Best books of 2019 – Patheos

As with previous years lists, these are the best books I read this year. Not the best books published this year, or even the best books Icould have read this year, had I been reading different books.


Darkness on Diamondiaby A.E. van Vogt (reviewed here) This is an odd little book that rewards perserverence. Specifically, the thoughts on identity and unity are interesting and ahead of their time.

Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben (reviewed here) What happens when a local radio personality leads Vermont out of the union via a grass roots revolution? Awesomeness. Thats what.

Grass by Sheri Tepper (reviewed here) Grass is whatfeminism looks like when set on a planet that looks like Eastern Colorado and acts like a den of telepathic insane badgers. Dont act like you dont want to read it.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley (reviewed here) IfTwilighthas put you off vampires, kindly letSunshine put you back on.

Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip (reviewed here) There was good YA literature beforeHarry Potter. There just wasnt much of it. Patricia McKillips book is in that very small subset of good pre-Harry Potter young adult fiction.


Transhumanism and the Image of God by Jacob Shatzer (reviewed here) Whats the difference between a tatoo, a prosthetic limb, and having wings with lasers added via plastic surgery? Thats not the set-up for a joke (I mean, its notjust the set-up for a joke), its the very serious question given our struggles these days to even know what somehting as basic as gender is. Which means this book is an important one for Christians to pick up and read.

None Greater: the Undomesticated Attributes of God by Matthew Barrett. I cant stress enough how excellent this book is as a reflection on the nature of God. This should be on every thoughtful Christians to-read list.

Spiritual Desertion by Voetius and Hoornbeeck (reviewed here) Is a wonderful book for anyone who struggles with assurance or who is in a position to counsel those who struggle with assurance.


Star-Spangled Scandal by Chris DeRose (author interview here) Remember the time that a US Congressmen shot a US Attorney in front of the White House? No? Then you should read this book.

Indispensible Remedy by Gene Healy. Obviously not every presidency involves an impeachment. But impeachment is always in the Constitution, so its worthwhile to know its history and how it might be applied according to the Founders, the US House of Represntatives, and the various others who have thought long and hard about the issue.

Them by Ben Sasse. Why are Americans so lonely and angry? Why do we have deeper relationships with people online than we do with people who live through the wall of our apartment? Is there any hope for a struggling nation? Senator Sasse has a few thoughts on these quesitons

Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen (reviewed here) As Christians, we believe (rightly) that we have the answers to the political problems of the world. But what those problems are is sometimes debated, and Patrick Deneens book gives one of the best analyses of them that Ive read.

Books Not Yet Finished

The years not over yet, so there are a couple of books that might have made the list had I finished them before the day this posted. I figured theyre worth at least an honorable mention.

Common Grace Volume 1by Abraham Kuyper (ongoing review here).

Redemptive Reversals and the Ironic Overturning of Human Wisdom by Gregory Beale.

Happy reading for 2020!

Dr. Coyle Neal is co-host of theCity of Man Podcastand an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO

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Best books of 2019 - Patheos

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