I love to read and consume books. They are a love of mine and have been for years. Whether you read a hard copy book in your hand, digital copy on your iPad or simply listen on Audible, books are the cornerstone to learning.
Books have the potential to change lives and make great gifts for most anyone in your life. As I put together my reading plan for 2016, I took a few moments to look back over what I read over the last twelve months, and I'd like to commend the six that had the biggest impact on me this past year, to you or someone you know.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnege - This was perhaps the most impactful book I read in 2015. It challenged how I thought about conversations and interactions, encouraged me to readdress many of my poorly formed habits and overall changed how I look at potentially difficult conversations. After applying the principles in the book to my personal life, I have seen tremendous positive impact just from every day interactions. Few books live up to the hype, but this one certainly does.
If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn - Few topics are as ever present in the news and conversation of life as the questions of evil and suffering in this world. While many have attempted to pen a response, few have succeeded to the extent of Randy Alcorn's If God Is Good. Here Randy delves deep into the subject by sharing compelling stories, raising provocative questions to help you think through this profound topic and find hope. This book had a profound impact on my theology of evil and suffering, expanded my the depth of my biblical understanding on the topic and helped me find rest in the sovereign arms of God.
H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. By Brad Lomenick - I enjoyed reading this book with my friend Scott Kedersha and discussing the 20 habits all leaders need to become more effective in their roles. Whether you are leading an organization or just starting your career this book will be of great benefit to you. I was especially impacted by the concept of habit development, which has served to inspire me to take a closer look at the habits I am intentionally cultivating and those I am unintentionally allowing to form. For more on Brad Lomenick's H3 Leadership, see my review here.
Killing Floor by Lee Child - Not long ago, I would have said that I didn't like fiction writing and found it to be a waste of time. Then I found Lee Child, whose bigger than life characters and stories have fueled my return to the fiction isle of my local book store. If you're looking for a good action packed novel with a good guy bigger and meaner than the bad guys, Jack Reacher is your guy. I actually enjoyed Killing Floor so much that I read all 30 of the Jack Reacher novels this past year.
30 Days to Understanding Your Bible by Max Anders - We read this book as part of our men's bible study this fall, and I am so glad we did. This book gives you an understanding of God's word in 30 days that will benefit you for years to come. In this short interactive book you will learn the major themes of the Old and New Testaments and the major doctrines that comprise Christianity. This is absolutely great reference guide to walk through, that helped me get a firm grip on parts of the Bible that have tripped me up for years. Putting things in perspective is immensely helpful and this great resource from Max Anders will help you do just that.
4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss - Seldom to books pack the punch this one does. Each day Tim's book would encourage and excite me to take action and consider what I valued and want out of life. In this hefty little book Tim provides the perfect blend of savvy advice, action steps and resources to help you achieve true freedom in your work. Whether you are self-employed or work a regular 9-5 gig you will find something of immense value to take away.
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