In 2017, goaded by Joseph Brodsky, who is of the opinion that not reading books is a worse crime than burning them, I made a commitment to read 24 books this year; two books every month. I didn’t reach this goal. I think I read fifteen books. The sixteenth was 40% devoured when the year closed.
Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. Sadly, I don’t read as much as I used to. In comparison to others I may be a bookworm, but I don’t devour as many books as I would love. I have over forty five books, shelved and begging to be cracked open.
Let me share with you my top 5 books, in terms of impact, for 2017. They are listed not in any order of the degree of impact.
The Father Connection: How You Can Make the Difference in Your Child’s Self-esteem and Sense of Purpose by Josh McDowell.
This book sobered me up as a father. McDowell, using authoritative statistics and life experiences, his and that of others, successfully made a case for the need of model fathers. He argues that the task of being a father is the most frightening; the most important job; and the most rewarding, job in the world. He explains ten traits that every father should have (perfection is not one of them). At the end of the book he suggests 60 fun activities that a father can do with his kids. Spurred by this book, I am committed to growing as a model father. Practically, I bond with two out of my three children as we plant, water and harvest vegetables from a small garden behind the house, among other things.
The Five Dysfunctions of A Team: A Leadership Fable, by Patrick Lencioni.
This is a must-read leadership material. Once again employing his powerful storytelling style, Lencioni analyses the team-leadership challenge in a simple yet instructive way. He acknowledges that the dynamics of team leadership makes the task of building an effective team difficult, yet he believes it is not complicated. In this book he shares a model for building a cohesive team, the Five Dysfunctions Model. I am yet to experience any significant improvement, but one thing is unmistakable; this New York Times bestseller has made me an eager student of my five-man team. If you lead or work/serve in a team, you need this book.
The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
This is a gripping and suspense-filled conspiracy novel. Blending history and fiction, the author tells the odyssey of a Harvard symbologist and French cryptologist. This duo sorted through riddles and puzzles; raced against time and a powerful enemy, to save and unveil an ancient truth. The Da Vinci Code, is one out of three of Brown’s novels that I read. It made my top five good reads, not because it is better than the other two, but because it touched on the one thing that is most important to me, my faith. The book alleged that the Bible is not authentic, Jesus is not God, and was married to Mary Magdalene. Contrary to popular opinion among Christians, reading this book has deepened my conviction as a Christian – the questions it raised spurred me to study more.
The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You were Meant to Do, by Jeff Goins.
Actually, I listened to the audiobook format of this book on Audible. Mostly during my 30 minutes workout in the mornings. In 4 hours 56 minutes Jeff convinces his reader/ listener that there is something that you can NOT do. He used personal experience and the inspiring stories of others to explain what work/ calling/ vocation actually is not what you think it is. He identifies and shares the seven characteristics of a calling that describe the path that leads to your calling. This book made to take another critical look on the vocation I have identified as my calling. I have gained a fresh perspective of what work is not.
Jeff is bestselling author, and one of my influences on writing and blogging.
Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life you Want), Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy.
This is another book I devoured by listening, also mostly during my morning workout. Using a simple but instructive style, the authors share a clear, step-by-step approach to articulate the vision for your life and develop a plan to make it a reality. The tool with which to achieve this is what they call a Life plan. This book contains what it claims: a proven plan to help its reader stop drifting and live the life he/ she desires. Their concept of living with a Life plan has been tried tested, with significant outcomes. I have reordered my priorities. My life plan will soon be crafted.
Hyatt is a bestselling author and one of my major influences on blogging and leadership.
There you have it. My good reads of 2017. One thing is for sure. These books are more beneficial than what I have shared.
Have you read any these books? Please share your opinion in the comments.