I love to read and try to burn through books at a good pace. Since this reading schedule prohibits full reviews of many of the books I’m reading, my friends have encouraged me to publicly list my reading schedule and brief thoughts on books. To that end I’ll be posting a biblio-update once a week. I don’t post this to sell books (no hyperlinks) and I don’t post this to impress you. I will be prioritizing this list for 4 distinct purposes:
- as a means of provoking diligence in your own reading schedule
- as a means of helping others make wise book investments (let me buy the bad ones)
- as a means of personal accountability (no room for slacking off)
- as a means of hearing from you about what you are presently reading (use the comments).
So here is my present reading schedule, complete with the present % read, thoughts, and ratings (5 stars being the highest recommendation, 1 star meaning the book is more useful as a recycled paper product.
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (25%, 4 stars). Novel and winner of the Pulitzer. Reflections of an old pastor. The prose sip like vintage wine.
- Outliers by Malcom Gladwell (25%, ^3.2 stars). Talent is overrated–the “greats” flat out worked harder. Note the 10,000 hour rule = work for 10,000 hours at something and you will do it well.
- The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam (70%, ^3.85 stars). Business strategy book. Thinking through, solving, and explaining complex problems on a napkin with a pen, icons, and stick figures. Wonderful book for visual thinkers like myself and bearing immediate fruit at work.
- Our Reasonable Faith by Herman Bavinck (30%, 5 stars). Intro level systematic theology. Fantastic condensed theology noted for its carefulness in composition and its moments of breakout doxology.
- Instructing a Child’s Heart by Ted and Margy Tripp (20%, 4.5 stars). Parenting. The newest from Tripp and a gem. Highly recommended for all parents.
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath (30%, 4.5 stars). Marketing and communication book. “Sticky” has become a new word in my daily language and a persisting challenge to rethink what I say and how I say it.
- Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell (70%, 3.5 stars). Secular history and travel writing. Vowell’s thorough research on presidential assassinations is presented in a way that allows the reader to join her as she travels to various locations. It should be noted that in this book (and all her books) she views life through a lens of wry irritability. Includes ‘mature’ content.
- Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin (50%, ^2.5 stars). Leadership. Groups stand around together, tribes communicate and provoke one another. How do leaders harness the potential of these online tribes and lead them via Web 2.0—blogs, Facebook, Twitter. The book greatly improved at about the 30% mark.
- Getting Things Done by David Allen (40%, ^4.3 stars). Personal planning. Classic book on how to schedule well and get things done efficiently.
- Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Li and Bernoff (30%, 3.75 stars). Online marketing. How to interact with the inevitable web 2.0 phenomena and collective power of the online user. More technical than Godin.
Recently completed (% read, final rating) …
- Discourse on the Trinity by Jonathan Edwards (100%, 4 stars). Theology. This little work helped me understand how Christ is the duplicity of the Father for God to delight in Himself. A fundamental truth to understanding the entire theology of Edwards.
- We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry by G. K. Beale (20%, 2 stars). Scholarly and hard to apply. Not what I expected.
- The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (25%, 1 star). Vowell—a liberal—on the Puritans! Who could pass this up? Except for a few highlights, this was a let down.
On the docket …
- Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds by Chris Brauns. Christian living.
- Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help For a Common Problem by Robert D. Jones. Christian living.
So what are you currently reading? I’d love to hear in the comments!