Monday, December 28, 2015

Best of 2015: the Books

I read 71 books this year and its December 28th  as I write this.  I might squeeze one  more in before year ends but they probably wouldn’t make the years best so I feel safe writing.

Sadly, at least to me the majority of the books I read this year were fiction.  Next year I hope to have either a better balance or come out non-fiction heavy.

I’ll post my top 10 this year which is rare. Normally I eek out a top 5 at best. All books that I just didn’t want to end.  As usual there is a mix of fiction and non fiction on the list.  Each title has a link to the book on amazon if you are interested.

This is one of those books that I will read again in 2016.  A very informative and motivating look at branding and self promoting. I have really lacked blogging this year except for the couple months after reading this book.  I plan to re-read it at the beginning of the year and then God willing keep to a schedule.

You was an absolute page turner. I don’t want to give any of it away but it completely took me in and I’m so glad it did.  If you liked Gone Girl and the Woman on the train then you should read You.

I hate to put a classic on the list because you look like you are either an idiot for not having read it yet. Or you look like you are trying too hard to be perceived as an intellectual.  I can’t help it though this book was an absolute delight. Its short and if you have read it do so immediately. The depiction of our secret and hidden sin as a creature that feeds off of us and its transformation was breath taking.  I read and reread that part several times.

Jack Reacher is back both in book form and on my list of top books.  Reacher is one of my absolute favorite characters. I never get tired of these stories. Even a bad Jack Reacher Novel is better than most the books on the shelves.  As long as Mr Child keeps writing them I will keep reading them.

Armada is the second book by Mr Cline. His first book Ready Player One toped my list last year and is an upcoming movie from Steven Spielberg.  
The book follows Zack Lightman as he discovers the video game he is an expert at has been a training and recruitment tool for the a global defense federation to help stem an impending invasion.
While at first glance the plot is incredibly similar to Last Starfighter a favorite movie of mine as a kid, it had enough twists and unknowns that it made my list.

I enjoyed the narrative aspects of the book more than the insight into leadership.  It had plenty to say on that subject but to me it was the personal stories about Brian, his dad, his wife and Hillsong itself that really stood out.  Definitely One of the best books of 2015

Revival was an absolute thrill ride.  The hero Jamie Morton and his friend turned nemesis Charles Jacobs are both written brilliantly.  This is the best King book I’ve read since 11/23/63.  I think it especially interested me because the villain was, at the time he met the hero a minister.  I found his “turn” completely engrossing and the book kept me guessing.

Originally published in 2002 this is “inspired by actual events”.  When I heard this was the next film by Alejandro González Iñárritu director of last years Oscar winner for best picture Birdman and how it was going to be shot.  I had to read it.  The movie is going to be wide released in January and I urge you to read the book first. Although from trailers and press releases the story will differ enough to make it it’s own entity. 
This is a tale of treachery and revenge set against the backdrop of a frozen landscape occupied by vicious natives and lethal animals.  The book had a Cormac McCarthy quality to it that was different from my usual fare.  It is 100% worth your time.

On Wednesdays I set up the meeting hall at the church for dinner that evening.  While I do this I am usually listening to an audiobook or a Podcast. There I was one Wednesday morning about 8am sobbing and praising God at the same time alone in the room.  If the first part of this book doesn’t make you cry from heartbreak, and then elicit tears of complete and utter praise for what God can do I’d have to question your heart.  This book is not to be missed, my absolute favorite book of this genre for 2015.  The courage of Pastor Lusko in telling this story and continuing in his mission after the events of the first part of the book is an inspiration I can not forget.  I can’t recommend this book more heartily. Please do yourself and your walk a favor and read Thru the Eyes of a Lion.

1) Unbroken by LifePoint. 
Ok, I'm a bit biased here but Unbroken: 7 Stories of Life Change from the Ozarks is a book compiling 7 testimonies of 8 people from my church.  The names were changed and the testimonies were expertly written as a narrative by a company out of Seattle calls Good Catch Publishing.  This book was then and is still being mass distributed to our community and the surrounding areas.  In the book you will find people that have lost it all and how Jesus has brought them back and restored them.  From drug addiction and attempted murder to spousal suicide and porn there is something in here that speaks to each of us and our hidden sins. The things we can’t forgive ourselves from.  Read as God restores relationships and heals hurts and addictions.  It was a privilege to help facilitate the making of this book and an even bigger one to see it change lives.

There you have it, my favorite books of 2015.  I hope you pick up a few of these and give them a shot.  If you do or if you have already read them I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Great list of books, I'm inspired to read more this year as well!