I’m not a huge reader, but I wish I was. My current goal is to finish reading at least one book per month. To some that may seem like nothing, while others may view it as an insane amount.
Needless to say, I find books very inspiring. It’s extremely hard work writing one, and even harder writing a good one. A great book can teach you and show you how to live a better life. And I’m not just talking about self-help books here, often times fiction can show us greater and more powerful truths than non-fiction.
Since I cannot remember everything I have ever read, I have found great value in re-reading certain books. But with so many books I have on my “to-read” list, I must be very selective in the books I will read again. Here are seven of them (links are affiliate links):
1) The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: If you have spent five minutes with me, you probably knew this was coming. One of my earliest memories is reading The Hobbit with my dad. I’ve read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy four times. It’s simply my favorite story ever.
2) Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders: I have read this book twice, and am about due for a third reading. Sanders writes with a profound and piercing voice that challenges leaders. If you want to find glory and fame as a leader, this is not the book for you. If you need to be reminded of the cost of leadership, then this is where you should start. It’s an incredibly challenging book, and one that will drive you closer to God.
3) The Reason for God by Tim Keller: I just finished reading this for the first time, and it might be my favorite Christian book. I’m a massive CS Lewis fan, and if anyone alive today can match his wit and writing style, it is Keller. In this book, he handles the most common arguments people give about why God does not exist, and then he spends the second half of the book giving reasons it is completely rational to believe in Him. At times it can seem heavy, but these are the questions that matter most in our generation.
4) Insourcing by Randy Pope: If I could identify one thing the church needs to do better today, it would be authentic discipleship. This was the model Jesus used, and through discipleship the world was transformed. Today we often trade the long and slow process of life-on-life investment for big flashy events that draw a crowd. While I enjoy those events, I know that hearts are far more likely to change and grow through discipleship. Insourcing is an excellent guide to building an effective discipleship program from a very clear communicator who has been making disciples for forty years.
5) Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis: A great series from one of Tolkien’s best friends. I’ve loved these books for years, even when I was a kid terrified of the white witch (no joke – I couldn’t focus in class one day because she was staring at me from the front cover of a book). All of them have incredible analogies for our relationship with God, and frankly I can’t wait to read these books to my (future) children.
6) Harry Potter by JK Rowling: For a long time I tried to be cooler than Harry Potter. I was too old for those kids books, after all, and there was no way they could be as good as Lord of the Rings. But then, while I was on a long road trip, I decided to give it a go (mostly so I could explain why it wasn’t any good). Turns out, they’re incredible. It is one of the few book series that finishes far stronger than it started. This series is full of spiritual themes and, although it can be quite dark, love prevails.
7) Story by Robert McKee: I love movies, so much so that I am seriously considering attempting to make them. Story explains what actually makes a good story (specifically, what makes a good film). But the applications are not just for the film industry, there are important things to learn from this book if you actually want to live a good life.
Your turn: What’s missing? What is your favorite book?
PS: If we’re getting technical, this is actually a list of 22 books I plan on reading again (and again). But who’s counting?