We are halfway through 2019 by now. It’s a good time to reflect on how the year has gone so far and what you might want to do differently to finish it out more intentionally. It’s also a time for me to take stock of my reading so far this year.
Here are the books Iâ€™ve read since January with my rating for them (5 being the best) along with a brief review. Any book without a number rating has been given to me by the author or publisher.Â
In addition to this list, you might also check out:
- myÂ reading listsÂ from previous years
- recommendations onÂ how to become a better reader
- myÂ top 15 theology books
- theÂ 2 books Iâ€™ve personally written
- myÂ goodreads account
Click on any of the titles below to get to a link to buy it.
- Just Mercy by Bryan StevensonÂ (4). A heartbreaking look at one lawyerâ€™s experience in defending those unjustly accused because of a system of racism. Every American should read this book.
- The Captain Class by Sam WalkerÂ (3.5). A fascinating look at the leadership engine behind the greatest sports teams in history. Shows the impact a captain can make on the rest of a team.
- Lies My Teacher Told Me by James LoewenÂ (4). Looks at the biases of American history textbooks and all of the things they get wrong about history. Has fascinating implications not only on history, but on how we teach others.
- The State of Affairs by Esther PerelÂ (3.5). A therapist tells the lessons sheâ€™s learned about marriage and infidelity. While it certainly isnâ€™t from a Christian point of view, I found many of her observations profound.
- The Introvertâ€™s Edge by Matthew PollardÂ (3). This is focused primarily on developing your salesmanship, but I appreciated many of his insights into leveraging introversion.
- The Great World House by Hak Joon LeeÂ (1). I read this for a seminary class. The content is solid but it is a very dry academic read.
- Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard ThurmanÂ (4). A classic written decades ago that frames the narrative of Jesus into those who are oppressed in our country today.
- Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by E. Randolph RichardsÂ (4.5). This was extremelyÂ thought-provoking and challenged a number of my views on passages from Scripture. A great way to challenge your biases.
- Whoâ€™s In Charge Here? by Jay LinkÂ (2.5). A great little primer on the concept of stewardship. Could be used for group discussions too.
- Never Split the Difference by Chris VossÂ (4). A fascinating look into the art of negotiating from one of the FBIâ€™s lead hostage negotiators.
- Better Together by Jim TomberlinÂ (4). A great study on the concept of church mergers and how churches can often be better together through joining in a multisite model.
- Digital Minimalism by Cal NewportÂ (5). Newport strikes again. A brilliant look at the effects of our online use today and compelling suggestions at how to change your habits for the good.
- Fox Hunt by Mohammed Al SamawiÂ (3). A gripping story that puts you into the shoes of a refugee stuck in a civil war in Yemen and trying to find a way out.
- Deep and Wide by Andy StanleyÂ (4). This was my second time through this and I think I liked it better. Stanley is so loaded with a practical heartbeat for what the church needs to be.
- The Pastor by Eugene PetersonÂ (3.5). This was my second time through this one as well (Iâ€™m doing that more these days) and I continue to be challenged by Petersonâ€™s simple, yet profound understanding of the role of a pastor.
- Wild Bill by Tom ClavinÂ (3). I suppose Iâ€™ve always had a soft spot for the Wild West since Iâ€™m from Arizona. This story was an interesting look into a life that was far more engaging than fiction might imply.
- Do You Talk Funny by David NihillÂ (2). A look at how to communicate with humor. Felt a little basic and didnâ€™t live up to my hopes for it. The audiobook is worth it for his accent though.
- Jesus Outside the Lines by Scott SaulsÂ (3). The first half of the book was great but it felt like it lost steam on the second half. Does a good job at looking at polarizing issues of Christianity.
- Irresistible by Andy StanleyÂ (5). Stunning. I normally go to Andy for leadership or preaching wisdom, but this book drips theology in a profound way. Shows how the church must change to be relevant in the future.
- What Makes Sammy Run by Budd SchulbergÂ (3). An older classic that was recommended by an author I admire. Shows an insightful look at unfiltered ambition, but it didnâ€™t connect with me on a deeper level.
- The Fourth Age by Byron ReeseÂ (3.5). A great look at how technology will shape our future. Provides an optimistic look at what might be ahead as artificial intelligence enters the scene in a big way.
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan HolidayÂ (4). I like Holidayâ€™s style and this book was like a good pep talk. Encourages you to see issues in your life as opportunities.
- Dollars and Sense by Dan ArielyÂ (4.5). I really enjoyed this book and the numerous stories and analogies Ariely uses to make his points. An enjoyable book on money and why we get weird with it.
- White Awake by Daniel HillÂ (3). This is a good primer on beginning to recognize the way being a white person shapes your view of the world.
- Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua FoerÂ (4.5). This book surprised me with how much I enjoyed reading it. Foer does a fantastic job showing the role memory plays in our life.
- The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann (5). This was my third time through this in as many years. I want to read it 100 times in my life.
- The Art of Invisibility by Kevin D. MitnickÂ (2.5). Mitnick raised my awareness of the realities of technology today. My goal isnâ€™t to be invisible online, but he definitely caused me to be more intentional.
- 108 Stitches by Ron DarlingÂ (2). I love all things baseball and this was a great collection of stories. It feels a bit random in its layout and lack of flow.
- Sapiens by Yuval Noah HarariÂ (4.5). This book fascinated me all the way through. Itâ€™s from a very secular perspective but is loaded with ideas that will make you think in unique ways.
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