Now that 2010 just has just a day or two left in it, I thought it would be a safe time to list my top ten books and songs for the year. But I need to qualify this. These are not necessarily books or songs that were published or released this year. This was simply the year I got to them.
And so that my recommendations may be taken as unimpeachable and above reproach, I leave out books written by near relatives. We just sit around the living room and write books at each other. That’s how we talk. Not really.
Here are ten books I am really glad to have read this year.
1. The Sacred Anointing by Tony Sargent — this was a very helpful analysis of the preaching effectiveness of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. A good book for stirring up preachers who are edified when stirred up.
2. Typological Writings by Jonathan Edwards — Edwards is America’s premier theologian by reputation, and really needs to become more so in fact. I was challenged to do more with Edwards by Joe Rigney, to whom many thanks.
3. God is the Gospel by John Piper — this is a small book with an enormous wallop. Every preacher needs to internalize this one.
4. The Ruling Class by Angelo Codevilla — all you need to know about what’s going on in the monkey house that we call our nation’s capital.
5. The End of Secularism by Hunter Baker — secularism really is in the ICU, and the more people pointing this out, the better. Good book.
6. The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders — I really appreciated this one. Sanders shows how the Trinity affects everything, and does this in a way that is profoundly evangelical.
7. Collected Poems by Richard Wilbur — Wilbur is a modern poet who understands and uses the traditional forms, but he does not come across like some kind of throwback.
8. The Westminster Assembly by Robert Letham — this book really opens up the historical context of that historic assembly. An eye-opener.
9. The Authenticity Hoax by Andrew Potter — if you just hate all the authenticity posturing that goes on all around us, every day, all day stinking long, this is a book for you. You will never look at factory-ripped jeans the same way again.
10. The Taste of Sabbath by Stuart Bryan — for those who want an introduction to celebratory sabbath-keeping, this one is essential.
And if you like reading, as I do, with music going in the background, here are some suggested songs to add to your playlist. These are songs that I am glad to have come across this last year. Again, these are not necessarily released this last year, but rather were released to me this last year. At least I think it was within the last year. My computer doesn’t tell me everything.
1. Boxcars by Joe Ely
2. Winter Winds by Mumford & Sons
3. Blue Jean Blues by Z.Z. Top
4. St. James Infirmary by Bobby “Blue” Bland
5. The Levee’s Gonna Break by Bob Dylan
6. Spoonful by Canned Heat
7. Mountain by Chick Corea and Bela Fleck
8. Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae
9. Home in the Woods by Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons
10. Play the Song by Joey & Rory
But where is Bach? Handel? Oh, I added them to my playlist centuries ago.