If you don't know me then you don't know that one of the things I enjoy doing quite a bit is reading. Give me a cup of coffee, some compelling writing, and I'm immersed. For the last several years my reading has been pretty specific in the biblical-theological categories and mostly with relationship to my role as a pastor. This is all well and good and for everyday Christian growth and development and I would encourage you to read at least a couple of books a year that will help you grow in Christ and you understanding of his Word. But I'd also encourage you to stretch yourself and read outside one specific genre or style. Wisely broaden your horizons and read fiction (the bane of my existence up until recently), history, sports, politics, comedy, poetry, and an occasional cookbook.
I did a bit of that this last year and found myself enjoying reading more, finding some relaxation in a book, as well as having my worldview stretched. Theodore Roosevelt challenged me in regards to the emergence of leadership and life. Jon Steinbeck pushed me to think about how predetermined I've made my life. Jim Gaffigan caused me to reflect on being a dad, and to be thankful for such a gift. Douglas Wilson gave invaluable wisdom on learning the craft of writing. Bernard Malmud surprised me by surpassing the story depicted in one of my favorite baseball movies. In every book-to-film story I've read this year the book has far surpassed the film.
So with all that said, let me recommend you read different things year. Read Pulitzer Prize writers. Read old books. Read poetry. Read the best stuff. Here's my list of the best books I read in 2013.
10. Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan
9. The Natural, Bernard Malmud
8. Galatians For You, Timothy Keller
7. Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis
6. The Surprising Grace of Disappointment, John Koessler.
5. 1776, David McCullough
4. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris
3. Wordsmithy, Douglas Wilson
2. The Pastor's Justification, Jared C. Wilson
1. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
What were your top reads in 2013?