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2020 Christian Reading Challenge for Men

on January 2, 2020 by Jami Balmet 0 comments

I’m so excited to have Jason taking over my blog today. I shared my own 2020 Christian Reading Challenge for Women earlier this week. If you’re a man, feel free to follow along with this challenge by yourself OR wrangle your wife into the women’s companion challenge to do it with you.

If you are a woman reading this, send over the link to your husband and you can then go through this challenge together! It’s a great way to have a built in accountability partner. Many of the books are the same but Jason changed the feminine and homemaking categories to male equivalents. – Jami

I have a lot of hobbies. I enjoying playing video games. Board games are my love language. I’m a Netflix junkie. I sometimes dabble with MTG deck-building.

But one hobby stands head and shoulders over all the rest, for me. I LOVE to read. You probably already know that about me if you’ve been hanging around this blog or podcast for any amount of time. But it’s worth stating again. Books are my favorite thing.

Our reading challenge

Two years ago,  Jami and I came up with a year-long reading challenge. Most times, the biggest obstacle to reading as much as I’d like is lack of time. I’m a father, husband, small-business owner, and dabbler in many hobbies as previously established. Needless to say, I don’t have a lot of free time. Well, I am happy to report that implementing the reading challenge has SIGNIFICANTLY helped me to increase the number of books I’ve read in the last 3 years. Something about setting a goal, and having a list of books I want to read, has been very effective for me. So this year, we’re doing it again! Welcome to the 2020 Men’s Reading Challenge.

Yesterday, Jami posted her reading list, which is geared primarily toward women. So she asked me to put together a companion list to hers that would be more male-oriented. Many of the categories and book recommendations are the same, as there are LOTS of books out there that are great reading for both men and women. But I’ve tweaked the list to add some books on things like fatherhood, being a husband, etc.

Also, like Jami’s list, I have not included any fiction suggestions in the list. I personally love to read fiction, and would encourage others to as well, but, at least for me, picking up a novel is much easier than digging into a history text or book on theology, and so I tailored the list to non-fiction only. I highly recommend reading some fiction as well, though. Go ahead and add a few novels you’ve been wanting to read, or, if the 13 or 26 books on the list is already the maximum you want to commit to this year, swap out a few of the categories for fiction, keeping the total count the same. Bottom line, this list and challenge is for you, so don’t hesitate to customize it to your liking. As long as it gets you reading, I’ve done my job.

Also, if you’re not already familiar, I highly recommend using Goodreads on your reading adventure. It’s a great way to track what you’re reading, what you want to read, and what you’ve already read. You can get book recommendations, and even see reviews on books you’re not sure about. Plus, you can follow me on there if you’d like to see what I’m reading. You can also see my fiction selections on there, if you want some inspiration in that department.

Download the Toolkit to make it easy: 

Jami created a FREE toolkit to give you all these resources in one handy place. You will get tips and ideas on how to find the time to read as well as the full challenge and a printable sheet to keep track of your reading goals. Download for free below:

Grab the Toolkit!

Subscribe to my new reading challenge newsletter to follow along throughout 2019 AND get my 2019 Reading Challenge Toolkit for FREE!

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Here’s How it Works:

The list is broken into 2 levels:

13 books for the year, which breaks down to 1 book every 4 weeks

26 books for the year, equaling 1 book every 2 weeks.

Jump in on the first 13, and set your own pace. Just stick to level 1 if you don’t have a lot of reading time or are new to all this, or blow through level 1 and dive into level 2 midway through the year.

Note: I recommend one particular book for each category in the list, but you can see below that I’ve included several other books for each category. You should choose which book you want to read for each category, or if you’ve already read those I’ve recommended, or if none of them interest you, feel free to choose one on your own to fit the category.

*If you are not a parent or are not married, then scroll down and fill in those spots with other fantastic book suggestions from the other categories.

Level 1: 13 Books

  1. Time Management: Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff
  2. Christian Living: Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow by R. C. Sproul
  3. Biblical Manhood/Marriage: 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matt Jacobson
  4. Finances: You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham
  5. Christian Living: The Great Gain of Godliness by Thomas Watson
  6. Parenting/Family Life: The Duties of Parents by J. C. Ryle
  7. History/Biography: Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
  8. Theology: Everyone’s a Theologian by R. C. Sproul
  9. Biblical Manhood/Marriage: Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by Aimee Byrd
  10. Time Management/Business: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  11. Parenting/Family Life: Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Hubbard
  12. Christian Living: Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Paul Tripp
  13. Theology: The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship by Robert Letham

Level 2: 26 Books

  1. A Christian Classic: The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
  2. Spiritual Leadership: The Shepherd Leader at Home by Timothy Z. Witmer
  3. Parenting/Family Life: Bringing the Gospel Home by Randy Newman
  4. Biblical Manhood/Marriage: Married for God by Christopher Ash
  5. Theology: Theological Retrieval for Evangelicals by Gavin Ortlund
  6. Finances: Redeeming Money: How God Reveals and Reorients Our Hearts by Paul Tripp
  7. Church History: Rediscovering the Church Fathers by Michael A. G. Haykin
  8. Biblical Manhood/Marriage: God’s Design for Man and Woman by Andreas & Margaret Kostenberger
  9. Christian Living: The Apostle’s Creed by Albert Mohler
  10. History/Biography: Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
  11. Biography: The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven Lawson
  12. Christian Living: Everyday Faithfulness by Glenna Marshall
  13. Time Management: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Other suggestions for the categories:

Christian Living:

Biblical Manhood/Marriage:

Parenting/Family Life:



Money & Finances:

A Christian Classic:

Time Management/Business:

Spiritual Leadership:

Download the FREE Toolkit!

Don’t forget to grab the free toolkit Jami created for this reading challenge. You will get everything you need to follow along with the challenge, how to tailor it to fit your needs and your life, book suggestions, how to find the time to read, how to read books on a budget, the men’s reading challenge companion guide, and more!

Grab the Toolkit!

Subscribe to my new reading challenge newsletter to follow along throughout 2019 AND get my 2019 Reading Challenge Toolkit for FREE!

Powered by ConvertKit

I can’t wait to read more this year and encourage each other along the way!! 🙂