My Reading List – Spring 2016


Reading List – Spring 2016

I didn’t have any 5-star reads over the spring months (my bar is pretty high to be rated a 5), but there were a couple of really great books that I would highly recommend.

Below are my ratings for them, as well as a brief summary of how each might add value to your life.

My Rating Scale

5 – Simply Amazing: Loved the style and the content; added significant value to me, and will be one I re-read.
4 – Very Good: Engaged with the majority of the content and found some fantastic nuggets all throughout.
3 – Good: Had a great chapter or two; overall was average.
2 – Ok: Had one or two things that I resonated with or found helpful; as a whole was just so-so.
1 – Pass: My time was better spent elsewhere.

4-Star Reads

The Power of the Other by Henry Cloud
In many senses, Dr. Cloud tells us what we already know, relationships have the power to help us be healthier and more successful. Where he goes beyond this common knowledge is by breaking it down as far as how power is created through specific kinds of connection. I particularly like his perspective on competition and peak performance. He included a great quote from Larry Page that my clients will hear me quote regularly, “Always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting.” This is a must-read for business owners and executives, and is one that most everyone can learn something from.

Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
I am a firm believer that we are our own worst enemy, and that we often do not reach our potential because we are holding ourselves back in some way for some reason. Holiday believes that outcomes such as these are the result of our ego getting the better of us. In his new book he teaches us how to not let this happen, but instead be “humble in our aspirations”, “gracious in our success”, and “resilient in our failures”. There is something in this book for everyone. You can also read my review of his book The Obstacle is the Way here.

Becoming an Agile Leader by Victoria Swisher
Great book that I will recommend to all of my clients who are managing/leading people. Swisher covers topics that are applicable to every leader: self-awareness, mental agility, people agility, change agility, and results agility. She provides a fantastic overview of what each of those mean, and then provides very tactical ideas of how to sharpen our skills in each of those areas and how to apply them in our business and personal lives.

3-Star Reads

Teach Me to Pray by Andrew Murray
I’ve actually been reading this book for nearly a year and finally finished it. Murray’s words are rich and can only be taken a bite at a time. I started it with the desire to be a more prayerful person and he helped me on that journey, beginning with the beautiful admonition to dwell alone with God, “Let the place of secret prayer become to me the most beloved place on earth.”

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
Personal finances are an area that I lack the depth of knowledge and understanding that I desire for myself, so I am constantly trying to learn from those who have seemingly mastered it, rather than allowing it master to them. My favorite section in the book provides ten ways to save, beginning with these: 1) Stop trying to impress people. 2) Don’t go shopping. 3) Live within your means. Overall, I would say that this book has several very helpful areas, but may be a bit too cumbersome for the average person (though worthwhile if you are disciplined to work through the recommended steps).

2-Star Reads

Follow Me by David Platt
I’ve been wanting to read something by Platt for a few years, and I think I either picked the wrong book to start with, or maybe I just don’t resonate with overall his style and philosophy. There were a few ideas and insights that I really appreciated, like his perspective about financial giving and his reminders about God’s desire to be in relationship with us, and I do love this quote, “Our souls long for the presence of God.” I should note that his Amazon rating is a 4.7 with nearly 450 reviews, so I am in the minority on not loving this book.

My Next Review

Below are some of the books that I am currently reading. I will post a blog in October that provides my ratings and reviews for everything that I read between now and then.

Under New Management by David Burkus
Do Over by Jon Acuff
H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick

What was one of your 5-star books this Spring?
What are you currently reading?

PS: Rather than doing affiliate links to Amazon and putting cash in my personal pocket if you purchase a book from my reading lists, my Amazon links provide a portion of the sale to be donated to one of my favorite non-profit organizations, The Cupcake Girls. I appreciate you making the purchase through my link to support the incredible work they are doing.