21 Book Recommendations for 2021

Bert Alcorn
3 min readJan 5, 2021


If you know me, it’s no secret I’m a reader. It wasn’t always like this. In fact, I didn’t become a “reader” until just a few years ago.

I wasn’t that interested in readung during elementary, middle, and high school. And it became a necessary evil during college — even bible college! (Am I allowed to admit that out-loud?)

But, something clicked after graduation; maybe my impending marriage — and wanting to appear (or actually become) smarter than I was; my re-entry into vocational church ministry — and the chasm between what I felt prepared for and what was ahead; or just wanting to want all the things that come along with dreaming of days filled with sipping coffee and starring out the window looking at the rain — which in Southern California, doesn’t happen all that often.

Anyways, every year I’ve set out a reading goal — how many books to read per year. And a few years ago, I started using Goodreads to keep myself accountable and to compensate for my staggering lack of memory.

Because of that, I can look back on 2020 with some stellar book recommendations:

Spiritual Growth & Formation

Union with Christ The Way to Know and Enjoy God — Rankin Wilbourne

Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus Into the Everyday Stuff of Life — Jeff Vanderstelt

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World — John Mark Comer

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of YouJohn Ortberg

The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation: How Knowing Ourselves Can Make Us More Like Jesus — A.J. Sherrill

Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best — Eugene H. Peterson

The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction — Justin Whitmel Earley

The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship — Dallas Willard

Scattered Servants: Unleashing the Church to Bring Life to the City — Alan Scott

Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church — Paul David Tripp

Culture, Race & Politics

“Here Are Your Gods”: Faithful Discipleship in Idolatrous Times — Christopher J.H. Wright

Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics — Eugene Cho

Faith for Exiles: Five Ways to Help Young Christians Be Resilient, Follow Jesus, and Live Differently in Digital Babylon — David Kinnaman, Mark Matlock

Reappearing Church: The Hope for Renewal in the Rise of Our Post-Christian Culture — Mark Sayers

Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity — David W. Swanson

Woke Church — Dr. Eric Mason

Beautiful Resistance: The Joy of Conviction in a Culture of Compromise — Jon Tyson

Marriage & Parenting

Raising Passionate Jesus Followers: The Power of Intentional Parenting — Phil & Diane Comer

Family Discipleship: Leading Your Home Through Time, Moments, and Milestones — Matt Chandler, Adam Griffin

Domestic Monastery — Ronald Rolheiser

Fun & Fiction

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe — Charles Yu

Happy reading!

— Bert



Bert Alcorn

Husband to Sherry, Dad to Calvin, Truman, and Emerson, and Pastor to Anthem.