Books help make a good year.
Our problem these days isn’t that we can’t find good books to read. It’s the opposite: it’s almost impossible to keep up. You could read only the best books and still feel like you’re falling behind.
Here, in descending order, are the best new books I’ve read that were published this year (with Amazon affiliate links). At the bottom are some books that, from what I’ve read so far, seem like they belong on a list of best books from 2022, but I haven’t read them yet, as well as some of my favorite books I read this year that were published earlier.
Best Books of 2022 That I’ve Read
Here are the best books I’ve read this year that were published in 2022:
Such a timely book. Wax shows why orthodoxy is not only necessary but thrilling, and counters the anti-theological impulses of our age.
2. In Good Time: 8 Habits for Reimagining Productivity, Resisting Hurry, and Practicing Peace by Jen Pollock Michel
I read everything that Michel writes, and this book does not disappoint. I’m a recovering productivity addict, and Michel helps me rethink my relationship with time to see it God’s way. Helpful for anyone like me who’s read a pile of productivity books and still feels like something’s not quite right.
3. Opportunity Leadership: Stop Planning and Start Getting Results by Roger Parrott
It’s hard to feel like anything new could be written on the subject of leadership, but this book provides a fresh and counterintuitive approach to the subject. Rather than setting a long-range plan, respond to the opportunities God puts in front of you.
This book doesn’t just have the best title and an amazing cover. It also helps us understand why singing is so central to the Christian life and to our wellbeing. I didn’t know I needed this book, but it was a gift.
Another insightful book by Crouch. Technology promises much, but can’t begin to meet our deepest needs. What we need most are choices that engage our full selves, reclaim our personhood, and form us through relationships. Especially relevant to how we live as churches.
If you try to play the same game in the latter half of your life that you played in the first, you’ll lose. But there’s a better way to live in the second half. Brooks helps us prepare for that future (or, for many of us, our present) and make the most of our experience.
7. The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery by Ross Douthat
Life can go horribly wrong for no apparent reason. Douthat shares his story of suffering and helps the reader understand what it’s like to live with little relief or hope. Strangely comforting; we’re not alone.
8. Becoming C. S. Lewis: A Biography of Young Jack Lewis by Harry Lee Poe
Before C.S. Lewis was the C.S. Lewis we know, he was an Irish lad with a grudge against Christianity. This first book of a three-volume set makes me want to read more.
9. Redeeming Productivity: Getting More Done for the Glory of God by Reagan Rose
Rose wants us to understand biblical principles about living our lives for God’s glory, and to translate those principles into practical wisdom. A short, helpful guide to Christian productivity, and a good complement to In Good Time (mentioned earlier).
10. Something within Me: A Personal and Political Memoir by Michael Wilson
You may think that an autobiography by a bland Canadian politician would be boring, but it’s not. Stories about his encounters with Mick Jagger, the Queen, Arnold Schwarzenegger amuse; the story of his son’s tragic death saddens. Very good look at the kind of politician who’s hard to find these days.
11. Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono
This book made me sad at points, but also gave me a glimpse at the mind of Bono. I loved the audiobook version.
Best Books of 2022 That I Haven’t Finished
Here are what seem to be the best books published in 2022, but that I haven’t yet finished:
- Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible's Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture by Christoper Watkin — Considered by some to be the most important book published in 2022. I started reading on Kindle but I’m waiting for my paper version to arrive.
- The Unwavering Pastor: Leading the Church with Grace in Divisive Times by Jonathan Dodson — Not a book written by a theorist. Written by someone who knows the ups and downs of ministry. A balm and encouragement for the pastor’s soul.
- Piercing Leviathan: God's Defeat of Evil in the Book of Job by Eric Ortlund — Sooner or later, you have to wrestle with Job. This book is theological and also deeply comforting and insightful.
- Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God by Tim Challies — I’m reading this one slowly, as it should probably be read. A book that’s hard and yet important to read.
- Dream Small: The Secret Power of the Ordinary Christian Life by Seth Lewis — Lewis beat me to writing this book. One of my passions: God working in the ordinary.
- The Air We Breathe: How We All Came to Believe in Freedom, Kindness, Progress, and Equality by Glenn Scrivener — Helps us understand the profound impact of Christianity on the world.
Other Great Books I Read in 2022
Other great books I read in 2022, but that were published earlier:
- The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham — A book that helps us to think through issues rather than just respond. A little blunt but helpful.
- Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson — The story of the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth following the assassination of Lincoln is gripping and fascinating. This book kept me up too late at night.
- Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen — Another rock bio. Loved the audiobook.
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown — A fascinating story of grit and rowing. So good that it’s hard to believe it’s true.
- The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel — I’d never thought about what happened to all the artwork during World War II. Good downtime reading.