It seemed like every other newsletter that landed in my inbox this past week had a list of the best books of 2017. Perhaps it’s because I work in publishing or that I love books. Either way, I inevitably click on the link to see if I have read any of them and what I might be missing. After reading half a dozen posts, I decided I should write my own list.
My best-books-of-2017 list is different from others. Most simply review the books published in the past year. Not so for me. My list includes books I personally read in 2017.
When I began 2017, I was busy looking for a new job and in need of inspiration. I found it in Born for This by Chris Guillebeau. This book guided me to identify the work that for me wouldn’t feel like work. I can’t say this book got me the job. The job was a gift from God. What it gave me were practical tips and exercises for turning my passion into a paycheck.
One of Guillebeau’s other books also had a big impact on me this past year. When Shauna and I decided to go to Greece, I knew I would have time to relax and reflect, and chose to take along The Happiness of Pursuit. While experiencing a trip of a lifetime, I was exploring and considering the quest that would bring purpose to my life. More on that in another post.
The first two books are not faith-based but my next pick promises to teach you to master the decisions that will make your life everything God wants it to be. Craig Groeschel’s latest book, Divine Direction, challenges you to consider the impact of the big and small decisions you make every day. He gives you simple principles to make godly decisions today with your future story in mind.
A highlight for me every year is the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit (GLS). I never fail to come away with several books. This year the most impactful speaker was Bryan Stevenson. In his book, Just Mercy, he shares his experience defending individuals on death row. He is known for fighting to free many who were wrongly convicted or unjustly sentenced. He highlights the need for proximity--to get closer to those in need.
I am blessed with a wonderful group of friends that meet monthly for a book club. Reading a good book is topped by sharing the book with friends. The top book picks this past year were Circling the Sun and Hillbilly Elegy. If you’re looking for a good book, you can’t go wrong with these two.
In 2017, I read more books than I can remember. This was due, in part, to my new job with Tyndale House Publishers and NavPress. All year, I have been trying to catch up on the books my colleagues published over the past year or two. My favorites included Almost There, I’ll Push You, and Other Side of Infamy.
I can’t end this post without mentioning the book of all books, the Bible. Reading a complete book of the Bible brings much needed context and understanding in a way that memorizing individual, random verses does not. I especially enjoyed reading the books of Luke and Acts alongside the ladies in my Women of Faith Bible study.
There you have it. They might not be New York Times best-sellers (although a couple are) but they come highly recommended by yours truly.