I’ve been keeping track of my favorite books each year since 2015, and here now is my list for 2022. Having read fewer books this year than in past years, my list is naturally half the size. You can find all of the books I completed here.
I said in my 2021 post that I’d have liked to read Kristin Lavransdatter, and I can say that I have—but only half of it. It was amazing and then I didn’t pick it up for months and was unable to hop back in. Maybe 2023 will be the year?
1. The Return of the King — J.R.R. Tolkien
Read for the first time after re-‘reading’ the first two on audio. Fantastic. Can’t wait to visit again. What a journey. Felt like a dream.
2. John G. Paton: Missionary to the Cannibals of the South Seas — Paul Schlehlein
I loved the way Schlehlein organized this short book, with the first half being a traditional biography of Paton’s life and the second half being lessons we can learn. I took a few year hiatus from reading about missions and missionaries, and what stood out to me regarding Paton’s life was the enormous influence his father had on him and the covenantal centrality of the family which certainly comes from his Scottish Presbyterianism—something very often lacking in the lives of famous missionaries. This would be a perfect book for a missions book study.
3. Crown of Blood — Nicola Tallis
We had decided years ago to name our first daughter Jane Grey, and so I read this biography leading up to the birth of our daughter in August. Lady Jane Grey—Quene Jane—was certainly an amazing woman who lived during a fascinating period in England. I loved learning about her friendly correspondence with Heinrich Bullinger and how she was well-esteemed by the men leading the Protestant Reformation.
4. Defending Boyhood — Anthony Esolen
I received this book for Christmas and read it within a day. Esolen is an excellent writer, weaving together many stories from literature, personal anecdotes, and passionate pleas to let boys be boys—to let boys become men. This book had me reminincing on my own childhood—riding bikes, spending days outside traversing a creek, fishing on the Delaware, or exploring the vast sod farms a friend lived on. I need to provide my son these sorts of experiences.
5. Deep Work — Cal Newport
This book just makes sense, and there were a few things that I realized I was already doing—and a number of things that I need to be doing.