5 Best Books I Read in 2013

“There are worse crimes than burning books.  One of them is not reading them.”     – Ray Bradbury

Books have enriched my life, changed my life, and enabled me to see the world through the eyes of others.  So as we start 2014, here are the best books I’ve read in 2013.  Buy one, read it, then give it away.

I’ve Got Your Back:  Biblical Principles for Leading and Following Well by James C. Galvin.  This jewel of a book on leadership should be a must read for everyone.  Galvin creates a story of 4 young professionals who all work for bad bosses.  As he weaves the story, the 4 search out a Christian coach who helps them understand the concepts of how to follow well, how to lead a bad boss, and how to lead in ways that honor God. His insights into God’s original design for leadership as a dance between leadership and followership are powerful and life changing.

To Sell is Human:  The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink.  I have to admit that another book on selling was low on my radar.  But once I picked up this book and started reading, it was hard to put down.  His premise is everyone sells – whether we are in the sales profession or simply trying to “persuade, influence or convince others in ways that don’t involve making a purchase”.  Pink’s book includes practical ideas to improve our ability to “sell”, interweaving concepts of emotional intelligence, power, trust and integrity.

George Washington’s Secret Six:  The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade.   I have always loved reading about American Revolution history and this book was a fascinating page turner.  I expected a historical fiction book, instead I got historical fact told as a story.  As you read about six unknown names of Revolution heroes, you’ll learn about leadership, community, commitment, and how pride can change the course of history.

Deep & Wide:  Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend by Andy Stanley.

The participants in our Pastors Leadership Academy will be reading this book.  Stanley gives us a painful glimpse into the politics of the church world, then provides a framework for keeping your focus on the mission and vision of Christ’s call to make disciples.  His insights on vision, change, and leadership are invaluable for anyone leading in a faith based ministry.

The Tortoise and the Hare , an Aesop Fable.  This one’s on my annual reading list.  It’s the best book I know to remind us of the importance of focus in our lives and our careers.  The Tortoise, who should have lost to the much faster hare, wins the race because he didn’t take his eyes off the goal line.

Blissful Reading!