Darren The Foulds

2017 Reading Challenge: 26/26

Each year Tim Challies hosts a Christian Reading Challenge. This year, I'm attempting it. Normally I read very little. I might read 6-8 books a year, but they're mostly Zane Grey Novels or other fiction and mostly on my holidays.

So, yeah, I'm a slow reader and I'm lazy. I'd rather watch Netflix at night. But this year, I'm trying the challenge. I started in January with a biography of Martin Luther which took most of the month (I'm a slow reader and don't take much time to read.)

As February rolled around, I started to pick up steam and by the end of the month, I had basically stopped watching Netflix and I was reading all evening. I decided to up my game from “Light Reader” (13 books in the year) to “Avid Reader” (26 books in the year.)

As March is rolling over into April, I'm just about on track to attack 52 books in a year (The Committed Reader.) So, let's see how that works out. Hit 26 books before the end of June. I suppose I'd better keep going to read 52.

Books 27–52 (Jun-Dec)

  1. The Science of God: Gerald L. Schroeder | A Book About Apologetics
  2. 7 Men and the Secret of their Greatness: Eric Metaxas | A Book of Your Choice

My First 26 Reads (Jan-Jun)

✓ Completed
⋅ In progress

1A BiographyHere I Stand A Life of Martin Luther
Roland H. Bainton
Jan 29★★★⋅⋅My Lutheran friends tell me this is the Luther bio. Being my first one, I can certainly say, it was well worth reading.
2A Classic NovelA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
James Joyce
Mar 7★★★⋅⋅Unique writing style, faithful to the heart and mind of a young man. Reading JE's FotW and the Luther bio prepared me to read this.
3A Book About HistoryStrict Rules: The Blackfella—Whitefella Tour
Andrew McMillian
May 29★★★⋅⋅Does a story of a band touring the Australian Outback in the 1980s count as history? As a fan, it was a great read.
4A Book Targeted at Your GenderThe Best Dad is a Good Lover
Charlie W. Shedd
Apr 9★★⋅⋅⋅Not a bad book. A number of good “tips” for being a more thoughtful husband. Lots of funny 70s groove-talk.
5A Book About TheologyAccording to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Graeme Goldsworthy
Feb 15★★★★⋅Good introduction to Biblical Theology. Helpful to correctly understand chapter and book in the context of the entirety of Scripture.
6A Book with at Least 400 PagesChurch History in Plain Language
Bruce L. Shelley
May 10★★★⋅⋅I want to give this 4★s because I'm sure I'll read it again. I wanted a bit more detail but as an overview (of everything) it's great.
7A Book Your Pastor RecommendsSurprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
Tullian Tchividjian
May 11★★⋅⋅⋅It read like a light sermon series. Which is probably what it was. It wasn't bad, but there are other good books to read. Pastor Al, why did you recommend this? :)
8A Book About Christian LivingThe Pursuit of God
A. W. Tozer
Mar 14★★★★★Incredible! I will come back to this often, and soon. I pray that as Tozer's words inspire me to Follow Hard After God that He will answer my prayers and draw me deeper and closer to Him.
9A Book More than 100 Years OldPilgrim's Progress
John Bunyan
Mar 12★★⋅⋅⋅One dimensional characters, repetition, Bible verses shoehorned into the narrative. The ending was uplifting, but overall, it didn't capture me.
10A Book Published in 2017The Curious Christian
Barnabas Piper
May 21★★★⋅⋅This was a solid "Glad to read it" book. And I'd recommend it to others. Helpful in causing me to look at my role as a dad and husband and Christian in general.
11A Book for Children or TeensThe Silver Chair
C. S. Lewis
Feb 19★★★★⋅A short, relaxing read. Haven't read SC in years, so it was glad to come back to an old favourite.
12A Book of Your ChoiceWillie's Bar and Grill
Rob Hirst
May 18★★★⋅⋅A really fascinating look into the touring world of one of my favourite bands, written by one of my favourite drummers. An easy "FAN" favourite.
13A Book About a Current IssueSeeking Allah, Finding Jesus
Nabeel Qureshi
Apr 6★★★⋅⋅A wonderful, engaging read. Full of apologetics, but reads like a Christian Living book. Helped me understand eastern/western differences a lot more. Happily recommend to others.
14A Book Written by a PuritanFreedom of the Will
Jonathan Edwards
Feb 25★★★⋅⋅Incredibly thought provoking and insightful and persuasive. Only 3★s because of my reading level.
15A Book by or About a MissionaryEvidence Not Seen
Darlene Deibler Rose
Mar 1★★★⋅⋅I was expecting a 2★ rating, but by the end, I found this to be a very encouraging book worth 3★s.
16Another Book About Christian LivingDon't Waste Your Life
John Piper
Mar 28★★★★⋅Classic Piper that I've waited too long to read. Reminded me a lot of Tozer's PoG in his call to not waste the life God has given me.
17A Commentary on a Book of the BibleRead/Mark/Learn JohnMar 25★★★⋅⋅Read this devotionally and can see myself using it to lead a study or prep sermons.
18A Book About the ReformationThe Reformation in the Sixteenth Century
Roland H. Bainton
Apr 29★★★⋅⋅Really neat look into the reformation by a solid author. You can't go wrong with Bainton.
19Another Book About TheologyDig Deeper
Nigel Beynon & Andrew Sach
Mar 19★★★⋅⋅A quick read. Probably not “theology” but a good reminder of solid Bible reading/study methods.
20A Book Recommended by a Family MemberThe Knowledge of the Holy
A. W. Tozer
Jun 5★★★★⋅Have I mentioned that Tozer has quickly become my favourite author this year? A great little “book on doctrine/theology” written with Tozers honest, earnest, passion. Not brain-y, but heart-y.
21A Book with a Great CoverPerelandra
C. S. Lewis
Mar 17★★★⋅⋅Glad to revisit and I'm sure I'll read again. I didn't remember exactly how the book ended. Reminded again of the persistence of temptation senselessness of evil.
22A Book on the Current NYT List of BestsellersThe Stranger in the Woods
Michael Finkel
Jun 24★★★⋅⋅Fascinating! I read the magazine article a while back so was familiar with the story. Loved having more details filled in. A quick read. Happy to recommend.
23A Book About Church HistoryThis Dominion, His DominionJun 23★★★⋅⋅Probably of limited interest, but a lot of neat stories and a pretty satisfying read for this Canadian Baptist.
24A Book of 100 Pages or LessA Grief Observed
C. S. Lewis
Mar 21★★★⋅⋅The forward was more than a little flakey. Chapter three didn't seem like Lewis at all (but I guess he was suffering and his writing was raw.) By the third chapter he was back to true form.
25Another Book of Your ChoiceBeds Are Burning
Mark Dodshon
Jun 13★★★⋅⋅Super niche, but a fascinating read (for me) on my favourite band.
26A Book that Won a PrizeAn Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
Chris Hadfield
Apr 17★★★⋅⋅Chris relates stories that display his attitudes and perspectives on life. Engaging, helpful and positive reading.

What is the proper reading order of the Chronicles of Narnia? Simply, it is the original publication order. This preserves the order of revelation in the books. It allows the reader to discover and learn about Narnia and Aslan as the story itself assumes we learn about them. For example, The Horse and His Boy should be read after the author introduces and commends the story to the reader in The Silver Chair, not several books before, making the author's comments in SC incorrect.

A. W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God grabbed hold of me from the first chapter. I'm sorry I didn't read this book years ago. I think this will be one of my favourite books for years (maybe for my life.) And I really do commend it to everyone. I pray that what God has stirred in me, through this book, will continue to move me closer to Him.

What do my ratings mean?
★★★★★ = WOW! That was incredible!
★★★★⋅ = That was a really good read. I'll probably read it again.
★★★⋅⋅ = That was good. I'm glad to have read it.
★★⋅⋅⋅ = I have some reservations and don't think I'd recommend it.
★⋅⋅⋅⋅ = I finished this book.
⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅ = I haven't rated this book yet. (This is not a BAD rating, it's just not a rating.)
(Obviously I try not to read 1 or 2★ books. Before I start I try to ensure that it'll be worth the read.)