First Baptist Church, Mound City

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My Top 10 Books from 2016 (Caleb)

    It was New Years Eve, time was slowly ticking down. I felt immense pressure. Would I be able to make it? I only had pages left, but my concentration was quickly waning. I knew however, I might never have this opportunity again, so I pushed on. Finally, at 9:40pm, only 2 hours and twenty minutes before the New Year, I made it. In 2016 I was able to finish 100 books! Due to my job as a delivery driver for the first 7 plus months of the year, I was able to knock out dozens and dozens of audio books. This was a relatively new way for me to grow myself, while taking advantage of 'down time,' when my mind would not be otherwise occupied, and also made the time go much faster! 

   For the record, I listened to 94 books, and read 6 books. I read/listened to 50 non-fiction and 50 fiction books. This list will be composed of the Top 10 Non-Fiction books, and Top 3 Fiction books. The will NOT include books I have read before and are found in other such lists I have composed (i.e. - Mere Christianity, Good to Great). Also, they are not in order of best to worst, they are simply the 10 I found most interesting to pass along.

NON-Fiction

1. You Are NOT Special by David McCullough Jr. An insightful look at how our society is taking away one of the greatest gifts we can give our children, the gift of failure, freeing them from the impossible standards of perfection that participation trophies and helicopter parents have built into their mental psyche.

2. 13 Things Mental Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin. A very inspiring and practical book to help you develop mental grit. Just like physical strength, mental strength requires work and repetition of healthy habits.

3. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. A look at the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. The authors found that the only significant contributors to the status of a country was whether they had extractive political and economic institutions or inclusive political and economic institutions. I found the results and implications fascinating. 

4. Growing Up Social by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane. They ask the big question, is technology bringing your family together, or driving it apart. Children are spending more and more time in front of screens, what are the long term implications as well as practical steps towards dealing with this issue for children of all ages.

5. Tender Warrior by Stu Webber. A powerful look at what it means to be a Biblical, godly man. It brings up the four pillars of manhood: King, Warrior, Mentor, and Friend. One of the best books on manhood I have ever read. 

6. Tell It Well by Jennifer Spoelma. Ever felt unsure of how to share your faith? Felt afraid of being to pushy or not knowing the 'right' answers? This books equips you to be able to share the gospel in the most powerful way possible: your own story. 

7. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. Just in case you thought all the books I read were serious. They were not. This a hilarious love story between a man and food.

8. Smart Money Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruz. Practical insights to help raise the next generation to know and understand how money works. Found this book full of great ideas for raising my own 2 little ones!

9. Undaunted by Christine Caine. An inspiring story that helps you dare to do what God calls you to do, regardless of how large the external obstacles and how loud the internal voices. 

10. Do Over by Jon Acuff. A humorous guide for how to launch yourself into a new career. Gives intensely practical steps and fundamental skills you must develop in order to grow.

Fiction

1. Jack Ryan Series by Tom Clancy. Okay- this is cheating a little, but the whole series is fantastic, so I could list like 10 that would be awesome. 

2. Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini. Another fantastic series based in a fantasy world with dragons and magic! 

3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Author Conan Doyal. A classic work of literature that captures the imagination.