Books Read 2015


My goal is to read 40 books a year in addition to journals, articles, and commentaries. Here is my 5-star rating for the books I read in 2015. By the by, other than giving a ranking, the books are not listed in any further order. Mostly, they’re listed in the order that I finished them. If there’s a hyperlink it will take you to my earlier posts on the book. At the end of this post, you can find a list of “Books Read” posts for previous years.


Five Stars

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber. A Christian missionary evangelizes another planet while his own unravels.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba (audiobook). I listened to this while on my trip to Malawi. Inspiring.

True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World, by David Skeel

Ghost Soldiers, by Hampton Sides (audiobook)

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje (audiobook)

Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality, by Wesley Hill

What Is Marriage? by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George

Is God Anti-Gay? By Sam Allberry

A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasar (audiobook)

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle (read by the author)

Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness, by Richard B. Hays

A Week in the Life of Corinth, by Ben Witherington III

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers. (audiobook). A book perfectly designed for audio format, since it is purely dialogue between characters. The audiobook producer enlisted different voices to play the different parts. Brace yourself for the f-bombs, but an intriguing story.

Nothing Like It in the World The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869. By Stephen Ambrose (audiobook)

The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt, by Joseph Loconte

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. It will teach you to slow down and observe the world around you.

Submission: A Novel, by Michel Houellebecq. “Michel Houellebecq has created a new genre—the dystopian conversion tale. Submission is not the story some expected of a coup d’état, and no one in it expresses hatred or even contempt of Muslims. It is about a man and a country who through indifference and exhaustion find themselves slouching toward Mecca.” NY Review of Books. Be mindful that the author describes several sexual encounters in clinical detail. Even this, however, is designed by the author to show how spiritually exhausted and empty Western Europe has become.


Four Stars

Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (audiobook)

I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson (audiobook)

Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson (audiobook)

The Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise) by Dante (audiobook)

A Life of Dante by Benedict Flynn (audiobook)

Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal, by Richard Lovelace

A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. Her conversion story is fascinating, but I’m not sure why she thought she should include her lengthy advocacy for exclusively singing the Psalms in corporate worship.

United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity, by Trillia J. Newbell

Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez (audiobook)

Back Channel by Stephen Carter (audiobook). An African-American young woman as lead protagonist was a good choice. This will be turned into a film, no doubt.

Dear American Airlines: A Novel, by Jonathan Miles

The Art of Neighboring, by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

The Pastor by Eugene Peterson (audiobook)

Wynne’s War by Aaron Gwyn

Seven Women, by Eric Metaxas.

Personal, by Lee Child. (audiobook) Entertaining enough. The narrator depicted the young female sidekick to Jack Reacher in a high, thin, effeminate voice, which was off-putting.

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. This year’s page-turner.

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. Tim Keller


Three Stars

One Nation without God?: The Battle for Christianity in an Age of Unbelief, by David Aikman (audiobook).

For the Time Being, Annie Dillard


Two Stars

World of Trouble by Ben Winters. Winters’ end-of-the-world trilogy began with good potential, but by this third installment, I really had hoped for better development of said potential.

One Star

The Circle, by Dave Eggers. So. Much. Triviality.


Books Read 2009

Books Read 2010

Books Read 2011

Books Read 2012

Books Read 2013

Books Read 2014

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About Tom

ANCHOR COURSE LOGO Tom Goodman is a graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, and he holds a doctorate from New Orleans Seminary. He has served as pastor in Louisiana, north Texas, and overseas in Grand Cayman before becoming the pastor of Hillcrest Church in Austin, Texas. Diane and Tom have been married since their days at Baylor University, and they have two sons, Michael and Stephen. Tom enjoys scuba diving, watching the latest Netflix DVD with Diane, and chasing mis-hit golf balls.