Goodreads is a handy way to keep track of my reading diet, to recommend books to others, and to receive book recommendations. I also take advantage of the annual reading challenge. Earlier today I reviewed my reading and selected 5 of my favorite reads in 2017 to share with you in this post.

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Without further ado, here are my 5 favorite reads of 2017 in no specific order:

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You

Genre: Non-fiction / Christian living

Author: Tony Reinke

Without a doubt, 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You was the most impactful book I read this year. I started the book while away on sabbatical, and couldn’t put it down. The book challenged me to look more closely at my smartphone habits, and brought to light convicting Scriptural truths regarding the underlying motivations and attitudes behind some of my smartphone habits.

I highly recommend this book be on your 2018 reading list if you haven’t read it already. In fact, if you chose to read any 1 book from this list, 12 Ways should be that book!


Genre: Historical fiction

Author: Shūsaku Endō

On the other end of the fiction spectrum from Redshirts is Silence. Redshirts was fun and entertaining, Silence made me think, reflect, and pray. The story takes place in 17th century Japan at the height of the persecution of Catholic missionaries. Its a moving tale to say the least.

This is one of the few books that I’ve read and then been pleased with the movie adaptation. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie and plan to do either or both, I suggest that you read the book first because it helps you understand the movie at a more heart level.

How the Irish Saved Civilization

Genre: Non-fiction / History

Author: Thomas Cahill

This book is a few decades old, but the history it details is timeless. How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe is fascinating, illuminating, and entertaining. Cahill shines a light on a part of western civilization history that is often overlooked.

I found myself with a bit of deja vu when I considered some of the uncanny parallels between Rome’s last days and what is going on in the United States today…

A Praying Life

Genre: Non-fiction / Christian living

Author: Paul E. Miller

Sometimes reading about “prayer” is difficult for me. If a book is laden with “do this” tips on the one hand or “here’s my mystical experience” on the other hand, I tend to tune out. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World avoids both pitfalls, and thus kept me engaged and thoughtful throughout the book.

Miller is vulnerable and authentic in his own struggles, and humble in the way that he shares what he has learned over the many years he has been cultivating a praying life. A must read for anyone desiring to go deeper in their own prayer life in 2018.


Genre: Sci-Fi

Author: John Scalzi

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas was a fun read. The title of the book comes from the running motif in virtually all things Star Trek: the redshirts (those that wear, well, “red shirts”) on the away teams always get killed. Once you discovered this fact, watching a Star Trek episode or movie produced a grimace in your stomach whenever you saw the captain select an innocent looking redshirt to accompany him on the away team. Well, this book builds off this motif in a Star Trek-esque universe.

I won’t say anything else other than its a lot of fun and persons who enjoy Star Trek (perhaps even hardcore Trekkies) will get a kick out of it.

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How about you? What were some of your favorite reads in 2017?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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