Numerous Christian websites publish their "Top Books" list during this time of year. Rather than a "Top 10" list, however, I'll encourage you to consider reading the following in the year to come.
1. Sipping Saltwater: How to Find Lasting Satisfaction in a World of Thirst - Steve Hoppe
We all have a thirst for paradise that we want satisfied - now! This propels us on endless journeys in countless directions looking for the "secret" that will finally admit us into the good life. Hoppe's book, which is short and engagingly written, magnificently exposes the lies behind such promises. Thinking academics, career, romance, or hobbies will satisfy is like sipping saltwater to satisfy your thirst.
2. Don't Follow Your Heart: God's Ways Are Not Your Ways - Jon Bloom
One of the most difficult aspects of life is entrusting ourselves to a Sovereign God when things are tough. We are control freaks. But our hearts must not be trusted. Bloom's book is a wonderful guided tour of how God is meticulously involved the details of our lives - even the unpleasant ones. And because this God is good, we can trust him.
3. Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul - Hannah Anderson
Hannah is a gifted writer. I have another of her books on my 2019 reading list. I'll let her sum up this much needed work: "The goal of Humble Roots is to understand how pride manifests itself in anxiety and restlessness; and how humility frees us from the cycle of stress, performance, and competition." Enough said!
4. 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You - Tony Reinke
"Unintended consequences." Human beings are masters of creating these. Such is the case with the smart phone. This book is hard hitting. There are innumerable quotes that make the point, but just start with the title of chapter 1: "We Are Addicted to Distraction." Reinke's work is well-researched documenting studies connecting smart phone addiction to anxiety and depression. A big part of me wishes this device had never been invented.
5. What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care? Answers to the Big Questions of Life - Ed Welch
Everyone struggles with what others think of them. Everyone. Underneath this is a good thing that is going in the wrong direction. What is that thing? Love; praise; respect; appreciation, etc. What makes us people-pleasers or approval-junkies is our preoccupation with getting love. This is the wrong direction. Welch demonstrates convincingly that when love, praise, respect, appreciation, etc. begin moving in the opposite direction, from us towards God and others, we will begin to get free from the nagging question, "What do you think of me?"