Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2014 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.
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- Super Mario by Jeff Ryan (4). A fascinating look at the history of video games, focusing on Nintendo. Shows you how much thought and philosophy go into gaming and also provides a very interesting back story for those of us who grew up gaming.
- Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon (3.5). Austin is an artist with words. His book of blackout poetry is an easy, engaging read. Moreover, it invites you to try it yourself and tap into your inner artist whether you think you have it or not.
- The Drunkard’s Walk by Leonard Mlodinow (3). A very interesting look at how we interpret meaning from so many things in life that are actually the result of randomness. It’s intriguing to consider the research in this book and then evaluate how that affects the way we see God in our midst. My hope would be that we would more accurately see the things that are actually His doing.
- The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz (2). A subjective perspective looking at the issues of the economy in America. While there is much to consider in this book, overall it felt unconvincing and tedious to work through.
- Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly (4.5). I really enjoyed how he retells the finals period of Lincoln’s life and the conspiracy behind the assassination. Reads like a great Hollywood movie.
- The Great Omission by Dallas Willard (4.5). A clever play on the Great Commission. Willard focuses on what it means to make disciples and not just Christians.
- After You Believe by NT Wright (3.5). I love Wright’s perspective but I regret to admit that I struggle mightily with his writing style. The parts that I was able to track with I sincerely enjoyed.
- Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard (3). A similar read to his Great Omission but this felt much more broad in its approach. I liked the drilled down version of The Great Omission better.
- The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney (3). I was expecting a philosophy of introversion but this was more of a self-help guide for introverts. As such, some of it was helpful and other parts were almost comically humorous making introversion sound like a flaw to be adapted to.
- Jack by George Sayer (3). I love C.S. Lewis so I was very excited to read this biography of his life. However, it felt as if this was more of a scholarly collection of facts of Lewis’ life instead of a gripping narrative that sucks you in to the person himself.
- 12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup (4). Obviously, a heartbreaking read. I was most impressed by Northup’s objective ability to view slavery and the people involved without creating cartoon villains in the process (which I’m told cannot be said of the movie version). It causes the reader to look deep inside himself and consider the way we view everyone around us.
- Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek (4.5). 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.