My top-10 reading list for 2014

Mark Twain rightly observed, ““A person who won’t read has no advantage over the one who can’t read.”

That motivates me to turn some pages every day.


Following the tradition I started last year, I compiled a list of my top 10 non-fiction books that have helped me personally this year. For some of these I’ve included links to reviews that I’ve written about them.

  1. The Men’s Bible (2014)
    Today, I completed my reading plan (from to read through the Bible in a year. Every year I read it, I gain more insight than the year before. Sure, there are difficult to understand passages, but I find when I let them incubate, they take on even more meaning when I encounter them again. This year, I had the privilege to contribute two devotionals to a new Bible that was released by the American Bible Society and the National Coalition of Men’s Ministry where I serve as President. Take a look at my review of the Men’s Bible and see if it might be a good resource to add to your personal reading plan next year.
  2. Deep Influence (2014) by T.J. Addington
    If you read just one book on leadership this year, make it this one. While written to ministry leaders, any leader interested in a Christian perspective on leadership will benefit greatly from T.J.’s insights into what makes a person a leader of deep influence . Read my review.
  3. Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle (1991) by Jim Rohn
    A friend of mine mentioned this book in his podcast and I picked it up on a whim. Boy, was I glad I did. This little book is packed with wisdom and energy. Every chapter I read left me more inspired and I was disappointed that there wasn’t more. Rohn asks a simple but profound question about the results we get in our lives, “Why do so many of us curse the effect but nourish the cause?” He reminds us that the changes we need to make are easy. And it’s also easy not to make them too. The choice is ours. No room for complaints about the outcome.
  4. The Man in the Mirror (2014) by Patrick Morley
    In this 25th anniversary revision of his classic that sold over 3 million copies, my friend Pat Morley unlocks the 24 problems men face. Be prepared for straight talk, but you’ll love it because Pat speaks with the wisdom and learning from a man whose been there. When you read it you’ll see why he is arguably the world’s foremost authority on what makes men tick. Read my review.
  5. The Gift of Being Yourself (2004) by David G. Brenner
    I was introduced to this book as I prepping my podcast on identity. This short book—only 110 pages—lucidly covers a topic that others have written tomes about. Think of it as a spiritual essay on the “sacred call to self-discovery” as the subtitle promises. Read my review.
  6. 66 Love Letters (2011) by Larry Crabb
    This past year, I paired my daily Bible reading with this inspirational trip through the books of the Bible by noted Christian psychologist and author Larry Crabb. The 66 chapters, one for each book of the Bible, reads like a conversation between Crabb and God as Crabb deftly demonstrates a broader story that is woven through the pages of that sacred book. You might find it, as I did, a refreshing complement to your regular Bible reading.
  7. Making Ideas Happen (2013) edited by Scott Belsky
    Take your production of ideas to a whole new level following the Action Method approach by the founder and CEO of Behance, the creative online community of Adobe. I’ve implemented his strategy this past year and it’s really helped me improve what I get done. Read my review.
  8. Jesus in the 9 to 5 (2013) by Dennis E. Hensley
    What might you learn if you were working for Jesus in your company? My writing mentor and Chair of the Professional Writing program at Taylor University imagined that scenario in this fictitious account of a Jesus-led company–literally. Reading this book might just shake the dust of the Jesus you think you know. Read my review.
  9. Do Less, Be More (2013) by John Busacker
    I can tell a good book by whether it’s the first I pick up among many that I have going at one time. This book consistently met that criteria. I loved the reflections and the reminders about cultivating awareness, alignment and action. Read my review.
  10. Launch (2014) by Jeff Walker
    This New York Times bestseller a little bit out of the ordinary read for me. Jeff Walker is among one of the world’s foremost authority on product launches–especially in the online world. I was fascinated by his approach which he calls the Product Launch Formula. It’s been used successfully by thousands to launch their online businesses. If you are considering an online business or have an interest in sales and marketing, you’ll get some great ideas from this book.

What books influenced your thinking most this year?

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