Books and Tunes For Your Christmas Shopping List

It’s the time of year when people start making their Christmas lists. I read a ton of books and listen to a ton of music so I thought I would give you some recommendations for your own Christmas list.


League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth by Mark Fainaru-Wada

An absolutely fascinating book detailing the slow discovery of the massive concussion epidemic in the NFL. The book also shows the great effort made by the NFL to downplay and minimize the epidemic. Dipping into the lives of Mike Webster, Junior Seau, Andre Watters, Merril Hoge, and many other NFL greats, this book would be a great gift for the sports fan in your life.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

I always enjoy the writing of Malcolm Gladwell, and this book was no exception. In this book, Gladwell, who is always exploring counter-intuitive, contrarian ideas, tries to understand why “Goliaths” are so often beaten by underdogs. Although I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the others written by Gladwell it was still worth the read.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

This was, by far, one my favorite books of the year. As a self-described introvert, it helped me understand why certain things are easy for me and other things are more difficult. It also forced me to wrestle through the biblical ramifications of being an introvert. After all, the Bible doesn’t ever use the words “introvert” or “extrovert” to describe people. These are sociological distinction, not biblical distinctions. Nevertheless, I think this book contains a lot of common grace wisdom, and I recommend it for anyone who would describe themselves as an introvert or who lives with an introvert.

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris

David Sedaris is one of the funniest writers out there, and his ability to find the hilarious in the mundane is simply brilliant. Whether he’s talking about French dentistry, his father’s dinnertime attire (shirt and underpants), or the time he tried to buy the skeleton of a murdered pygmy, he’s always funny and often profound.

Jesus On Every Page: 10 Simple Ways To Seek and Find Jesus In the Old Testament by David Murray

The Old Testament often seems archaic, difficult to understand, and difficult to relate to every day life. But Jesus himself said that all of the Old Testament spoke of and pointed to him. In light of this truth it is essential that we study the Old Testament. David Murray has written a very helpful book which will help you see Christ throughout the entire Old Testament. This book is certainly deep, but it is not overly difficult to read. I recommend it for every Christian.

Living By Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon by Tom J. Nettles

Full disclosure: I haven’t had the chance to read this yet. It’s sitting on my shelf and I’m dying to get to it. But without even reading it I can tell it’s going to be an outstanding book. It’s obvious that Tom Nettles has immersed himself in Spurgeon’s life, and that this large book is the result of that total immersion. I am really looking forward to learning more about and being inspired by Charles Spurgeon.


Instruments of Mercy by Beautiful Eulogy

Fantastic rap music blended with sound theology. As a fully suburbanized, middle-class, white guy I realize I’m not really up on what makes for good rap music. Nevertheless, I enjoy this album.

Forverly by Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones

Billie Joe Armstrong (lead singer of Green Day) and Norah Jones have collaborated to come up with a pretty cool album. It’s exactly folk, it’s not exactly country. It’s just good.

Comedown Machine?by The Strokes

I’m a big fan of The Strokes, and their most recent album was not a disappointment. The electric guitar work is fantastic, the bass lines are outstanding, and the melodies are catchy. Definitely worth buying.


Stephen Altrogge

I'm a husband, dad, writer, & Mixed Martial Arts Salsa Dancing Champion. I created The Blazing Center. I've also written some books which people seem to like. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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