The Book Ledger

Inspired by the book log over at the usually excellent Blog & Mablog, this ledger will follow my reading from year to year. Rather than attempting to reconstruct previous years' reading, I'll simply begin in 2017 with the birth of this blog. 

I'll record every book I read—the good, the bad, and the heretical—so please don't mistake mere appearance on this list as an unasterisked recommendation. As I am a notorious re-reader, you'll also see repeats over time, especially of my favorite works of fiction, which I find refresh my sense of wonder and help me see through the numbing regularity of things and into the Deep Magic of the Emperor over the Sea. No, I'm not just pumping up my numbers (as if this were baseball or something).

That being said, here's the simple format you'll find below. For each book, you'll get the title, author, and an unscientific, licked-finger-to-the-wind, hip-shot rating out of 10. Yes, The Chronicles of Narnia will all be receiving at least 10 out of 10. If it seems as if the books are grouped by author, it is not because I've rearranged them in this way, but simply that I tend to read several books by one author in sequence. Enjoy!

The Year of Our Lord 2018

1. Memoirs of the Second World War by Winston S. Churchill (9.5/10—awe inspiring to see WWII through this lens)
2. Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
3. Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (8/10)
4. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (8.5/10)
5. Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (9.5/10)
6. Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
7. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss (aloud for kiddos—highly recommend)
8. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
9.  ESV Reader's Bible, Volume I: Pentateuch
10. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Still 10/10)
11. The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch (9/10—very good)
12. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume II: Historical Books
13. ESV Reader’s Bible, Volume III: Poetry
14. Volume I: Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, edited by John T. McNeill (One does not simply rate the Institutes)
15. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (11/10)
16. An Introduction to Classical Education by Christopher Perrin (9/10—Great little guide)
17. The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology by Pascal Denault (10/10—Read this!)
18. The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
19. Supernatural Power for Everyday People by Jared C. Wilson (8/10)
20. The Horse & His Boy by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
21. On the Incarnation by Athanasius (Some keen insight, here—9/10)
22. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
23. Proverbs by Charles Bridges (8/10)
24. The Five Points of Calvinism by R.L. Dabney (9.5/10—very good)
25. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (171/10—that ending!)
26. A Treatise On Grace and Free Will by Augustine (9/10—can't believe this was written so early in history!)
27. ESV Reader’s Bible, Volume IV: Prophets
28. Matilda by Roald Dahl (aloud for the kiddos; quirky, fun, and vivacious)
29. Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present by Max Boot (8.5/10)
30. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (aloud for the kiddos; classic R.D.)
31. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
32. Socrates: A Man for Our Times by Paul Johnson (9/10—a fascinating human)
33. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (11/10)
34. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume V: Gospels & Acts
35. Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (10/10)
36. A Vision for a Gospel Centered Life by Timothy Keller (9/10—Wonderful book)
37. Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (8.5/10)
38. Three Chains: Guilt, Fear, Shame by Douglas Wilson (8/10—short, handy book)
39. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
40. Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples by John Piper (7/10)
41. Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
42. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume VI: Epistles & Revelation
43. Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (8/10)
44. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (Aloud for the kiddos—8/10)
45. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
46. The Pillar of the Truth: The Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus) by Douglas Wilson (8.5/10)
47. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Yep, 10/10)
48. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume I: Pentateuch
49. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (Fascinating man, solid biography—9/10)
50. The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism by Carl F. H. Henry (8/10)
51. Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families by Douglas Wilson (10/10)
52. The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men by Richard Phillips (very solid—9/10)
53. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit (aloud for kiddos; very fun—8/10)
54. Fidelity: What It Means To Be A One-Woman Man by Douglas Wilson (8/10)
55. Why Children Matter by Douglas Wilson (10/10)
56. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume II: Historical Books
57. Five Views on Law and Gospel by Greg Bahnsen, Walter Kaiser Jr., Douglas Moo, Wayne Strickland, and Willem VanGemeren (8/10—very helpful)
58. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (10/10—aloud for kiddos)
59. The Green Ember by S.D. Smith (9/10)
60. The Black Star of Kingston: Tales of Old Natalia 1 by S.D. Smith (8.5/10)
61. Ember Falls by S.D. Smith (9/10)
62. Ember Rising by S.D. Smith (10/10)
63. The Last Archer by S.D. Smith (9/10)
64. The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien (8.5/10)
65. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (aloud for the kiddos—11/10)
66. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (aloud for the kiddos—15/10)
67. The Good of Affluence: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth by John R. Schneider (8.5/10)
68. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (126/10)
69. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (115/10)
70. ESV Reader’s Bible, Volume IV: Prophets
71. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (aloud for the kiddos—12/10)
72. The Return of the King (with Appendices) by J.R.R. Tolkien (Just too good to rate)
73. ESV Reader’s Bible, Volume III: Poetry
74. Bed & Board: Plain Talk About Marriage by Robert Farrar Capon (8.5/10)
75. The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse (Solid—8/10)
76. The Mad Farmer Poems by Wendell Berry (9/10)
77. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (aloud for the kiddos—10/10)
78. Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways To Destroy The Humanity of Your Child by Anthony Esolen (10/10—So. Good.)
79. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume V: Gospels & Acts
80. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (Aloud for the kiddos—10/10)
81. How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age by Jonathan Leeman (6.5/10)
82. Tremendous Trifles by G.K. Chesterton (Delightful wordsmithery—8/10)
83. Future Men: Raising Boys to Fight Giants by Douglas Wilson (So good—9/10)
84. Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission by Tim Chester & Steve Timmis (6.5/10)
85. The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir by Ta-Nehisi Coates (beautiful writing—8/10)
86. A Justice Primer (Second Edition) by Douglas Wilson & Randy Booth (8/10)
87. Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back From The Brink by Anthony McCar (7.5/10)
88. Wicked River: The Mississippi River When It Last Ran Wild by Lee Sandlin (8/10)
89. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume VI: Epistles & Revelation
90. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (Aloud for the kiddos—123/10)
91. Rules for Reformers by Douglas Wilson (9.5/10)
92. The Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689: With Forward & Cross-References (Glorious)
93. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (Classic—8.5/10)
94. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (aloud for the kiddos—103/10)
95. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson (8/10)
96. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (7.5/10)
97. The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon (Magnificent—10/10)
98. Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien (Aloud for the kiddos; fun!)
99. Foundations of Christian Education: Addresses to Christian Teachers by Louis Berkhof & Cornelius Van Til (8.5/10)

The Year of Our Lord 2017

1. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright (7.5/10)
2. Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
3. Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (8/10)
4. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (8.5/10)
5. Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
6. Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (7.5/10)
7. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
8. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (10/10)
9. Desiring God by John Piper (10/10)
10. The Pleasures of God by John Piper 9/10)
11. Five Points by John Piper (9.5/10)
12. Future Grace by John Piper (8/10)
13. 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson (8.5/10)
14. Dandelion Fire by N.D. Wilson (8.5/10)
15. The Chestnut King by N.D. Wilson (9.5/10)
16. Darwin's Dilemma by Dr. Stephen Meyer (7.5/10)
17. For Calvinism by Michael Horton (7/10)
18. Empires of Dirt by Douglas Wilson (8.5/10)
19. Confessions of a Food Catholic by Douglas Wilson (9/10)
20. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
21. The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
22. The Horse & His Boy by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
23. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
24. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (11/10)
25. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
26. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (11/10)
27. The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip Zaleski & Carol Zaleski (8/10)
28. God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment by James Hamilton (9/10)
29. God's Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments by James Hamilton (8/10)
30. Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, & the Joys of Motherhood by Rachel Jankovic (9/10)
31. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (?/10—I'm not smart enough to review this book)
32. Excused Absence by Douglas Wilson (I'm a believer—8.5/10)
33. Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic (9/10)
34. The Contemplative Pastor by Eugene Petersen (8/10)
—Essay: The Poison of Subjectivism by C.S. Lewis (a brilliant, quick read, 10/10)
35. A History of the American People by Paul Johnson (a must-read: 9/10)
36. European Brain Snakes: Postmodernism as a Species by Douglas Wilson (7.5/10)
37. The Seven Deadlies by Douglas Wilson (8/10)
38. My Life for Yours by Douglas Wilson (8.5/10)
39. Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis's Chronicles by Joe Rigney (9/10)
40. Death by Living by N.D. Wilson (Simply stunning prose—10/10)
41. The Dragon's Tooth (Ashtown Burials #1) by N.D. Wilson (9/10)
42. The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials #2) by N.D. Wilson (9/10)
43. Secrets of a Secret Shopper: Reaching and Keeping Church Guests by Greg Atkinson (5.75/10)
44. Empire of Bones (Ashtown Burials #3) by N.D. Wilson (10/10—Read this series!)
45. Gospel-Powered Humility by William Farley (9/10)
46. None Like Him by Jen Wilkin (Very insightful and well illustrated—9/10)
47. The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis (Often deeply insightful, occasionally acutely misguided—7/10)
48. The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis (9/10—the title essay is required reading for preachers)
49. Sensing Jesus by Zack Eswine (A book that gets under your skin and makes you chew—10/10)
50. Pomosexuality: Lust Clusters, Sexual Revolt, & the Christian Responses by Douglas Wilson (Quite fun—9/10)
51. Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life by Douglas Wilson (Helpful, original, and with the typical Dougline allusional fun—9/10)
52. God is the Gospel by John Piper (11/10—this book has changed the Church)
53. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton (Now I know where the Wilson clan found their voice—9/10)
54. Don't Follow Your Heart by Jon Bloom (Solid—8/10)
55. Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (a thoroughly enjoyable/opinionated Welshman—8/10)
56. Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell (First two-thirds, 5.5/10. Last third, 7.5/10—Lots to commend, but missed key elements essential to the aim of preaching for me)
57. Jesus the Son of God: A Christological Title Often Overlooked, Sometimes Misunderstood, and Currently Disputed by D.A. Carson (8.5/10)
58. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (Yep. Again. #TreatYoSelf—11/10)
59. The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
60. The Horse & His Boy by C.S. Lewis (11/10)
61. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
62. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (11/10)
63. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (10/10)
64. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (17/10)
65. 8 Hours or Less: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster by Ryan Huguley (Just ok for me—7/10)
66. The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God y G.K. Beale (Wow! 9.5/10)
67. The Neglected Qualification by Douglas Wilson (8.5/10—very good, very sobering to consider as a pastor)
68. The Consequences of Ideas by R.C. Sproul (Insightful, yet somewhat dry—7.5/10)
69. For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (Down with the government schools—8.5/10)
70. Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative by Sam Storms (Coherent, precise exegesis & cogent grasp of alternative views—9.5/10)
71. D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose (8.5/10)
72. The Blenheim Talks by Douglas Wilson (8.5/10)
73. Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World by N.D. Wilson (Fantastic—10/10)
74. Heaven Misplaced: Christ's Kingdom on Earth by Douglas Wilson (Plenty to glean, even if you're not on the Postmil train—8/10)
75. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss (Best book with no antagonist or real problems—8/10)
76. The Bible and the Future by Anthony Hoekema (Slow first half, dynamite second half—8.5/10)
77. The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (Where it all started—9/10)
78. The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (8.5/10)
79. The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (9/10)
80. The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (10/10)
81. The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (8/10)
82. The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (10/10)
83. The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (11/10)
84. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Great read with the kids)
85. Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition that Life was Designed by Douglas Axe (8.5/10)
86. The Other Side of the Coyne by Douglas Wilson (the polemicist trounces the scientist trying to do polemics—9.5/10)
87. Church Music and the Other Kinds by Douglas Wilson (Usual good one-liners, but overall disjointed. Doug fails to justify many fairly enormous claims in this one—6/10)
88. A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times by Kim Riddlebarger (Dry, but solid—8/10)
89. Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative by Sam Storms (Still great—9.5/10)
90. Gospel-Centered Kid's Ministry by Brian Dembowczyk (6.5/10)
91. You Are What You Love by James K.A. Smith (A book I'll be recommending until I die—9.5/10)
92. Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God? by Keith A. Mathison (7/10)
93. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Great read with the kids)
94. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Great read with the kids)
95. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen (Incisive, insightful, witty, fun—10/10)
96. Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity by Rebekah Merkle (9/10)
97. The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson (Sealed the dream for me—9/10)
98. Atheism Remix by R. Albert Mohler Jr. (7.5/10)
99. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (10/10)
100. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (10/10)
101. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (11/10)
102. Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller (Very good—9/10)
103. By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Great read with the kids)
104. How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets by Peter J. Gentry (Simple and helpful—9/10)
105. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (Excellent book, especially for young boys—8.5/10)
106. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis (9/10)
107. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman (Prophetic, insightful, rigorously logical—9/10)
108. That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis (9/10)
109. Classical Education and the Homeschool by Douglas Wilson, Wes Callahan, & Douglas Jones (9/10)
110. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (8/10)
111. The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis (9/10)
112. The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy by C. FitzSimons Allison (8.5/10)
113. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume VI: Epistles & Revelation
114. On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther's Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 by Gerhard O. Forde (8/10)
115. The Secret of Spiritual Joy by William Farley (8/10)
116. Divorce by John Murray (9/10)
117. Preaching the Cross by Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan, Albert Mohler Jr., C.J. Mahaney, John MacArthur, & John Piper (9/10)
118. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder (aloud for the kiddos—highly recommend)
119. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume V: Gospels & Acts
120. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume I: Pentateuch
121. ESV Reader's Bible, Volume II: Historical Books
122. ESV Reader’s Bible, Volume IV: Prophets
123. ESV Reader’s Bible, Volume III: Poetry
124: Popes and Feminists: How the Reformation Frees Women from Feminism by Elise Crapuchettes (9/10)
125. Traveling at Home by Wendell Berry (8/10)
126. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (10/10)
127. Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel by Ray Ortlund (9/10)
128. Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (aloud for the kiddos—highly recommend)
129. These Happy, Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder (aloud for the kiddos—highly recommend)
130. Biblical Discipline That Makes Children Fun! by William Farley (10/10—great companion to his parenting book)
131. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder (aloud for the kiddos—highly recommend)