Summer is for reading and not just reading for study or information, but for personal enjoyment and growth. I’ve put together a list of the books that are in my book bag and ready to hit the road and pulled out to read on the beach or back porch this summer. I hope that you have a list of books you’re planning on reading the next couple of months. If not, maybe my list will “help you down the road a bit” as you select some books to enjoy this summer!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” – Dr. Suess.
Amazon says: Each of us has but one life to live on this earth. What we do with it is our choice. Are we drifting through it as spectators, reacting to our circumstances when necessary and wondering just how we got to this point anyway? Or are we directing it, maximizing the joy and potential of every day, living with a purpose or mission in mind?
Too many of us are doing the former–and our lives are slipping away one day at a time. But what if we treated life like the gift that it is? What if we lived each day as though it were part of a bigger picture, aplan? That’s what New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy show us how to do: to design a life with the end in mind, determining in advance the outcomes we desire and path to get there. In this step-by-step guide, they share proven principles that help readers create a simple but effective life plan so that they can get from where they are now to where they really want to be–in every area of life.
(Hyatt, Michael S., and Daniel Harkavy. Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. Print.)
Amazon Says: Gather successful people from all walks of life-what would they have in common? The way they think! Now you can think as they do and revolutionize your work and life! A Wall Street Journal bestseller, HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE THINK is the perfect, compact read for today’s fast-paced world. America’s leadership expert John C. Maxwell will teach you how to be more creative and when to question popular thinking. You’ll learn how to capture the big picture while focusing your thinking. You’ll find out how to tap into your creative potential, develop shared ideas, and derive lessons from the past to better understand the future. With these eleven keys to more effective thinking, you’ll clearly see the path to personal success.
(Maxwell, John C. How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. New York: Center Street, 2009. Print.)
Amazon Says: The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
(Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Boston: Back Bay, 2002. Print.)
Amazon says: Stephen M.R. Covey shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients and, employees—is essential to a successful organization.
With nearly 750,000 copies in print, this instant classic shows that establishing trust is “the one thing that changes everything” (Marcus Buckingham, coauthor of Now, Discover Your Strengths) in both business and life.
Trust, says Stephen M.R. Covey, is the very basis of the new global economy, and he shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees, and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any high–performance, successful organization.
For business leaders and public figures in any arena, The Speed of Trust offers an unprecedented and eminently practical look at exactly how trust functions in our every transaction and relationship—from the most personal to the broadest, most indirect interaction—and how to establish trust immediately so that you and your organization can forego the time–killing, bureaucratic check–and–balance processes so often deployed in lieu of actual trust.
(Covey, Stephen M. R., and Rebecca R. Merrill. The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything. London: Simon & Schuster, 2006. Print.)
Amazon Says: By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk—a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate—became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals. These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.
(Isaacson, Walter. Einstein: His Life and Universe. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2008. Print.)
Amazon Says: A captivating blend of personal biography and public drama, The Wise Men introduces six close friends who shaped the role their country would play in the dangerous years following World War II. They were the original best and brightest, whose towering intellects, outsize personalities, and dramatic actions would bring order to the postwar chaos and leave a legacy that dominates American policy to this day: Averell Harriman, the freewheeling diplomat and Roosevelt’s special envoy to Churchill and Stalin; Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who was more responsible for the Truman Doctrine than Truman and for the Marshall Plan than General Marshall; George Kennan, self-cast outsider and intellectual darling of the Washington elite; Robert Lovett, assistant secretary of war, undersecretary of state, and secretary of defense throughout the formative years of the Cold War; John McCloy, one of the nation’s most influential private citizens; and Charles Bohlen, adroit diplomat and ambassador to the Soviet Union.
(Isaacson, Walter, and Evan Thomas. The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2013. Print.)
Amazon says: The book that has sparked a vigorous national debate about the state of American religion,praised by Timothy Keller as “provocative” and “compelling,” while The New York Times says “Douthat attacks nonsense on both the cultural right and left…responsible and fair,” and theWashington Times raves “a superb documentation of America’s crisis of faith,” now in paperback.
AS THE YOUNGEST-EVER OP-ED COLUMNIST FOR The New York Times, Ross Douthat has emerged as one of the most provocative and influential voices of his generation. In Bad Religion he offers a masterful and forceful account of how American Christianity has lost its way—and why it threatens to take American society with it.
In a world populated by “pray and grow rich” gospels and Christian cults of self-esteem, Ross Douthat argues that America’s problem isn’t too much religion; nor is it intolerant secularism. Rather, it’s bad religion. Conservative and liberal, political and pop cultural, traditionally religious and fashionably “spiritual”—Christianity’s place in American life has increasingly been taken over, not by atheism, but by heresy: debased versions of Christian faith that stroke our egos, indulge our follies, and encourage our worst impulses.
In a brilliant and provocative story that moves from the 1950s to the age of Obama, Douthat explores how bad religion has crippled the country’s ability to confront our most pressing challenges and accelerated American decline.
(Douthat, Ross Gregory. Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. New York: Free, 2012. Print.)
Amazon Says: In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis, one of the most renowned Christian authors and thinkers, examines a universally applicable question within the human condition: “If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?” With his signature wealth of compassion and insight, C.S. Lewis offers answers to these crucial questions and shares his hope and wisdom to help heal a world hungering for a true understanding of human nature.
(Lewis, C. S. The Problem of Pain. New York, NY: HarperOne, 2001. Print.)
Parenting Isn’t for Cowards: The ‘You Can Do It’ Guide for Hassled Parents from America’s Best-Loved Family Advocate
Amazon says: Does your heart skip a beat when you think of all that could go wrong in the parenting years ahead? Anxiety is normal, but your worst fears don’t have to become reality. Speaking both as a therapist and a father―and drawing on a landmark study of thirty-five thousand parents―Dr. James Dobson helps you . . .
- prevent child-rearing troubles before they happen
- banish your guilt about hard-to-raise children
- protect your sanity during a child’s adolescence
- restore your energy when you’re facing burnout
- enhance your relationships with your kids
With more than one million copies sold, this confidence-building classic will help you experience the full joy of parenthood―and what may be the greatest sense of fulfillment you’ll ever know.
(Dobson, James C. Parenting Isn’t for Cowards. Dallas: Word Pub., 1987. Print.)
Amazon says: This family mission statement kit will help you:
- Unite your family around a common sense of purpose and mission
- Develop more patience and the capacity to solve problems proactively
- Strengthen you children and family members in a turbulent world
- Eliminate ineffective family habits
- Transform family life from a desperate, miserable, day-to-day grind to a family life rich with meaningful relationships
(Covey, Steven R. How to Develop Your Family Mission Statement. Grand Harbor Press, 2013. E-book.)
Amazon says: The dust storms that terrorized America’s High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod homes to new framed houses to huddling in basements with the windows sealed by damp sheets in a futile effort to keep the dust out. He follows their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the deaths of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived—those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave—Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression.
As only great history can, Egan’s book captures the very voice of the times: its grit, pathos, and abiding courage. Combining the human drama of Isaac’s Storm with the sweep of The American People in the Great Depression, The Worst Hard Time is a lasting and important work of American history.
(Egan, Timothy. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.)
Amazon says: On the morning of December 16, 1944, eighteen men of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon attached to the 99th Infantry Division found themselves directly in the path of the main thrust of Hitler’s massive Ardennes offensive. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they were told to hold their position “at all costs.” Throughout the day, the platoon repulsed three large German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing hundreds of German soldiers. Only when they had run out of ammunition did they surrender to the enemy. But their long winter was just beginning. As POWs, the platoon experienced an ordeal far worse than combat-surviving in wretched German POW camps. Yet miraculously the men of the platoon survived-all of them-and returned home after the war. More than thirty years later, when President Carter recognized the platoon’s “extraordinary heroism” and the U.S. Army approved combat medals for all eighteen men, they became America’s most decorated platoon of World War II. With the same vivid and dramatic prose that made The Bedford Boys a national bestseller, Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of these little-known heroes-an epic tale of courage, duty, and survival in World War II and one of the most inspiring episodes in American history. The Longest Winter is an intensely human story about young men who find themselves in frightening wartime situations, who fight back instinctively, survive stoically, and live heroically.
(Kershaw, Alex. The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of WWII’s Most Decorated Platoon. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2004. Print.)