My Top Ten Books of 2020

TopTenBooks2020

It’s that time of the year for retrospection.

After posting my Top Ten Songs of 2020, I thought that a list of my favorite reading material would be good. I’ve had the privilege to read eighteen books (and counting) over the course of the last year. So, I didn’t read as many books as I did last year. But it was still more than an average year (I’m a pretty slow and deliberate reader). I took time to reflect and write up a little “book report” on each one, shortly after finishing it. So, I’ll link to my full write-up for each book, in case you want to read more — but for the purposes of this retrospective post, I’m going to limit myself to five words for each book.

Anyway: Out of the eighteen books I read in 2020, here are my Top Ten Books of the year, in ranked order:

  1. Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
  2. The Ungrateful Refugee, by Dina Nayeri
  3. City of Thieves, by David Benioff
  4. The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby
  5. The Moon is Down, by John Steinbeck
  6. The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara
  7. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller
  8. The Lost Letters of Pergamum, by Bruce W. Longenecker
  9. The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
  10. Where Men Win Glory, by Jon Krakauer

And again, for those who would appreciate more context, my explanations for each selection are included with the listing (reverse rank-order), below:


#10 – Where Men Win Glory, by Jon Krakauer

Military. Culture. War. Patriotism. Dysfunction.

#9 – The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson

American. Exhibition. Industrialization. Well-Researched.

#8 – The Lost Letters of Pergamum, by Bruce W. Longenecker

Insightful. Fiction. Biblical. Research. Faithfulness.

#7 – A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller

Storytelling. Memoir. “Inciting Incident.” Inspiration.

#6 – The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara

Civil War. Accessible. Character Development.

#5 – The Moon is Down, by John Steinbeck

War. Resistance. Human Nature. Freedom.

#4 – The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby

Racism. Church. History. Heart-Breaking.

#3 – City of Thieves, by David Benioff

Plot-Driven. War. Comedy. Russian.

#2 – The Ungrateful Refugee, by Dina Nayeri

Honest. Vulnerable. Immigration. Convicting. Privilege.

#1 – Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger

Great Plains. Great characters. Faith.

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