Books I’ve Read This Year – 2016

books i've read

This is third year I have posted my reading list. My goal was about seven books a month, which I didn’t quite make – it turned out to be only five books per month, which may just be my goal for next year. Most of the time, I either get books from the local used bookstore or library. At times, I will purchase a book online. Either way, these books are some of the best from the list. If you’re interested, here’s my list from 2015 and 2014. 

The Ideal Team Player – Patrick Lencioni

The Ideal Team Player is about the three main virtues for someone to work well on a team. The three main virtues are Humble, Hungry and Smart.  All three are needed, two out of three won’t do.  The good news is, once defined, team members can work to grow in improvement. As an example, if you are hungry (willing to go after it) and smart (able to connect and work well with others) but not humble, you become very difficult to be around.  If, for example, you are smart and humble but not hungry to jump in and make things happen, people really love you and get along with you, but you won’t last long because you’re not getting things done.  It’s a great book! Read: Summary Post

Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel Pink

Drive is an incredibly fascinating book about what truly motivates us.  The three levels for motivation are Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Though money can be a factor, at some point, money will actually demotivate people. Their intrinsic desire to do something because they enjoy it or because they just believe in it is squashed by being offered a certain amount of payment. This is just one example of the many ways that we are motivated.  It plays out in the work place, in team settings and at home with families.  READ: Four Ways To Offer Praise To Kids

Steal Like An Artist – Boost Your Creativity – Austin Kleon

This was a simple little book I got from my brother Jackson Price. Here are a three of the ways to boost your creativity:  1) Don’t wait to get started – begin now 2) Geography is no longer an issue – you can work with people all over the world right in your own living room and 3) Be boring to be creative – the guy who stays up all night will probably burn out quickly. Set a schedule, stay disciplined and use your energy for creating for the long haul.  READ:  Three Ways To Boost Your Creativity   READ: Twelve quotes from this book

Pass it On – Jim Burns

This is a book I actually purchased to keep. If you have young children at home, this book is a must – pick up a copy now.  The purpose of the book is to help ingrain concrete ideas and faith connection into your kids with a simple action step / project.  The book is broken down by grade and after reading a few pages of great info about your child in that grade, there will be an action step you can take – sometime over the course of that year.  It’s not overwhelming. It’s not a daily thing. It’s really a great idea and helpful for making faith stick in the hearts and lives of your children.

How Successful People Think – John Maxwell

This is a great and simple book to read – all about focusing your thinking, capturing and controlling your thoughts, creative thinking and reflective thinking and more.  I have read lots of Maxwell’s books and always find them enjoyable. One small thing that stuck out to me in this book was about two questions John Maxwell always asked his kids to help them become good thinkers.  READ: Help Your Kids Become Good Thinkers With These Two Questions


Samuel Morris – Lindley Baldwin

This is one of the few books in this list I actually purchased new. I was sitting in a worship service at Beulah this summer and the preacher recounted the story of this young missionary, who unlike most missionary stories we hear, Samuel came to the USA from Africa and had a huge impact in a couple short years. I had the book ordered from my phone before the sermon was finished. And I kept it so my eleven year old could read it in a couple years.


Making Life Work – Bill Hybels

This book takes a look at Proverbs and how it can help in every day living. The wisdom that comes through God’s word is powerful and can shape us – especially in practical ways, such as dealing with people, doing the right things, working hard, etc. Read: Combat Stress Or Depression With These Simple Tips


Rhino Success – Scott Alexander

This was a goofy little book – with some crazy word pictures and crazy pictures in general. It’s all about getting up in the morning and having the attitude of a rhino – charging into your day, getting to what you need to do, etc.  It doesn’t take long to read and it’s pretty motivating. I picked it up by accident and saw that Dave Ramsey asked each of his staff to read it.  READ:  Eight Ways To Charge Into A New Season


Whale Done – The Power of Positive Relationships – Ken Blanchard

This book is a story of how we can help those around us – at work and at home – when we accentuate the positive side of things, rather than the negative. It’s a fun story to read comparing the training of killer whales to all aspects of life.

Read: The ABC’s Of A High Performance Church Staff



The 10 Commandments of Parenting – Ed Young

You don’t want to be passive parent. You don’t want to be a possessive parent. You want to be a participative parent. I love that image – a participative parent.

Engaged, involved, invested.  Ready to do whatever it takes to not only enjoy kids while they are kids, but help them gain a good foundation and understanding of life and faith.

READ: Eight Scriptures That Set Your Child Up For Success In Life


Outstanding! 47 Ways To Make Your Organization Exceptional – John Miller

Broken up to 47 little tiny chapters, this was a fun book to read and can apply to anyone in ministry or anyone leading an organization. From working with what you have to developing people to making sure you know who is in charge, there is tons of practical advice in this book!

READ:  Five Simple Ways To Make Your Organization Outstanding


Practical Guide to Leading Staff – Stan Toler

I‘m grateful to Stan Toler for sending me the copy of this book!  All his books are excellent! This practical series would be helpful for any pastor leading ministry staff in a local church. From vision to strategy and goals to communication, there are tons a great ideas and questions in this book!

READ: 3 Questions That Bring Clarity To Our Calling


Engaging the Hearts and Minds of all your Employees – Lee Colan

This book is great for anyone who leads others. It’s about the six basic needs for those who work for you – Achievement, Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose, Intimacy and Appreciation. Sometimes, we just need to remember that people will pour their hearts into something if they feel like it’s worthwhile, they are noticed and that they believe it’s making a difference. READ: Help Your Team Achieve By Eliminating Barriers


The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham – Myra and Shelley

I loved reading this book – full of great stories, great quotes and great ideas. I have already used some of what I read in sermons and blog posts. Billy Graham has been an inspiration because of his singular focus over the decades. This book gives insight into why he did some of this he did from financial advice and wisdom to his focus on prayer. READ: Four Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham


Radical Leap – Extreme Leadership – Steve Farber

During this interesting story, a pattern for extreme leadership unfolded – Cultivate Love, Generate Energy, Inspire Audacity, and Provide Proof that you’re willing to live out what you say you believe!  Each of these four things help us LEAP into radically leadership of our churches, organizations or families.  READ: Radically Lead Your Church With One Simple Word: LEAP!


You Were Made For More – Jim Cymbala

God has a plan for you – your life has a purpose.  Don’t just waste the opportunities you have – put your trust in God and allow him to shape and form you into all that he has called you to be! Be willing to step you in faith and see where God leads you!   READ: Flex Your Spiritual Muscles For Strength


Stan the Man Music – Born to Be a Ball Player – Jerry Lahsche

I‘m not sure why I did this, but I walked in the library, saw this book on the feature table and picked it up. I don’t usually read sports books, but I read this whole fascinating book about the life of Stan Musial. It was an inspiring story of focus, intention and life long inspiration to be a ball player.

Read: Lessons From Stan Musial


Execution – The Discipline of Getting Things Done – Bossidy and Charan

I picked up this business / leadership book from the used bookstore. As I read it through the filter of church leadership, it’s evident that more leaders could take on a more disciplined approach to getting things done.  The world of a pastor is difficult in bridging the volunteer, heart felt nature of the people with the organizational side of the process. Too many pastors talk about being the visionary but they aren’t able to make the day to day stuff happen. READ: Four Crucial Attributes For Your Church Staff And Leaders


High Impact Church Boards – TJ Addington

There was a ton of great insight into leading the church through others in this book. Lots of practical information and lists as well. It’s a good reminder to think about how to most effectively align the church leadership teams with the mission of the church.  We’re working together and this book helps make it intentional and effective. It’s out of print, but the author will send you a pdf if you’re interested. READ: Ten Principles for Effective Church Committees


9 Super Simple Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success – Marty Grunder

I had fun reading this little book from a guy who evidently has built one of the largest landscaping and mowing companies in the Midwest. Beginning in high school and continuing through until now, Marty has build the company. The book is the story of how he did it and some of the steps that are required for any entrepreneur to get something going. Ministry leaders and entrepreneurs have much in common, from setting their own schedule to needing to have initiative and drive to move an organization forward. Read: Why Spending Time Around Winners Is Important


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