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Books that shaped me in 2014

December 30, 2014 — 1 Comment

creativityinc_coverSo this has become a bit of a favorite post every year for me. It’s my annual “here’s what I read” post. If you aren’t really a reader let me push you a bit to make 2015 the year that changes. Set a reasonable goal for yourself and get started. Maybe one or two of these will be interesting to you:

  1. 24/6 – Sleeth
  2. How to be Rich – Stanley
  3. Growth Hacker Marketing – Holiday
  4. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right hook – Vaynerchuk
  5. It’s Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men – Cathy
  6. Worry Free Finances – Siebeling
  7. The Essential Wooden – Wooden
  8. Silos, Politics and Turf Wars – Lencioni
  9. Emotionally Healthy Church – Scazzerro
  10. Be Real – Bezet
  11. Unleash! – Noble
  12. Overwhelmed – Noble
  13. The Rise of the Nones – White
  14. Difference – Jiwa
  15. I like giving – Formsma
  16. Four Cups – Hodges
  17. Switch – Heath
  18. Creativity, Inc. – Catmull
  19. Moment Maker – Whittaker
  20. The Zimzum of love – Bell
  21. Cover Her – Hairston
  22. The Grace of God – Stanley
  23. The War of Art – Pressfield
  24. Die Empty – Henry
  25. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Lewis
  26. The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player – Maxwell

My favorite read this year would have to be Creativity, Inc by Catmull. It’s basically a behind the scenes look at the world of Pixar and their creative processes. I absolutely loved it. I loved the stories behind the stories – like how the movie UP was originally about a castle floating in the sky where a king lived with his two sons – each one trying to inherit the kingdom.

Another great read from this year was Andy Stanley’s The Grace of God. Honestly, if you’re looking for something to renew your faith or maybe you are exploring faith in general – you gotta read that book.

Looking over the list I see books covering marketing, leadership, finances, spiritual development, emotional health, marriage, and creativity. I’m thankful for the ways these authors shaped me this year and I believe I’m better because of them.

2015 already feels to me like a year where I want to return to some of my favorite books that birthed some of my biggest dreams. There are at least 3-4 books I can’t wait to re-read that moved me for the first time as many as 10 years ago.

How about you? What were your favorite reads from the last year? Anything you’d recommend for me?

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Books I Read in 2013

December 30, 2013 — 2 Comments

book-decisive-265x440I like to keep track every year of what I’ve read. To me it’s sort of a personal history of how I’ve been growing and learning. I always look back and sort of lament the fact that I didn’t make much time for novels. But who has time for that when there’s so much I need to learn? Haha. Maybe 2014 will see more novels, but here’s the list from 2013:

  1. Victory over the darkness – Anderson
  2. Purple Cow – Godin (re-read)
  3. The meaning of marriage – Tim Keller
  4. Tribes – Godin (re-read)
  5. After you believe – Wright
  6. Quiet – Cain
  7. What we talk about when we talk about God – Bell
  8. The Catalyst Leader – Lomenick
  9. Make Every Day Count – Maxwell
  10. A New Kind of Christian – McLaren (re-read)
  11. Jesus is _______ – Smith
  12. The story we find ourselves in – McLaren (re-read)
  13. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team – Lencioni (re-read)
  14. God of the Underdogs – Matt Keller
  15. One Question – Coleman
  16. The Tipping Point – Gladwell
  17. Decisive – Dan and Chip Heath
  18. Ready, Set, Grow – Wilson
  19. Read this before our next meeting – Pittampalli
  20. The Bondage Breaker – Anderson
  21. Be a people person – Maxwell
  22. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn – Maxwell
  23. Developing a theology of Planning – Morgan (ebook, short)
  24. Developing a theology of Leadership – Morgan (ebook, short)
  25. The Man Called Cash – Steve Turner
  26. A Horse and His Boy – Lewis
  27. Prince Caspian – Lewis
  28. Next Generation Leader – Stanley (re-read)
  29. Sacred Rhythms – Ruth Haley Barton
  30. David and Goliath – Gladwell

My favorite leadership book this year was “Decisive” – it’s a great read for learning to make better decisions or for someone who counsels others frequently. In spiritual development, I’d go with “Sacred Rhythms.” Gladwell’s “David and Goliath” was also a favorite fun read, inspiring me to look at seeming disadvantages differently. Finally, I’m a sucker for Johnny Cash stuff, so “The Man Called Cash” was really fun.

So that’s my year of reading! As usual, I’d expect some “I can’t believe you didn’t read….” or “this list is lame” (Jared Sumners), or whatever you’ve got. What should make my list for 2014?

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2012 Reading List

December 31, 2012 — 2 Comments

I am convinced that if a person isn’t learning and growing they either aren’t having an impact at all or their impact will be short lived. So every year I set some goals for myself in terms of reading and learning. This year my goal was to read 36 books. Well, it’s time to pay the piper. While I didn’t quite reach my goal, I didn’t do too shabby either. Here’s the list:

  1. Money, Eternity, and Possessions – Alcorn
  2. The Cloak –  Gogol  // Master and Man – Tolstoy
  3. Pujols: More than the game – Ellsworth
  4. Built to Last – Collins
  5. Big churches getting bigger – Morgan
  6. Courageous Leadership – Hybels
  7. Gracism – Anderson
  8. Developing the Leader within you – Maxwell
  9. The Advantage – Lencioni
  10. Velvet Elvis – Bell
  11. The Fred Factor – Sanborn
  12. Simply Jesus – NT Wright
  13. IT – Groeschel
  14. Platform – Hyatt
  15. The New Traditional Church – Tony Morgan
  16. Real Marriage – Driscoll
  17. The Measure of our Success – Lovejoy
  18. The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make – Finzel
  19. You are a Writer – Goins
  20. Creating Innovators – Wagner
  21. A million miles in a thousand years – Miller
  22. The myth of a Christian nation – Boyd
  23. Greater – Furtick
  24. Fresh Air – Hodges
  25. God’s Politics – Wallis
  26. Deep and Wide – Stanley
  27. Love Does – Goff
  28. It’s Personal: surviving and thriving on the journey of planting a church – Bloye
  29. The 5 Levels of Leadership – Maxwell

Somewhere during the year I made the transition to mostly digital books. While I sometimes miss the feel of a book in my hands, I don’t regret it. I now have all my books right there in my kindle app and all of my highlights and notes are synced across all my platforms through Evernote. That means no more searching and wondering where that one line of that one book was (or was it the other book?) ever again. Everything is now searchable instantly.

I also learned that this much reading was a bit too much for me. Along with doing a reading plan to read through the bible this year, I found myself sometimes reading simply to check it off a list and get on to the next one – after all there was a rather aggressive goal to reach. I need to spend more time digesting what I’m reading and trying to take one or two key concepts or thoughts away from what I read instead of the “drink from a firehose” technique.

It’s hard to say what the “best” book I read this year was, mainly because I read many of them for different reasons. Some were for sermon preparation, others for spiritual growth, others for personal development. But I think the one or two books that I will come back to again and again are “Courageous Leadership” by Hybels, “Deep and Wide” by Stanley, and probably the one that will continue to shape me the most was “The 5 Levels of Leadership” by Maxwell.

So I’m already forming a reading list for 2013. Many of the titles on that list are re-reads. I want to go back to some of the books that shaped me the most and revisit them. What about you? What should have made my list this year? What would you recommend I get to in 2013?

 

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