I love books, digital books and dead tree books. Here are some of the best I read in 2012.

10. The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony. A gift from my South African friends, Roger and Nicola Pearce, I read the whole book on a Joburg to Nashville flight. Couldn’t put it down. The Last Rhino by Lawrence was just as good. Both books made me want to get on the next flight to Africa!

9. The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne. This book could revolutionize the way you think about church and ministry. Highly recommended for pastors, church planters, missionaries, and everyone who works in ministry.

8. Faith to Live By: A Practical Guide to the Life of Faith by Paul Barker. Historical, biblical, theological, practical. This might be the best book on faith you will ever read.

7. The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield. Learned a lot of interesting and scary stuff. Also enjoyed Lincoln’s Battle with God. Stephen is a great writer and a better friend.

6. No Man is an Island by Thomas Merton. Devotional classic. Not a wasted word. For best results, read slowly with a humble heart.

5. Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. Long and tedious, but worth the time. I suggest the digital version unless you want to carry around a ten-pound book.

4. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. I did not read all of the 10,000 plus pages of the thirteen volumes, but I have enjoyed every page I’ve read. I don’t know if my sermons are better because of these books, but I’m pretty sure I am better because of them.

3. The Century of the Holy Spirit: 100 Years of Pentecostal and Charismatic Renewal by Vinson Synan. This thick book has been on my Nashville bedside table for a year. It’s the last thing I read as I fall asleep. It informed my mind, stretched my faith, convicted my heart, and inspired my dreams. If you love church history, you gotta read this book.

2. The Lego Principle by Joey Bonifacio. Might be the most important book about doing ministry that you’ll ever read. Discipleship really is relationship! Great book, Joey! Can’t wait to read the sequel.

1. The Bible. I’ve read it a few times before, but this was my first full reading using YouVersion‘s “Blended” plan, with daily OT and NT selections. I am now officially hooked to YouVersion and plan to use it in 2013 and beyond.

Honorable mention, but not quite top ten:

Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud. My first Henry Cloud book. Made me want to fire someone. But I resisted. All leaders should read this one. Also recommended for people stuck in dysfunctional relationships and horrible jobs.

Calico Joe by John Grisham. Fatherhood. Family. Forgiveness. Baseball. Great themes woven together in classic Grisham fashion, minus the ubiquitous lawyer and tired courtroom.

Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs. A hilarious look at America’s health obsession/hypocrisy.

What did you read in 2012?

Here’s my 2011 list, and here’s my 2010 list.