One of my chief goals for this year is to read more. I wrote about why and how here: Read Less Blogs and More Books.
The past couple of years I’ve made a conscious effort to shift from less input to deeper reading. Why? Because my voracious reading of new blogs and articles is actually making me less wise. I’m replacing those “must read” late-breaking-this-is-going-to-change-your-life blogposts and articles with the slow, harder work of reading a book. Books make me slow down and absorb information instead of just letting information go in one ear and out the other.
- I’m tracking how many books I read each year
- I’ve started listening to audiobooks. I’ve found one of the easiest ways to read more is to take advantage of dead time in my schedule – like driving.
- I’m committed to reading every night before bed. A great side-effect: when my head hits the pillow I’m asleep in seconds.
It’s April and I’ve already read as many books as I read all last year.
One thing I’ve found challenging – where to find good book recommendations. So in the vein of “do unto others”…
Here’s a few of my favorite books I’ve read in the past year:
- The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving – Alcorn
- Short and powerful. Gonna buy it for all our graduating seniors.
- Preaching – Tim Keller
- Not just for preachers. Incredible insight for anyone that leads a Bible study, disciples, or teaches God’s Word in any other way. An easier read than I thought it would be.
- Shadow Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot
- Probably my all-time favorite book. I’ve read it many times.
- The God Ask: A Fresh, Biblical Approach to Personal Support Raising
- Not sure why I waited so long to read this. Must read for anyone who raises support.
- Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America – John G. Turner
- SUPER interesting. All Cru staff should read this. Interesting because the author writes as an outside and honestly presents Dr. Bright and Crusade, warts and all. John Turner was not setting out to write a book on Bill Bright. In fact, he knew little of Bill Bright before writing the book. He wanted to write a book on how Evangelicalism became a dominant force in American culture. And as he began to research, he found that few people had a greater influence on the rise of evangelical Christianity in the 20th century, than Bill Bright and Campus Crusade.
- The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
- In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin
- The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey
- How we Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World- Steven Johnson
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
- Between the World and Me
- “It is written as a letter to the author’s teenaged son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being black in the United States. Coates recapitulates the American history of violence against black people and the incommensurate policing of black youth.”
- What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done – Matt Perman
- Highly recommended book – not only covers how to better get things done, but why should we as Christians be productive and effective with our time.
- “When we are being productive, we are actually doing good works, which is part of the purpose for which God created us (Eph. 2:10).”
- “Be efficient with things so that you can be effective with people.”
- “We can redefine productivity this way: to be productive is to be fruitful in good works.”
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
- Very helpful if you, like me, are an introvert. Or if you lead introverts. Or if you are married to or have children who are introverts. OK, you should probably read this book.
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
- The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business – Lencioni