Best Reads of 2023

Each year I keep a list of the books I read all the way through, typically with brief notes, as a way of tracking my thoughts and a way to look back on each year and see some of what influenced me. So, in this post I have drawn from that list some of the best books I read this year with slightly edited versions of the notes I jotted down after reading them. These are only books that I read all the way through and do not involve commentaries and reference works I’ve used. You can see my assessment of new Bible reference works from the past year in my annual article for Preaching Magazine which should be out in the next issue.

I selected a Top 10 from the books I read this year. These 10 aren’t listed in a particular order, and they made this list for various reasons ranging from sheer enjoyment to level to impact on me. Following the Top 10 are some more books I enjoyed reading this year (in no particular order) as well as some disappointing ones.

Top 10

  1. The Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrews, trans John Henry Newman- I deeply enjoyed this old, little book. Andrews was a lead translator for the King James Bible and he compiled these devotions for his personal use.
  2. Into His Presence: Praying with the Puritans, Tim Chester- a really wonderful collection of prayers. I found it immensely helpful.
  3. We Were a Peculiar People Once: Confessions of an Old-Time Baptist, David Lyle Jeffrey- My review of this book is in the January issue of Touchstone Magazine. Jeffrey is a master story-teller and humorist which can be seen in the stories he tells from his childhood among Canadian Baptists. He is also sound theological critic, as seen in the points he begins making as the book moves along. This is a book you don’t want to miss.
  4. The Godly Man’s Picture: Drawn with a Scripture Pencil, Thomas Watson- Excellent. I read this over most of the year. slowly to digest it. Watson is wonderful with his words, making rich points with well-chosen words. Much here also for the fearful soul.
  5. The Path to Home, Edgar Guest- Guest has long been one of my favorite poets, and this  wonderful collection of poems illustrates why. He revels in and celebrates family life, the joy of children, and everyday blessings.
  6. Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy, Henry Kissinger- excellent. Great history, some I had not known at all (Lee in Singapore. leader in Germany, etc). Excellent reflections throughout, especially on education in the conclusion.
  7. The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy), William McRaven- I have enjoyed every one of McRaven’s books, and this was no exception. He writes well, has great stories, and this is one of the best leadership books I’ve read.
  8. The Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and the World on the Brink, William Inboden- Great history, told well. I’m a Regan fan, and I really enjoyed this book.
  9. The Dark Tower: And Other Stories, C S Lewis- I did not remember hearing about this book before. It is fascinating to hear about some of these papers being saved from the fire literally! I was quite taken by the title story and lamented not having the rest of it. The beginnings of the current fascination with multiverses can be seen here. But what Lewis does with this is fascinating. The incomplete take on Menelaus and Helen after the sack of Troy was also quite compelling. Earthy, challenging as typical Lewis. The discussion about how the war was started (was going to happen anyway, Helen’s abduction was just an opportunity) and what to do with a Helen whose lost her beauty (hide the truth so that the people don’t get unhappy) was instructive in political science.
  10. Three Noirs & a Blanc (For the Love of Friends, Book 1), R. Kelvin Moore- I read a pre-pub copy and really enjoyed it. I didn’t know what to expect but I was drawn into the friendship of the four guys, and the love of the broader circle. I kept fearing a dark turn was coming that would ruin everything- which says something about what I’ve come to expect in novel.  Thankfully that did not come and it was a beautiful portrait of friends, people who each had come through deep sorrow, but trusted the Lord and helped one another.

Theology/Bible/Christian Living

  1. The Pastor and the Modern World: Reformed Ministry and Secular Culture, William Edgar, Kent Hughes, & Alfred Poirer- 3 great lectures on pastoral ministry. All three are helpful, though my favorite was Poirer’s. He examines Gregory of Nazianzus and his call for the care of souls. Resonated deeply.
  2. Letters to Heaven: Reaching Beyond the Great Divide, Calvin Miller- Miller was very creative and that shows in this book. Some are touching examples of faithful pastoral ministry. Others- and sometimes both of these things occur in the same letter- come across as pretentious.
  3. A Time to Build: 40 Days in Nehemiah, Eric Smith- An excellent devotional study, very accessible, engagingly written, good challenging and comforting truths. I also enjoyed Eric’s Consider Jesus: Christmas in Hebrews. Eric’s ministry in writing these devotionals which are made available for free through his church is wonderful and is spreading to a wide audience.
  4. The Heart in Pilgrimage: A Treasury of Classic Devotionals on the Christian Life, ed. Leland Ryken- It was slow starting, but it grew on me. Some entries were better than others, but I appreciate getting samples from some key, historic devotional writings.
  5. The Recovery of Family Life, Elton and Pauline Trueblood- Published in 1953, this is a clarion call that is much needed today. Some references are outdated, and many will say many of its ideas are outdated, but they need consideration. Particularly the comments about fatherhood, intentional training of children, the need of children for direction and authority (instead of letting them “choose their own way”) is very good.
  6. The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory, Abigail Favale- Good strong critique of the gender paradigm. I liked hearing how her Catholic faith eventually pushed her away from radical feminism. I have points of disagreement, but overall I am very glad for her book.
  7. Letter of Consolation, Pierre Viret- Very good! Viret was a Swiss evangelist and Reformer, known as “the smile of the Reformation (1511-1571). A man who has seen and known persecution writes his flock encouraging them on persevering under persecution. Relevant. powerful.  
  8. Persuading Shipwrecked Men: The Rhetorical Strategies of 1 Timothy 1, Lyn Kidson- very detailed, a whole lot of data, but fundamentally unpersuasive. (my review can be found in Southwestern Journal of Theology)
  9. Still By Choice , Ruth Pitter- Pitter was C S Lewis’s love-interest for a while. He greatly respected her poetry and solicited her feedback. I didn’t enjoy most of the poems, though I did like “Angels.”


  1. To Risk It All: Nine Conflicts and the Crucible of Decision, Admiral James Stavridis- I like books that tell history and then draw leadership lessons from that. This one seems too self aware, careful to be more pc. Still, good points are made about leadership. Good things to learn, especially along the lines of balancing daring and caution.
  2. Four Critical Years Effects of College on Beliefs, Attitudes, and Knowledge, Alexander W. Astin- Dr Agee recommended this book to me and it contained helpful information from a secular, scientific study on what is and is not beneficial in college, and how important these 4 years are. You can skip to the last chapter which summarizes the important points.
  3. Faithful Learning: A Vision for Theologically Integrated Education, Jacob Shatzer- A helpful summary of key doctrines with an eye to how they should shape our approach to teaching each discipline in a college curriculum if we are going to truly integrate faith and learning.
  4. The Transformation Factor: Leading Your Company for Good, for God, and for Growth, J Frank Harrison III- I like Harrison’s story.


  1. Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis’ Fortress Prison, Ben Macintyre- great story, well told. He does have an interest in diving into sexuality particularly homosexuality. Not graphic just more interest than I’d ask for. But overall this is fascinating story which I had not heard about before. Examples of perseverance and ingenuity among the prisoners. I don’t know if this would be the same today. Also the general respect for human rights on both sides is something I think has been lost.
  2. The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919, James Carl Nelson- I was fascinated to read about this invasion of Russia, and of how this has even recently been referenced by Russian political leaders (i.e., they have not forgotten this even though we have).
  3. Lightning Down: A World War II Story of Survival, Tom Clavin- Engaging story, part paean to the P-38, which was fun, and part (mostly) tale of survival. I realize I’ve read a few of these now especially in WWII, in both Asian and European theaters. In fact some details in this one have come up in other ones (like Audrey Hepburn). The story wanders a bit chasing stories of other people. But the epilogue is especially moving when Moser (main character) finds out the French farmers who helped him were not executed as he thought. The tales of Buchenwald were terrible and even made me think about putting the book aside. These things don’t usually affect me this much, but they did here. The children disappearing, and then a sadistic guard smiling when asked their whereabouts and saying they’re still with us, pointing to the ash falling from the crematorium. The sadism of the guards is appalling, but sadly, I think can see in our culture the potential of people behaving this way. When it said that Moser, postwar, working as a repairman without people knowing what all he’d been through, would often have to leave a home when he smelled bacon frying because that is what the camp with the crematorium smelled like, that hit me. I am struck again by how so many men who had suffered and accomplished so much, simply went back to work once they were home, and went to work in very simple, non-glamorous jobs, jobs many today think are beneath them even though they’ve not done half of what these men did.
  4. Stories in His Own Hand: The Everyday Wisdom of Ronald Reagan, ed. Kiron Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson- enjoyable read.
  5. The Waters Between Us: A Boy, a Father, Outdoor Misadventures, and the Healing Power of Nature, Michael Tougias- I love a memoir of fathers and sons, and I love stories about growing up enjoying the outdoors. People talking about the freedom children had to roam the woods, forests, rivers, etc. in a previous day make me sad for what we have lost. This had all that. It also lacked morals and had anti-human environmental ideas in one place. So, I’d have to be careful about recommending it, but I did enjoy it. Very good on this man realizing later how hard his dad worked and all he did to make life good for his family. Also powerful portrait of love and service in his parents caring for their daughter after her debilitating accident. Sad to see the husband be willing to let them take the responsibility, and with their blessings, annul the marriage and move on.
  1. Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills, Charles Henderson- A good read. Some profanity and gory, but good account of Carlos Hathcock, regular Arkansas boy who became a legendary Marine sniper. I liked his down to earth nature and hard work. It was sad though to see that his work seemed to be his life. Still much about drive and determination.
  2. Savage Will: The Daring Escape of Americans Trapped Behind Nazi Lines, Timothy M Gay- I stumbled across this book and saw it was about a WWII incident I had not heard of. It is fascinating story and really amazing more hasn’t been made of it. The author tells the story well. Not the level of McIntyre, etc. but good. Nurses and medics in flight up the Italian peninsula to staff a battlefield hospital were blown off course by a bad storm and ended up crash landing in Albania which was held by the Germans. It took 2 months for them to make their way to safety without being discovered by the Germans. It is amazing what all they went through and yet persevered and when they got home they didn’t make a big deal of it.
  3.  The Lost Airman: A True Story of Escape from Nazi-Occupied France, Seth Meyerowitz- a great story and even better that it was unearthed by a grandson about his grandfather! Opening shows classic WWII selflessness when one gunner is injured and downplays it so others will keep going and when eventually he ends his life so his buddy won’t die by continuing to try to save him. On the other hand we also see failure in the pilots who jump before their crew gets out thus endangering more of them. The bravery and perseverance of the French resistance is strong and compelling. Great story all the way around.
  4. Lost in Shangri-La, Mitchell Zuckoff- a fascinating account of tragedy, courage, and encounter with a relatively unknown people group in New Guinea in the closing days of WWII
  5. Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution, Christopher Wren- I knew of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys but I did not know that they were also fighting for independence from New York or that they flirted with switching to the British side in return for the opportunity to be their own province. Very interesting and well written
  6. Jefferson’s War: America’s First War on Terror 1801-1805, Joseph Wheelan- a bit slow at times, but very interesting history. I knew that the Barbary war had taken place but few facts. It was interesting to see how this issue led to developments in thinking about the role of the federal government, military use, trade, etc. Also striking to see so early the US get into the trade of trying to overthrow a foreign government and the trouble that ensued, and us ending up leaving those allies stranded when we didn’t need them anymore.
  7. Game Changer: Our Fifty-Year Mission to Secure America’s Energy Independence, Harold Hamm- I would not normally have picked up this book, but a friend asked me to look it over. I found the argument strongly compelling. It is well written too. Hamm makes a great point about his oil company working hard to be environmentally friendly because it is good business and not because of some government mandates, and that using our oil helps the US and is cleaner than what is used elsewhere. Devastating critique of government intervention and the emptiness of trying to shut down oil now. He says make the best us of what we have and with that seek innovation rather than making a fideist pledge to other sources before they are ready. Much good here.
  8. Mountain Man: John Colter, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and the Call of the American West, David Weston Marshall- fascinating account of the adventures and experiences of Coulter. A good overview of the West at this time, the Indian tribes and their lives, the animals which were threats, etc. The stories provide examples of grit, courage and perseverance.
  9. The Masculinity Manifesto: How a Man Establishes Influence, Credibility and Authority, Ryan Michler- a lot of good material. Overdone sometimes on masculinity, but he does emphasize service, humility, etc.
  10. The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language, Melvyn Bragg- fascinating. I love how he writes. It sparkles. I can tell he’s playing with the words as he writes and I think he’s even using allusions I’m not catching. Wonderful. I do find myself more in sympathy with those who want to preserve proper English, knowing there will be changes, but wanting to push against those who toss away any effort for standardization. I do wish he used proper notes though so you could see the sources of quotes, etc.


  1. Collusion: A Novel (Mayberry and Garrett Book 1), Newt Gingrich & Pete Earley- I really enjoyed this one! It is an action, intrigue, espionage story. Standard Russians trying an evil plot with a former special ops guy with a bad rap on him saving the day. Well done with story, pacing, etc. Plus it had no sensuality. Some language. People of faith portrayed positively with mentions of Jesus and even a lady being Southern Baptist which was interesting.  The second book in the series, Shakedown: A Novel, was fun but had some more suggestive material.
  2. Duplicity: A Novel (The Major Brooke Grant Series Book 1), Newt Gingrich & Peter Early- Fair, over the top too often, less believable than the other series. Brooke Grant particularly is over the top. Fun at times, but I didn’t continue the series.
  3. The Russian: A Novel (Rob Tacoma, 1), Ben Coes- A decent thriller, but disappointing compared to others I’ve read. More language and sensuality than I expected. Not the worst in this genre, but I’d heard it was more clean.  Then, just not real well written, given to cliché more, style and grammar on the lower end. Also, these kinds of stories have swagger, but it was over done in this one. I didn’t pursue others in the series.
  4. The Man from the Broken Hills(Talon and Chantry), Louis L’Amour- a fun story with classic LL themes. Did seem to have more profanity and more times where the main character seemed slow on the uptake, when the point was telegraphed so I was waiting for him to realize the obvious.
  5. North to the Rails(Talon and Chantry), Louis L’Amour- fun one. Interesting that this time LL takes a man opposed to killing or carrying a gun. He acknowledges the honor in the thought, but makes the point that in some situations, esp where law is not in charge such things are a necessity. Hero is Tom Chantry. His father, who was killed, was Borden Chantry.
  6. Over on the Dry Side, Louis L’Amour- a Chantry novel. Owen Chantry is the hero, and his brother Clive was murdered. Clive is the scholarly one. So, LL brings together his interest in academic minded people out west with his fighting man hero. Fun story. Well done. I’d like to know how Owen and Clive are related to the Borden/Tom line.
  1. Crossfire Trail, Louis L’Amour- good story, straight forward, almost formulaic L’Amour, but I enjoy those.
  2. Brionne, Louis L’Amour- a good one! Crossfire trail was subpar for LL, this one was back on track. It did jump a bit at the end, or I just missed a thing or two. It could have used some smoothing and wrapping up a bit more, but he didn’t’ edit. Still, I really enjoyed this one.
  3. Conagher, Louis L’Amour- another good one. Makes the point that settling and making something of the land is what really matters. I find this often in Westerns. It seems the authors wanted to make clear that though the stories center on fighting men, the real progress is found when men and women settle down and make something of a place. Honorable fighting simply defends this.
  4. The Trail to Seven Pines, Louis L’Amour- one of his Hopalong Cassidy novels. Enjoyable, though I can see why he didn’t like the HC novels included in his list of works, and even denied authorship. I’m glad we have them, but they aren’t up to his other Westerns. The flashy guns and attire of Hoppy cuts across the grain of what he talked about elsewhere. But in these novels that’s what he had to work with. Still, the straightforward good guy standing for principle, protecting the weak, calling for courage, plus good natured humor makes this a fine book.
  5. The Lonesome Gods, Louis L’Amour- a fun read. Another of his really long ones. Probably only The Walking Drum is as long. Good typical themes (courage, education, respect, perseverance). He often has strong women characters, but Miss Nesselrode is the strongest one in any of his work I’ve read. Her dressing down of Don Isidro is amazing! He also often comments on old gods of people who used to live in a location, but he develops that more here. An odd spiritualism. The Alfredo character (one who has a thyroid issue leading to enormous size) was also unique and very interesting. So, this story covers the common themes I like in LA, while also standing out with several unique characteristics.
  6. The Man from Skibbereen, Louis L’Amour- another fun one. Has standard themes but more original. Main character is just over from Ireland and acclimates to the West. He is a fighter more than a shooter, so the standard boxing aspects are there. More about the Civil War with the bad guys being former Confederates bent on getting revenge on Sherman.
  7. The Shadow Riders, Louis L’Amour- Fun read
  8. To Tame a Land, Louis L’Amour- LL on his game. Standard themes, with a young boy orphaned and needing to grow up fast in the West. Independence, character, strength, family, and the danger of unrestrained violence are all strong themes here.
  9. Night Over the Solomons, Louis L’Amour- Collected short stories featuring heroes who are soldiers of fortune, pilots working in the Pacific, Asia, or South America. Fine, but not as good as the Westerns eventually were.
  10.  The Louis L’Amour Companion, Robert Weinberg- I read this slowly over a few years, reading different entries. It is a fun collection of various pieces- articles by and interviews with LL, articles about his work that were previously published elsewhere, lists of LL books by decade with a brief description.
  11. Oakseeds: Stories From the Land (Outdoor Tennessee Series), Gary W. Cook- I like books like this, stories rooted in love for the land, especially when, like this one, the land is my own state. For that reason I enjoyed it even when it started slow. Part 2 is actually a short story that is quite good about a young man’s love of his small hometown, but encountering his need to move away from college, not abandoning his hometown but taking its lessons with him into the broader world. Part 3 moves to essays, and here Cook could just about be Wendell Berry. The first essay was deeply moving and the others were great.
  12.  HMS Ulysses, Alistair MacLean-I didn’t think the story telling was great in this one though it is celebrated. The flow was complex making it hard to follow in places, when chapters would jump back and forth chronologically. Technical nautical jargon didn’t help. The strength of the book is its portrayal of dogged perseverance against all odds and willing sacrifice for one another. I have read and seen enough to know that the sort of bravery described here has been related in historical WWII events as well. It left me wondering if US or UK would have such people on her boats today. The men resented their conditions but did not seem to view it as beneath them which seems to be the big thing today. The conditions to start with are almost unimaginable today. Then throw in the sub-freezing temps, storms at sea, pitiful provision, lack of sleep, strain of attack, etc. This story should stiffen some spines.
  13. The Last Place God Made, Jack Higgins- Essentially a Buchan thriller devoid of the moral compass, ideals, and education. As such it shows what was lost culturally from Buchan to Higgins. People of faith are portrayed poorly, though they are not mocked. Compared to today the portrayal isn’t bad, and at least they are portrayed and granted that they have “their own way” of thinking about things- though that’s obviously not “our way.”
  14. Innocent Blood, P D James- Took me a bit to get into it but very good. Christianity plays a big part- the need for forgiveness, for love. Also, subtle critiques of humanistic views of life. But in the end still holds loose to morals, at least the main character does. Perhaps we are supposed to see that that doesn’t work well for her. Disturbing in parts, describing the crime against the child.
  15. The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories, P. D. James- The intro and preface were great, but the stories were just average. It may be that short stories weren’t her thing.
  16. The Sabbatical: A Novel, Michael O’Brien- Fascinating with its interest in history of ideas, philosophy, etc. It does seem like the story was not finished.
  17. Once an Eagle, Anton Myrer- Way too long, but insightful. Not sure it is up to all the praise it is given, but it is terribly insightful. The author is very perceptive about the way we think, feel, behave and lays that out powerfully in many ways. I like the hero, which is the key point for drawing me in. I like Damon a lot and see why he is described as a portrait of the ultimate officer. People who whine about him being too perfect- well they just whine. Since it was put back into print by the Army, I was surprised at how critical it is of war and of how commercial interests have too often shaped military and political objectives. It is very realistic about the horrors and terribleness of war. There is no rah rah here, but it does hold up nobility, courage, sacrifice, and honor. The critical take on Viet Nam was as surprising as I think it is accurate. I did not like Mrs. Damon, really not much at all. But there is a good message there in the end as well with them finding that it is worth preserving marriage even if it has been tattered. Much here about leadership even amidst the flood of profanity.
  18. Wide Awake, (Book 3 in Devin Gray series) Steven Konkoly- a fun listen like Konkoly’s others. Fast paced action. Among the contemporary action novels, Konkoly is one of my favorites.
  19. Hot Springs: A Novel (Earl Swagger), Stephen Hunter- a really well written story. The development drew me in and made me want to know how the wrinkles would be resolved. It was rougher in language and sensuality than I expected, though. There were quite a few good turns of phrase
  20. The Bullet Garden: An Earl Swagger Novel (4), Stephen Hunter- fun. He writes engaging stories with interesting turns. I can’t get into when he tries to be humorous, particularly with the Basil character. But Swagger and Leets are good. Swagger isn’t as dark here. The book isn’t as dark as the first one. Still there is the odd interest in homosexuality which seems unnecessary. But I come back for leathery Swagger finding a way. I’ve seen complaints that it isn’t realistic but that is genre confusion- this is supposed to work in the real world (not fantasy) but of course the hero is smarter, sharper, stronger, better shot, etc. than everybody. That’s the way it works. Then, yes it defies reality for a Marine sergeant from the Pacific to be chosen for this task in Europe. I was a bit disappointed at first, but it is a fun story. And I like how he pulls in historical figures even if it is far fetched. So Swagger meets Bradley, Eisenhower, even apparently George Orwell and Tolkien. Fun. Some good lines too.
  21. Basil’s War: A WWII Spy Thriller, Stephen Hunter- As noted above, I don[t think Hunter does humor well, but I tried this one on Basil anyway. I put it away but came back. Basil is an anti-hero, the sort I don’t care for- careless about morals or ideals. The story has an interesting idea, tying espionage to an ancient Christian manuscript as the code, but he goes out of his way to describe the Christian author as a hypocrite.
  22. Odin(Alex Mason Book 1), David Archer & Blake Banner- not great but some fun action and intrigue and clean
  23. Orphan X (Orphan X, 1), Gregg Hurwitz- sort of Jason Bourne becomes the Equalizer (original Equalizer). Fairly clean. Fun, not as good as Konkoly
  24. The Nowhere Man: An Orphan X Novel (Orphan X, 2), Gregg Hurwitz- Good concept, but not what I hoped. Similar to the previous novel in the series. Great concept. Could be more, btu I don’t’ plan to continue the series.
  25. Ember’s End (The Green Ember Series: Book 4), S. D. Smith- good, but didn’t catch me like the earlier ones did
  26. The Saint Steps In, Leslie Charteris- Published in 1942. A decent read, but not all I had hoped. The Bulldog Drummond stories are much better I think despite the fact that the Saint stories got TV and movie treatments (and I really liked the old Roger Moore series). This was a bit flat and smug, with little charm to the story itself.
  27. Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution, R F Kuang- A fascinating premise- a historical fantasy set in 19th century Oxford where the industrial revolution is made possible by the use of silver, particularly the power unleashed by engraving words of similar meanings in different languages on silver. This sets up some very interesting discussions about the work of learning languages, semantic differences, the importance of language, etc. And the first roughly two thirds of the story is pretty entertaining. Then the last third becomes very preachy with the Marxist ideas, which had been obvious before, come center stage in an anit-capitalist rant.
  28. Bilbo’s Last Song, J R R Tolkien- nice, very brief. Nicely illustrated.
  29. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson- Tammie read it to us once again, which is always fun. It hit me this time that part of the humor id how insightful the author is about people- the control freak lady who usually leads the pageant, the main lady being offended when it’s insinuated that she couldn’t do it, the dad being frustrated that all this is interrupting everyday life (like dinner!), etc.


  1. The Bible Is Not Enough: Imagination and Making Peace in the Modern World, Scot McKnight- This is largely a pacifist argument applied to culture. He is after our lust for war (helpfully critiquing both political parties in this regard) and he has his sights set on Christian nationalism. Along the way he argues against seeing the Bible as a set norm and says we must imaginatively improvise from the text to make application today. Therein lies the problem.
  2. Nobody’s Mother: Artemis of the Ephesians in Antiquity and the New Testament, Sandra Glahn- Not a strong academic work
  3. The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith- I finished and thought, So what? There was some interesting cultural critique along the way but the story was underwhelming.
  4. Christ In The Seasons of Ministry, John Killinger- Promising but disappointing. Some decent points but marred by being too self-referential. Any book like this would be self-referential to some degree but in this he seems to assume everyone else’s experience is the same as his, and it missed me. There was also an odd mysticism.
  5. Adventures in the Art of Living, Wilfred Peterson- some good, thoughtful points, combined with a mash up of various self-help, pan-religionist ideas.
  6. 36 Righteous Men, Stephen Pressfield- I thought Pressfield was a Christian (didn’t confirm) so I did not expect the flood of profanity and other perspectives. This is an odd story, though interesting with its Jewish and biblical themes, that is themes playing off biblical ideas but not biblical in their worldview.

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