Top Books I Read in 2022
Are you looking for your next “great” book?
If you’re like me, I’ve been eagerly adding books to my Goodreads “Want to Read” list as I’ve seen others detailing the top books they read in 2022. (If you’re not a Goodreads user and are a reader, sign up today! Friend me!)
Here’s the pretty graphic from Goodreads (link here lets you see each individual book), but keep scrolling for my top 10 books of 2022 and commentary about them.
Here’s my top 10 books I read (with 10 being the best):
The Constitution of the United States of America with the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation by John Dickinson, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison
It was a little, leather-bound edition at Barnes & Noble on sale that grabbed me. I thought, “I don’t think I’ve read the Constitution since Civics class in junior high. It is truly a remarkable read. The Bill of Rights should be read annually by every American.
The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves
I highly recommend this brief but enjoyable and helpful synopsis of the history of the Reformation. For anyone who knows little of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and others.. for anyone who is shocked to learn that people were killed for daring to translate the Bible out of Latin… for anyone wanting to know why the theological gulf between devout modern Catholics and Protestants is as wide as it was in the 1500s, this is where you should start.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
A classic that I’d never read. I could not put it down! It was fantastic, and I hated getting to the end.
Pandemia by Alex Berenson
He’s a former New York Times reporter and of all the people I’ve followed about the pandemic, I was impressed with his relentless research (and willingness to self-correct). The book is a highly readable must-read for your introduction into the craziness of how the “experts” responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. I really urge you to read it. He now has a newsletter on Substack called Unreported Truths.1
The Quiet Game by Greg Iles
This was my first Greg Iles' book. I truly enjoyed every single paragraph. Penn Cage's character was believable. The first-person story telling was so well done. If you're looking for a good Grisham-esque series to get into, start here. Action-packed, socially-insightful (set in Natchez, MS), and truly concise. I'll be checking out the next book in the series for sure.
Mamabear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality by Hillary Morgan Ferrer
Simply put - this belongs on every parent’s (and grandparent’s) shelf and should be a reference. Fantastic resource. Readable. Challenging. Encouraging.
Engaging Generation Z by Tim McKnight
Best book on youth ministry I’ve read since “Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry.” It’s a must-read for youth ministers, pastors, church leaders and parents. It’s time to rethink youth ministry and prepare today’s youth to be today’s church.
Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
It's beautifully written and truly made me think deeply and even dream. It provoked me to order a Book of Common Prayer and to research the liturgy.
Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson
It’s rare to read someone who reflects your own un-articulated thoughts back to you… articulated. “That’s exactly how I think!” I find myself regularly dumbfounded as he playfully picks the words to describe some of my own unspoken musings. I was deeply impacted by this book and highly recommend it. I even wrote another post - Learning from Yearning - to attempt to process it.
And the top book I read? (drumroll, please)
11/22/63 by Stephen King
I know. I know. You’re thinking… really? A Stephen King book gets the top spot? I think the same thing. But truly, this book captivated me, and I found myself telling people about the magnificent plot frequently. It tracks the assassination of JFK, invites you into a world of time travel, and throws in just enough facts and mysteries to make you want to research the actual events and the Warren Commission itself. It is GREAT.
Shepherds After My Own Heart by Timothy S. Laniak
I read this because it was an assigned text in a biblical leadership PhD program (I’m not in the program, but I downloaded the syllabus for ideas on growth). While at times this book seemed to plod along, I could never skim… because at a random moment, the author would bring such a profound, underline-able insight that I just didn’t want to miss it. It’s a wonderful text for theological and biblical reflection on the role of pastors as shepherds and what that entails. It also calls us to be sheep as we ultimately all follow together the Good Shepherd.
The Wisdom Pyramid by Brett McCracken 🌟
I don’t give many books a 5-star, but this belongs on your next-to-read list. Wisdom is a rare commodity in our world, and this insightful look at sources of wisdom will bless you. It offers profound and challenging insight for how you love YOUR daily life and the decisions necessary to experience a deeper and more centered heart. It all starts with your understanding that without God, you will never be wise.
Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute
This was a leadership book I read as part of a ministry cohort I participated in. A very, very easy read that also has produced a lot of thought. Simply put, see people as people, not objects. The Bible beat them to this principle. I'll be processing more about how to connect the book's thoughts with foundational scriptures and communicate those to others for a more healthy team and personal approach in leadership.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
This was another leather-bound edition on sale at B&N. I found myself underlining it throughout. It’s another must-read book to understand the principles behind our republic and what is essential to make it work for the people.
Here are some series that I read:
The Third Option by Vince Flynn (#4 in Mitch Rapp series)
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - I found a website that listed top mystery books, and this was one I chose to read. It did not disappoint!
Just Shy of Harmony by Phillip Gulley (#2 in Harmony series) These are really delightful. They tell (often hilariously) the story of a small-town pastor and the characters he “tries” to shepherd in his small church. I’ll confess I recognized some of my own church members in these stories. ;)
Memory Man by David Baldacci (Amos Decker #1) Last year I stumbled on The Fix and loved it - didn’t know it was part of a series. I began with #1 and will continue reading more. Great character.
The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau (#4 in the Book of Ember series)
Where the Dead Lie by C.S. Harris (#12 in the Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery series)
You can click over to my 2022 books page at Goodreads and see my reviews on many of the other books I didn’t mention here.
If you’re looking for more resources to rethink and question the narrative that was shoved down our throats, you might start with my entry here: More COVID… and sources to read that aren’t trying to scare you to death. This is all especially relevant after the #TwitterFiles drop about COVID censorship: