I’m so excited to have Jason taking over my blog today. I shared my own 2019 Christian Reading Challenge for Women earlier this week. If you’re a man, feel free to follow along with this challenge by yourself OR wrangle your wife into the women’s companion challenge to do it with you.
If you are a woman reading this, send over the link to your husband and you can then go through this challenge together! It’s a great way to have a built in accountability partner. Many of the books are the same but Jason changed the feminine and homemaking categories to male equivalents. – Jami
I have a lot of hobbies. I enjoying playing video games. Board games are my love language. I’m a Netflix junkie. I sometimes dabble with MTG deck-building.
But one hobby stands head and shoulders over all the rest, for me. I LOVE to read. You probably already know that about me if you’ve been hanging around this blog or podcast for any amount of time. But it’s worth stating again. Books are my favorite thing.
Listen to the Podcast:
Jami and I hopped on a podcast episode to share all about the challenge, my tricks for finding the time to read in a busy schedule, a little bit about the books I picked and more! Listen below or keep scrolling down to read all about the challenge.
And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
Two years ago, Jami and I came up with a year-long reading challenge. Most times, the biggest obstacle to reading as much as I’d like is lack of time. I’m a father, husband, small-business owner, and dabbler in many hobbies as previously established. Needless to say, I don’t have a lot of free time. Well, I am happy to report that implementing the reading challenge has SIGNIFICANTLY helped me to increase the number of books I’ve read in the last 2 years. Something about setting a goal, and having a list of books I want to read, has been very effective for me. So this year, we’re doing it again! Welcome to the 2019 Men’s Reading Challenge.
Yesterday, Jami posted her reading list, which is geared primarily toward women. So she asked me to put together a companion list to hers that would be more male-oriented. Many of the categories and book recommendations are the same, as there are LOTS of books out there that are great reading for both men and women. But I’ve tweaked the list to add some books on things like fatherhood, being a husband, etc.
Also, like Jami’s list, I have not included any fiction suggestions in the list. I personally love to read fiction, and would encourage others to as well, but, at least for me, picking up a novel is much easier than digging into a history text or book on theology, and so I tailored the list to non-fiction only. I highly recommend reading some fiction as well, though. Go ahead and add a few novels you’ve been wanting to read, or, if the 13 or 26 books on the list is already the maximum you want to commit to this year, swap out a few of the categories for fiction, keeping the total count the same. Bottom line, this list and challenge is for you, so don’t hesitate to customize it to your liking. As long as it gets you reading, I’ve done my job.
Also, if you’re not already familiar, I highly recommend using Goodreads on your reading adventure. It’s a great way to track what you’re reading, what you want to read, and what you’ve already read. You can get book recommendations, and even see reviews on books you’re not sure about. Plus, you can follow me on there if you’d like to see what I’m reading. You can also see my fiction selections on there, if you want some inspiration in that department.
On more note before we get to the challenge. Back in November, I started a new podcast called Hurry Up and Read, on which I read and discuss classic works of Christian literature. It’s been an absolute blast so far! We just finished up our first book on the podcast, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burrows, and we just started the next book which I am very excited about, All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon. If you’d like to listen to some fantastic reads, I highly recommend you start listening to it. You can find it here, or on iTunes, Stitcher, and anywhere else podcasts are streamed.
Download the Toolkit to make it easy:
Jami created a FREE toolkit to give you all these resources in one handy place. You will get tips and ideas on how to find the time to read as well as the full challenge and a printable sheet to keep track of your reading goals. Download for free below:
Here’s How it Works:
The list is broken into 2 levels:
13 books for the year, which breaks down to 1 book every 4 weeks
26 books for the year, equaling 1 book every 2 weeks.
Jump in on the first 13, and set your own pace. Just stick to level 1 if you don’t have a lot of reading time or are new to all this, or blow through level 1 and dive into level 2 midway through the year.
Note: I recommend one particular book for each category in the list, but you can see below that I’ve included several other books for each category. You should choose which book you want to read for each category, or if you’ve already read those I’ve recommended, or if none of them interest you, feel free to choose one on your own to fit the category.
*If you are not a parent or are not married, then scroll down and fill in those spots with other fantastic book suggestions from the other categories.
Level 1: 13 Books
- Time Management: The One Thing by Gary Keller
- Christian Living: The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burrows
- Biblical Manhood/Marriage: A Guide to Biblical Manhood by Randy Stinson
- Finances: I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi
- Christian Living: Enjoying God: Finding Hope in the Attributes of God by R. C. Sproul
- Parenting/Family Life: The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie
- History/Biography: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- Theology: The Doctrines of Grace by James Montgomery Boice
- Biblical Manhood/Marriage: Marriage Matters by Winston T. Smith
- Time Management/Business: The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier
- Parenting/Family Life: Family Worship by Joel Beeke
- Christian Living: The Invisible Hand by R. C. Sproul
- Theology: Practical Religion by J. C. Ryle
Level 2: 26 Books
- A Christian Classic: All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon
- Spiritual Leadership: Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Chambers
- Parenting/Family Life: Talking with Your Kids about God by Natasha Crain
- Biblical Manhood/Marriage: You and Me Forever by Francis Chan
- Theology: The Courage to Be Protestant by David Wells
- Finances: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
- Church History: Eusibius: The Church History by Eusibius
- Biblical Manhood/Marriage: Biblical Manhood by Stuart Scott
- Christian Living: Reading the Bible Supernaturally by John Piper
- History/Biography: The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
- Biography: Irena’s Children by Tellar J. Mazzeo
- Christian Living: Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who suffer from depression by Zack Eswine
- Time Management: Tools of Titans by Timothy Ferriss
Other suggestions for the categories:
- The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch *Super short read
- Humility by C.J. Mahaney *Short read
- Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung *Short read
- When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper
- Simplify Your Spiritual Life by Donald Whitney
- Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur
- Growing Your Faith by Jerry Bridges
- Slave by John MacArthur
- Finally Free by Heath Lambert
- Habits of Grace by David Mathis
- Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney
- The Blessings of Humility by Jerry Bridges
- Knowing God by J. I. Packer
- Who Are You to Judge?: The Dangers of Judging and Legalism by Dave Swavely
- Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
- Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney
- Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges
- We Cannot Be Silent by Al Mohler
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
- What is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
- The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch
- The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
- The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- The Masculine Mandate by Richard D. Phillips
- 52 Things Wives Need From Their Husbands by Jay Payleitner
- The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott
- Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
- What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp
- Living in a Godly Marriage by Joel R. Beeke
- Sweethearts for a Lifetime by Wayne Mack
- Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur
- Get Outta My Face by Rich Horne
- What the Bible Says About Parenting by John MacArthur
- Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick
- 52 Things Sons Need From Their Dads by Jay Payleitner
- The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace & Stuart Scott
- Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
- Family Worship by Donald Whitney
- Brave Dad by John MacArthur
- Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande
- Expository Listening by Ken Ramey
- Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray
- Revolutions in Worldview by Andrew Hoffecker
- The Big Three by Henry Morris
- Understanding English Bible Translation by Leland Ryken
- A Basic Guide to Eschatology by Millard Erickson
- Visual Theology by Tim Challies
- Concise Theology by J.I. Packer
- Fundamentals of the Faith by John MacArthur
- Expository Apologetics by Voddie Baucham Jr.
- Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
- What We Believe by R.C. Sproul
- Owen on the Christian Life by Matthew Barrett
- Edwards on the Christian Life by Dane Ortlund
- Heroes by Iain Murray
- The Church in History by B. K. Kuiper *This is a textbook. It’s hefty.
- The Early Church by Henry Chadwick
- Pages from Church History by Stephen Nicols
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
- Christian History Made Easy by Timothy Paul Jones
- A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte
- A Fistful of Heroes by John Pollock
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
- Church History 101 by Sinclair Ferguson
- Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that Explain Everything about the World by Tim Marshall
- Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables by Phil Vischer
Money & Finances:
- The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples by Larry Burkett
- The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- Money, Posessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn
- Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn
- Why Business Matters to God by Jeff Van Duzer
A Christian Classic:
- Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity by Owen Strachan
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis
- The Apostolilc Fathers
- The Incomparable Christ by J. Oswald Sanders
- Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
- The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
- Launch by Jeff Walker
- Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi
- Ask by Ryan Levesque
- Will it Fly? by Pat Flynn
- Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
- Reset by David Murray
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
- Do More Better by Tim Challies
- Living Forward by Michael Hyatt
- H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership
- The Book on Leadership by John MacArthur
- Called to Lead by John MacArthur
- The Conviction to Lead by Al Mohler
- Family Shepherds by Voddie Baucham Jr.
Download the FREE Toolkit!
Don’t forget to grab the free toolkit Jami created for this reading challenge. You will get everything you need to follow along with the challenge, how to tailor it to fit your needs and your life, book suggestions, how to find the time to read, how to read books on a budget, the men’s reading challenge companion guide, and more!