Read more reflections on the One Word at a Time blog carnival.
What makes a great book?
- It’s hard to put down as you’re reading it.
- It stays on your mind after you’ve finished.
- Its truths change you for the good—in beliefs and in behaviors.
Reflecting back on all the books I read this year, these ten stand out as great to me.
(And a bonus ten are included below as honorable mentions.)
10. The Checklist Manifesto
You’ll be inspired to create short checklists (5-9 steps is ideal) for certain routine tasks that you repeat.
Dr. Gawande provides data that using checklists will help you catch those lapses of memory and attentiveness that everybody has, allowing you to become more efficient and dependable.
9. Sheet Music
If you’re married (or about to be), Christian author Dr. Leman wrote this book so you’ll have a better sex life, regardless of your starting point.
He writes tastefully but directly to both men and women on how to improve your marriage by improving your intimacy levels which improves your marriage, and round it goes.
8. Worship Matters
You’re called to be a worshiper. Worship leader/author Bob Kauflin explains that biblical worship is God-focused, God-centered, and God-exalting.
How can you gain victory in the worship wars going on inside you? This book breaks it down into the leader, the task, healthy tensions, and right relationships.
7. Broken-Down House
Paul David Tripp
Have you realized that this world is really messed up?
This book tells you what you need to know about living in this “broken-down house” and then equips you with Biblical tools to work on it. Paul David Tripp is one of my very favorite authors.
6. The Holiness of God
R. C. Sproul
Since you’re commanded to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16), wouldn’t you be smart to learn more about his holiness?
Dr. Sproul will leave you more in awe of God’s holiness (and grace for your lack of holiness!) after you read this book than before you started it.
5. A Shelter in the Time of Storm
Paul David Tripp
This is a comfort book. A book for meditating on. A book to help you when you’re confused or down or lonely, and you need reminding that God is still there and still in control.
Based on Psalm 27, it’s divided into 52 short chapters, convenient for a year’s worth of weekly thoughts.
4. Finally Alive
Do most people understand what being born again really means? What does God intend to happen when someone is born again?
John Piper gives three benefits to understanding it: deeper assurance in God’s care; a more full treasuring of Jesus; more awareness to love others.
Jesus set the highest standard for humility, submitting his will to his Father’s. If we’re to follow his example, we also need to learn a deeper humility.
This book will impress that so strongly upon you that you’ll feel the need to do something about it.
2. Coffee Shop Conversations
Dale and Jonalyn Fincher
If you want Jesus to shine in your daily encounters, not only do your behaviors need to show love, but your words need to as well.
The Finchers will enlighten you on the different ways you can turn an ordinary conversation into a meaningful spiritual one.
1. Getting Things Done
If you get stuck on projects left undone, Allen’s methods will teach you how to do “the next thing” as efficiently and non-stressfully as possible, and still freeing your mind from having to remember numerous details.
His approach has been tested and tried for several years; I’m glad I finally discovered it for myself this year.
10 Honorable Mentions
and why you might want to read them:
- Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp
because parenting teens is challenging
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
because these twelve resolutions can help you be happier
- The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley
because every relationship needs improving
- 66 Love Letters by Larry Crabb
because you’ll see God’s love in every book of the Bible
- Won’t Let Go Unless You Bless Me by Andrée Seu
because each stand-alone chapter gives you spiritual insights
- Story of a Soul by St.Thérèse of Lisieux
because this young girl had humility you need to read about
- Bound and Determined by Jeanene Reese
because you’ll rethink mixed-sex working relationships
- The New Kind of Love by E. W. Kenyon
because you need to love differently to love like Jesus
- A Hunger for God by John Piper
because if you eat junk, you’ll ruin your appetite
- Recalling the Hope of Glory by Allen P. Ross
because it straightens out who you worship and why you worship
* * *
What is a favorite book you read in 2010?