually is. In searching for truth, we have to go where the evidence leads, and I believe Christianity most closely reflects the world in which we live. In his newest book, Greg makes this argument and I can’t wait to read it.
Last summer, I listened to an interview with Doug Wilson on the Home Row Podcast. It was so fantastic I listened to it at least three times. Reading and writing are two of my twin passions. Anything that can help me improve at either or both, is a must read. Of all the books on writing I’m planning to read in 2017, this is the one I am most looking forward to.