What I’m Reading

As a professor, it probably comes as no surprise that I enjoy reading. It kind of comes with the territory. Then again, maybe some who read this page will be surprised at the somewhat random nature of the things I do read once you have a look below. There is a reason for that.

In my college and graduate years, I rarely read for pleasure. I simply didn’t think I had the time, so I focused on going deep with my assigned reading. There was nothing inherently wrong with that and, to be sure, I learned a lot with that approach. But I also missed out on a lot, since it is absolutely not the case that I (or you) don’t have the time for pleasure reading. That is a myth. Thankfully, I realized that it was a myth early on in my doctoral years. That’s when I rediscovered my love of reading broadly — and as my whims led (as Alan Jacobs commends), which is what I make a practice of doing now. I find non-work-related reading particularly life giving, although admittedly there are some fuzzy boundaries with some books.

How do I get through so many books? Well, I don’t actually think this list is that many, so there’s that. I also don’t consider myself a particularly fast reader (nor is that the goal with joy-reading). Like everyone, I’m a busy individual. Yet pleasure reading can fit virtually anywhere. Here are two major ways I have discovered to fit reading into time I didn’t know I had:

  • Audiobooks: Some people feel hesitant to say they’ve “read” a book when in fact they listened to it. But I reject that entirely. Why? Because for much of western history — even up through the early 18th century — the act of reading was usually the same as the act of listening, since reading was generally an audible and public act (see here for a useful and brief survey). So if you listen to an audiobook, claim it! You have read it. Generally, I listen to audiobooks when I’m exercising, commuting to campus, or doing housework.
  • Kindle: Now, I don’t read everything on Kindle and I am — in general — firmly against digital library building. However, just as there are many books I would never buy and read on a Kindle, so also are there many books that I would never buy and read in physical print. Well, maybe not “never,” but not likely. That is where my Kindle has opened up new horizons of reading for me. In the five years since I’ve owned my Kindle, I’ve read countless books in the ten to fifteen minute period right before I go to sleep — books I probably never would have read otherwise.

So here’s a list of books I read in recent years. Note that this does not really include “work books” that were part of my academic research. Most or all of this is closer to “interest” reading, listed roughly chronologically as to when I read them throughout the year.

2022 Reading (51 books)

2021 Reading (66 books)

2020 Reading (64 books)

2019 Reading (40 books)

2018 Reading (52 books)

  1. Ernest Cline, Ready Player One
  2. Isaac Asimov, Foundation
  3. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
  4. George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones (5 vols.) – finished from 2014
  5. Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
  6. David Murray, Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture
  7. Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park
  8. Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive 1)
  9. Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
  10. Christopher Ash, Zeal without Burnout
  11. Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning
  12. David Crystal, The Gift of Gab
  13. Dennis E. Taylor, We Are Legion (We Are Bob), Bobiverse #1
  14. Roger Crowley, 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West
  15. Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews
  16. Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
  17. Brian Sanderson, Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive 2)
  18. Stephen King, It 
  19. Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in the Age of Distraction 
  20. Daniel Hyde, In Living Color: Images of Christ and the Means of Grace 
  21. Karen Kelsky, The Professor is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. into a Job 
  22. Kevin DeYoung, Crazy Busy
  23. Julia M. Vick, Jennifer S. Furlong, The Academic Job Search Handbook 
  24. Timothy Z. Winter, The Shepherd Leader at Home 
  25. Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
  26. Michael Allen, Sanctification
  27. Gary Burge, Mapping Your Academic Career
  28. David Powlison, How Sanctification Works 
  29. Therese Huston, Teaching What You Don’t Know
  30. Ronald Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther
  31. John R. Taylor, Linguistic Categorization
  32. John Currid, Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament
  33. Dirk Geeraerts, Cognitive Linguistics: Basic Readings
  34. Eve Sweetser, From Etymology to Pragmatics: Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure 
  35. A. Mohler, P. Enns, et al., Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy 
  36. Miles Van Pelt, Basics of Biblical Aramaic
  37. John R. Taylor, The Mental Corpus: How Language is Represented in the Mind 
  38. Takamitsu Muraoka, A Biblical Aramaic Reader With an Outline Grammar
  39. Dirk Geeraerts, Words and Other Wonders: Papers on Lexical and Semantic Topics
  40. Pietro Bortone, Greek Prepositions: From Antiquity to the Present 
  41. David Firth, 1 & 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Study Guide 
  42. Robert Kraft, ed., Septuagintal Lexicography 
  43. John Frame, The Doctrine of the Word of God
  44. John Byron, Joel N. Lohr, eds., I (Still) Believe: Leading Bible Scholars Share Their Stories of Faith and Scholarship 
  45. Takamitsu Muraoka, ed., Melbourne Symposium on Septuagint Lexicography 
  46. Victor Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews
  47. Melvin K. H. Peters, ed., XII Congress of the IOSCS, Leiden 2004
  48. Mark Boda, The Heartbeat of Old Testament Theology: Three Creedal Expressions
  49. Vyvyan Evans, The Crucible of Language: How Language and Mind Create Meaning
  50. Géza Vèrmes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English
  51. B. H. Kennedy, The Revised Latin Primer
  52. Henry St. J. Thackeray, Some Aspects of the Greek Old Testament


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