2011 A Year in Books

Books are mirrors – at first you only glance not knowing what to expect, make casual observations, finally get comfortable with what you see, and eventually move on – hopefully more aware.  I thought I’d force myself to write down a one-sentence take-away from how each one left me.  I’ve linked each title in case you’re curious.

Ye Olde Reading Chair

Linchpin (Seth Godin): I can talk myself out of anything.  Essentially, that’s poor stewardship.  And probably telling God that He made a mistake.

The Poor Will be Glad (Peter Greer): There is no excuse for me not to be involved help the poor.  Because of where and when I live, God has entrusted me with the ability to connect.

The Dip (Seth Godin): There are some dreams that I need to quit chasing because they’re not up to me.  There are others dreams that I need to push because I’m the only one having them.

The Man Within (Graham Greene): I have unending capacity for self-deception and vanity.

The Next Christians (Gabe Lyons): I need to really listen to people younger than me.  This needs to be a lifelong discipline.

Radical (David Platt): I’m boring myself faithless. (for a fuller explanation, see my previous post here).

Barabbas (Par Lagerkvist): I have been forgiven of more than I yet realize.  I sin – I repent – I find forgiveness – I am deeper in debt to grace than ever.

Worship Matters (Bob Kauflin): Worship is precious.  I am privileged.  I cannot lazily stumble in.

How the Mighty Fall (Jim Collins): Corporate hubris is born of personal insecurity.  I need to watch my myself and invite accountability.

The 1997 Ford Taurus Owners Manual:  It can’t all be roses and sunshine, folks.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Don Miller): I have a story.  I need to discover it.  It’s worth digging for.

Less Clutter Less Noise (Kem Meyer): I need to surround myself with good communicators.

The Collected Poems of Emily Dickenson (Barnes and Noble Classics): If death, houseflies, and romance can be found within the same 8-lines, I need slow down my life and look harder.

Making Ideas Happen (Scott Belsky):  Any ideas that I might have don’t count if they’re only ideas.  I need to have the courage and discipline to make a lasting difference.

The Dubliners (James Joyce): People always have profound reasons for their darkness and insecurities.  It’s not my place to speculate or merely observe.

The Hidden Smile of God (John Piper): Men who have lived lives worth being written about are worth taking the time to read about.

The Cross-Centered Life (CJ Mahaney): I am able to come up with endless things to devote my life to.  Most of them deceptively noble.  Most of them fairly vain.

George Muller: Delighted in God (Roger Steer): It’s very possible that I haven’t the slightest idea how to live in faith.  It’s very possible that God is eager to teach me.

Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing (James A Casada): Everyone has hobbies they can’t afford…

Wild Years: Myth and Music of Tom Waits (Jay S. Jacobs): It’s probably best that I’m not a professional musician.  It’s probably best that the closest I’ll ever get is banging on the steering wheel.

The Leader Who Had No Title (Robin Sharma): I can’t hide behind a small business card.

All is Grace (Brennan Manning): God loves me as I am – not as I ought to be.  That’s a freeing realization because I’m pretty hard on myself.

Lost in Transition (Christian Smith): My kids are entering a world that I will know nothing about unless I’m a prayerful learner.

Gilead (Marilynne Robinson): I need to tell my story.  I need to trust the power of reconciliation.  The reason I don’t is tied to my tendency to want to orchestrate it.  Let it come.

The Next Story (Tim Challies): Discernment is a discipline to cultivate.

Home (Marilynne Robinson): My family will see my weaknesses in ways that no one else will.  That’s no reason to hide them – it’s a reason to be simple and honest.


5 thoughts on “2011 A Year in Books

  1. Brannon, this was a cool list, and I appreciated the personal impact of each book which you mentioned. I read so little these days in book form, to my regret and somewhat shame. So I don’t know that I’ll have a chance to read any of these, but I did really appreciate your reflections on the Godin books especially – Ben

    • Thanks Ben for your interest. Funny thing – I’m too finding it to be a discipline to pick up a book these days. The cool (but unintended) result is a slowing of life that is definitely worth it. Thanks again!

  2. My goodness.
    I had to disipline myself to read completly thru this list let alone read all those books. I don’t think iv read that much since grade school.
    Love the one liners. Incredible insight.
    Thank you, love you.
    God has truly blessed our family with Godly men, Godly loving husbands to our daughters, Godly loving fathers of our precious grandkids and my Godly loving son YTB!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your abreviated insights on all these books! I have determined to read more this year and there are books on your list I am intrigued to read. Praying for you.

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