Our 2023 Readers’ Best Awards!!!

Thanks to all our readers who voted for their favorite new books of 2023 in our recent poll!

We received over 1000 votes, and after tallying up the results, we are delighted to announce five award-winning books…

*** The Winner:

The Book of Common Courage: Prayers and Poems to find Strength in Small Moments
K.J. Ramsey

Hardback: Zondervan, January 2023.
Buy Now: [ BookShop ] [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]

The Book of Common Courage is a collection of prayers, poems, and blessings to help you find a flicker of strength in the small and hard moments of life. Beloved author and therapist K. J. Ramsey invites you to journey word-by-word through Psalm 23 to experience how the Good Shepherd is with you and for you, especially in the valleys of life. When you struggle to find the words to hold your pain or trauma, be encouraged to cultivate the compassion and courage to believe that your story will, in fact, end in joy.

*** Runner-Up:

The Scandal of Leadership: Unmasking the Powers of Domination in the Church
J.R. Woodward

Paperback: 100 Movements, April 2023
Buy Now:  [ BookShop ] [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle 

The Scandal of Leadership tackles one of the most urgent challenges facing the church today – the promulgation of domineering leadership – and rightly casts this problem as more than just a matter of individual leaders gone astray but rather of broken systems of formation and imitation.

– Matthew Croasmun ,
associate research scholar, Yale Center for Faith & Culture

*** Watch a video conversation with the author

*** Honorable Mentions:

(alphabetically by author’s last name)

Orphaned Believers: How a Generation of Christian Exiles Can Find the Way Home
Sara Billups

Paperback: Baker Books, 2023
Buy Now: [ BookShop ] [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]

*** Read our review of this book

A Holy Haunting: Why Faith Isn’t a Leap but a Series of Staggers from One Safe Place to Another
Sam D. Kim

Paperback: Morgan James Publishing, 2023
Buy Now: [ BookShop ] [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
*** Read our review of this book

Sacred Self-Care: Daily Practices for Nurturing Our Whole Selves
Chanequa Walker-Barnes

Paperback: HarperOne, 2023
Buy Now: BookShop ]Amazon ] [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]
*** Read an excerpt from this book

Our 2023 Advent Calendar
With Our Picks for the Best Books of the Year!


C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at:

Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior

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