This is for you, Scott. List of finalists is available here.
Holy Bible (ESV version). How could I not put the Bible as the best book I read this year? Reading straight through the Bible in a year was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I can’t recommended doing it highly enough. The ESV was my translation of choice, though I dabbled in others through the year. I mainly read my Reformation Study Bible, but skipped most of the notes.
First Team (favorite books of the year)
I read a lot of really good books this year, but for some reason none stand out as clearly ahead of the pack like they have in previous years. Other than the Bible of course. These were some of the best of the best, though:
Anti-first team (most disappointing books)
I would love to have a perfect track record, but not everything I read is all that good, helpful, or interesting. I had high hopes for Sanders’ book on the Trinity, and it fell flat. Likewise for the repetitive and tedious Economics in One Lesson. I think I’m through with reading any more MacArthur after Slave; there’s just too much better stuff out there and too little time. Search for God and Guinness was another that I had very high hopes for, but wasn’t overly impressed.
Rookie of the Year (best book published in 2011)
From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin. The majority of books I read were published in 2010, so I seem to be a year behind. But of the ones I read that were published in 2011, I learned the most from Hart’s political/religious history.
Legacy Award (oldest book)
The Godly Home. Resolved: read more Puritans. Richard Baxter’s work on family life takes this award, published in 1645. Sticklers could put an asterisk here, since The Godly Home is an excerpt from his Directory, and published by Crossway in 2011. John Owen’s Mortification of Sin is the runner up (1656).
Manager of the Year (most helpful)
Shepherding a Child’s Heart takes this fairly easily, and is a book we will continue to reread and revisit through the child-rearing years.
Gold Glove (best defense)
All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes. I didn’t read a stellar apologetics book this year, so Myers takes the prize for the best “defensive” book, arguing against Christians’ immersion in banal popular culture.
Victor Cruz Award (best author I’ve never heard of)
You’ve probably heard of her, but I hadn’t heard of Marilynne Robinson until Gilead was recommended to me this year by at least three men I well respect. Much like Victor Cruz did to unsuspecting defensive backs this year, she blew me away. I’m looking forward to reading a collection of her essays as well as Home in 2012.
Nick Swisher Award (most enjoyable/humorous)
The Inimitable Jeeves. I’m ashamed that it took me so long to read Wodehouse, but I’m not likely to stop any time soon.
Preseason 2012 First Team:
The Death of Adam – Marilynne Robinson (2005)
The Intolerance of Tolerance – D.A. Carson (2012)
Joy in the Morning – P.G. Wodehouse (1946)
Parenting By God’s Promises – Joel Beeke (2011)
Scorecasting – Tobias Moskowitz (2011)