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Top Ten Books Pastor Blair Read in 2019

Last week, I shared Donald Whitney’s Ten Questions to ask for a new year. I wrote how the questions help me set goals for the upcoming year. Coupled with that, I am frequently asked about my reading. Someone asked me recently, ‘how are you able to stay disinclined with the volume of books you read?’

I mostly read for professional development. With one or two exceptions, I rarely pick out books I will read for the new year. However, I do have categories for both my professional development and my personal development. I try to read a book that fits each category. So for example, I want to keep up my preaching skills so I read H.B. Charles’ book On Preaching. I wanted to improve my leadership skills so I read Craig Hamilton’s book Wisdom in Leadership (which fit nicely with our study through Proverbs). I am always working on my marriage so I read the book, Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard. Sometimes a thought in one of the books will spark an interest to continue reading in the same subject.

Overall, in 2019 I read fifty-six books. Using my list of categories helps me stay disciplined to read books that are beneficial for me. It gives me the flexibility to continue to pursue the same subject if my interest is peaked. So each year, I will read a book that falls within the following categories: Prayer, theology, history, biography, counseling/pastoral, marriage, world/culture, puritan, church fathers, the gospel (or person of Christ), leadership, Advent, preaching, missions and my own studies on William Jay. I also read five to six fictional works (my guilty pleasure).

These are the top ten books that I read in 2019. The titles with an asterisk I encourage every church member to read.

10. 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You- Tony Reinke*

9. History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos- Luis Francias 

8. Love Came Down at Christmas – Sinclair Ferguson*

7. Fearing Others: Putting God First- Zach Schlegel*

6. Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church- Michael Lawrence

5. Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament- Mark Vroegop*

4. Trust in an Age of Arrogance- C. Fitzsimons Allison

3. The Cross- Martyn Lloyd-Jones*

2. On the Road with St. Augustine- James K.A. Smith*

1. The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive- Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlap*