Dr. John E. Johnson

Dr. John E. Johnson

Compelling Reads in 2019

My Kindle tells me I have read 70 weeks in a row. Impressive. Days in a row—2. Not so impressive.

But I have read some remarkable books in 2019. And, hopefully, they have shaped my life. As I noted in a similar post last December, the best books make demands on you. They draw you in, “books with sentences so exquisitely crafted that they must be reread, familiar words used in fresh ways, new words so evocative that you are compelled to look them up, and images and ideas so arresting that they return to you unbidden for days to come.”

Here are my top ten for 2019–

The Second Mountain, David Brooks. Such a centering book, forcing me to think carefully through my third third of life

Canoeing the Mountains, Tod Bolsinger. The kind of leadership that matters is able to adapt to the unforeseen challenges.

How to Survive the Apocalypse, Robert Joustra. Now I understand our obsession with zombies.

Suicide of the West, Jonah Goldberg. An unnerving look at how our culture is declining.

Call Sign Chaos, Jim Mattis. Great leadership lessons from a man who has served his country for forty years.

Hearers & Doers, Kevin Vanhoozer. A fresh and needful approach to how we make disciples.

Working, Robert Caro. Such an inspiration for anyone on the verge of giving up writing.

On Desperate Ground, Hampton Sides. Like Indianapolis, the suffering and courage of battle described here kept me reading nonstop.

On the Road with Saint Augustine, James K.A. Smith. Such a life-changing book. It’s not only the subject Smith is addressing (the life of Augustine). It is his craftsmanship as a writer.

The End of Leadership, Barbara Kellerman. A compelling look at the leadership industry and its failure to change the leadership needle.


Oh, I just realized one more–

Missing Voices, John E. Johnson. Perhaps the most compelling book of 2019  🙂


In process-

Pastor Paul, Scot McKnight

Marks of a Movement, Winfield Bevins

The Mantle of Command, Nigel Hamilton

Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell


Over the Winter-

Midnight in Chernobyl, Adam Higginbotham

The Care of Souls, Harold Senkbeil

A Pilgrimage to Eternity, Timothy Egan

Range, David Epstein

A Pastoral Rule for Today, John Burgess

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