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Books Of The Year/Annual Books Issue

Because we know our members love to read, WORLD has dedicated at least one issue of the magazine every year since 1999 to books, authors, and trends in the publishing industry. Since 2008, we’ve also announced the winners of our Books of the Year.

WORLD’s Books of the Year


Christianity and Liberalism (1923) by J. Gresham Machen, Elisabeth Elliot: A Life by Lucy S.R. Austen, Being Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn, The Worry-Free Parent by Sissy Goff, Critical Dilemma by Neil Shenvi and Pat Sawyer, The Wager by David Grann


Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh by Thomas S. Kidd, Why I Stand by Jonathan Isaac, A Sea Between Us by Yosely Pereira and Billy Ivey, More Than a White Man’s Religion by Abdu Murray


What About Evil? by Scott Christensen, Return of the God Hypothesis by Stephen C. Meyer, The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, edited by Amity Shlaes and Matthew Denhart, The Good American by Robert D. Kaplan


Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund, The Mystery of Life’s Origin by Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley, Roger Olsen, James Tour, Stephen Meyer, Jonathan Wells, Guillermo Gonzalez, Brian Miller, and David Klinghoffer, Divided We Fall by David French, After the Last Border by Jessica Goudeau, The Year of Peril by Tracy Campbell


Free to Believe by Luke Goodrich, After ISIS by Seth J. Frantzman, The Thirty-Year Genocide by Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi, American History by Thomas S. Kidd, Working by Robert A. Caro, Darwin Devolves by Michael J. Behe, and J-Curve by Paul E. Miller


The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann, The Once and Future Worker by Oren Cass, No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid, A Nation Forged by Crisis by Jay Sexton, and Therefore I Have Hope by Cameron Cole


Poor No More by Peter Cove, Red Famine by Anne Applebaum, The Beginning of Politics by Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes, Darwin’s House of Cards by Tom Bethell, Living Life Backward by David Gibson, and Reformed Expository Commentary

2016 (April–December):

Illiberal Reformers by Thomas C. Leonard, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, Street of Eternal Happiness by Rob Schmitz, Undeniable by Douglas Axe, and The Life We Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson


In Those Nightmarish Days by Peretz Opoczynski and Josef Zelkowicz, The Prodigal Church by Jared C. Wilson, Wind Sprints by Joseph Epstein, and Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler


America in Retreat by Bret Stephens, The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson, and enGendered: God’s Gift of Gender Difference in Relationship by Sam A. Andreades


Mission at Nuremberg by Tim Townsend, The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly, and What’s Your Worldview by James N. Anderson


Escape from North Korea by Melanie Kirkpatrick


The Triumph of Christianity by Rodney Stark


God and Evolution edited by Jay Richards and Should Christians Embrace Evolution? edited by Norman C. Nevin


The Battle by Arthur C. Brooks


English Standard Version Study Bible


The Reason for God by Timothy Keller

Annual Books Issue


2023 Books of the Year

A book first published in 1923 is this year’s top read. Plus, 17 more standout books on history, religion, science, parenting, and more

Issue Date: Dec 2, 2023


2022 Books of the Year

This year’s selections highlight a complex Founding Father, personal and political freedom, a defense of Christianity, a backlash to the sexual revolution, and more

Issue Date: Dec 3, 2022


Remembering who’s in charge

Books that remind us God rules at the street level and beyond

Issue Date: Dec 4, 2021


2020 Books of the Year

Timely books in a tough season

Issue Date: Dec 5, 2020


2019 Books of the Year

Great books tell stories. Here’s our pick of vivid and insightful new releases for better understanding America, world events, history, science, and theology

Issue Date: Dec 7, 2019


Beyond platform shoes

Beyond platform shoes

Issue Date: Dec 8, 2018


B is for Books

WORLD’s 2017 Books of the Year

Issue Date: Dec 9, 2017


Books of the Year—sort of

As we transition to more timely reporting, here are 12 pages on top books published from April through December, 2016

Issue Date: Mar 18, 2017


2016 Books of the Year

Persecution. Cultural pressure. Death, marriage, fun

Issue Date: Jun 25, 2016


Mmmm ... four books of the year

A committee of WORLD writers chose these books, spread among four categories, that should be ‘chewed and digested’

Issue Date: Jun 27, 2015


Words on paper

Three reasons for pessimism, and three more for optimism, about the future of printed books

Issue Date: Jun 28, 2014


Making tracks

Superb reporting and storytelling about a modern-day underground railroad make Melanie Kirkpatrick’s Escape from North Korea WORLD’s Book of the Year

Issue Date: Jun 29, 2013


Books are special

The written word is a uniquely powerful, and powerfully Christian, tool of communication

Issue Date: Jul 14, 2012


Books of the Year

Two new books are important responses to the rapidly growing promotion of theistic- or, more properly, deistic-evolution

Issue Date: Jul 2, 2011


More than money

WORLD’s 2010 Book of the Year makes a compelling case that the clash between free enterprise and socialism is a moral battle

Issue Date: Jul 3, 2010


Book of the year

It’s based on the best-selling book of all time, but WORLD’s 2009 winner takes Bible study to new levels

Issue Date: Jul 4, 2009


What’s black and white and read all over?

Graphic novels are the latest blockbuster answer to an image-driven culture in search of stories and meaning

Issue Date: Jun 28, 2008


7 fat years

A wealth of treadmill books, 400 to be almost exact, boiled down to an all-time favorite 100

Issue Date: Jun 30, 2007


From disapproval to delight

Novels and movies were once generally suspect in evangelical eyes, but now the emphasis is on discernment. Thirty evangelicals reveal their favorites

Issue Date: Jul 1, 2006


Out of the ghetto

Christian publishers reach for a share of the secular market, mainstream publishers jostle for Christian market share–and readers win from the competition

Issue Date: Jul 2, 2005


Truth and fiction

A Christian publishing company aims to restore a great literary heritage: high-quality, general-market fiction written by Christians and from a biblical worldview

Issue Date: Jul 3, 2004


Western culture’s Top 50 books

Give yourself an education by checking out these books

Issue Date: Jul 5, 2003


A look in the mirror

Books–how they’re written and who writes them, the ideas they fight over, and the unpleasant implications they ignore–tell a lot about a culture

Issue Date: Jul 7, 2002


Going mainstream

Trends in the publishing industry are opening up new avenues for Christian writers, and some Christian books are selling millions of copies in mainstream bookstores. Does this mean that Christianity has become culturally influential again? Or does it merely signal that Christians have been swallowed up by the larger culture?

Issue Date: Jul 7, 2001


The Nifty 50

WORLD’s list of 50 great 20th century books for children

Issue Date: Jul 1, 2000


Top 40 Books

The best titles proclaiming or applying a biblical worldview in a hostile 20th century

Issue Date: Jul 13, 1999