12 Short Books Worth Reading

In one of my daughters' favorite books Dr. Seuss tells us, "The more you read, the more things you will know."

True. Reading is thinking is learning — and there are "mountains of treasures waiting to be mined." But this doesn't mean the books we read have to be long. As Pastor John explains,

What I have learned from [years] of serious reading is this. It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. (Quantitative Hopelessness and the Immeasurable Moment)

And sometimes this "sentence or two" is found in a short book. In fact, there's quite a collection of short books that are chocked full of insight. So we compiled a list: 12 books less than 150 pages that we think are some of the best short books out there. These books are small, but the hope is that you'll come away from them having learned a great deal.

  • Bible and Mission, Richard Bauckham
  • Children of the Living God, Sinclair Ferguson
  • Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, John Piper
  • Holiness, John Webster
  • Preaching and Biblical Theology, Edmund Clowney
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied, John Murray
  • Resurrection and Redemption, Richard Gaffin
  • Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ, John Piper
  • The Cross and Christian Ministry, D. A. Carson
  • The Cruciality of the Cross, P. T. Forsyth
  • The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, D. A. Carson
  • Full author jonathan parnell

    Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis–St. Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their five children. He is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary, author of Reading to Walk: Meditations for the Christian Life, and co-editor of Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice.