Reading books opens minds, challenges notions, informs, and entertains. I like to put together a top 10 list of the books I have read over the past year. When I say “read” I mean reading a physical copy or listening in audio format. Two-thirds of the books I completed in 2018 were of the audio variety experienced while running, driving, doing yard work, etc. So here is the list for this past year. These are presented in calendar order, not preference. The early ones I finished early in the year and the later ones I finished later in the year.
1. 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, by Amy Morin. This is an adapted volume compatible to her 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. Both are tremendous book. All of us need to grow in our grit, stamina, and perseverance.
2. Echoes of Exodus, by Alastair Roberts and Andrew Wilson. This book traces themes of redemption or deliverance through Scripture. It provides a wonderful lens to view God’s work throughout time. It was an excellent resource for our two message series “Deliverance” on the book of Exodus, and “Deliverance Stories” from the Gospel of John.
3. What Does The Bible Say About Homosexuality,by Kevin DeYoung. Everything DeYoung writes is well researched and hard to contest his research or conclusions. Certainly a timely message with the material presented in a non-emotional, Bible-based way.
4. Columbine,by Dave Cullen. The book is called the definitive book on the tragedy in Colorado. I have an interest in understanding people’s minds, how they think and process. The book deals deeply with the two boys and their family situations. Interestingly the leader of the pair was wearing a tee shirts that said “Natural Selection” under his trench coat that awful day. He set out to demonstrate that he was the strongest and should survive.
5. Shoedog, by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. Not really an individual to emulate. I was taken by his passion for shoes, and life. There is something there to that as Christians have the greatest story in the world of which to get most passionate about.
6. North, by Scot Jurek. The book recounts Jurek’s effort to set the record for fastest traverse of the Appalachian Trail. Again, not a person to emulate his character. But a story of drive and passion. And Christians have the greatest reason to be passionate. Plus it will keep me running a little further.
7. Everybody Always, by Bob Goff. I don’t know how I never heard of this guy before two years ago. Goff is a dynamic individual with a passion for life and for God. He presents some remarkable stories challenging readers to love everybody always. I could use the reminder.
8. Enduring Courage, by John Ross. This is an account of Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I ace, race car driver, business leader, and more. He lived with drive and passion packing a full life into his years. I felt a connection as he is an Ohioan with roots back to Germany.
9. Emotional Intelligence, by Travis Bradberry. Self-awareness is one of life’s great gifts. And when someone does not have it, it is readily noticeable. It was good for me to grow in my self-awareness as well as social and relational skills. This book is very practical while Emotional Intelligenceby Daniel Goleman is outstanding, but heavier to digest.
10. The Ideal Team Player, by Patrick Lencioni. All of his are outstanding. This one arrives at three character qualities that presented as describing the kind of people to look for when adding to your team. He sees to be right on.
TWO BONUS RECOMMENDATIONS:
11. Finish, by John Acuff. Funny, practical, helpful, and motivating to anyone who wants to finish more of what they start. And I met Acuff in early May! One bit of wisdom was to cut goals in half. Too-large goals cause many people to stop trying. Cut the goal in half and progress is much easier, and you are more likely to strive and attain the goal.
12. Business for the Glory of God, by Wayne Grudem. Grudem’s theology book in thorough and can be grasped. This book is a thin volume accurately describing key business concepts from a biblical perspective. He deals with concepts like profit, ownership, productivity, competition, inequality of possessions. A great read.