Reading Posts

Leaders Eat Last

This week I finished my second book from Simon Sinek. The book is called Leaders Eat Last and looks at leadership from a variety of case studies and cultural evidence. I like the way Sinek challenges the status quo and invites the reader to think differently in a number of areas. I couldn’t agree more with him on the need of a leader to create and maintain a healthy culture for his team. The only aspect I didn’t love about the book was that it felt a bit disjointed at times with different tangents. The tangents were incredibly interesting and worthwhile, they just weren’t always obvious to the main point of the book. I posted one of them recently.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book that capture the theme of what Sinek says:

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"This tendency is exemplified by the way many Gen Yers respond to various social causes. They rallied to share the Kony video with their friends. Many posted pictures of themselves in hoodies to support Trayvon Martin. They texted donations to tsunami relief organizations. There is an intense excitement to do good, to help, to support. Yet after the dopamine hit is felt, it’s on to the next. Without giving any significant amount of time or energy, a generation comfortable with abstraction has confused real commitment with symbolic gestures."

Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last

Newspaper Blackout

I’m not sure how it happened, but I recently stumbled onto the work of Austin Kleon. Austin is an artist who uses words (or as he describes it: a writer who draws). While he’s written a few great books, I recently enjoyed reading Newspaper Blackout. It’s an art form referred to as blackout poetry. He takes an article from a newspaper and blacks out all of the words except a new sentence that he forms. The new sentence usually has nothing to do with the original subject of the article. Here’s the best part about it: it’s surprisingly fun to do yourself.

If you enjoy reading, or poetry, or art… you’ll likely enjoy this book. You might even give it (or something like it) a try yourself and unlock your inner creative. It’s turned into a fun way to mentally unwind for me. While it’s relatively easy to do, the hard part is figuring out which words to keep.

Here are some of the ones I’ve made so far:

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The Adoring Pursuit of Something Greater

paul and the faithfulness of god - NT wrightHumans are worshipping creatures, and even when they don’t consciously or even unconsciously worship any kind of god they are all involved in the adoring pursuit of something greater than themselves. Worship transforms humans, all of us, all the time, since you become like what you worship: those who worship money, power or sex have their characters formed by those strange powers, so that little by little the money-worshipper sees and experiences the world in terms of financial opportunities or dangers, the power-hungry person sees and experiences the world and other humans in terms of chances to gain power or threats to existing power, and the sex-worshipper sees the world in terms of possible conquests (that word is interesting in itself) or rivals. Those who consciously and deliberately choose not to worship those gods still have a range of others to select from, each of which will be character-forming in various ways. And, somewhere in the middle of this range, we find the worship of a God who was believed, by some people in the middle of the first century, to have revealed himself uniquely and decisively in a man called Jesus.

N.T. Wright, Paul and the Faithfulness of God

December with C.S. Lewis

Year with C.S. LewisThis is the final post of my series through A Year with C.S. Lewis.

Here are my favorite quotes from the assorted C.S. Lewis books that are included in the month of December in the book. Amazing how much material is covered in the year’s worth of daily readings. If you are ever looking for a daily devotion to go through I would strongly recommend this one. Consider the following:

To enter heaven is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell, is to be banished from humanity.

‘There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.’

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My 63 Books of 2013

A Faith Not Worth Fighting ForS JJ AbramsThe Naked Gospel

Last year I set a new record for most books I’d ever read in a year. This year, I just realized that I read the exact same amount. It’s not exactly like sixty-three is a natural number to read so I’ll now be self evaluating myself to figure out what’s going on.

My favorite books this year were The Naked Gospel (reread), A Faith Not Worth Fighting For, and S.

Here is the list the books I’ve read since January of 2013 with my rating for them (5 being the best) and a brief review. Make sure you also check out my lists from previous years, as well as my recommendations on how to become a better reader. Also, click here to check out my book Crowdsourcing the Message.

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