My favorite books of 2022

It’s that time of year when every Christian bibliophile humblebrags about the books we enjoyed! While some might prefer an awards show or gala, others prefer to be less ostentatious and share a simple list. Since my gala budget didn’t return in 2022, here are my favorite books in article form. As always, my picks cross multiple genres and mediums. Some were published before 2022. Even so, I think they’re pretty rad. So, without further ado, here’s are my top picks.

My Favorite Books of 2022

Faith, Formation, & Spiritual Memoirs

  • Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber. People fascinate me in general, which is why I love a good memoir. But this is doubly true of spiritual memoirs—or at least the really good ones. And Surprised by Oxford is definitely among the best of these. It is honest, intelligent, and compassionate as it deals with the massive questions Jesus and the Scriptures raise for all of us. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
  • Seasons of Sorrow by Tim Challies. This is the only book on the list not pictured above because I still haven’t received my physical copy in the mail. It’s also one that is difficult to call a “favorite” because it is rooted in tragedy: the death of Tim’s son Nick. But it is one that all of us capable of reading should. It serves as a guide for all of us in preparing our hearts for sorrow—and seeing the grace of God at work through it.
  • Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton. This was one of the first explicitly theological books I read as a new believer, and one I revisit with some regularity. This book represents Chesterton’s search for a philosophy—a religion—that would make everything make sense. What he found was Christianity. With cleverness and care, Chesterton reveals the faith for what it is: an intellectually, emotionally, and practically rigorous worldview that has been left untried by far too many.
  • The Thrill of Orthodoxy by Trevin Wax. It’s fitting that I’ve placed this book right after Chesterton’s, as it is Trevin at his most Chestertonian. Every generation faces the temptation to reject orthodoxy on any number of fronts. In our current moment, being a heretic is trendy. But, as Trevin reminds us through this book, heresy is boring (and not just because everyone is a heretic now). Orthodoxy is life-giving, freeing us to flourish in ways that we cannot without a foundation that will not shift or fail.

Fiction

  • The Winners by Fredrik Backman. Backman being on the list is the biggest “water is wet” moment of this entire list. The final book in the Beartown Trilogy returns to the rival hockey towns as tragedy strikes once again. Backman weaves seemingly disconnected characters together into a story full of heartbreak and hope.
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I didn’t plan to read this book at all until I got a text from Ronnie Martin about it, so I have him to thank for it. The book is the story of a political prisoner and the life and world he creates for himself within a luxury hotel. The storytelling structure might be jarring for some readers (it can take a minute to pick up that a time jump has happened sometimes), but the characters are wonderful to spend time with.
  • Orion and the Starborn by K. B. Hoyle. This is exactly the kind of book I want to read—and share with my kids. And everyone I know, to be honest. Its engaging characters and outstanding storytelling make it one I’ll be returning to again and again while I wait for the next book in the series.
  • American War by Omar El Akkad. Another surprise read on the list, which came out of a recommendation I received on TikTok of all places. Following the tragic life of Sara Chestnut through America’s second civil war, this is a dark—but beautifully written—story. If you enjoy Cormac McCarthy’s work, I suspect you’ll appreciate this one too.

Culture and Current Affairs

  • Rembrandt is in the Wind by Russ Ramsey. Art history, faith, and philosophy come together in a book that points us to the beauty of the gospel, the purpose of creativity, and the goodness of God.
  • Talking About Race by Isaac Adams. There are a lot of different books on the market talking about the issue of racism in America and in the church. Many of these books are helpful. And this is probably the most accessible of the ones I’ve read to date. Using a parable approach, Talking About Race explores the emotional aspect of talking about race, but also how often we talk past one another.
  • The Happy Rant by Ted Kluck, Barnabas Piper, and Ronnie Martin. As a longtime listener of The Happy Rant (and a former podcast co-host with Barnabas), I am delighted this book exists. These guys know that a healthy person is one who can laugh at him or herself. It is, honestly, a sign of humility. So if you can laugh at yourself as a Christian, I suspect you’ll enjoy The Happy Rant a lot. If you have trouble laughing at yourself as a Christian, this is a great first step to help you learn how.
  • Terms of Service by Chris Martin. Some will come to this book expecting a how-to guide for using social media. But that is not what this is (even though it does have some practical helps). It is a warning, a call to realize what social media actually is and what it does to us as we unthinkingly use it day-by-day. While that might disappoint some, it is necessary. Having spent most of his professional life working with social media, Chris is exactly the right person to give that warning—and he does it with care, clarity, and the appropriate amount of urgency.

My favorites from previous years

2021
2020

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books including the Big Truths Bible Storybook, Epic Devotions, Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation, and the End of Poverty, and Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World. His next book, published by Lexham Press, will release in Spring 2023.

Reader interactions

One Reply to “My favorite books of 2022”

Comments are closed.