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Book Recommendations 2016 > Hidden gems everyone should read

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (hellosnix) | 21 comments Mod
I'm sure we'll all have recommendations for different categories of books - for example, if anyone has not read Peace Child: An Unforgettable Story of Primitive Jungle Treachery in the 20th Century, they should for a "Book by/about a missionary".

But this discussion is less detailed - what lesser-known book[s] would you recommend that anyone read, that they find a category that it would fit into, that you wish everyone would get to.

So these shouldn't be books that are frequently on "must read" lists - obviously we think about fantastic books like "Mere Christianity" or "To Kill a Mockingbird". I'm thinking more books that are hidden gems. What is a book you recommend over and over and over again that other people might miss?


message 2: by Stephen (new)

Stephen | 4 comments The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World - Volf
The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History - O'Donnell
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - Wills
Fools Rush In Where Monkey Fear To Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone - Trueman
Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous - Coleman
Plus, I'm a sucker for those "Counterpoints" and "4 Views of..." series of theological works.


message 3: by Jessi (new)

Jessi (jessamonk) | 7 comments I don't know if this is a hidden gem or not--I had never heard of it but stumbled upon it on my church's library overstock/discard table. It is soooooooo good. It's a very readable Puritan book. I've already begun reading it, but I'm sure I'll finish in 2016, so it'll be on my list!Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices


Laura (Book Scrounger) (bookscrounger) | 22 comments This may be fairly well known in Christian circles (though I hadn't heard of it at the time), but "The Prodigal God" by Tim Keller pretty much changed my life... and it's not a long read either.

Other ideas:
Cry the Beloved Country, Alan Paton
Cheaper by the Dozen, Frank Gilbreth, Jr.
Planet Narnia, Michael Ward (if you've read Narnia)
Maus, and Maus II, Art Spiegelman (graphic novels)
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card


message 5: by Dave (new)

Dave Kirkland | 5 comments Laura wrote: "This may be fairly well known in Christian circles (though I hadn't heard of it at the time), but "The Prodigal God" by Tim Keller pretty much changed my life... and it's not a long read either.

O..."


Prodigal God was already on my list, as it has been on my shelf for a while, but now I can put it in the category of a book 'someone told you changed their life'!


message 6: by Dana (new)

Dana Perkins | 2 comments Jessi wrote: "I don't know if this is a hidden gem or not--I had never heard of it but stumbled upon it on my church's library overstock/discard table. It is soooooooo good. It's a very readable Puritan book. I'..."

I can add an AMEN to that! It is a great resource and done in typical Puritan fashion having a good outline at the beginning of the book.


message 7: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 10 comments I too LOVE The Prodigal God. If you’re looking for another book in the “life-changing” category, I would say When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper. No book besides the Bible has changed my day-to-day life more than that one.

Some of my annual re-reads are:
The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
Lit! by Tony Reinke
And of course, I have to maintain a regular diet of C.S. Lewis! (One of his lesser known classics is Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold).

Another great book which will point you to many more books (and their authors) is Writers to Read: Nine Names That Belong on Your Bookshelf by Doug Wilson.

A couple more instant classics (in my opinion) are Tony Reinke’s The Joy Project (available for free at Desiring God!) and Russell Moore’s Onward.

Finally, this is another fantastic guide: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/t...

Sorry, I know I drifted from the original question, but I really hope this all helps!


message 8: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Chan (ahtimsir) | 9 comments I don't know if this counts as a "hidden gem", but I mentioned this 2016 reading challenge to my pastor last night and asked him for a book he would recommend, he surprised me by suggesting that I read the Quran to learn more about Islam.


message 9: by Victor (new)

Victor Muthoka (hundredpercent) | 9 comments •My Father the maker of the trees - A book about the Rwandan genocide by a victim & how God rescued him in the midst of it. I find it a worthy reread every other time just to reflect on how blessed I am.


message 10: by Amber (new)

Amber Witherow | 1 comments I liked Quo Vadis by Henry Sienkiewicz in 1896- it's Christian fiction translated into English (and over 40 other languages!). The story is about the conversion of a prominent Roman young man's conversion just at the time that Nero begins persecuting Christians. It gets into the nitty gritty of the human heart without being graphic or explicit. There are some theological points I would disagree with (the author was Polish; some of the views on the apostles seem orthodox if not Roman Catholic) but all in all it was a great book, not at all cheesy Christian fiction, and not too romance-driven either. I would recommend the W. S. Kuniczak English translation. Just be warned, it's not a short book, but it is very captivating and thus doesn't seem long at all, even if the book is thick!


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (hellosnix) | 21 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "I too LOVE The Prodigal God. If you’re looking for another book in the “life-changing” category, I would say When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper. No book besides the Bible has changed my day-to-d..."

Bryan [and everyone else] if you're looking for a book that is from a completely different theological perspective, I recommend the fantastic out-of-print book Gods That Fail: Modern Idolatry & Christian Mission by Vinoth Ramachandra. He's a Sri Lankan physicist and theologian, and has a very unique perspective. Tim Keller quotes him - I think in Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters- which is why I initially picked the book up.
It was written in the mid-90's and is incredibly prophetic. I love reading non-Westerners because they really challenge my theological assumptions and help me to see what I believe not because it is simply biblical, but because it's part of the worldview of the area of evangelicalism in which I find myself. It's a hard book to read because of that, but incredibly worthwhile.


message 12: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 10 comments Thanks for the recommendation, Sarah!


message 13: by Maryann (new)

Maryann Mc Bryan wrote: "I too LOVE The Prodigal God. If you’re looking for another book in the “life-changing” category, I would say When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper. No book besides the Bible has changed my day-to-d..."

Bryan wrote: "I too LOVE The Prodigal God. If you’re looking for another book in the “life-changing” category, I would say When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper. No book besides the Bible has changed my day-to-d..."

Oh please tell me about Lit ? Have wondered if it is worth a read. You read it every year? Thanks


message 14: by Bryan (new)

Bryan | 10 comments Thanks for asking, Maryann! It is an extremely important book. Before I met Tony Reinke (I now work with him at Desiring God) or read the book, this review is what made me love the man and his message: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/lit-chri...


message 15: by Jacob (new)

Jacob Young (jacobyoung) | 5 comments Jessi wrote: "I don't know if this is a hidden gem or not--I had never heard of it but stumbled upon it on my church's library overstock/discard table. It is soooooooo good. It's a very readable Puritan book. I'..."

I just finished this book! Very helpful on a number of levels. I hope you enjoy it!


message 16: by Angel (new)

Angel Parrish | 5 comments This year I read no less than THREE great novels set during the life of the Apostle Paul. I don't know if they are considered "hidden" gems, but I highly recommend all of the following: "I, Saul" and its sequel "Empire's End" by Jerry B Jenkins and "The Advocate" by Randy Singer.


message 17: by AlegnaB † (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 85 comments Mod
I'm thinking of reading "The Advocate" for #29, a book that won a ECPA Christian Book Award.


message 18: by Robert (new)

Robert Thompson (jrthompson95) | 7 comments I need to look at the list of books again to see if this fits a category (I know it will though). But any of Cliff Graham's stuff. He series, Lion of War, is about David and the mighty men who fought with him. His new series, Exodus: Shadow of the Mountain, is on Caleb. Really good. And a lot of the profit from the books go to helping Operation Underground Railroad free sex slaves. Really good books.


message 19: by Becky (new)

Becky | 38 comments One hidden gem that comes to mind for "book for children" is The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier (2014). I've read it three times in two years, and I'll probably reread it again this year. It is so good!

my first review
my second review


message 20: by K B (new)

K B (kbcook) | 182 comments If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty, by Eric Metaxas -- BRAVO! Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it! Those who review history are benefitted by it for future endeavors! The author gets it right on both counts! Recommended reading for all.


message 21: by Dana (new)

Dana Perkins | 2 comments Jessi wrote: "I don't know if this is a hidden gem or not--I had never heard of it but stumbled upon it on my church's library overstock/discard table. It is soooooooo good. It's a very readable Puritan book. I'..."

One of my favorites as well! Aslo read "The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin" by Kris Lundgaard


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