I slowed down a bit on my reading in 2017. Mostly laziness on my part, but also a little intentionality to focus on other areas of life.
Here’s my top 5 books for the past year, along with some runners up out of the 2 dozen or so I read.
FOR MY MARRIAGE:
Friends, Partners & Lovers, by Kevin A. Thompson
Right out of the gate, the author had me with these words: “The #1 cause of divorce is a lack of intentional investment in the marriage.” I am so thankful and blessed to have Debbie as my spouse, as we just celebrated our 38th anniversary. However, it can always be better, and the word intentional was an attention-getter for me. His premise is that our spouse should be our friend… our partner… and our lover… and each of those roles impact our relationship. I’ll be working on these principles the rest of my life!
FOR MY CARE FOR OTHERS:
Alongside, by Sarah Beckman
Sarah is a colleague who also serves on the faculty of the SCORRE conference. More than that, she is sensitive and aware to the needs of others, and has practical insight on how everyone (including me) can be better at loving our neighbors. “We are meant to be part of the physical human illustration of God’s power. We are meant to help, heal, minister to, and love someone for His sake.” Amen.
FOR MY INNER MAN:
Act Like Men, by James McDonald
This “fiddles with the middle of the Oreo cookie”, as the old advertisement goes. McDonald is very vulnerable with his own story, and uses it to challenge men like me to be more. The book is outlined on 1 Cor 16:13-14… “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” Here’s one quote: “Men don’t open up because they are prideful and self-protective. The lonely, isolated man is that way because he won’t make himself known to others. Disclosure of self is the currency of intimacy. It’s what our wives want and what true friendship demands.”
FOR MY CAREER:
The Ideal Team Player, by Patrick Lencioni
On my top reads for the 2nd year in a row – easy to get through and very applicable. After it was featured at the Willow Global Leadership Summit, I pulled it back off the shelf and read it again… and then passed it along to my best friend. Focusing on three essential qualities for a new hire (Humility, Hunger & Smarts), Lencioni sprinkles lots of life wisdom throughout, such as “So many people there are so concerned about being socially conscious and environmentally aware, but they don’t give a second thought to how they treat the guy washing their car or cutting their grass.”
The Cubs Way, by Tom Verducci
What’s the saying… “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Well, this indeed was a guilty pleasure during Spring Training and basking in the afterglow of the historic season for the World Champs. I did learn some applicable leadership lessons from the book, which is so smartly written by one of the leading sports writers of our time. And I read 9 new words I had to look up in the dictionary… (insouciance, bucolic, hirsuteness, etc.)
I’m already working on my list for 2018… what’s on your list? I’m always open to recommendations! AND… I always type up my highlights… if you’d like a copy of any of these, just ask and they are yours.
ALSO WORTH THE READ (in no particular order):
FOR MY CAREER:
- Your Intentional Difference, by Tucker, Hahn & Roberson (helping understand what makes me (and you) unique
- 101 Social Media Tactics, by Mathos & Norman (this old dog is trying to learn new tricks)
- The Choice, by Hoag, Rodin & Willmer (A great reminder of how I should view God’s resources)
- Bigger Faster Leadership, by Sam Chand (Sam is a thought leader, and becoming a fav)
- The Principle of the Path, by Andy Stanley (a classic oldie, but I needed to be refreshed)
- Creativity, by Phil Cooke (his blog is a “must-follow” for me)
FOR MY SOUL:
- Divine Direction, by Craig Groeschel (I bought 12 copies to give to graduating HS seniors)
- Navigating Life with More than Enough, by Todd DeKruyter (I’ve known Todd since he was a squirt)
- Goliath Must Fall, by Louie Giglio (got a client hooked on this book for his ministry)
- You’ll Get Through This, by Max Lucado (focusing on lessons from the life of Joseph)
- Intentional Living, by John Maxwell (classic Maxwell – intentional was my word for 2017
- True Spirituality, by Chip Ingram (Romans 12 – a powerful & transformational study)