Favorite Books of 2023

Fueled by the conviction that stories sustain us because we were made to be nourished on the good, the true, and the beautiful, I determined to read one fiction book a month for this past year. And I read some very good stories! In addition to fiction, I have benefitted greatly this year from some solid works in philosophy, theology, biography, and spiritual formation. Without further ado, here are my favorite books read in 2023. As is custom, in my book log, I record the book title, author, and date completed, along with a one sentence description. This has been my practice since 2009. My book log now includes 635 entries. This year I read 43 books.

Best in Philosophy

  • The Two Greatest Ideas, by Linda Zagzebski. “A history of philosophy through the lens of ideas that minds can know the world and themselves.”
  • Metaphysics: An Introduction, 2nd ed, by Alyssa Ney. Note: I know this is a textbook, but I love it for its clarity. I used it in my graduate class and find it an excellent introduction to the field. “A very clear, thorough introduction to contemporary metaphysics.”
  • What We Owe the Future, by William MacAskill. “A well-researched case for longtermism and the reality that if there is no God there is little hope for humanity.”





Best in Apologetics/Theology:

  • Surprised by Hope, by N.T. Wright. “Our future hope informs our present living.”
  • Strange New World, by Carl Trueman. “A tightly-argued book on the creation of the modern self.”
  • Reimagining Apologetics, by Justin Bailey. “A compellingly written book arguing for the necessity of an imaginative approach in the age of authenticity.”









Honorable mention: Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design, ed. by J. B. Stump, A Narnian Vision of the Atonement, by Charles Taliaferro, and Rembrandt is in the Wind, by Russ Ramsey.

Best in Spiritual Formation

  • The Beauty Chasers, by Timothy Willard. A reflective book on seeing and chasing beauty in life.”
  • The Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer. “A wonderful reflection on the nature of our Holy God.”









Best in Fiction

  • A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. “A beautifully written story of a Russian aristocrat’s life under house arrest in a hotel.”
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin. “An engaging story of love and pain by two kids who design video games.”
  • Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger. “A wonder-filled story about eccentric people in small-town Minnesota.”









Honorable mention: Horse, by Geraldine Brookes, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin, and Redeeming Royalty, by Chandler Moore.

Best in Non-Fiction

  • Becoming Dallas Willard, by Gary W. Moon. “An inspiring biography of the joy-filled and present-with-God life of a scholar and disciple of Jesus.”
  • The Good Life and How I Found It, by Charles Hood. “A fascinating tale of my uncle Charlie’s adventurous life in Montana and beyond.”









Bonus: Best Video Streaming Series

New this year: Well, we definitely live in the age of video. I love watching quality video-series too. Here are my top three from this year:

  • For All Mankind (Apple +). What might have happened if Russian landed on the moon before the Americans? Find out in this captivating alternative history science/historical/fiction show. Four seasons.
  • Silo (Apple +). A dystopian story about a city living underground, safe from the nuclear fallout above, or so they think. One season.
  • Severance (Apple +). The surprise of the year. Science fiction meets philosophy of mind meets corporate greed. Season one is fresh, creative, and compelling.









For my best books read of 2022, click here. You can follow the rabbit trail from there to prior years! Happy reading! What have been your favorite books, shows, and movies of 2023? 

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