I receive a lot of books in the mail. A lot of books. Choosing which ones I am going to read and review is always a bit of a chore. This morning I tidying up the disaster area that is my office floor and was trying to figure out which of the books would be added to my “to-read” bookcase and which would be filed in the other bookcases unread and forlorn. I jotted down the list of books that have shown up just this week and thought I’d share it with you (maybe so you can sympathize with the difficult task of choosing the two or three I’ll actually be able to make time for). So here is a breakdown of the books I received this week along with a brief assessment of whether or not I am likely to read and review each one.
In the Beginning: The Art of Genesis: A Pop-Up Book. Likely. Undoubtedly the most unique book I’ve received in a long time, this is a pop-up book with art based on the book of Genesis. It’s beautifully done; however, there is a good bit of text that accompanies the art. Obviously my assessment of the book will have to depend on whether that text is consistent with Scripture or if the author has taken a lot of liberties. My two year-old will undoubtedly destroy the book the first opportunity she gets. Has a pop-up book ever survived a toddler?
Zion’s Christian Soldiers?: The Bible, Israel and the Church by Stephen Sizer. Very unlikely. I know very little about the topic and am just not all that interested in it.
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Tim Keller. Near 100%. This is an advance copy of the manuscript since the book isn’t due for release until October 30. I’ll almost definitely read and review this one.
Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance by Al Mohler. Near 100%. I admire Mohler a lot and a quick skim through this book was enough for it to grab my attention. I’ve read his other three books, so why stop now?
Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God by Mark Batterson. Not likely. I read the first chapter and found it slow-going. He seems to want to write like Mark Buchanan but can’t pull it off. Plus, it’s part two of another book I haven’t read, so I don’t have the proper context for it.
Knowing Right from Wrong: A Christian Guide to Conscience by Thomas Williams. My conscience probably wouldn’t allow me to read a book about conscience written by a theology teacher at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.
Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism by Joel Beeke. Probable. It’s longer than I had expected and, since it’s from Beeke, it’s going to be dense. And while it’s not like I’m itching to read another introduction to Calvinism, this one does look very good.
Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church. Very likely. This is Michael Horton’s forthcoming book and it looks excellent. This is only in manuscript form but at least it’s bound and not just a stack of 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper.
Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World by C.J. Mahaney. 50/50 at best. I want to read it but may not be able to squeeze it in. It has already been reviewed at Discerning Reader so that means I may need to prioritize other books.
Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow by R.C. Sproul. Probable. It’s a small book and looks very readable. The more I read of Sproul the more I come to respect him as a teacher and I’m eager to check out what looks like a good introductory book.
Embryo: A Defense of Human Life by Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen. Probable if it doesn’t get too technical. I recently tried reading a book called The Cell’s Design that was interesting but obviously written for people way smarter than I am. Hopefully this one is for normal guys like me.
The Prince’s Poison Cup by R. C. Sproul and Justin Gerard. Definitely. Actually, I have already read it to the kids. I have it in PDF format and sat them down in front of my computer to read it to them. It’s an excellent book and wonderfully illustrated. The kids loved it.
The Proverbs Driven Life: Timeless Wisdom for Your Words, Work, Wealth, and Relationships by Anthony Selvaggio. Probable. I’ve yet to find a Shepherd Press book that hasn’t been worth my time.
Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World by Carolyn McCulley. 50/50. I really like Carolyn and am eager to read the book. However, another person will be reviewing it for Discerning Reader so that may make it fall off my list (just like Worldliness).
Family Worship for the Reformation Season by Ray Rhodes. Very likely. Ray’s a nice guy and even let me preach at his church once. So I’ll give the book a shot.
Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life by Caroline Pigozzi. Unlikely. It looks like a somewhat less-than-balanced life of John Paul II. I’m not too interested in reading a life of the Pope and even more so when the cover says “The Pope I Knew So Well.”
Invitation: Billy Graham and the Lives God Touched by Basyle and Aram Tchividjian. Unlikely. It’s a nice-looking book but I’ve only got so much time.
One Year of Dinner Table Devotions by Nancy Guthrie. No chance. I do not use devotionals and do not often review them.
Simple Small Groups by Bill Search. Unlikely. I am participating in a small group this year but I don’t think I’ll read a book about them.
Under God’s Smile: The Trinitarian Blessing of 2 Corinthians 13:14 by Derek Prime. Unlikely. Too niche to be of much interest to me.
Look After Your Voice: Taking Care of the Preacher’s Greatest Asset by Mike Mellor. No chance, but I will be passing it along to my pastor who has expressed interest in it and may just review it on his blog. I’m sure he’ll find it a valuable read. It does look like a good book for its niche audience.
Israel: Land of Promise, Faith and Beauty by Paul Williams and Clive Anderson. No chance, unless I find myself traveling to Israel this year. I do like these travel guides from DayOne, but I won’t review them unless I’m actually using the guide. (Note to DayOne—send me to any of these places and I’ll review your guide!)
Discipline with Care: Applying Biblical Correction in Your Church by Stephen McQuoid. Not likely. Once again, it’s a bit too niche. Plus, there are a couple of other DayOne titles that are higher on my list.
Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile by Rob Bell and Don Golden. Likely. I can’t stand Rob Bell’s books as his writing style really offends me. But I’ll probably plow through the book regardless. It may be burdensome, but at least it’s not long. Plus, I’ve already read two chapters.
If you do the math, you’ll see that I can’t possibly read all of the ones I’ve marked as likely or very likely. What to do…