Favorite Books of 2022

I love to read. Of course, being a professor helps. I get to read as part of my job. That’s good. But I also love to read for the sheer pleasure of it. When it comes to fiction, I love entering into secondary worlds and journeying along with the characters of the story. Often non-fiction reads like a good story too: life is life, story is story, and often the two kiss (a loose paraphrase of one of my favorite nonfiction stories of the year, All that is Sad is Untrue). As is now my custom, each year I post my favorite books read in philosophy, apologetics or theology, spiritual formation, fiction, and non-fiction. While I didn’t read as many books as in past years (only 29 this year), I did write a book of my own, so that counts for something! Here are my top recommendations from my year in review. And as a reminder: I keep a book log (since 2009) and list for each book read, the date completed, author, title, and a one-sentence summary of the book). My current count of books read since July 2009 (when I started listing them) is 592.

Best in Philosophy

Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature, eds. Simpson, Koons, and Orr. “A rigorous defense of neo-Aristotelian accounts of God, nature and the relationship between God and nature. See my review of the book here.
Divine Action, Determinism, and the Laws of Nature, Jeffery Koperski. “A defense of the view that God governs the universe by divine decree.” See my review of the book here.
The Coherence of Theism, Richard Swinburne. “A tightly argued account of the logical possibility of theism.”

Honorable Mention: Plantinga, Does God have a Nature?; Timpe, Freewill and Philosophical Theology; Pawl, The Incarnation; Craig, The Atonement.

Best in Apologetics

A Good and True Story, Paul Gould. Well, why not? I wrote it, but I also read it this year. Summary: “A gripping tale of the journey of discovery. A nail-biter. Riveting. Brilliant. A must-read”

Best in Spiritual Formation

Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard. I re-read this book after 20 years. I was surprised by how relevant and insightful Willard (still) is. “A very helpful book on how to take on the faith of Jesus.”

Best in Fiction

The Ransom Trilogy, C. S. Lewis. We read all three for my philosophy and literature class. I loved them more after re-reading them this year. I also did a podcast on the Ransom Trilogy which you can find here.
Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Kruger. (Quickly becoming a favorite author). “A story of the Drumm family and three painful deaths in 1961 in a small Midwest town.”
The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy. “A Chilling illustration of Novalis’s claim that ‘character is fate.’”

Best in Non-Fiction

Everything Sad is Untrue, Daniel Nayeri. “A story of hope and the human spirit through the eyes of an Iranian refugee as a child.”
How to Inhabit Time, by James K. A. Smith. (This could do in philosophy, spiritual formation or here. I’m including it here because it reads like a memoir). “An exploration of how to keep spiritual time.”

How about you? I’d love to hear some of your favorite books of the year. Join me, this year as we learn together and enjoy together one of the many gifts God has given us, including the gift of story!

For my 2021 best books see here. You can follow the rabbit trail from there to prior years! Happy reading!

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