Between reviewing for Crossway Books and Thomas Nelson, and having an appetite for literature that goes beyond my time constraints, it has been a year full of books. I thought I’d present you with the best of the bunch. It isn’t a top 10, because there are only 8 here. They are all books that have impacted me deeply and I would highly recommend. In no particular order other than how they came to mind, and with deep awareness of how overwhelmingly good Crossway Books‘ output has been this year:

Leaders Who Last – Dave Kraft (Re:Lit, Crossway Books)  purchase
This is definitely one of the most helpful, practical and insightful books on leadership and how to not only run well, but finish well. It’s also brief so it won’t turn busy leaders away by sucking up too much time.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor. Prophet. Martyr. Spy. – Eric Metaxas (Thomas Nelson) purchase; read my review
This is one of the best biographies I’ve ever encountered, providing not just insight into the life of Bonhoeffer and the flow of thought in his writing, but also a view into the religious and political world of Germany during the Third Reich.

Church Planter – Darrin Patrick (Re:Lit, Crossway Books) purchaseread my review
Darrin Patrick is a man in the trenches of church leadership and church planting. This book, subtitled “The Man. The Message. The Mission.” Is essential reading not only for those looking to plant churches, but for those already leading churches. Weighing theology and praxis, and always pointing to Jesus as Lord, this one will be on my shelf for quick access.

Living In God’s Two Kingdoms – David VanDrunnen (Crossway Books) purchase; read my review
Not since reading Schaeffer have I faced such a strong and integrated challenge on how I view culture. I don’t agree with all VanDrunnen has to say (just check my review), but in terms of impact this is still working its way through my thoughts and understanding.

What Did You Expect???: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage – Paul David Tripp (Crossway Books) purchaseread my review
I am reading this book for the second time this year as I use it for pre-marital counseling. A great resource, no matter what state your marriage is currently in, and worthy of both your money and time.

Doctrine – Mark Driscoll (Re:Lit, Crossway Books) purchase
OK, I’m still working through this book, but Pastor Mark is one of the biggest influences in my life outside of my local church body, and his writing in Doctrine is on top form. With clarity, insight and an abundance of footnotes, Mark takes us through core beliefs of the Christian faith. This is also the main resource they use in membership at Mars Hill Church.

Think!: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God – John Piper (Crossway Books) purchaseread my review
Hurray for John Piper!! His prophetic voice shines in this volume that calls the church to embrace deep thinking, that leads to higher praise and richer love. Of all the books that I read this year, this is the one that made me most joyful. Thank you, Mr. Piper.

Surprised By Grace – Tullian Tchividjian (Crossway Books) purchaseread my review
Ever wondered about Jonah? Ever considered the Gospel implications of the man in the big fish? This is the book that reminded me how vital the Gospel is not just for those who are lost, but also for those who are saved. We need the good news, every day, to invade all of our living.

Those are my favorite books from 2010, published in 2010, but I feel I must give a mention to one other volume, published in September 2009. I didn’t read it until this year, but it has been a governing force in our home. Gospel Powered Parenting by William Farley is my favorite single volume on parenting, and one that any parent would do well to read, consider and put into practice. Unlike many parenting books that want to tell you a pattern or routine to emulate, Farley spends his time framing the work of parenting in the power and life of the Gospel. Sarah and I had the pleasure of attending a conference with Pastor Farley speaking, here in Nampa at Sovereign Grace Fellowship, and it served to remind and strengthen all that we had read in that book.

What have you been reading? What have I maybe missed this year?