It’s that time of year again. Time to put together a best of 2018 book list. This year was particularly hard to choose, but there were a few selections that rose to the top. Here are my humble selections.
Best Religious Book: Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray. This book was first published in 1895 and you can tell. And I mean that in the best way possible. It seems to me that writers from The 19th century wrote in a way that was clear and devoid of fluff. Maybe they didn’t have as much distractions as we have and maybe they didn’t have the pressures of modern publishers breathing down their neck, but Andrew Murray’s book is clear, compelling, and to the point. If you’re looking for a book to challenge you, and make you investigate those things you are holding onto a little too closely, this book is for you.
Best Non-Fiction book: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. A fascinating look into death row and the men, women, and adolescents who are on it. Not everyone will come away agreeing with everything said in the book, and that’s OK. But this book is an insightful look into one man’s work, the lives he’s changed, and the lives that have changed him. If you are looking for a book which will challenge your assumptions and provide you a view you may not naturally have been exposed to, this is the book for you.
Best Fiction Book: Raintree County by Ross Lockbridge jr. I had heard some people call this book “the greatest underrated American novel of all time“. I don’t know if I would quite go that far, but would definitely categorize it as a epic novel of love, tragedy, and triumph. If you’re looking for a long, deep, in-depth, Odyssey type novel, this is for you.
Best Historical Book: John Adams by David McCullough. This is another older book (I guess that was a theme for me this year, not reading many newly published books), But if you are interested in historical books you can’t do much better than a David McCulloch book. By the end of this work you feel as if you are a personal friend of John Adams. If you love historical biographies, this book is for you.
Best Book of 2018: Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. This book grabbed my attention from the very first page to the last page. I can’t remember the last time I read the conclusion to a book and could feel my heart racing in my chest. This book does a fabulous job of providing historical context that’s informative and enlightening while carrying you along the plot of the story to its climax. You will learn, you will laugh, you will cheer, and you will find yourself a little more likely to try the rowing machine at your local gym. If you enjoy historical literature that reads like a novel, this book is for you.
what are some of your favorite books of 2018?
I love everything about books. The feel of the page between your fingers, the sound of a book spine cracking, even the smell of an old dust jacket. Looking to share that passion with others.