The strangeness of 2020 stretches even as far as my reading list. One would think extra time at home would lead to more books being read to completion, however, it seems both my brain and my reading list were scattered and random this year. If you, like me, are trying to get into a better reading groove, here are four books you might enjoy:
Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund
Ok, I know this is probably a top read for many, but it’s too good not to mention just to avoid being cliche. It helpfully portrays the heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers and continually provides fresh encouragement in the midst of a difficult year. There’s a reason this book is popular this year, and if you have not read it I would highly encourage it.
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
This was an impulse read after watching the play, and it did not disappoint. It is a well-written biography filled with names you’re likely familiar with but whose stories you (at least I) didn’t know. I love learning history in a way that keeps my attention! As a writer, Hamilton’s life is an encouragement to me as to the power of the written word (in both positive and negative ways). It filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of early American history and provided insights into names we know like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Blogging for God’s Glory in a Clickbait World by Benjamin Vrbicek & John Beeson
There are many works on blogging and how to gain an audience. However, there are not as many resources on blogging for the Christian whose goal is to glorify God. This book provides foundational motivation for the Christian blogger and heart-probing questions. There is also technical help for beginning a blog, keeping up with a website, and other technical areas where I am weak. I learned much and was inspired to continue writing for the good of my neighbor and the glory of God.
Great Doctrines of the Bible by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
I’m always reading something by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and this is a work I go to often. Many have encountered systematic theology books that are dense and hard to follow…not so with Lloyd-Jones. His book is made up of lectures he gave on Friday nights to his church (imagine people coming to church on Friday night to learn theology!). Each chapter covers a doctrine and provides the biblical basis and helpful explanation. Lloyd-Jones believed that studying doctrine should lead us to worship God: “The doctrines of the Bible are not a subject to be studied; rather we should desire to know them in order that, having known them, we may not be ‘puffed up’ with knowledge, and excited about our information, but may draw nearer to God in worship, praise, and adoration, because we have seen, in a fuller way that we have ever seen before, the glory of our wondrous God” (10).