My 15 Favorite Books of 2022

If you know me, you know I love to read. I even used to do book reviews. So today will be my favorite books I read in 2022 out of over fifty. 

In no particular order, I’ll start with fiction. I read a lot more fiction. 

The Terminal List  (Jack Carr)

On his last combat deployment, Lieutenant Commander James Reece’s entire team was killed in a catastrophic ambush that also claimed the lives of the aircrew sent in to rescue them. But when those dearest to him are murdered on the day of his homecoming, Reece discovers that this was not an act of war by a foreign enemy but a conspiracy that runs to the highest levels of government.

Now, with no family and free from the military’s command structure, Reece applies the lessons that he’s learned in over a decade of constant warfare toward avenging the deaths of his family and teammates. With breathless pacing and relentless suspense, Reece ruthlessly targets his enemies in the upper echelons of power without regard for the laws of combat or the rule of law.

Written by a SEAL, you know the action scenes are accurate. The Amazon Prime series is excellent too. There are currently five books in the series. 

The next book is in a similar vein.

Tier One (Brian Andrews, Jeffrey Wilson)

John Dempsey’s life—as an elite Tier One Navy SEAL named Jack Kemper—is over. A devastating terrorist action catapults him from a world of moral certainty and decisive orders into the shadowy realm of espionage, where ambiguity is the only rule. His new mission: hunt down those responsible for the greatest tragedy in the history of the US Special Ops and bring them to justice.

But how does a man torn between duty and revenge walk the line and preserve his soul?

These guys, this series—considering when they write them—the books feel prophetic, especially when they start dealing with Ukraine and Russia in later books. 

They write another series with a more Christian bent—both are believers. 

Dark Intercept/Dark Angel/Dark Fall

A retired SEAL is called to help save a former girlfriend’s daughter and discovers a dark, organized, spiritual evil. He also is joined by unexpected allies. 

This series captivates me because it’s humans working with the Biblical principalities and powers. Demons are fighting humans. Reading the New Testament and books like Playing With Fire, demon possession is still present. 

It takes spiritual warfare to a whole new level. 

The next book is written by one of the above duo, Jeffrey Wilson. 

War Torn

Based on personal experiences by the Wall Street Journal and Amazon #1 bestselling military thriller author Jeffrey Wilson, War Torn is an inspirational novel that details a young man’s crisis of faith after a tour of combat duty in Afghanistan turns tragic.

Jake is a solid American, a young husband, a good friend, and a patriotic member of the National Guard. While his family and Christian values define who he is, he has never fully understood the passion for faith that his wife, Rachel, and his best friend and fellow soldier, Cal, seem to share. But when Jake and Cal are deployed with their unit to Afghanistan, Jake depends heavily on the quiet but powerful faith of his best friend and embraces, finally, a relationship with God. Despite the horrors he experiences in war and the pain of his separation from Rachel, Jake has found his way for the first time—until a crippling loss shakes his newfound faith to the core and makes him question where God is in his struggles, or if God even exists at all.

Can a loving wife’s faith carry a broken man through the most difficult challenge of his life? Can a committed pastor put his own struggles and doubts aside to help heal a wounded marriage? Like so many combat veterans, Jake must find his way back to his family even after returning from Afghanistan, and learn to find God in the fog of war that follows him home.

I’d watch if Hallmark or PureFlix had a movie like this book. An inspirational book for men. 

Where War Torn is fiction, the next book is the memoir of a Tier One Navy Seal, Eddie Penney. I first heard of him from the Undaunted Life podcast.

Unafraid: Staring Down Terror as a Navy SEAL and Single Dad

Hot Wash | noun: The review held after military training and real-world operations facilitating growth and improvement; an honest evaluation of strengths and weaknesses

As a special operator in the US Navy’s most elite unit and actively engaged in the Global War on Terrorism, Eddie Penney had achieved his childhood dream. He was the tip of the nation’s spear, prepared for anything—except for becoming a single parent of three young children.

Eddie learned powerful lessons from the roles of warrior and father. In Unafraid, he shares his story, insight gained, and the truths exposed when you reflect, regroup, and commit to personal growth. You’ll read about life as a Navy SEAL and the adolescent aspirations that led Eddie toward a military life, as well as the painful challenges that left him a single father with sole custody. You’ll learn that old wounds—both seen and unseen—can heal, and redemption is always possible. Whether these struggles feel familiar or you’re searching for inspiration, Unafraid is a must-read memoir revealing that each of us has a warrior within.

Now a Christian, you can follow his journey to becoming a Christian and navigating the mess of life. 

Let’s turn towards some more cerebral books. 

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff)

The generation now coming of age has been taught three Great Untruths: their feelings are always right; they should avoid pain and discomfort; and they should look for faults in others and not themselves. These three Great Untruths are part of a larger philosophy that sees young people as fragile creatures who must be protected and supervised by adults. But despite the good intentions of the adults who impart them, the Great Untruths are harming kids by teaching them the opposite of ancient wisdom and the opposite of modern psychological findings on grit, growth, and antifragility. The result is rising rates of depression and anxiety, along with endless stories of college campuses torn apart by moralistic divisions and mutual recriminations.

This is a book about how we got here. First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt take us on a tour of the social trends stretching back to the 1980s that have produced the confusion and conflict on campus today, including the loss of unsupervised play time and the birth of social media, all during a time of rising political polarization.

This is a book about how to fix the mess. The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life, with devastating consequences for them, for their parents, for the companies that will soon hire them, and for a democracy that is already pushed to the brink of violence over its growing political divisions. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity.

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention – and How to Think Deeply Again (Johann Hari)

Our ability to pay attention is collapsing. From the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections comes a groundbreaking examination of why this is happening–and how to get our attention back.

Like so many of us, Johann Hari was finding it much harder to focus than he used to. He found that a life of constantly switching from device to device, from tab to tab, is diminishing and depressing. He tried all sorts of self-help solutions–even abandoning his phone for three months–but in the long-term, nothing seemed to work. So Hari went on an epic journey across the world to interview the leading experts on human attention and to study their scientific findings–and learned that everything we think we know about this crisis is wrong.

The next four shouldn’t surprise you if you read 2022: The Year of Regrowth. 

Sentinel: Become the Agent in Charge of Your Own Protection Detail (Patrick McNamara)

In Sentinel, author Patrick McNamara provides an instructional guide filled with survival techniques for the family. Drawing from his background as a special-operations agent for twenty-two years, McNamara discusses the importance of being the protector of the family and provides a host of techniques, strategies, and procedures to ensure safety. He offers simple steps for being better prepared for power blackouts, home invasions, and attacks on the street and more. From your home to your vehicle and beyond, McNamara discusses how to plan for contingencies.

I did a review on it here. I also read it twice. It’s 142 pages. 

That’s how good it is. 

The next are two from the 100 Deadly Skills series and one about modern homesteading by retired SEAL and CIA officer Clint Emerson. 

100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Surviving in the Wild and Being Prepared for Any Disaster

100 Deadly Skills: COMBAT EDITION: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Crushing Your Enemy, Fighting for Your Life, and Embracing Your Inner Badass

The Rugged Life: The Modern Guide to Self-Reliance: A Survival Guide

Look at the world now and ask yourself if you need to learn a few things. 

The 100 Deadly Skills series is full of short chapters that are a couple of pages long with lots of pictures. I can find direction by the growth of leaves on a tree and plug bullet holes with duct tape and a credit card. 

Pat MacNamara appears in the Combat edition, which had QR codes linked to videos of the certified professionals teaching. 

The book I started my year out with was…

Scary God: Introducing The Fear of the Lord to the Postmodern Church (Mattie Montgomery)

Discover the great wonder and wild freedom the fear of the Lord can bring.

What does the Bible mean when it says we are to fear God? Is it difficult for you to reconcile the two sides of God’s nature—His wrath and His love? Mattie Montgomery teaches that a right pursuit of the fear, fire, and fullness of God can lead you into the knowledge of a side of God you may never have imagined before.

 He notes that the fear of God does not mean that we should be afraid of God; but rather, that we should be afraid to be against Him. And, if we abide in Christ, we can live in the continual awareness of the mighty Warrior King who calls us beloved. That realization is the glorious convergence of respect, awe, reverence, adoration, instruction, honor, worship, discipline, confidence, thanksgiving, love, and yes . . . fear. The result—a joyful experience of God’s grandeur and a grateful realization that only through Him do we receive His provisions and protection and are able to echo the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 8:31, “If God is for me, who can be against me?”

This was another book I read twice and reviewed here.

Last but not least…

Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes (Voddie T. Baucham Jr.)

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the family, and that of fathers in particular. We’ve heard it said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation.” But it can also be said that “as the father goes, so goes the family.” Consequently, Voddie Baucham has set out to teach men how to faithfully shepherd their families.

Derived from Baucham’s monthly meetings with men in his church, Family Shepherds calls men to accountability for their God-given responsibilities in their homes. Baucham’s clear style and practical approach will spur men to protect their marriage, raise kingdom-minded children, value the synergy between church and home, and navigate difficult family dynamics.

Family Shepherds is a book for any husband or father looking to lead well, and it will serve as an excellent resource for churches looking to equip the men in their congregations.

There you have it—my favorite books of the year. Of course, you should read all of them. 


At least one. If you can read your phone, you can read a book. Some of the above even have pictures. 

And it will help you become Batman.

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