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)
- The Science of God: Gerald L. Schroeder | A Book About Apologetics
- 7 Men and the Secret of their Greatness: Eric Metaxas | A Book of Your Choice
My First 26 Reads (Jan-Jun)
⋅ In progress
|1||✓||A Biography||Here 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.|
|2||✓||A Classic Novel||A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man|
|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.|
|3||✓||A Book About History||Strict Rules: The Blackfella—Whitefella Tour|
|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.|
|4||✓||A Book Targeted at Your Gender||The 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.|
|5||✓||A Book About Theology||According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible|
|Feb 15||★★★★⋅||Good introduction to Biblical Theology. Helpful to correctly understand chapter and book in the context of the entirety of Scripture.|
|6||✓||A Book with at Least 400 Pages||Church 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.|
|7||✓||A Book Your Pastor Recommends||Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels|
|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? :)|
|8||✓||A Book About Christian Living||The 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.|
|9||✓||A Book More than 100 Years Old||Pilgrim's Progress|
|Mar 12||★★⋅⋅⋅||One dimensional characters, repetition, Bible verses shoehorned into the narrative. The ending was uplifting, but overall, it didn't capture me.|
|10||✓||A Book Published in 2017||The Curious Christian|
|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.|
|11||✓||A Book for Children or Teens||The 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.|
|12||✓||A Book of Your Choice||Willie's Bar and Grill|
|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.|
|13||✓||A Book About a Current Issue||Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus|
|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.|
|14||✓||A Book Written by a Puritan||Freedom of the Will|
|Feb 25||★★★⋅⋅||Incredibly thought provoking and insightful and persuasive. Only 3★s because of my reading level.|
|15||✓||A Book by or About a Missionary||Evidence 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.|
|16||✓||Another Book About Christian Living||Don't Waste Your Life|
|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.|
|17||✓||A Commentary on a Book of the Bible||Read/Mark/Learn John||Mar 25||★★★⋅⋅||Read this devotionally and can see myself using it to lead a study or prep sermons.|
|18||✓||A Book About the Reformation||The 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.|
|19||✓||Another Book About Theology||Dig Deeper|
Nigel Beynon & Andrew Sach
|Mar 19||★★★⋅⋅||A quick read. Probably not “theology” but a good reminder of solid Bible reading/study methods.|
|20||✓||A Book Recommended by a Family Member||The 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.|
|21||✓||A Book with a Great Cover||Perelandra|
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.|
|22||✓||A Book on the Current NYT List of Bestsellers||The Stranger in the Woods|
|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.|
|23||✓||A Book About Church History||This Dominion, His Dominion||Jun 23||★★★⋅⋅||Probably of limited interest, but a lot of neat stories and a pretty satisfying read for this Canadian Baptist.|
|24||✓||A Book of 100 Pages or Less||A 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.|
|25||✓||Another Book of Your Choice||Beds Are Burning|
|Jun 13||★★★⋅⋅||Super niche, but a fascinating read (for me) on my favourite band.|
|26||✓||A Book that Won a Prize||An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth|
|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.)