Currently Reading

December  2016

God the Son Incarnate / Stephen Wellum

Devoted to God / Sinclair Ferguson

Letters & Life / Bret Lott

Theodore Rex / Edmund Morris

Great Expectations / Charles Dickens

Poems / George Herbert

2016 Book Log

  1. Station Eleven / Emily St. John Mandel / Piercing
  2. Reading Backwards / Richard Hays / Beautiful
  3. The Strangers in the House / Georges Simenon / Invigorating
  4. The Killing Lessons / Saul Black / Meh
  5. Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of John, Vol. 1 / J.C. Ryle / Searching
  6. Swan: Poems / Mary Oliver / Lovely
  7. The Green Earth: Poems of Creation / Luci Shaw / Beautiful
  8. The Temple of Jesus’ Body / Alan Kerr / Helpful
  9. Thirteen Ways of Looking / Colum McCann / Breathtaking
  10. Unbreakable / Andrew Wilson / Helpful
  11. John for Everyone, Vol. 1 / Tom Wright / Quite good
  12. The Tsar of Love and Techno / Anthony Marra / Heartbreaking
  13. What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? / Kevin DeYoung / Excellent
  14. Same-Sex Attraction and the Church / Ed Shaw / Lucid brevity
  15. Goldfinger / Ian Fleming / Ripping
  16. Practicing Silence: New and Selected Verses / Bonnie Thurston / Okay
  17. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age / Sherry Turkle / Helpful
  18. Laurus / Eugene Vodolazkin / Meh
  19. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life / William Finnegan / Absolutely glorious
  20. Y: The Sources of Islamic Revolutionary Conduct / Stephen Lambert / Interesting
  21. The Shepherd’s Life / James Rebanks / Pastoral
  22. The Looming Tower / Lawrence Wright / Infuriating
  23. The Final Days of Jesus / Köstenberger and Taylor / Lucid brevity
  24. Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of John, Vol. 2 / J.C. Ryle / Searching
  25. Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS / Joby Warrick / Excellent
  26. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt / Edmund Morris / Incredible
  27. Praying the Bible / Donald Whitney / Helpful
  28. The Whole Christ / Sinclair Ferguson / Wise
  29. A Book of Luminous Things / Ed. Czeslaw Milosz / Enchanting
  30. Columbine / Dave Cullen / Sad
  31. Sidetracked / Henning Mankell / Brooding
  32. The ISIS Apocalypse / William McCants / Insightful
  33. Habits of Grace / David Mathis / Gracious
  34. Spiritual Disciples for the Christian Life / Donald Whitney / Useful
  35. Pity the Beautiful / Dana Gioia / Heartbreaking
  36. Human Chain / Seamus Heaney / Poignant
  37. Augustine on the Christian Life / Gerald Bray / Okay
  38. The Writer’s Diet / Helen Sword / Lucid brevity
  39. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction / Alan Jacobs / Better every time
  40. The Farewell Discourse and the Final Prayer of Jesus / D.A. Carson / Excellent
  41. The Corpse Exhibition / Hassan Blasim / Brutal
  42. Invisible Cities / Italo Calvino / Surreal
  43. The Glory of Their Times / Lawrence Ritter / Wistful
  44. The City of Mirrors / Justin Cronin / Ripping
  45. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work / Mason Currey / Intriguing
  46. Crucifixion / Martin Hengel / Sobering
  47. Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion / David Chapman / Sobering
  48. A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters / Andreas Köstenberger / Thorough
  49. The Gospel According to John / D.A. Carson / Quite good
  50. John (BECNT) / Andreas Köstenberger / Lucid brevity
  51. Encountering John / Andreas Köstenberger / Good
  52. John: Read, Mark, Learn / St. Helen’s Bishopgate / Awesome
  53. Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of John, Vol. 3 / J.C. Ryle / Searching
  54. John For Everyone, Vol. 2 / Tom Wright / Good
  55. My Promised Land / Ari Shavit / Forlorn
  56. Allegheny Front / Matthew Null / Brutal
  57. The Lonely City / Olivia Laing / Poignant
  58. The Boys of Summer / Roger Kahn / Wistful
  59. Seven Brief Lessons in Physics / Carlo Rovelli / Fascinating
  60. The Name of the Wind / Patrick Rothfuss / Spellbinding
  61. Portrait of a Spy / Daniel Silva / Intriguing
  62. A Kiss Before Dying / Ira Levin / Meh
  63. Life on a Little-Known Planet / Howard Ensign Evans / Incredible
  64. Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets / David Simon / Insightful
  65. Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America / Jill Leovy / Insightful
  66. The Pleasures of God / John Piper / Wonderful
  67. His Love Endures Forever / Garry Williams / Wonderful
  68. The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses / Chris Bruno / Quite good
  69. From Eden to the New Jerusalem / T. Desmond Alexander / Excellent
  70. A Theological Introduction to the Book of Psalms / J. Clinton McCann / Instructive
  71. Moby Dick / Herman Melville / Awesome
  72. God’s Kingdom Through God’s Covenants / Gentry and Wellum / Okay
  73. Pilgrim’s Progress / John Bunyan / Better every time
  74. The Fire Next Time / James Baldwin / Sad
  75. Ghost Story / Peter Straub / Meh
  76. Mr. Mercedes / Stephen King / Ripping
  77. A Small Porch: Sabbath Poems 2014 / Wendell Berry / Good
  78. Post Captain / Patrick O’Brian / Quite good
  79. I Let You Go / Clare Mackintosh / Meh
  80. Redemption Road / John Hart / Dark
  81. Amusing Ourselves to Death / Neil Postman / Prescient
  82. Suffering and Singing / John Hindley / Excellent
  83. Hillbilly Elegy / J.D. Vance / Moving
  84. Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit / P.G. Wodehouse / Ripping
  85. Favorite Psalms / John Stott / Solid
  86. Knots and Crosses / Ian Rankin / Okay
  87. The Terror Years: From Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State / Lawrence Wright / Excellent
  88. Manalive / G.K. Chesterton / Delightful
  89. Dark Matter / Blake Crouch / Mind-blowing
  90. Being There / Dave Furman / Wonderful
  91. The New Jim Crow / Michelle Alexander / Excellent
  92. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up / Marie Kondo / Neat
  93. Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Ancient Antiquity / J.E. Lendon / Quite good
  94. End of Watch / Stephen King / Okay
  95. The Throwback Special / Christ Bachelder / Forlorn
  96. Drone: Remote Control Warfare / Hugh Gusterson / Excellent
  97. The Black Widow / Daniel Silva / Prophetic
  98. The Alienist / Caleb Carr / Quite good
  99. Pompeii / Robert Harris / Quite good
  100. Wintering / Peter Geye / Okay
  101. Luther on the Christian Life / Carl Trueman / Excellent
  102. Union with Christ / Rankin Wilbourne / Wonderful
  103. Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering / Tim Keller / Helpful
  104. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe / C.S. Lewis / Jovial
  105. Now My Eyes Have Seen You / Robert Fyall / Meh
  106. The Message of Job / David Atkinson / Quite good
  107. Job / Francis Anderson / Quite good
  108. Job: The Wisdom of the Cross / Christopher Ash / Wonderful
  109. Job / Daniel Estes / Meh
  110. The Book of Strange New Things / Michel Faber / Mind-blowing
  111. Future Crimes / Marc Goodman / Disturbing
  112. A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube / Patrick Leigh Fermor / Spectacular
  113. Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels / Richard Hays / Splendid
  114. Overview: A New Perspective of Earth  / Benjamin Grant / Awesome
  115. ISIS: A History /  Fawaz Gerges / Excellent
  116. Ready Player One / Ernest Cline / Prophetic
  117. Child in the Manger / Sinclair Ferguson / Timely
  118. A Peculiar Glory / John Piper / Illuminating
  119. All the Light We Cannot See / Anthony Doerr / Brilliant
  120. The Lightlings / R.C. Sproul / Great
  121. Accompanied by Angels / Luci Shaw / Worshipful
  122. Sojourner Songs: Poems / Ben Palpant / Good
  123. The Summer Game / Roger Angell / Elegiac
  124. Hidden Christmas / Tim Keller / Good
  125. The King in His Beauty / Thomas Schreiner / Wonderful
  126. The Essential Trinity / Eds. Crowe and Trueman / Outstanding


37 responses to “Currently Reading

  1. Great reading list. I wish I could be disciplined enough to read like that.

  2. looks like you have been busy.

  3. Have you ever read Thomas Sowell? Not a Christian author but I note you intermingle your reading with non-Christian works, and Sowell is one of the best on contemporary culture issues. One of his ‘must-reads’ is “Black Rednecks – White Liberals”.

    • Dear Michael,

      Yes, I’ve read a couple of Thomas Sowell’s books. I really enjoyed “A Conflict of Visions.” I’ll keep an eye out for the book you mentioned. Sounds interesting.

      Blessings to you,


  4. pedro

    read “the god delusion” it may open your minds

    • Fearless Witness

      Hi Pedro,
      You’re right about The God Delusion, after reading it, I am more convinced than ever that Jesus Christ is the (only) Way, the Truth, and the Life.

  5. kim

    Great list! I’m adding a few from your list to my own. We live abroad and it’s a bit difficult to find or get good books. Sigh.

    What do you mean by, “Drizzlingly drenched”–the words are fun to say and great as a description–I’m just curious about what you mean. Thanks.

  6. Paul


    I was just wondering why you thought the book “Tribes” was heretical. Not that I read it or anything and thus disagree with you, but because I had the opportunity to buy it in a Christian conference sort-of-thing. Would you care to briefly explain why this book was so heretical to you? (I know I could just read the book myself to see why…) LOL


    • Hi Paul,

      I was using the adjective “heretical” in the same way Godin uses it in his book. He uses “heretic” in the sense of anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle. These kind of “heretics,” according to Godin, create movements in the business world.

      He states: “By challenging the status quo, a cadre of heretics is discovering that one person, just one, can make a huge difference… Heretics are the new leaders. The ones who challenge the status quo, who get out in front of their tribes, who create movements.” (11-12).

      Hope this helps…


  7. Hey Nick,
    Great idea….so, I stole it. :) Hope you don’t mind.

    – Matt

  8. Saul

    Hello Nick, i just found your blog while searching for a quote, and i already added it to my bookmarks :D, great blog. Q. Have you read Francis Chan?

    • Hi Saul, thanks for the link! I read and enjoyed Crazy Love a few years ago but I have not read any of Chan’s latest stuff. Would you recommend it?


      • Saul

        Well, i don’t now about Erasing Hell, but Forgotten God is great, also i really recommend Tolstoi’s short story Father Sergius, and The Kingdom of God Is Within You. I really like Tolstoi and Dostoevsky. :D


  9. Saul

    I would like to clarify, “The kingdom of God is within you” is a great read even though, this book does not explores the concept of grace and redemption through Christ. I believe Tolstoi rejects some Christian tenets like the resurrection, miracles, the virgin birth, etc.. It is more about pacifism and social justice .


  10. Chris


    Love the blog, love the quotes and your passion for God’s glory and reading to that end. Thank you!

    Would you mind explaining how you go about reading a book? I know that sounds simple, but I’d like to read and would like to be better at it (more comprehension, faster, remembering details longer, etc.). Any help in this direction would be greatly appreciated!

    Best regards,


    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for reading the blog! I just shot you an email with a few thoughts.

      Grace and peace,


      • Nick,

        Could you send me a similar email? I too have been curious about how you manage to read so much each year and would like to learn what I can from you. By the way, I’m constantly blessed by your blog and it has been quite a handy resource for looking up quotes and whatnot. Thanks man.


      • Matt McCoy

        I would also like an email with the aforementioned “few thoughts.” I need help in this area! thanks Man! I hope you and the family are doing well.

  11. Lauren L

    Hi, I’d love more information on the practical/purposeful side of your reading life: how you read, when you read, how you find time to read, and how you remember what you read. Do you take notes, highlight, write down quotes, etc.? Do you keep books, give them away, etc.? Just started reading more voraciously and would like to find ways to be moer disciplined about it. Also returning to reading lots of classics, and I find myself wishing I had a professor to help me with some of the works, especially those that use vocabulary or cite ideals that had a different meaning contextually that what they have now.

  12. Lauren L

    One other question! I came here today to find the name of the book on Hebrews that I thought I saw under your “currently reading” list. I don’t see it here now. Did you take it down, or am I mistaken? Would you mind telling me the name, unless you strongly disliked it? Thanks!

  13. Laura Thompson

    Nick, the blog is WONDERFUL!! I was googling a Tozier quote and ended up on your blog… I was so excited to find this great resource and then all the more to see that it was your work :) Please say hello to Allison for us… hope all is well in DC!
    – Laura (and Jay) Thompson

  14. Chris

    Thanks Nick for your work on this. I anticipate being a regular visitor.

  15. Kai Tham

    Hi Nick,

    Very encouraged by your love for reading and your consistency in up-keeping the blog about your reading habits.

    Keep it up.

    Kai Tham

  16. Of your 2014 reads, I’ve read Hatchet, some of the Heidelberg Catechism, the first 3 Harry Potter books, Pilgrim’s Progress. I have a long way to go – hope to read more this year!

  17. I just discovered your site from Challies’ list of links for top books for 2015. I love the wide variety of books you seem to read, and enjoy the one-word descriptions you give for each one. My blog is dedicated to recommending and reviewing books I feel every Christian should read. Since I work a 40 hr/week job now, I unfortunately don’t have as much time to read and write as I did when I started blogging a few years ago. While you’re reading about two books per week, I’m currently closer to two per month; so I’m trying to focus on quality rather than quantity at this point! I look forward to following your recommendations and reviews in the future. God Bless!

  18. Robert Davis

    Have you read Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman?
    It’s a good book. Confirmational and convicting all at once.
    I’m enjoying (and am challenged/encouraged) by your blog. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks but I have copied the link to my home screen right beside Chambers and Spurgeon. Thanks for your efforts.

  19. Andrew

    Hi Nick

    I stumbled across your blog the other day & I’m really glad that I did. I love the breadth of reading material. There is a healthy balance of sound evangelical Theology with lots of other interesting stuff. You have presented me with loads of books I want to investigate.

    As a husband, father, & pastor how do you fit it all in? Could you provide a rough guide in terms of when you read & how much per week? I’ve just noticed that others have asked similar questions (Lauren L in particular) & you haven’t responded for several years. Oh well here’s to trying!



  20. rifleman

    you have to read “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens” by Taunton. Great book!!

  21. Chris Keswick

    Thank you for all the wonderful and inspirational reading ideas! I too would love to hear more about how you go about choosing books and finding time to read. All the Light You Cannot See was a favorite for me this year, along with Jerry Bridges’ Pursuit of Holiness. Thank you!
    Chris in MN

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