Thoughts on Books I Read in 2018

Every year I set out to read 52 books, the equivalent of one a week for a year. I have never reached my goal, but I aim for it every year. This year I read 37 books. These included history, theology, poetry, and fiction. Here are a few highlights from my 2018 reading.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery
by Eric Metaxas

I enjoy learning all about William Wilberforce. Metaxas’ prose provides a delightful read of the life of William Wilberforce and his campaign to end slavery. The world knows slavery is wrong because William Wilberforce popularized the biblical truth of human dignity and equality. Metaxas also writes of the Clapham Circle, Hannah More, and others who were instrumental in this work. Reading this book sparked my reading two others on the subject. Metaxas is simply a stellar writer on important historical figures. Last year I first encouraged Metaxas by reading his book Martin Luther – a truly important work.

A Prophetic History: Part One
By Rick Joyner

Rick Joyner provides a fascinating history of the prophetic movement and the history of MorningStar Ministries from before it was birthed to its present. I love reading the origins of organizations. This is a powerful read. I have walked the grounds and slept in the rooms where some of this history takes place. If you want a supercharge of faith, read this book.

Wind, Water, and Fire: Understanding the Holy Spirit Through Biblical Symbolism
By Nikolas Larum

Larum adeptly unveils the meaning of the natural symbols used in Scripture to speak of the Holy Spirit. In so doing, he provides a theology of the Holy Spirit that is often overlooked in discussing the Trinity. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, thus it is crucial we understand more about the Holy Spirit who is leading us. This is the second book I’ve read by my friend Nikolas. I highly recommend his book Gypsy Spy as well!

The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible
By Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester is a good writer. I have enjoyed every book I have read by him. He writes with eloquent mastery of the English language. Reading his words is a pleasure no matter the topic. However, I also love reading history, especially American history. This book is a fascinating journey through the woodlands of our nation’s past.

The Human Right: To Know Jesus Christ and to Make Him Known
By Rice Brooks

I read this book by Rice Brooks (author of God’s Not Dead), because he I knew he was quoting from Vishal Mangalwadi’s book The Book That Made Your World. Brooks makes and excellent point that the truth of Jesus Christ is what gives us the very idea of human dignity and human rights, thus, to know that truth is itself a human right.

Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of The Reformation
By Erwin Lutzer

I have been reading many books on the Reformation. When I heard Eric Metaxas interview Erwin Lutzer about this book on the Eric Metaxas Show I knew I had to read it. However, Metaxas had already done such a great job covering the history of the Reformation in this book Martin Luther that this read did not provide me with new information.

The Money Man: A True Life Story of
One Man’s Unbridled Ambition, Downfall, and Redemption
By Joseph Caplan

This book is a must read. It is the sort of book you enjoy all the way through and then for a long while after as it continues to speak to your heart. I’m truly grateful that Joseph Caplan penned his life for us with such bold transparency and humility. I highly recommend this book written by my friend Joseph Caplan.

The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783 – 1789
By Joseph Ellis

I enjoy reading all history books by Joseph Ellis. This one is no exception. He brilliantly explains how the Revolutionary of 1776 led to the creation of the American Constitution through the masterful leadership of George Washing, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, etc.

The Book That Made Your World:
How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization
By Vishal Mangalwadi

This is the second time I have read this vital book which is a treasure trove of history for the body of Christ. My husband and I host a group in our home to read through this important work together. We are now reading it with the group a second time, which makes it my third reading of this book. I tell everyone this is the best book I have read in a decade, if not ever. It has changed my worldview like no other book outside of the Bible.

Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity
By Nancy Pearcey

This book is an excellent worldview book. If you’ve experienced the worldviews within our modern universities, education system, or modern entertainment, this is a book that will help you navigate those worldviews to regain a biblical worldview.

Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More
– Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
By Karen Swallow Prior

My first introduction to Hannah More came from Eric Metaxas book Martin Luther. I wanted to know more about More. I didn’t have to wait long. Listening to the Eric Metaxas Show I heard his interview of Karen Swallow Prior and her fascinating book on the life of Hannah More. I bought it and read it. I found it delightful, charming, inspirational, and well written. From reading about Hannah I decided to read all I can find on each member of the Clapham Circle which lead me to reading about Zachary Macaulay.

Zachary Macaulay
By Faith Cook

This is a short but interesting biography of Zachary Macaulay, member of the Clapham Circle. I learned so much about his harrowing governorship of Sierra Leone, his writing of the Clapham’s Journal, and much more. Very inspiring.

Civil War Poetry and Prose
By Walt Whitman

I picked up this little book from a used book store. It is a combination of poetry and prose from the Civil War. I enjoyed reading the eye witness account of the war, the hospitals, his notes on President Abraham Lincoln, etc. Some of the content was deeply disturbing but enlightening just the same as to the horrors of the Civil War.

Go Bold
By Joel Brown

My local pastor friend wrote this engaging and inspirational read helping believers recover the faith that moves mountains. Too often we get trapped by thinking that tells us what we cannot do, but Pastor Joel reminds us that we can do all things in Christ who gives us strength. He encourages us to put action to our faith and move forward into the life God has prepared for us. Read this book and be inspired to regain the biblical thinking of a powerful life lived with Jesus.

The Children of Hurin
By J.R.R. Tolkien

My last read of 2018! I enjoyed reading Tolkien in a tale published posthumously. It would be nice to see this made into a movie, so long as Peter Jackson is the one at the helm.


The above books are just a sample from the 37 books I read this year. I also read a number of fiction books by Colleen Coble, Laura Franz, Francine Rivers, etc. Reading fiction in between or alongside harder reads helps keep me going. Reading is pleasurable. I don’t want to ever make it work. I do not just read to gain the knowledge, but to enjoy the art of the language. I am all about books, reading them, writing them, collecting them. One can never have too many! I am half way through book one for 2019 that I started yesterday! My hope is that I inspire you to read! Go find a book and start reading!


Back to the Future: Rebuilding America's Stability

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