My 2018 Summer Reading List

One of my goals for 2018 was to read more. To help with my goal, I downloaded a 2018 Reading Challenge by Tim Challies. You can see the plan here. I’m on pace to read close to 50 books this year. With the summer months approaching, I wanted to knock off a few more from the reading challenge.

Below you’ll see my list for the summer. I haven’t read these books, except for Desiring God by John Piper, so I can’t recommend them nor do I have anything to say of them. Desiring God, however, is a must read.

Also, each of these books completes one of the challenges for the 2018 Reading Challenge by Challies. I included what challenge the book is completing. Here are the five books I’m reading this summer.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas


As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author. In this New York Times best-selling biography, Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer’s life—the theologian and the spy—and draws them together to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer’s heart-wrenching decision to leave the safe haven of America to return to Hitler’s Germany, and sheds new light on Bonhoeffer’s involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in “Operation 7,” the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland. In a deeply moving narrative, Metaxas uses previously unavailable documents?including personal letters, detailed journal entries, and firsthand personal accounts?to reveal dimensions of Bonhoeffer’s life and theology never before seen.

Why I’m Reading It

The story of Bonhoeffer is just incredible and I’ve heard that this biography is outstanding. I’ve already started this one and so far, it’s great. This will be the book that is over 400 pages.

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sprouls


Central to God’s character is the quality of holiness. Yet, even so, most people are hard-pressed to define what God’s holiness precisely is. Many preachers today avoid the topic altogether because people today don’t quite know what to do with words like “awe” or “fear.” R. C. Sproul, in this classic work, puts the holiness of God in its proper and central place in the Christian life. He paints an awe-inspiring vision of God that encourages Christian to become holy just as God is holy. Once you encounter the holiness of God, your life will never be the same.

Why I’m Reading It

Confession: I’ve never read it. I was given a copy and I’ll read it this summer. It will be the book written by a male author.

Desiring God by John Piper


Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential.

Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God.  Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.

Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.

Piper beckons us to approach God with the hedonist’s abandon. Finally, we are freed to enjoy Jesus—not only as our Lord and Savior, but also as our all-surpassing, soul-satisfying Treasure.

Why I’m Reading It

I haven’t read this book in a few years and it’s always been one of my favorites. I picked it up the other day as a resource for a sermon and just started reading it. This may be a book I end up reading every year. It completes the Book about Theology challenge.

When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper


“It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him.”
John Piper

Even the most faithful, focused Christians can encounter periods of depression and spiritual darkness when joy seems to stay just out of reach. It can happen because of sin, satanic assault, distressing circumstances, or hereditary and other physical causes. In When the Darkness Will Not Lift, John Piper aims to give some comfort and guidance to those experiencing spiritual darkness.

Readers will gain insight into the physical side of depression and spiritual darkness, what it means to wait on the Lord in a time of darkness, how unconfessed sin can clog our joy, and how to minister to others who are living without light. Piper uses real-life examples and sensitive narrative to show readers abundant reason to hope that God will pull them out of the pit of despair and into the light once again.

Why I’m Reading It

I’ve never dealt with depression until recently. When I did a quick search, this book came up. It also completes the “less than 100 pages” book challenge. I’ll knock this one out in one evening.

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters


What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.
The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.

Why I’m Reading It

I have been ready a lot more fiction this year. I don’t have a favorite author yet, so I’ve had to do a whole lot of searching. The storyline of this one was captivating, so I’ll give it a shot. It’s the book I know I’m probably not gonna like but I’ll read it anyways.  


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