Do you love to read? I do! It’s is one of my favorite pastimes. After finishing sixty-one books in the past twelve months, today I’m sharing a short list of my favorites. These are the 10 Best Books I read in 2022 — other than the Bible, which I read in its entirety every year following this reading plan. If you have time to read only one book this year, that’s always the first one I’d recommend. But if you have time for more, check the following titles (arranged in the order I read them):
My 10 Top Reads of 2022
Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
Grace Based Parenting is the first book I finished in 2022, and was it ever a good one.
The first chapter identifies ten or so different parenting styles and points out the drawbacks of each. Then the remainder of the book advocates for a more biblical, balanced approach to parenting best characterized by grace and humility.
Parenting that is so rooted in God’s grace is not afraid to admit when it’s wrong and ask forgiveness. It is more concerned with heart issues than with appearances. It is not proud and controlling, but neither is it negligent and overly permissive.
Rather, grace-based parenting seeks to mirror the deep, unwavering, sacrificial love of God as it earnestly seeks His strength and wisdom to raise our children well.
M is for Mama by Abbie Halberstadt
I devoured this book. As a mother of 12 myself, I deeply appreciated the fly-on-the-wall view of life in a large, loving family Abbie Halberstadt gives her readers. Granted, the author is a close personal friend of mine. But, knowing her as well as I do, I can testify that she faithfully practices everything she preaches in the pages of this book.
Abbie knows firsthand the trials and joys of raising children and -— from the trenches -— she urges her readers to recognize motherhood for the high calling it is. Her message is a clarion call to a bleary-eyed culture that has committed too much time and attention to things that don’t matter while shortchanging the things that do, including the next generation.
Is motherhood challenging? Yes. Is it exhausting? At times. That much is true whether you are mothering two children or ten or twelve or twenty. But raising children is also satisfying, sanctifying, supremely worthwhile, and something we should pursue with an unflagging commitment to excellence.
In an effort to help readers do exactly that, Abbie has packed her book with practical wisdom, heartfelt encouragement, personal anecdotes, and an unapologetic commitment to the truth of God’s word. M is for Mama makes me long to be a more excellent mother myself and assures me that, by God’s grace, such excellence is possible.
Parenting by God’s Promises by Joel Beeke
It covers a wide range of topics, including:
✅ philosophy of parenting
✅ parental responsibilities
✅ teaching and training children in godly living
✅ setting rules
✅ exercising discipline
✅ fostering good relationships between siblings
✅ equipping our kids to resist negative peer pressure
What’s more, all these subjects are discussed from a reformed Christian perspective.
As someone who was raised in a church where we “dedicated” babies but never “christened” them, I did not agree 100% with the authors’ opinion on infant baptism, but his explanation did help me understand and appreciate the practice better, even if I’m not ready to adopt it myself.
The Prodigy Project by Doug Flanders
My husband re-read The Prodigy Project aloud to our family in the evenings last month. The storyline follows an American spy with a large family who drags his unsuspecting wife and children along with him on his latest assignment.
It reads like a cross between Mission Impossible and Cheaper by the Dozen and kept us on the edge of our seats throughout the entire book. The kids and I kept begging Doug for “just one more chapter — please?”
My husband wrote this novel himself way back in 2010. At the time, he marketed the story — which centers on a bio-weapon being developed in China — as something “torn from tomorrow’s headlines.” Twelve years later, we’re amazed at how prophetic it proved to be, both on a global and personal scale.
Amazon has currently dropped the price by 21%, but I’m not sure how long that will last. So if you’re interested in a fascinating, family-friendly read, now would be a great time to check it out.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
It has been over 20 years since my husband first read Uncle Tom’s Cabin aloud to our (then) young family. He and I cried through the entire book during that first reading.
Fast forward to the present, and we just finished listening to an audioversion of Uncle Tom’s Cabin while driving across the US on an extended road trip. And we cried so much again it made it difficult to see the road signs.
There is such a broad range of characters Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic tale. Some loathsome, some dearly loved. The author paints such a moving and detailed account of the atrocities of slavery, it’s little wonder Abraham Lincoln reportedly quipped upon meeting her, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”
If you’ve never read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, you are missing out. The book is now in public domain, which means you can listen to the audiobook for FREE on Librivox. To download your no-strings-attached copy, simply follow this link: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
In the Name of Jesus by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Unfortunately, the church has often fallen short of the selfless, downwardly-mobile, servant-hearted brand of leadership Jesus modeled for us. Throughout In the Name of Jesus, Nouwen reviews the ways Satan tempted Jesus during his 40 day fast in the wilderness and notes how Christian leaders often face the same kind of temptations. Satan tries to convince us, as he attempted to convince Christ, that the prerequisites of effective ministry are relevance, power, and popularity.
But Christ chose an entirely different road, and He likewise bids us to die to ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. “He asks us to move from a concern for relevance to a life of prayer, from worries about popularity to communal and mutual ministry, and from a leadership built on power to a leadership in which we critically discern where God is leading us” and willingly follow, even when it means going where we do not wish to go.
Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
My favorite read last month? Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. In fact, this is one of the most encouraging, inspiring, and personally convicting books I’ve read all year.
It has been on my “to read” list since it was first published, but I kept passing it over, mainly because the title didn’t do much to pique my interest. However, once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down.
The book is written for women, both young and old, and discusses what the Titus 2 mandate should look like as it’s played out in our lives.
As usual, Nancy delves deeply into scripture and pulls up nuggets of absolute gold. I would heartily recommend this book to any woman (of any age) who wants to live a life adorned by grace that points others to Jesus.
The Men We Need by Brant Hanson
My daughter has recently been raving about a book she’s reading — The Men We Need by Brant Hanson — repeatedly telling me how insightful it is, sending me quotes, reading favorite passages aloud, paraphrasing important concepts, and summarizing entire chapters.
I put it on my own “to read” list the first time she mentioned it, but it got bumped closer and closer to the top with each successive mention. Once I finally got my own copy, I finished it in less than 48 hours. It is such a good book, in fact, that I’ve assigned it to my kids as part of their homeschooling. Although it’s written to men, many of the character qualities discussed — loyalty, contentment, self-control, a willingness to work hard, not being overly needy — would be equally desirable in women. So now I am nearly finished reading it through a second time, so they can hear and benefit from it, too.
Keep Going by Austin Kleon
I enjoyed Kleon’s first two books so much, I was thrilled to learn he’d come out with a third title. Keep Going contains ten tried and true ways to “stay creative in good times and bad.”
The author offers suggestions for remaining focused, for generating fresh ideas, for finding joy in the process, for overcoming lack of inspiration, and for organizing your workspace.
And, as usual, he illustrates all ten tips with thoughtful illustrations, diagrams, and photographs. A quick, fun, and helpful read for anyone who enjoys creative work of any kind.
Jen Wilkin’s book, Ten Words to Live By, provides a comprehensive look at the Ten Commandments and all that keeping them actually entails.
The book is biblically well-grounded and theologically meaty — something that cannot be said of many popular Christian authors these days. I deeply appreciate Wilkin’s unflinching commitment to the authority of Scripture and her clear desire to “rightly divide the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Would that all Christians would allow God’s Word to shape their views on modern-day culture instead of the other way around.
So, as has been the case with all the books I’ve read by this author, I found Ten Words to Live By both challenging and thought-provoking. Just as Jesus expanded upon the meaning of adultery and murder when He condemned their precursors, lust and anger, Wilkin tackles each of the ten commandments, revealing how far short we’ve all fallen in keeping the spirit of the law, even if we manage to keep the letter of it.
More Great Resources for Book Lovers
If you love to read as much as I do, you may be interested in this post on my family blog. In it, I’ve gathered together all my best resources for bibliophiles like you.
Or you can read more of my book reviews by following this link
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