Many people have expressed how different their reading habits were in 2020, particularly since the onset of the virus and subsequent quarantines. Some consumed heavy doses of sci-fi or dystopian worlds filled with plagues and conspiracy theories. Some read voraciously, but most friends I have heard from, found it difficult to maintain adequate concentration for sustained reading.
While I did not suffer from a lack of attention, I did notice a few changes. In 2020, I read considerably fewer novels. I was choosier in curating my reading list. This was a rough year in many ways for me. I craved books that would be spiritually healing, emotionally helpful, and communally engaging. Consequently, I enjoyed and valued almost every book I read this past year.
I primarily read theology, books on pastoral care, a handful of literary fiction, and some titles on history and racial justice. I guess I should also mention a few classics and young adult chapter books to keep up with my guys’ home school reads.
For any who are interested, I am including two book lists. The first list includes my, favorite eight books from this past year, which were published in 2019 or 2020. I include them alphabetically by title. Instead of writing descriptions, I have provided links to each of the titles. Technically, the first was just officially released January 2021, but I purchased a pre-order copy and finished reading it by mid December.
Art + Faith: A Theology of Making
Author: Makoto Fujimura
Publisher: Yale University Press, Jan. 2021
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Author: Isabel Wilkerson
Publisher: Random House, Aug. 2020
Author: Ann Patchett
Publisher: Harper, Sept. 2019
Author: Luci Shaw
Publisher: Paraclete Press, Aug. 2020
A Gentle Answer: Our “Secret Weapon” in An Age of Us Against Them
Author: Scott Sauls
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, June 2020
Author: Marilynne Robinson
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept. 2020
Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope
Author: Esau McCauley
Publisher: InterVarsity Press Academic, Sept. 2020
Scandalous Witness: A Little Political Manifesto for Christians
Author: Lee C. Camp
Publisher: Eerdmans, Mar. 2020
This second list contains the six books from 2020 and 2021 that I am most looking forward to reading this year. One of them (How to Fight Racism) I have already started, and am, so far, enjoying it.
The Great Belonging: How Loneliness Leads Us to Each Other
Author: Charlotte Donlon
Publisher: Broadleaf Books, Nov. 2020
How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice
Author: Jemar Tisby
Publisher: Zondervan, Jan. 2021
Keys to Bonhoeffer’s Haus: Exploring the World and Wisdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Author: Laura M. Fabrycky
Publisher: Fortress Press, Mar. 2020
Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep
Author: Tish Harrison Warren
Publisher: InterVarsity Press, Jan. 2021
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life
Author: George Saunders
Publisher: Random House, Jan. 2021
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Publisher: Knopf, Sept. 2020
Would you care to share your favorite reads of 2020?
How did you choose what to read last year? Have you changed how or what or when you read?
What are you most looking forward to reading next?
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