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:
- Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
- The Ungrateful Refugee, by Dina Nayeri
- City of Thieves, by David Benioff
- The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby
- The Moon is Down, by John Steinbeck
- The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara
- A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller
- The Lost Letters of Pergamum, by Bruce W. Longenecker
- The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
- 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.