My wife has become a voracious reader over the past few years and the habit is starting to rub off on me. I've developed a new appreciation over the power of reading. A book is the best investment of $15 you'll ever make. With resources out there like Hoopla, Overdrive, etc., there's really no valid excuse to not keep reading and growing.
"As long as you are living, keep learning how to live." -Seneca
Here are some of the books I've read this past year, and a quote or main thought from each one. I hope you see some that pique your interest and that you pick them up and read them yourself! My top recommendations from this list are: Man's Search for Meaning, The Divine Conspiracy, The War of Art, Meditations, and Boundaries.
Emotional Agility by Susan David
KEY THOUGHT: Emotions give us data about what's going on inside, but they don't give us directions on what to do. We can act differently than we feel.
Back to Virtue by Peter Kreeft
KEY QUOTE: "We have reduced all virtues to one: being nice. And, we measure Jesus by our standard instead of measuring our standard by him."
The Bible Tells Me So by Peter Enns
KEY TAKEAWAY: The various authors of Scripture were writing about their past in order to speak to their present. We have to learn to translate their past and their present to our present.
Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson
KEY THOUGHT: Reading the Bible is about formation, not information. Feast, ruminate, meditate, absorb.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
NOTE: I would place this as a must-read for anyone. So many great quotes and thoughts. "Our life is what our thoughts make it."
On The Shortness of Life by Seneca
IDEA: Me and some other guys read through this and Ecclesiastes at the same time. Great parallels, great wisdom, great discussion. Live with the end in mind. "It is not that we have so little time, but that we waste so much of it."
The Enchiridion by Epictetus
KEY QUOTE: "Learn to distinguish what you can and can’t control. Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, desires and the things that repel us. They are directly subject to our influence." (This book is another must-read!)
Letters From a Stoic by Seneca
Definitely one of the denser of the Stoic readings, but still a treasure trove of wisdom. “If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.”
Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday
"The pretense of knowledge is our most dangerous vice, because it prevents us from getting any better." Ryan Holiday's books are great.
Groundwork by Scott Larson and Dan Tocchini
This is a book I read through at least once a year with groups of guys. A great book on transformation and person growth. "Our beliefs are revealed by the results produced by our lives."
The Kaballah of Envy by Rabbi Milton Bonder
KEY QUOTE: "Many people believe that humility is the opposite of pride, when in fact it is a point of equilibrium. The opposite of pride is actually a lack of self-esteem. A humble person is totally different from a person who cannot recognize and appreciate himself as a part of this world's marvels. His attitude is this different from someone for pride, totally centered on himself. Pride induces the belief that we are "right", hindering the ability to compare and contrast situations from different perspectives than one's own preformed opinions or judgments."
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson
This book was a funny read with lots of solid advice on building a good life.
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
One of the best unpackings of the Sermon on the Mount that I've ever seen. A must-read!
The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Crohn
I've read three books on the Enneagram in this past season and this one was by far the most accessible and easy to understand. If you're interested in the Ennegram, start with this book and the RHETI Institute's website.
The Enneagram by Richard Rohr
Much denser than The Road Back To You, but I like Rohr's unpacking of each Type a little better.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
A must-read book for anyone trying to accomplish anything creative. (Aka all of us)
Man's Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl
KEY QUOTE: “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.” Incredible book and perspective from Frankl who shares what he learned as he endured the hardships of Auschwitz.
Barbell Buddha by Chris Moore
Life lessons from a powerlifter that is hilarious and one heck of a writer.
The Last Arrow by Erwin McManus
KEY QUOTE: "I wonder how many times in my own life I thought I failed but actually the only thing that happened was that I quit." Great book!
The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni
SUMMARY: Quick leadership read on the three attributes Lencioni think are essential for being a good employee/leader/etc. Highly recommend!
Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley
SUMMARY: I know I keep saying these books are "must-read", but if you are in ministry, this book is essential. A quick overview of how Andy and the leaders at North Point operate their church.
The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Pete Scazzaro
SUMMARY: Scazzaro has a lot of content in his Emotionally Healthy series, and if you are interested in learning more about developing empathy while also maintaining your own health, dive in.
Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman
KEY QUOTE: “The optimist believes that bad events have specific causes, while good events will enhance everything he does; the pessimist believes that bad events have universal causes and that good events are caused by specific factors.
Boundaries by Henry Cloud
SUMMARY: A very popular book on how to set proper boundaries and have healthy relationships at work, in marriage, with friendships, etc. Like Scazzaro, Cloud has a lot of different books in this series.
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
The Circle by Dave Eggars
Your Fathers Where Are They by Dave Eggars
Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
The Last Command by Timothy Zahn
BOOKS UP ON DECK
Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard
Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Open to Suggestions!