Favorite Books of 2017

Stories awaken. Research informs. Drama shapes. Arguments challenge. Heroic escapes. These are some of the reasons why I read books. 2017 was a record year: 58 books read, for a total of 361, since I started keeping a book log on June 1, 2009. For each book read I record the date completed, title, author, and a one sentence summary. As is now tradition, in this blog post I list my favorites of the year in philosophy, apologetics, fiction, non-fiction, and devotional reading:

Best in Philosophy

  • Natural Signs and the Knowledge of God, by C. Stephen Evans “An excellent exploration of the natural signs at the heart of theistic arguments for God.”
  • God Over All, by William Lane Craig. “A tightly argued defense of anti-Platonism as a way to uphold divine aseity.”
  • From Morality to Metaphysics, by Angus Ritchie. “Tightly argued account of how theism best explains how our moral beliefs track truth.”
  • Theism and Ultimate Explanation, by Timothy O’Connor. “God is a necessary being and the ultimate explanation for all contingent reality.”


Honorable Mention: Utilitarianism, by John Stuart Mill; Beyond Good and Evil, by Nietzsche; Timeaus, by Plato; Republic, by Plato; The Logiphro Dilemma, by James McGlothlin; On Duties, by Cicero.

Best in Apologetics/Theology

  • Stand Firm: The Brilliance and Beauty of the Gospel, by Travis M. Dickinson, Paul M. Gould, and R. Keith Loftin. “The most anticipated apologetics book of 2018.”
  • Saving Leonardo, by Nancy Pearcey. “An excellent study of how worldview is reflected in art.
  • The Benedict Option, by Rod Dreher. “Argues that Christians ought to form parallel communities to weather the coming Dark Ages within culture.”
  • Flourishing, by Miroslav Volf. “Argues that religion holds the key to flourishing within a globalized world.”
  • Undeniable, by Doug Axe. “The probability of accidental invention of life is physically impossible.”


Honorable Mention: Naming the Elephant, by James Sire; Joy-Based Apologetics, by Joel Puckett; Not God’s Type, by Holly Ordway; To Change the World, by James Davison Hunter; Same-Sex Attraction and the Church, by Ed Shaw; Art and the Bible, by Francis Schaeffer; Winsome Persuasion, by Tim Muehlhoff and Richard Langer; Fool’s Talk, by Os Guinness; The Justice Calling, by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson; Culture Care, by Makoto Fujimura; The Historical Adam: Four Views, eds. M. Barrett & A. Caneday.

Best in Fiction

  • Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Lewis Stevenson. “A dark tale of what happens when the worst part of us is pulled from the best part of us.”
  • Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. “A horrific story of one man’s journey to the heart of the Congo and the evil human heart.”
  • The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead.”A harrowing story of slavery and the attempt to escape through a real underground railroad.
  • Odyssey, by Homer. “The journey of Odysseus as he longs for home and finally returns.”
  • Silence, by Shusaku Endo. “Dramatic account of Christian priests’ attempting to convert Japan in the 17th century.”


Honorable Mention: The Clifton Chronicles, by Jeffrey Archer; Troubling a Star, by Madeleine L’Engle; Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling.

Best in Non-Fiction

  • How to Make a Spaceship, by Julian Guthrie. “A compelling true story of the race to send a rocket to space by private industry.”
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead, by M. T. Anderson. “The story of Dmitri Shostakovich and his symphony for besieged Leningrad.”
  • The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr. “A sobering tale about how the internet is changing our brains as we lose our ability to think deeply.”


Best in Devotional Reading:

  • We Really Do Need Each Other, by Reuben Welch. “A Poetic telling of 1 John by a Greek professor who has studied the letter for a lifetime.”


Most Head-Scratching Book:

  • The Greatest Story Every Told–So Far, by Lawrence Krauss. “Science helps us understand that we are a cosmic accident–isn’t that great!”


Honorable Mention: The Big Picture, by Sean Carroll.

Pull up a chair, pour a warm cup of coffee, and join me in the reading of books in 2018. What were some of your favorites from this past year?

To see my favorite book of 2016 click here.

To see my favorite books of 2015 click here.

To see my favorite books of 2014 click here.

To see my favorite books of 2013 click here.

To see my favorite books of 2012 click here.


5 Responses to Favorite Books of 2017

  1. Pingback: Top Twelve Books Read in 2018 | Paul Gould

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