I was looking at my bookshelf the other day and realized that this year was a fairly good reading year for me. So, I started trying to remember what I read and how I liked what I read. So, I’ve decided to share that here. I was going to post my thoughts all at once, but when i was done writing I had six pages of text! That’s way too much to read so I am going to post them one section at a time.

Book Reviews to come in the next few days:

Change or Die by Alan Deutschman
This book was simply awesome. He addresses the question, “Why do people change?” He gives a well-researched answer and uses a lot of great case studies to prove his point. So, what is the answer? Its simple. “Hope.” The book is important because so often we use fear and challenge and commitment to get people to change. But, the greatest motivator to a human being is hope. Hmm… seems like a pretty pertinent topic for our churches eh? (This book goes great with Ken Callahan’s discussions of motivations for giving in his book Giving an Steweardship in an Effective Church).

A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder–How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place by Eric Abrahamson & David H. Freedman
I love this book because I am a mess. He basically defends the idea that disorder can sometimes actually be more beneficial than order. I personally think he takes it a little far, but I found his argument to be helpful as it comes to my life. If nothing else, it freed me up to be a little disorganized and yet I still don’t want to get out of control unorganzied. But, when it comes down to it, there are honest to goodness benefits to disorder that order can’t give.

The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom
A very very important book. Deals with the power of organizations that are leaderless (i.e. the starfish) and the limits of organiatins taht are have a central command center (i.e. the spider). Lots of missional guys have given a better review than I could so go and search for their wise words. Or just buy the book.

The Imperfect Leader by Davis Taylor
Davis is a friend of mine. In fact, he’s on the leadership team at The Well. That being said, I’ll recommend this book with confidence. Davis is a leadership consultant that gets it. This book is a fictional account of an executive and his mentor (think: A New Kind of Christian). Worth a read and I think his website is really amazing!

Historical Books:

Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides
Wow. This book was intense. It chronicles the story of the Bataan Death march in WWII and what followed after it. It’s books like this that makes me think that war pretty much sucks and we should avoid it at all costs. But, this book also had a redemptive side. It was amazing to see the moments of redemption that happened in the midst of such tragedy. If you are into reading about our world’s wars, you should pick this up. But, be prepared to vomit in your mouth a few times, its fairly graphic to what really happened.

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
This is the historical fiction account of the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. Its amazing. I read it in two days. It was amazing. If you are fascinated like I am by the lives of people during the Civil War and the emotions of war, this is quite recommended.