Every time I finish a book, I rate it. I rate a book according to it's literary merit (how well is it written?), it's factual accuracy and biblical faithfulness (how true is it?), and it's personal helpfulness to me (how much did I benefit from it and/or enjoy it?).
This is totally subjective, but it serves a good purpose. It reminds me later of which books are worth re-reading and highly recommending to others.
I rate books with stars.
*One star is a very, very bad book. I rarely read these, because if a book is that bad, I'll quit reading before I get to the end.
**Two stars is pretty bad too, and only about 2% of the books I read get only two stars (there's only been one so far this year).
***Three stars is what I'd consider average. I give this to quite a few books.
****Four stars is very good. I give this to many books.
*****And a few books receive the highest rating - five stars - excellent. I give this rating to perhaps 20% of the books I read.
(Understand that I'm constantly on the lookout for the most highly recommended books, especially books on theology, spirituality, church history, and exegesis of Scripture).
With that explanation for this post, here are the five star books I've read this year:
1. The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason
2. Above All Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World by David Wells
3. The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
4. Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition through the Lens of Scripture by David Powlison
5. Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson
6. The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande
7. The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation by Grant Osborne
8. Leap Over a Wall: Earthly Spirituality for Everyday Christians by Eugene Peterson
9. Dominion and Dynasty: A Biblical Theology of the Hebrew Bible by Stephen Dempster
10. Presence of the Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism by George Eldon Ladd
11. The Christian Ministry: with an Inquiry into the Causes of its Inefficiency by Charles Bridges