Favorite Books of 2021

I love to read. It’s partly why I’m an academic today. What could be better than reading, writing, teaching, and learning every day? Reading books awakens me: to truth, goodness, and beauty. I try, each year, to read broadly. This year, I managed to read 47 books. I’ve been recording every book read in a book log for over 10 years now. Whenever I finish a book, I list the date finished, the title, author, and a one sentence summary of the book. As has become my custom, I offer to you my favorite reads of the past year in philosophy, apologetics and theology, fiction, and non-fiction.

Best in Philosophy

  • Divine Ideas, by Thomas Ward. “A nicely argued book defending the containment theory of exemplarism.”
  • Abstract Entities, by Sam Cowling. “The best survey of the Platonist-Nominalist debate I’ve read.”
  • This is Metaphysics, by Kris McDaniel. “An excellent and clearly written introduction to contemporary metaphysics.”






Best in Apologetics or Theology

  • In Quest of the Historical Adam, by William Lane Craig. “WLC argues that Adam and Eve existed as Heidelberg man and that Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens descended from them.”
  • Why God Makes Sense in a World that Doesn’t, by Gavin Ortlund. “A wonderful apologetic that points to the triune beauty of the Christian story.”
  • Christian Platonism: A History, ed. Hampton and Kenny. “A compelling telling of the history of Christian Platonism showing the fecundity of a participatory ontology.”
  • Participation in God, by Andrew Davison. “An exploration of a participatory theology.”











Best in Fiction

  • This Tender Land, by William Kent Krueger. “A story of the quest for home.”
  • The Overstory, by Richard Powers. “An epic story of the value of trees and their destruction by humans.”
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. “A Chilling tale of the horror of vanity and vain glory.”
  • Midnight Library, by Matt Haig. “A creative story about the search for happiness by trying out parallel lives.”











Best in Non-Fiction

  • The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby. “Christians are complicit in racism and we ought to actively fight against racism.”
  • Scar Tissue, by Anthony Kiedis. “A gripping story of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s lead Anthony Kiedis’s life: drugs, sex, pleasure, struggle, music.”
  • Let’s Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell. “A memoir of love and friendship, dogs, writing, and death.”







How about you? What are some of your favorite reads from this past year? What are you looking forward to reading this year? My stack of books is high—I can’t wait to dig in. This year I’ll be teaching a classes on philosophy and literature, philosophical theology, and metaphysics and so my reading will parallel these topics. My research will explore Platonism, divine exemplarism, theories of art, and philosophical theology. So much to learn—and so many good books to read! Join me this year as we explore truth, goodness, and beauty through philosophy, theology, art, apologetics, and fiction.

For my favorite books of 2020, with links to my favorite books of 2019, with links to my favorite books of 2018, and so on, click here.

Finally, and just for fun, here is a picture of my family from the end of the year. We are at the start of the Appalachian Trail in Amicalola State Park. Join us as we journey together into this new year!

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