My Top Book Reads of 2017

At the end of each year I like to review the books I’ve read and pick the 10 best. I’ve been doing this for awhile now, but I wasn’t sure just how long. Curiosity got the best of me so I went back and checked.  I’ve been compiling a yearly reading list for the last 17 years!

I enjoyed opening those lists and reviewing the titles. Each book brought back memories of what was going on in my life while I was reading it. No doubt books mark a season and prepare you for the next one.

My Top Book Reads of 2016

Each year I like to publish a list of the top books I read. If you’ve been with me awhile you know that my list isn’t a best of what was just published but a best of what I read that year.


My goal for this year was 36 but I ended the year with 32. I’m not beating myself up though. I moved to a new home and I’m in the middle of moving our church to a new location. Throw in a few other twists and surprises and I’m pretty happy with my number.

Negative Surprises

Preparing for What No One Wants to Prepare For

Who doesn’t love a good surprise? A movie with a twist ending. A birthday party with all of your loved ones.


A larger than expected tax refund. Selling your home in the first week for more than you were asking. Or the Grand Daddy of all surprises… “I’m pregnant!”

My Top Book Reads in 2016…So Far

At the end of every year I create a list with the top 10 books I read and found most helpful. This post is always one of the most popular of the year.


We just finished the half-way point of 2016 and some of you have been asking for a sneak peak. Above is a picture of the 18 books I’ve read so far in 2016. Below you’ll find the books that I have really loved so far. Most of these will make it on my Top 10 List for 2016, but I have some other books in the cue that might bump one or two of these to the Honorable Mentions.

My Top 5 Leadership Podcasts

If you were to ride along with me in my truck you would find that I’m either listening to an audiobook or a podcast. If I had to choose between the two, podcasts are my hands down favorite.


Podcasts are my preferred way to learn, grow, and get inspired. If you are listening to the radio while you’re commuting you’re wasting valuable time. Why not redeem that time and try one of these Top 5 Leadership Podcasts?

Why You Should Be Listening To More Books

How To Read an Audiobook

Yes, you read that title correctly and I’ll explain what I mean in a moment. Audiobooks are exploding on the scene and for good reason. Not only are they convenient, you can even be more efficient with your reading. Audiobooks redeem brain drain time as you commute back and forth to work. Did you know you can even listen to a book at 3x speed so you can get through the material even faster if it starts to drag?


Audiobooks are a little-known secret that voracious readers employ to help them get through even more books in a year. Any person who reads a lot of books listens to at least a few audiobooks. Don’t believe me? Ask someone you know who reads a lot.

My Top Book Reads of 2015

My book list is a little different than most. My list consists of the top 10 books I’ve read this year, not books that were published this year. I don’t concentrate on books that were released in the current year because most are forgettable. I’ll let others whittle down that list. My time and yours is valuable so having some filters will help you get the most out of your reading.

Photo Dec 23, 9 59 46 AM copy

This year I read 36 books (pictured above). I dream of reading 52 books in a year but I’ve never been able to hit that number. Maybe next year.

My Top Book Reads of 2014

Being a pastor, I have to do a significant amount of reading every year. A pastor needs to stay on top of current events, trends, and popular culture. Then there is the scholarly research needed to understand and teach on the historical, literary, theological, and contextual analysis of particular Biblical passages. It is essential for pastors who are responsible for vision, leading, and teaching to also read things that will help them bring the most glory to God within those tasks.


After reading hundreds of books it is clear that there truly isn’t much new under the sun…but that’s okay. It’s important to be reminded of certain truths regularly.