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My 2015 Reading Year in Review

2015 was another enjoyable year of reading for me, and with books tracked as usual on Goodreads, here’s a short summary:

Total books read: 62. That’s less than last year, but more than each of the three years before that. Fairly average for me.

Fiction/non-fiction: 36 / 26.

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Fiction:

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) (Rowling, J.K.) re-read w/ the kids
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) (Rowling, J.K.) re-read w/ the kids
  • Kristin Lavransdatter (Kristin Lavransdatter, #1-3) (Undset, Sigrid) Epic. Long. Mostly worth it.
  • Station Eleven (Mandel, Emily St. John) excellent
  • Spark (Hawks, John Twelve)
  • Empire (The Chronicles of the Invaders, #2) (Connolly, John)
  • Satin Island (McCarthy, Tom)
  • City of Savages (Kelly, Lee)
  • The Great Zoo of China (Reilly, Matthew)
  • Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1) (Follett, Ken)
  • Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2) (Follett, Ken)
  • Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy, #3) (Follett, Ken)
  • No Fortunate Son (Pike Logan, #7) (Taylor, Brad)
  • Mightier Than the Sword (The Clifton Chronicles, #5) (Archer, Jeffrey)
  • Seveneves (Stephenson, Neal)
  • The Goblin Emperor (Addison, Katherine) an unanticipated favorite
  • Tin Men (Golden, Christopher)
  • Iron Wolf (Brown, Dale)
  • Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War (Singer, P.W.)
  • The Three-Body Problem (Three-Body, #1) (Cixin, Liu)
  • The Dark Forest (Three-Body, #2) (Cixin, Liu) dense but really enjoyable sci-fi
  • The Martian (Weir, Andy) fine but don’t buy all the hype
  • The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) (Rothfuss, Patrick)
  • Invasion of Privacy (Reich, Christopher)
  • The Water Knife (Bacigalupi, Paolo)
  • The Library at Mount Char (Hawkins, Scott)
  • The Governor’s Wife: A novel (Harvey, Michael)
  • My Struggle: Book 1 (Knausgård, Karl Ove) strangely fascinating
  • Without Remorse (John Clark, #1) (Clancy, Tom) re-read for the first time in 20 years
  • Neverwhere (Gaiman, Neil)
  • Zero World (Hough, Jason M.)
  • Tenacity: A Thriller (Law, J.S.)
  • Dark Corners (Rendell, Ruth)
  • Werewolf Cop (Klavan, Andrew)
  • Saturn Run (Sandford, John)

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Non-Fiction:

  • The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution (Fukuyama, Francis)
  • Alan Turing: The Enigma (Hodges, Andrew)
  • Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (Armstrong, Karen)
  • Words Without Music: A Memoir (Glass, Philip)
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (Lewis, Michael)
  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Mann, Charles C.)
  • Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics (Halpern, Paul)
  • Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Weiner, Tim)
  • Between the World and Me (Coates, Ta-Nehisi) deserves every accolade it gets
  • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir (Bryson, Bill)
  • Leaders Ought to Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership (Hooser, Phillip Van)
  • Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America (Haygood, Will)
  • The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams (Zaleski, Philip) a good warts-and-all history of the Inklings.
  • The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities (Breyer, Stephen G.)
  • Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World’s Superpowers (Winchester, Simon)
  • The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics (Swaim, Barton)
  • Alexander Hamilton (Chernow, Ron) Because Hamilton, obviously.

  • Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (Volf, Miroslav)

  • Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (Palmer, Parker J.)
  • The Lion’s World: A journey into the heart of Narnia (Williams, Rowan)
  • Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith (Packiam, Glenn)
  • Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Smith, James K.A.)
  • Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Rohr, Richard)
  • Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life (Rohr, Richard)
  • The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective (Rohr, Richard)
  • Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World (James, Carolyn Custis)
  • Spiritual Friendship (Hill, Wesley) Worth reading, and then reading again.

Worked on, but didn’t finish yet:

  • Paul and the Faithfulness of God (Wright, N.T.) I’m about half-way through volume one. Slow going.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

  • Won the “buy it for Dad for Christmas” award: Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith.
  • I’m honestly surprised by how little theology I read this year. Seems like a lot less than previous years. Guess maybe I was ready for a break.
  • Size of my unread book pile at the moment: embarrassingly large. Got 4 new books for Christmas. Added them to the pile. It’s possible that by spring I’ll need to go on another “no books from the library until the pile goes down” pledge. We’ll see.

Do you have any recommendations for 2016 reading?

One Comment

  1. Desiring the Kingdom is still on my “to be read sometime soon” shelf. Looking back at my own 2015 list, I’m not sure if any of the education-focused books would be too appealing for you. I recently finished Simplify by Bill Hybels. Knowing your reading level, it could be a quick read.

    Other (non-education) books sitting on my immediate pile:
    -The God who is There by D.A. Carson
    -Unoffendable by Hansen
    -Trusting God by Bridges

    Have you read Hollowing out the Middle by Carr and Kefalas? Although it has a public education theme, I think you might appreciate the economic and societal implications the authors/researchers suggest.

    Another random book is QBQ: Question behind the Question by Miller. Not sure if its your genre or not though.

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