I am changing the format in which I write book reviews. Instead of providing individual book reviews, I’ll review quarterly what I’ve been reading. For past book reviews, go here: https://dougsmithlive.com/book-reviews/
As a side note, a lot of you have asked me how I read so many books. The truth is, I read a lot of books at the same time and I read a chapter a day in each book. I try to read for 45 minutes to an hour each day. It’s a discipline I believe is worth the effort and sacrifice. Schedule time to grow! If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen!
Also, I believe I can learn from anyone, but that does not mean that I agree with and endorse everything that is said in every book I read. In Bible School, one professor taught me to always “be as smart as a cow . . . eat the hay and spit the sticks.” If I don’t agree with something someone says, I “spit it out” and forget about it. If it’s good and I agree, I try to apply it to my life. I’d recommend you do the same when consuming information.
Here is a list of my fall reading:
Work Matters by Tim Nelson – This book was part of our curriculum for Serving Leaders. It’s a great read. Regardless of what you do, your work matters to God and you can glorify God in your work. The tagline of this book is: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work. That is a perfect overview of the book. If you struggle finding purpose in your job, this book is for you.
The Magic Power of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz (affiliate link)- This is a success classic. Everyone I look up to has read it and it has impacted each of them greatly. This is a must read for everyone.
The Serving Leader by John Stahl-Wert and Ken Jennings – I had the privilege of interviewing John for one of my Learning to Lead podcasts. After meeting with him, I read a book he co-authored, The Serving Leader. It is a great book on the subject of servant leadership. The book is presented as a work of fiction, making it an extremely easy and engaging read. You will draw several practical applications for your leadership from the story they tell.
Greater by Steven Furtick – Steven Furtick always causes me to dream bigger. Greater walks you through the story of Elisha and teaches you practical ways to follow the calling of God on your life.
Vertical Church by James MacDonald – This is hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read on the church. To be honest, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read when it comes a personal relationship with God. Be prepared though, this book will challenge you and I promise God will show you areas that you need to work on in your walk with Him. This should be a must read for every pastor, church leader, and christian!
Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley – Do you ever wish you could sit down with Andy Stanley and have him teach you everything he has learned throughout his journey of leading and growing North Point? If so, then read this book. Deep and Wide is the story of North Point and all of the lessons that Andy and his team has learned along the way about leading a church.
The Missing Semester by Gene Natali – This is my friend, Gene Natali’s first book! The book is a road map for handling your finances. It is geared toward high school and college students, but I’d recommend to anyone that is trying to get a better handle on their finances. It’s a quick and easy read with very practical tips that will help you prepare for a great financial future.
Buy the hard copy. Buy the Kindle version. (Both affiliate links)
The Meaning of Marriage By Tim Keller – I had so many people recommend this book and say it’s the best book on marriage they’ve read. Laura and I are reading it together and we absolutely love it. It’s challenging and very well thought out. If you’re married, I’d encourage you to buy this book and read it with your spouse.
The Four Hour Chef by Timothy Ferris – What? You’re reading a cookbook? Kind of. The 4-Hour Chef is really a book on learning. Cooking is just the means in which you learn. If you’ve never read any of Tim’s books, I recommend starting with the 4-hour work week. Tim Ferris is the Jason Bourne of our generation! Some people love him, others hate him, but you can’t argue that if you’ll take his work seriously, you can learn a lot and greatly increase the productivity of your life. I’d recommend reading everything Tim writes, the 4-hour Chef is no exception!
The Power of Full Engagement by James Loehr – The tagline of this book says it all: “Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal.” Every leader I’ve met that has read this book says that it is a must read. I agree. Most people focus on managing their time, you’ll be much more effective if you learn to manage your energy. This book will help you learn how to do that.
Buy the hard copy. Buy the Kindle version. (Both affiliate links)
Write it Down, Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser – Michael Hyatt recommended this book. I like to journal, write down my goals, and manage to-do lists. The big takeaway from this book is that if you write it down, you increase the likelihood of making it happen. The book is full of stories of people who did just that. If you’re already in the habit of writing things down, I don’t think you’ll need to read this book. If you need convinced that writing things down will help you, pick it up.
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt – Another challenging Christian book. The big takeaway from me in this book is that becoming a disciple of Christ comes with a cost. We need to constantly be checking our motives and desires in our walk with God. While God is a good God and wants to bless us, there is also a cost that comes with following God. In our generation, we’ve tried to create a Christianity that doesn’t cost and is focused on receiving. David challenges that thinking. Serving God comes with a cost, but it’s a cost always worth paying. I’d encourage every Christian to read this book.
Pure Grace by Clark Whitten – This is a great book on the Grace of God. If you struggle with guilt and condemnation over sin in your life, get this book. It will help you get a clear picture of the Grace of God.
The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn – If you’ve never heard of Jim Rohn, watch a few of his talks on YouTube. I guarantee you’ll start to look at life in a new way after hearing him. Jim has mentored a lot of the leaders of today: Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy just to name a few. I try to get my hands on anything that Jim has created whether it’s a book or a talk. The Seasons of Life is a very easy read. In life, we all go through seasons that parallel spring, summer, fall, and winter. Jim walks you through each season that you’ll go through in life and how to take advantage of each season.
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