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Best of Books 2023

The year is coming to an end, which means it’s time to reflect on our favorite reads! On this episode, Russell Moore and producer Ashley Hales discuss the books that have stuck with them this year. Their conversation touches on the winners of Christianity Today’s 2023 Book Awards and the back catalogs of authors whose new releases are making a splash. 

Their conversation spans biographies, memoirs, fiction, and more. Moore and Hales discover themes across genres and consider how their 2023 reading might inform their 2024 thinking. 

For more insight into what Russell is reading throughout the year, subscribe to his newsletter here

Russell’s Top Ten Books of 2023:

  1. How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen by David Brooks 
  2. The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism by Tim Alberta
  3. Watership Down: The Graphic Novel by Richard Adams, adapted and Illustrated by James Sturm and Joe Sutphin
  4. All My Knotted-Up Life: A Memoir by Beth Moore
  5. C.S. Lewis in America: Readings and Receptions, 1935-1947  by Mark A. Noll
  6. Godless Crusade: Religion, Populism, and Right-Wing Identity Politics by Tobias Cremer
  7. King: A Life by Jonathan Eig
  8. How Far to the Promised Land: One Black Family’s Story of Hope and Survival in the American South by Esau McCaulley
  9. Self-Made: Creating Our Identities from DaVinci to the Kardashians by Tara Isabella Burton
  10. Lights a Lovely Mile: Collected Sermons of the Church Year by Eugene H. Peterson

Additional books mentioned in this episode include: 

Episodes of The Russell Moore Show featuring authors discussed in this episode include:

Ashley Hales is the producer of The Russell Moore Show, founder of Willowbrae Institute, and an author. Find out more at

Do you have a question for Russell Moore? Send it to [email protected].

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“The Russell Moore Show” is a production of Christianity Today

Executive Producers: Erik Petrik, Russell Moore, and Mike Cosper

Host: Russell Moore

Producer: Ashley Hales

Associate Producers: Abby Perry and McKenzie Hill

Director of Operations for CT Media: Matt Stevens

Audio engineering by Dan Phelps

Video producer: Abby Egan

Theme Song: “Dusty Delta Day” by Lennon Hutton

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).