Top Five Books I Read in 2013 (slightly delayed edition)

So I’ve been meaning to write this post for, I dunno, three months now. The last six months have been crazy so the blogging has fallen by the wayside. I set a goal of reading 20 books last year and I ended up reading 21. I’ve set a similar goal for this year but I don’t have as much time for reading. When I was pastoring I would set aside time to read just about every day. Perhaps I’ll be able to do that again at some point later in the year once we adjust to life on Active Duty.

Anyway, here are my top five books that I read in 2013. They are in no particular order.


Out of The Silent Planet and Perelandra

Both of these books started very slowly for me. In fact, there were times in the early going where I almost set them aside. I stuck with them and was rewarded for that perseverance. These are incredible stories that essentially ask “what if” about some of the major themes of the Bible. These books require some patience but they are worth it. The final book in the trilogy is on my docket to read this year. We’ll see if it makes the 2014 list.


Fateful Lightning


This book gave me a far deeper understanding of the social and economic conditions that were at the foundation of the Civil War. Instead of focusing on names, dates, and battles (although he did touch on those) Guelzo focused on why the war was fought and how the war was fought. The chapters on medical care and weaponry were both fascinating and horrifying.

Command and Control


The Cold War ended when I was just a young kid. I don’t really have any memories of it. I wanted to learn a little more about it so I picked up this book about a near nuclear disaster. This book reads like a fast paced techno-thriller and includes a blow by blow account of a missile silo disaster in Arkansas as well as a brief history of nuclear weapons and other near nuclear disasters. This book will have you wishing there was no such things as nuclear weapons and saying prayers of thanks that we have not accidentally irradiated large swaths of the world.

Tempted and Tried


I’d had this book for awhile and finally got to read it. It is a compelling and challenging read that would benefit any Christian. Moore has an engaging, straight forward, and humorous style that has me hoping he’ll churn out a few more books.

I Am a Church Member


Short and to the point. This book serves as a corrective and a wake up call to the church. It will challenge you to become a better church member and if a large portion of your church membership reads it and applies it, this little book could completely alter the structures of your church for the better. Our pastor is finishing up a series based on this book and in a couple of weeks we will have a ceremony where church members who wish to become “covenant members” will have the opportunity to sign the church covenant and make a deep level of commitment to our local church. So I’ve seen the practical implications of this book played out in a local congregation and highly recommend it.


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