Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My top 10 books for 2012 (6-10)

In recent days I've posted several articles listing the top books recommended by various people and organizations.  Today I want to continue a two or three year old tradition of sharing my top 10 favorite reads of the previous year.  Quite frankly, this was a difficult year for my reading.  For the first time in many years I did not average reading a book a week.  I only read 31 last year, and many of them were disappointing.  In some cases I felt they promised much more than they delivered.  Some offered little new information.  I started a few books and soon stopped reading them because I just didn't see any value in continuing (those are not included in the 31).  Still, I found some to be enjoyable and helpful to me in various ways.  Today I will give you 6-10 with the remainder coming in tomorrow's post.

10.  We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam by Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway.  Moore is a retired Army General who fought in Vietnam.  He returns to that country to meet and talk with some of the military leaders he fought against.  It is an incredible look at how that war changed two nations and the people who were involved.  As one who made two tours to Vietnam onboard an aircraft carrier during that time, this book fascinated me as it gave me a much better idea of what was occurring on the ground and what has happened since.  It is also a book that says much about forgiveness and reconciliation.

9.  Beyond Boundaries: Learning to Trust Again in Relationships by John Townsend looks at relationships and how to handle them when they go bad.  In every area of our lives relationships are important.  Toxic relationships will damage us if we allow them to.  Healthy relationships make us stronger and better.  A central element of healthy relationships is trust, and this book explores what we can do when that trust is violated.

8. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard written by Chip and Dan Heath examines how to implement change in any organization.  Reducing the size of the change and focusing on how a change will impact people's identities are only two of the suggestions made by the authors.  This is one of the best books on change I've read in recent years.

7. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard takes the reader far beyond what we were taught in school about one of the most important events in America.  The details that were covered in this book makes it one of my all-time favorite US history books.

6. Reaching People Under 40 While Keeping People Over 60: Being Church for All Generations (TCP Leadership Series) written by Eddie Hammett.  Eddie is one of my favorite authors and I would recommend anything he writes.  This is one of the biggest challenges facing most churches today, and the author addresses it in a way that will benefit any church.  While most churches claim they want to reach younger adults many of them do little to intentionally do that.  In fact, much of what they do actually drives away young adults.  This book identifies some things that churches can do to better attract younger adults while not ignoring the needs of their older members.  This is a must read book for every pastor.

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