The Best Books I Read in 2015

book pileI try to read as much as possible. I think the phrase, “Leaders are readers” fueled this in me. That and the fact that my then 92-year-old mother-in-law mentioned at our Christmas morning breakfast that she had read 123 books in 2014.

So I created a reading list for 2015 with 24 books on it (see my post from January 2). I only read 8 of the 24, but I read an additional 18 during the year to make 26 total (with a couple weeks yet to go!).

If you grade on a curve (meaning not every book gets an “A”), I came up with my top 8 books the I personally read in 2015. Maybe this will prompt you to check out one of them for your 2016 reading.  In order:


satisfied2#1 – Satisfied: Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption    by Jeff Manion

from the book…“Contentment is the discipline of being fully alive to God and to others whatever our material circumstances. Contentment is not achieved through getting everything we want but by training the heart to experience full joy and deep peace even when we don’t have what we want. It is not simply living with less. It is a satisfied heart, a spirit that is alive to God and to others, whether or not we have what we desire. Contentment is being fully alive whatever our situation.”

simplify2#2 – Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul, by Bill Hybels

from the book… “What would my schedule look like if God were in charge of it?… The question isn’t, “What do I want to get done in the next 30 days?”, but “Who do I want to become in this next seasons of my life?”

breaking through2#3 – Breaking Through: Communications Lessons from the Locker Room, The Board Room, & The Oval Office, by Kevin Sullivan

from the book… “Behind every data point, statistic, and financial figure is the story of a person. As communicators, it is our job to find the personal stories that bring the facts to life in a meaningful way.”

#struggles2#4 – #struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World              by Craig Groeschel

from the book… “Life is not about how many “likes” you get. It is all about how much love you show.” … “If you are checking multiple times a day to see what people are saying about you, let’s call that what it is: idolatry.”

husbands field guide#5 – The Husband’s Field Guide: Navigating Your Wife’s Essential Oil Habit, by Andrew Jenkins

from the book… “The founder of Young Living focuses on learning about the plants God has given us stewardship over – and how to use them in the best possible way to bring health and healing and wholeness… All throughout the Old Testament (particularly in the time of Moses), we see the prominence of essential oils. There are well over 200 references.”

fr guide to irresistible comm2#6 – The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications:, Real-World Field-Tested Strategies for Raising more Money, by Jeff Brooks

from the book… “Treat your fundraising as a relationship – a reciprocal, give-and-take between your cause and the good people who make it possible.”

undone2#7 – Undone: Making Peace with an Unexpected Life, by Michele Cushatt

from the book… “I discovered something as I talked and prayed with the equally broken, weary, and in-pain women whose paths crossed mine: authenticity ministers far more than put-togetherness. And vulnerability builds a far stronger bond than perfection.”

wooden2#8 – Wooden: A Coach’s Life, by Seth Davis

A provocative and revelatory biography of the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden by one of America’s top college basketball writers. When I was in 7th grade, I won a state oratory contest using Wooden’s Pyramid to Success. This book shows much more about the man, the teacher, and the coach.


  • The Book of God, by Walter Wangerin, Jr.
  • Creativity, Inc, by Ed Cartmull
  • Effective Staffing for Vital Churches, by Bill Easum and Bill Tenny-Brittian
  • David & Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
  • 48 Days to the Work You Love, by Dan Miller
  • With Love from the Streets, by Nate Bull
  • Retention Fundraising, by Roger M. Craver
  • The Heart of Leadership, by Mark Miller
  • Fearless, by Max Lucado

Honorable Mention:

  • From Where God Sits, by Herb Shaffer
  • Toughness, by Jay Bilas
  • From Seed to Sapling, by Adam Sterenberg
  • The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, by Chapman and White
  • A Nice Little Place on the North Side, by George Will
  • Leading a Generous Church, by Todd McMichen
  • The Church Money Manual, by J. Clif Christopher
  • Preparing to Build, by Stephen Anderson
  • Extraordinary Money, by Michael Reeves
  • Successful Church Fundraising, by John Bisagno
  • The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, by John Maxwell


Mark Jevert

– Creative Strategist –
– committed hubby and devoted dad to three adult girls
– veteran youth work missionary
– passionate follower of Jesus