This past year I completed my goal to read 50 books. Many of these came as recommendations from you guys. Thanks so much for sharing with me the books you love! The Alchemist and Little Fires Everywhere are two of my favorite recommendations that I received this year. With out you all I would probably only read biographies and business books till I died of boredom!
With that said I have been asking myself the question, how can I best share my passion for reading? After trying a couple different avenues I had the idea of a monthly email detailing the books I read that month. Several of you gave me positive feedback signalling that this is a good idea and that I should pursue it in 2019. So here is the first email with all the books I read in 2018. My goal is to share something that I care deeply about with you to farther the discussion of ideas. Please feel free to follow up and ask questions about the books or other items I add to the email!
Heading into 2019 I plan to read 50 books again with these three focuses. 1. Biographies. I got away from biographies and autobiographies in 2018 and want to return this coming year. 2. Romantic novels. I made a list in 2018 to read but only got to a few. First up Pride and Prejudice. 3. Minority and woman writers. Something I noticed lacking from 2018 was minority and woman writers which I plan to be more intentional about in 2019.
Top Ten Books
1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
One of the reasons I read is to think about ideas that I would never come into contact with in my daily life. This book embodied that experience. Man’s Search for Meaning is the personal experience of Viktor Frankl in Nazi concentration camps. He writes about the experience vs. the events focusing on the idea/question of meaning in great suffering and after everything has been stripped from you. Beautiful book that will bring tears, make you think and smile at the simple pleasures of life.
Favorite Quote, “For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”
2. City of Thieves by David Benioff
A wonderful short read about two Russian hooligans WW2 survival story during the Siege of Leningrad. It’s a little bit about coming of age with historic fiction aspects and finished with some love elements. I picked it up during a trip to San Francisco and did not regret the purchase.
Favorite Quote, “You couldn’t let too much truth seep into your conversation, you couldn’t admit with your mouth what your eyes had seen.”
3. Tuesday with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Beautiful book that looks at the life of a dying man. Morrie does not fear death but paints a picture of what a meaningful life looks like through relationship and love.
Favorite Quote, “The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”
4. Augustus: First Emperor of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy
Great biography on one of the most powerful men in history. Adrian does a great job balancing sources and good political sense to help describe Augustus rise to power and how he created and maintained the Roman Empire. Fun fact he was surrounded by loyal smart friends and advisers.
5. Startup Communities: Building a Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City by Brad Feld
If you like community development this book is a must read. It helped me think through the idea of creating healthy ecosystems in my community.
6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
I am a extrovert surrounded by introverts. This book empowered me to understand how introverts think and interact with the environments around them. Powerful book that changed my perspective.
7. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
Anyone in Business must read this book tomorrow. Changed the way I think about business, teams, personal development, and economics.
8. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Henri Nouwen
9. Humility by Andrew Murrey
Both incredible books that helped me develop my faith/beliefs. Also, challenged me to think through what it can look like to live out my faith in Jesus on a daily basis. Humility might become a yearly read.
10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
I decided this year to add a few romantic fiction novels to my list of books to read. The setting is post WW2 and two lovers are connected through a used book. The story is inundated with books and the importance of reading. Fun and light but carries substance.
List of Books Read
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Shack by William Paul Young
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1&2 by Ann Brashares
The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ by James Bryan Smith
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lesson in Personal Change by Stephen Covey
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It
Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder
The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose, and Balance by Jeff Spadafora
A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young
Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder
From Concept to Scale: Creating A Gospel-Minded Organization by Steve Graves
The 7 Rings by Brian Watson
The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior by Steven Garber
Poetry: A Modern Guide to Its Understanding and Enjoyment by Elizabeth Drew
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Man in the High Castle by Philip Dick
The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
7 Men: And teh Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxes
Trump: The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump
The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Good Leaders ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership by John Maxwell
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Democratic Vistas by Walt Whitman
Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R. Tolkien
Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As if Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller
Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm
The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery by David Benner
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron
Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by Chan Kim
The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior by Wayne Cordeiro
Why Business Matter to God: And What Still Needs to Be Fixed by Jeff Van Duzer
Democracy in America (100 page selection) by Alexis de Tocqueville
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den by Janet Benge
1. America Desperately Needs a Healthy Conservatism By Andrew Sullivan
Simple piece about how the word conservatism should be redefined. It helped me think through the importance of stewarding conservative ideas along side the progressive movement.
2. How To Manage And Sell A Company In An Industry And A Country You Don’t Know By Anand Sanwal
If you don’t care for business or finance skip this read. If you enjoy either of those things give this lengthy memoir a read. You will be better for it.
3. Hard Choices By Seth Klarman
Capitalism has increased the wealth and standard of living of billions around the world. It is one of the greatest systems ever created. However, it has become dormant. This article offers some issues and ideas for capitalism today.
4. NY Times Barbara Bush Obituary & Barbara Bush, a First Lady Without Apologies By Jon Meacham
Barbara Bush has slowly become a hero to me. Even though I did not know much about her before her death these two articles gave me a good overview of how she chose to live. I look forward to learning more about her in the coming years.