A Good Year for Reading
Written by: Bob DeAngelo, Pastor of Youth and Outreach
I don’t know that I love to read…but I do know that I love to learn. I get absolutely
giddy at the thought of opening my mind up to new ways of thinking, differing
perspectives, and thoughts that I had not previously considered. In fact, the prospect of a
new thought gets my adrenaline pumping in the way that some people experience as they
ascend to the “click, click, click” of approaching the summit of a roller coaster.
In 2018, I read 55 books – more than some, and less than others. Just like an excellent
restaurant or a fun experience, I enjoy sharing things that I find to be enjoyable or
helpful. So, (in no particular order, and of course, without giving a complete blanket
endorsement to any of them), here are my top 10 books from 2018:
1. The Essential 55 by Ron Clark and Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire by Rafe Esquith – Both of these books are written by extraordinary classroom teachers who make their classrooms fun and inspiring while expecting great things out of their students. (With a title like “Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire,” how can you go wrong?)
2. Designed to Lead by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck – I am a pastor, and these men contend that there may be no better place on planet earth to develop leadership than in the church. They make a compelling point, and they provide some excellent tools for leadership development in any realm.
3. John Adams by David McCullough – Warning: This is a LONG book…but if you want an education on the United States during the Revolutionary War, and if you want to learn about maybe one of the most “underrated” Founding Fathers of our nation, this is a fantastic read by one of the most prominent historical authors today.
4. TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson – Everyone has heard of TED. Even though this book took longer than 18 minutes to read, it is a wonderful resource providing very concrete help on the subject of public speaking.
5. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace by Heath Lambert – Lambert speaks from experience as he provides practical thoughts on the topic of pursuing purity in our hearts and minds…in a culture where this is often an uphill battle.
6. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown – I do like books on productivity, and this was my favorite from 2018. Just the concept of the 90/10 rule made this book worth the cost and the investment of time to read it. (I guess you will have to read the book to find out what it is!)
7. On the Right Track by Marion Jones – I had the privilege of meeting Olympian Marion Jones several years ago, and her story of Olympic glory to prison to “normal” life is easy to read, encouraging, and insightful.
8. Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires and the Respect He Desperately Needs
by Emerson Eggerichs – I am obviously just a FEW years behind in getting to this one, but I was absolutely floored by how good this book was. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is married or considering marriage. The book is grounded in the truths of the Bible, and it will provide you with very important insights into both you and your spouse.
9. The Church by Mark Dever and Preach by Dever and Greg Gilbert – Both of these
books are as straightforward as their titles. Mark Dever is a respected church leader, and he writes with strength and clarity on both of these subjects.
10. Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson – Everyone is familiar with the hot button issue of race. Watson is the son of a seminary trained pastor, he plays tight end for the NFL New Orleans Saints, and he stands during the playing of the national anthem. I believe that everyone will find Watson’s perspective and experiences to be helpful. I certainly did.
– Make your Bed by Admiral William McRaven
– Preaching by Timothy Keller
– Lies Men Believe by Robert Wolgemuth
– None Like Him by Jen Wilkin
– This Changes Everything by Jacquelle Crowe
– Reset for Parents by Todd Friel