In case it’s of use to anyone, I’ve prepared a list of my top 10 books that I’ve read this last year. (That can include books that were not published within the last year, though the majority of them were published in 2023 or 2022):
- Ancient Christians: An Introduction for Latter-day Saints
- I still think this book is fantastic as an introduction to early Christianity, something that we’ve been needing as a community. The book is beautiful to boot, with lots of artwork included throughout.
- Kenneth L. Cannon II, George Q. Cannon: Politician, Publisher, Apostle of Polygamy
- I don’t think you can overstate the importance of George Q. Cannon in late 19th century Mormonism. This biography threads the needle beautifully between being a quick, accessible read and a biography that does the man justice.
- R. Devan Jensen and Rosalind Meno Ram, Battlefields to Temple Grounds: Latter-Day Saints in Guam and Micronesia
- There is so much of our history as a faith community that takes place in the Pacific Ocean, but much of it has had minimal coverage in our historiography. This groundbreaking book presents the parts of that history that took place in Micronesia and Guam.
- George Handley, Lowell L. Bennion: A Mormon Educator
- Lowell Bennion is a fascinating figure with provocative writings and this volume provides a great introduction to him and his work.
- W. Paul Reeve, Let’s Talk About Race and Priesthood
- This is a fast read, but a deeply researched take on a controversial issue in our history.
- Joanna Brooks, Rachel Hunt Steenblik, Hannah Wheelwright, Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings
- This is one of the books that was released a while ago, but which I read for the first time in 2023. My goal was to gain a better understanding of feminism in the Church. This anthology is an eye opening and thought provoking collection of works that has had an impact on my own thinking.
- Stephen C Taysom, Like a Fiery Meteor: The Life of Joseph F. Smith
- The first scholarly biography of an individual who stands out as one of the most influential figures in shaping the modern experience of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this is an invaluable contribution to the field.
- Alice Faulkner Burch, My Lord, He Calls Me: Stories of Faith by Black American Latter-day Saints
- This is a beautiful collection of stories and essays about Black members of the Church and their experiences across the entire history of our religion.
- John A Gonzalez, No More Strangers and Foreigners: The Melding of Cultures Against the Backdrop of Deep Religious Faith
- This is another book that was published a few years ago. It came onto my radar while working on my Mexico Mission Hymns Project. (I promise that I’ll finish the actual hymns part of that soon, I’ve just had a couple projects that have been more pressing lately.). It’s a fun and interesting look into a family that settled in the Mexican colonies, including a lot of info on the first native Mexican Latter-day Saint to serve a full-time mission and his contributions to the faith.
- Andrew Bolton and Casey Paul Griffiths, Restorations: Scholars in Dialogue from Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- I have a personal fascination with understanding different expressions of the Latter Day Saint movement and this was a fascinating glimpse into both commonalities and differences between members of Community of Christ and members of our Church. While I felt like some of our scholars came across as narrow-minded at times, I still enjoyed reading the discussions that the scholars had with each other.
- Diné dóó Gáamalii: Navajo Latter-day Saint Experiences in the Twentieth Century
- Joseph Smith’s Gold Plates
- Vengeance Is Mine: The Mountain Meadows Massacre and Its Aftermath
There you have it. What were some of your favorite books this year?