One of the top reasons why I love this time of the year is because of all of the ‘End of year Top 10’ lists released by friends, writers, pastors, and publishers. This is the third year I have compiled my Top 10 books list, but the first year I have had a blog to post them up on (2013 List, 2012 List)!
I love reading. Books have changed my life, but can also be an idol. I very intentionally cut back on my reading this year so I could focus more of my time on writing. That being said, I still had the privilege of reading some really good books in 2014.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 books I read in 2014. As an FYI, just because a book is on this list does not mean it was published in 2014. It simply means I finished it in 2014.
10. Eat, Move, Sleep – by Tom Rath: I loved this book. 30 days of suggestions on what/how we eat, movement/exercise/activity, and sleep/wellness suggestions. The book is easy to go through in 30, one time/day chunks. I like this helpful download that facilitates the eat/move/sleep process moving forward.
9. Fight – by Craig Groeschel: Book 1 of 2 from Craig Groeschel on my list. Fight is a great book for men. I listened to this book on Audible, and loved that Craig narrated the book. Fight takes a biblical look at the highs, lows, and humanity of Sampson. I was shocked at how similar to Sampson I am. Fight was humbling, yet easy to read, funny and immensely practical. Would be a great book for a group of guys to read together.
8. Platform – by Michael Hyatt: I am a huge Michael Hyatt fan. His weekly podcast is one of the few podcasts I listen to every week. I finally got around to reading Platform, and I am so glad I did. Immensely practical, and more than anything, inspiring and encouraging. Reading this book was the kick in the pants I need to start this blog, and provided the how-to for much of my blog and social media.
7. From This Day Forward – by Craig Groeschel: I wrote a full blog post on this book a few weeks ago. Groeschel discusses five commitments to help divorce-proof your marriage: Seek God, Fight Fair, Have Fun, Stay Pure and Never Give Up. The book is short, very practical and easy to read (but at times hard to apply!).
6. Judges For You – by Tim Keller: I think my best season of time with the Lord this year came during my study of the book of Judges. Keller’s commentary on Judges is accessible, challenging and Christo-centric. He helps bring this often neglected Old Testament book to life, and helps us understand the dangers of doing whatever is right in your own eyes.
5. The Power of Habit – by Charles Duhigg: As someone who struggles with habits and addictions, Duhigg’s book provided a great, practical understanding of the power of establishing habits to change behaviors/struggles. I really enjoyed the book’s practical case studies, and the idea of the “Keystone Habit” helps bring clarity to how to change many aspects of life. The Power of Habit helped me understand some of my willpower and self-control issues when it comes to eating and passivity in exercise.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird – by Harper Lee: Somehow I made it to the age of 41.5 without reading this classic by Harper Lee. I want to be Atticus Finch when I grow up. I can’t even fathom how ground breaking this book must have been when it came out in 1960. Told through the eyes of an 8-year old girl, To Kill a Mockingbird was a very timely read in the midst of the Ferguson controversy.
3. When Family and Work Collide – by Andy Stanley: I love and hate this book. This is probably the fourth time I read this book by Andy Stanley (the first time under the new title – previously published as Choosing to Cheat). Another one that is easy to read, but very hard to apply. Kristen and I need to have some hard conversations about how I can better apply the truths of this book to my life and our schedule.
2. Going Public – by David & Kelli Pritchard: I wrote a full post on this book by the Pritchards a few months ago. As the parents of public school kids, this book helped me see public school, teachers, and other parents in a new way. If you have kids in public school or have kids who will be in school soon, I highly recommend this book. In fact, whether or not your kids go to public school, read this book!
1. Seven Men – by Eric Metaxas: And… numero uno on the list: Seven Men! I listened to this book on Audible, but wished I had read it. You can find more details through my review of this book. Metaxas is a gifted writer, and I was inspired by the stories of these seven great men.
A few others worth mentioning:
- A Christ-Centered Wedding, by Catherine Parks and Linda Strode: Great resource for couples preparing for their wedding day. I shared about this one a few months back.
- Food: A Love Story, by Jim Gaffigan. As always, hilarious!
- The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I read this one with my twins. Fantastic. And we can’t wait to see the third Hobbit movie!
- You are a Writer, by Jeff Goins. Another guy I follow very closely. He is one of my favorite bloggers/coaches/podcasters and has had a great impact on my writing life.
And now… to quote writer Mary DeMuth: “So that’s it. My favorite books from 2014. Lest this become all about me, please share YOUR favorite books from last year. I am always up for a good read.”
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