Every year I create a list of books I think you should read. Sometimes the books I include are very purely about small group ministry, discipleship or spiritual formation. Other times, the books I include may seem pretty far afield (innovation, design, leadership, or strategy). You’ll just have to trust me. I wouldn’t include a book I didn’t think would be added to your toolbox and contribute in a trajectory-altering way.
This year my reading list is a combination of books I’ve just read (or am reading now) and a few that are on my stack and I’ll read over the next few weeks. You may want to keep these books in mind and pick up one or two yourself!
My 2015 Christmas Reading List
One of the books that I’ve already begun reading is Carey Nieuwhof’s Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations that Will Help Your Church Grow. Carey’s blog is one I read every day and is always packed with insights into reaching people far from God. I’m just a couple chapters into Lasting Impact and I can already tell it is going to be very helpful. As you know, I’m a fan of great questions that lead to great conversations. If you are too, this book will be right up your alley!
I just ordered Brad Lomenick’s newest book, H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. Brad served as lead visionary and president of Catalyst (one of America’s largest movements of next-generation leader) for more than a decade. He’s an influencer and has tremendous insights into leadership and developing leaders. He also has a blog that I have in my feed reader as a daily read. This one will be next up on my stack. Can’t wait to jump into H3 Leadership!
Brené Brown’s TED talk on the power of vulnerability got my attention several years ago. Her book Daring Greatly was so good a couple years ago. Her newest book is Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution and I added it to my must read list when I heard her talk at this year’s Leadership Summit. If your work is like mine, you regularly swing for the fences and you suffer your share of knock downs. This book is about getting up to go another round. I’m in for that and can’t wait to get started reading it!
What the Mystics Know: Seven Pathways to Your Deeper Self is my introduction to Richard Rohr. I’m always looking for content that can help shape my devotional life and have been greatly helped by Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Thomas Merton and others. I’ve heard about Richard Rohr but never read any of his work. What the Mystics Know is organized like a daily reader and pulls together the best of the rest of his writings in shorter sections. I’m a few days in and can see this is going to be a helpful addition to my daily devotional habit.
Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World byPeter Diamandis may seem an odd choice (especially to follow What the Mystics Know!), but I’m looking forward to reading this one. I’ve heard Diamandis a couple times on the Tim Ferriss podcast (his first interview was so good I listened to it twice) and can’t wait to jump into this book. I’m always looking for exponential thinkers who can help me think differently. I know I was inspired by two powerful ideas I heard about on the podcast. I’m very excited to jump into Bold.
The newest book by Walter Issacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution has been out for about a year. Steve Jobs was a great read and The Innovators looks like it will be a very good addition. There is just something about a good biography about great leaders, inventors, or thinkers that I find very helpful in my own journey. I always like to have a biography working on my bedside table. Can’t wait to get started with The Innovators.
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World is Steven Johnson’s latest book. One of my favorite authors, I loved his earlier book, Where Good Ideas Come From (if you’ve heard me talk about the adjacent possible future, this is where the idea came from). How We Got to Now is a great read. Johnson takes a deep look into how innovations like refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses have changed the world. I loved this book and if you enjoy learning and have an eye for transferable insights, you’ll love this book too.
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough is so good. McCullough is another of my favorite authors and I’ve loved several of his previous books. You may think you know the story of how the age of flight began. Trust me, The Wright Brothers is an amazing story of perseverance, ingenuity, and exceptional courage you need to read. I had no idea of all these two men went through in pursuit of their dream. It’s a very inspiring story and I’m sure will impact my thinking.
Image by Catface27