Best Books of 2019

It is that time of year (the end!) when we find not only great book sales but also great book lists – the favorites of writers, publishers, and readers for this year. Many of these lists are being posted on blogs and published on websites, and so it is a good time to call attention to some of the good Christian ones as well as others of general value and interest. This is a great way to find those hidden treasures and your next great read – and perhaps spend that gift card you received.

The one I have linked to here is pastor Kevin DeYoung’s, which held many surprises for me. Many new titles there are here that were not on my radar, and while I might not gravitate toward many of them, nevertheless, it is healthy to gather ideas from others.

Here’s a couple from the middle of his list that stood out as relevant and useful in our frantic world:

7. Cal Newport. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (Portfolio). After reading Newport’s earlier book on Deep Work, I was eager to get this follow-up volume on reducing digital distraction. Newport wisely observes that we are succumbing to screens not because we are lazy (though that may play a part), but because billions of dollars have been invested to push us into digital addiction. The call for digital minimalism, therefore, is not about efficiency or usefulness, but about autonomy. Like Newport’s book on work, I find this one easier to agree with than to put into practice.


6. Robert Caro. Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing (Knopf). Fascinating from start to finish. I confess I have not read all of Caro’s famous work on LBJ, but I have read enough to know that as a researcher and political biographer, he has no equal. This little book is a snapshot into the subjects of his big biographies—Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson—as well as a glimpse into the method behind Caro’s own brilliant madness.

Another good source is Tim Challies, whose recent post, “The Collected Best Christian Books of 2019” is filled with worthwhile reads. Here are a few:

We will begin with the titles that found their way onto at least 3 best-0f lists:

And he follows that up with links to other lists of best books, so follow the link above to find many others.

Another book reviewer list (secular) to pay attention to is Kirkus, which produces fine lists of the latest publications in all categories. Here is the link to their lists for 2019.


And while many of us (I include myself) are sometimes critical of the way Amazon has monopolized bookselling and hurt authors and publishers, yet one has to pay attention to the best book lists it produces too. Here is a link to its 2019 lists, which you can also search according to category (history, non-fiction, etc.).

Source: Top 10 Books of 2019