My Favorite Books from 2017

I finished up 2017 with a few really good books. I read a bunch but don’t always read books all the way through. Some books have a few good chapters. Some don’t have any.

Here are some of the best books I read in 2017 in no particular order.

Keeping the Fire: Discovering the Heart of True Revival

Rolland Baker

If you don’t know who Rolland Baker is then this book probably is not for you. If you are familiar with him, his wife Heidi Baker, and Iris Ministries, the ministry they run together from their base in Mozambique, then this book is a must read.

This is not the book that compels you to give. It’s not the book that forces you to dream of miracles and will cause you to move to Africa to seek them. This is the book that answers the question of why they do what they do.

The Bakers have a set of beliefs or core values that govern all they do. The folks who adopt them as their own see the fruit they see. The folks who try to do what they do without the ways they are doing it for the reasons they are doing them will not see the same fruit. It’s that simple.

In a day and age where people are hiding their core beliefs for fear of rejection, Rolland puts them front and center for all to see, judge, reject, and receive. I am not saying his beliefs are mine. But I will say I would sure love to see more of the fruit he is producing in my life.

God Secrets: A Life Filled with Words of Knowledge

Shawn Bolz

The gift that is in Shawn Bolz is amazing. There is no denying that. But people having gifts don’t impress me. Gifts are the manifestation of God. Its what they do that is impressive.

What impresses me about Shawn is how he displays such an amazing skill in the prophetic and then sets a new paradigm for its use. Instead of being the divine broker of knowledge, or using his ability to flow in words of knowledge to God-Stamp his teachings, he directs the reader to become a conduit of God’s love to the world.

Past teachers tried to convey the importance of the gifts. Shawn uses the gift to convey the importance of the heart of the giver of the gift. He then directs the reader to long to display God’s love knowing God gives seed to the sower. It really is amazing.

American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant

Ronald C. White

I Insta-blogged about this book here (you can follow me on Instagram at @_carlthomas) so I won’t completely rewrite my review.

A few things to note:

This book is huge. These types of books normally are. Its over 800 pages.  They spent lots of time on the Civil War which I really enjoyed.

This book is comprehensive in a way that these types of books normally are. That means certain parts of his presidency really dragged on to me.

This book unravels some of the current rewriting of the civil war narrative. The Civil War was about slavery. Anyone writing differently has an agenda that needs to be refuted.

Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Brené Brown

Allow me to let you in on a church secret. You know your current favorite preacher who shares amazing revelation on how to love people and better your relationships? They get their meat from Brené.

Now to be fair, most church folks need advice to be wrapped in church lingo before they will swallow it or they are skeptical that it might be worldly or secular or God-forbid liberal teachings. So they are doing a service. But rest assured, they are repackaging Breneé’s teachings.

The church needs this. In Braving the Wilderness she frees people to be themselves. At the same time she guides them into understanding that hating others and being mean are not a part of who they really are and they should avoid the pull to be those characters out of self defense.

This book is sure to have language, opinions, and conclusions you will disagree with. It’s ok. you are strong enough to handle it.

These four were my best of 2017.  I have on my task list to create a reading list for the first few months of the year but so far it is empty. If you have any recommendations let me know.

What do you think?