My friend and co-worker, Wes Roth, is an occasional contributor to this blog (one of the top 5 Haugen blogs worldwide). He has unleashed his top five books from 2017.
Wes is a voracious reader but of a different ilk than I. He reads a lot of non-fiction and religious books. Wes’s reading was more heavy on the religious side this past year (and next) due to the fact that he’s taking some theology classes through Biola University and because he enjoys them and grows through them.
Here are his top books from last year, with his full Goodreads reviews at the links:
#1 by a mile was my daily devotional by Charles Colson: How Now Shall We Live?
As of right now, "Second to my Bible, this devotional and my notes and prayers will be my most important book to keep close to me and refer to it regularly in my walk with God" as a counter-cultural Christian.
#2 is "The Benedict Option" by Rod Dreher.
"For example, in the chapter on 'A New Kind of Christian Politics', Dreher argues that Christians should "get started with the antipolitical politics of the Benedict Option. Secede culturally from the mainstream. Turn off the television. Put the smartphones away. Read books. Play games. Make music. Feast with your neighbors. It is not enough to avoid what is bad; you must also embrace what is good." (pg 98). I have taken some of his suggestions to heart and made some great changes in my life this year.
#3 is "Evicted" by Matthew Desmond.
Having grown up nowhere near the level of grinding poverty that Desmond shares in 'Evicted', this book really opened my eyes to the never-quite-get-out of pit of poverty in America--in this case, Milwaukee. And I never understood how there could be "profit from poverty." Every American should read this book.
#4 is As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God by Eugene H. Peterson
"As Kingfishers Catch Fire" is a wonderful collection of sermons and teaching by a longtime follower of Jesus and preacher of the Word. I will refer back to this book many times in the years ahead in my study of the Bible. His sermons are incredible to read and reflect on, then to apply to my life. I have gone back to this book, again and again, this year.
#5 is The President Will See You Now: My Stories and Lessons from Ronald Reagan's Final Years by Peggy Grande.
This is a fantastic addition to the Reagan "canon" about a top aide who worked for President and Mrs. Reagan, post-presidency. I also got to know her personally and was intrumental in bringing her to South Dakota this year for the Pennington County Lincoln Day Dinner. This is a wonderful, endearing biography of the 40th President and his wife. I literally cried at the end (only two books have done that).