My 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Reads of 2013 (So Far)

30 Jun

On January 1st, I set for myself an audacious goal: reading 100 books, 50 fiction and 50 non-fiction. We have reached the halfway point of 2013 and so far I have read 54 (27 of each). Here are my favorite non-fiction reads of the year so far…


Who Do You Think You Are – Mark Driscoll

If you want to know more about how to ground your identity in Jesus Christ and what implications your new identity holds, I strongly recommend picking this book up. Based on Ephesians, Mark’s book covers a wide range of topics that will be helpful to the person who has been a Christian for 20 years or 20 minutes. For a more extensive look at this book and the interview that I had with Mark, click here.


Dad Is Fat—Jim Gaffigan

This is not a book of parenting advice, but rather a book of hilarious parenting stories (if you like Gaffigan’s stand up, you will love this book… in fact you may recognize a joke or two). Jim is a father to five kids and he shares the ups and downs of raising kids in the city of New York.


Start – Jon Acuff

Not only will this book inspire you to fight the fears in your head that are holding you back from your full potential, but it will give you the necessary kick in the pants to go after your dreams. This is an immensely practical book that has a message for everyone, regardless of your age or your career path. I couldn’t read it fast enough, and I found myself highlighting many, many passages. For a more extensive look at this book and my interview with Jon, click here.


Radical— David Platt

Rather than downplaying the words of scripture, Platt encourages us to consider living the radical Christian life it actually prescribes. What would the church look like if we recaptured a hunger for scripture? Giving? Missions? Discipleship? Prayer? This book will blow your socks off!


101 Secrets For Your Twenties— Paul Angone  

Being a twentysomething can be a scary, frustrating time… but it doesn’t have to be! Paul takes the role of mentor/older sibling and shares a bucket-load of humor and wisdom. I kept nodding to myself as my own experiences resonated with his throughout the book.


Lit!—Tony Reinke

Why should reading be important to me as a Christian? What value does fiction hold? How do I get the most out of what I’m reading? Tony offers a really practical guide for cultivating a habit of reading in your life. Plus, it’s super meta to read a book about reading books… all your friends will think you are super sophisticated!


Date Your Wife – Justin Buzzard

This book was so incredibly hard to read… but so worth it! It isn’t terribly long, but it will really stretch you and shake you out of being a lazy, selfish husband. This is an absolute must read if you are married or hope to someday become married. To hear my interview with Justin, click here.


For Men Only – Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

Disclaimer: not all men and women fall into the generalizations put forth in these books, but many do. This was immensely helpful to me in understanding my wife. Time and time again, I would stop in shock and ask, “This can’t be true, can it?” To which my wife would reply, “Yep. That’s how it is for me.” I wish I had read this book years ago.


Raising A Modern-Day Joseph— Larry Fowler

More teenagers and young adults are losing their faith and leaving the church than ever before. How do we combat this problem? Larry shares a strategy for the local church and parents to build kids that love and serve Christ.


Platform—Michael Hyatt

One of the top bloggers/social media gurus in world shares his method for building a powerful online audience. This is an immensely practical book with easy to implement advice and an appendix list of some really great blogging and social media tools.

Other Non-Fiction I’ve Read In 2013

  • Seven Men—Eric Metaxas
  • Seeing Through The Fog—Ed Dobson
  • Irresistible Revolution—Shane Claiborne
  • Enchiridion—Saint Augustine
  • Embracing Obscurity— Anonymous
  • I Call Shotgun – Tommy Newberry
  • Art And The Bible—Francis Schaeffer
  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart – Tedd Tripp
  • 137 Books In One Year—Kevin Hendricks
  • What It Means To Be A Man—Rhett Smith
  • Morning Radio Revisited – Tracy Johnson
  • Don’t Waste Your Life—John Piper
  • Eat That Frog—Brian Tracy
  • Delusions of Grandeur—Jason Najum
  • Wrecked—Jeff Goins
  • Poke The Box—Seth Godin
  • Life Of The Beloved—Henri Nowen

What non-fiction books have you been enjoying this year? Share with us in the comments!

-Dave Wonders


Yes, “David Wonders” is his real name. Dave is  a husband, a father, and the midday host at 104.3 The Pulse ( Somehow he finds time to read absurd numbers of books. Connect with Dave on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

6 Responses to “My 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Reads of 2013 (So Far)”

  1. Shelley DuPont June 30, 2013 at 18:07 #

    Oh, you’re putting me to shame! (head bowed, not praying) I set a goal, too. I don’t even remember what it was! I did manage through a few great reads, though: Stephen King’s On Writing, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing, James Scott Bell’s The Art of War for Writers, Travis Thrasher’s Home Run, and Stephen Pressfield’s Turning Pro. I’ve also got a few that I go back and forth on: It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig, Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception, and Audrey Chin’s Learning to Fly. I’m currently reading The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith. Now, I think there’s enough time left in the year to add a several of your selections to my list. They look really good! Thanks, Dave.

    • More Than A Beard June 30, 2013 at 23:29 #

      Stephen King’s On Writing is brilliant and Bradbury is one of my faves (Something Wicked This Way Comes will be on my fiction list for tomorrow). Is Icarus Deception worth picking up?

  2. Shelley July 1, 2013 at 12:42 #

    I think so, Dave. It’s the first book I’ve read of his. His style is a bit different. It’s heavier reading which is why I’m having a hard time finishing it. OH, I love Something Wicked This Way Comes. Be sure to read Dandelion Wine, too! Have your read The Illustrated Man?

    • More Than A Beard July 1, 2013 at 12:47 #

      Love Dandelion Wine! Did you ever read Bradbury’s followup book (Farewell Summer)? I have it on my shelf, but I’ve never gotten around to reading it…

      • Shelley July 1, 2013 at 12:55 #

        I know I have it. I think I have. I had another one that had to do with a murder. I didn’t like it, so I gave it away. Have you read any of Daniel Pink or Malcolm Gladwell? They’re pretty awesome. I’d say Godin was similar. Also, if you ever get the chance read In the Beginning by Alister McGrath. It’s amazing. It tells how the King James Bible came to be: what it took to get it printed and the whole process from that time on. Also, The Discovery of Geness by C.H. Kang and Ethel R. Nelson. This reveals how the gospel is embedded within the Chinese ideographs. Very insightful. What an awesome God we serve!

  3. Shelley July 1, 2013 at 12:57 #

    Yes. The Veldt is my favorite. I’ve done a lesson plan from that-good for analysis and symbolism. Ever since I first taught Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury has been a favorite. There’s some other good short stories published in text books, but I can’t remember them.

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