Well I only finished 6 books this year. The amount of books per year that I’m reading has been trending downward as of late.
Here’s my list of all the books I read in 2015 with my comments on each one:
I didn’t read that many books this year. I only read six.
Writing has replaced a lot of my reading time at this point in my life.
But even though I only read six books this year, I did read some good ones.
Here’s my list of the books I read in 2013 with my comments on each one:
This book is one of the best books on manhood that I’ve ever read. I really enjoyed it. I love his in depth tackling of the topic of shame and how it affects manhood – really good stuff. For more on Gordon Dalbey, check out this video interview.
This is an excellent book on one of my favorite topics. You may know Ben Pasley from the “Enter The Worship Circle” albums.
This was a good read. I especially enjoyed the parts on procrastination.
This book had some good content but I was hoping for a bit more practicals.
This was a great book on the gospel. I Loved chapter four and every Christian should read chapters nine and ten.
This book had some good nuggets, but it was way over the top on the delivery. He comes off a bit arrogant at times and uses some “colorful” language as well. There’s some good “meat” if you can spit out the “bones”. One of the few books I’ve read where I laughed out loud often while reading it.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
(Image Credit: National Media Museum)
Brennan Manning April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013
A few days ago, I found out that my favorite author and speaker, Brennan Manning had died. No author or public speaker has had as much influence on my life as Brennan Manning did.
I first heard of Brennan in 1998, while living in Arvada, CO. Two of my friends had road tripped out to visit, and they were ranting about a book called “The Ragamuffin Gospel“. After my friends left, I purchased the book and started reading it. That book changed my life. The previous four years of my Christian life had been plagued by a horrible stronghold of condemnation. After reading that book, for the first time in my life, I felt free. I felt like I got saved all over again.
The following year I brought a copy of the book “Lion and Lamb” and the five cassette series based on that book called “A Glimpse Of Jesus” with my wife and I for our honeymoon. Gina and I would sit in our dinky little cabin and listen to Brennan teach on the compassion of Jesus. It was awesome. I was wrecked by those tapes and that book.
It was at that point that I decided to purchase every teaching and book he had, including his three out of print books. I wanted to learn as much as I could from him. I enjoyed reading all his books but “A Stranger To Self Hatred” and “Ruthless Trust” were two of my favorites along with those initial first two books.
My favorite part about his speaking style was the brute forcefulness with which he would drive the truth of the love of God like a stake through my hard heart. Here’s an example of what I mean:
I used to pray often that I would be able to articulate the love of God with the same passion, honesty, conviction, and effectiveness of Brennan Manning. I will continue to pray that for myself and all the other ragamuffin gospel preachers out there.
Here’s some of my favorite Brennan Manning quotes:
“In the words of Francis of Assisi as he met Brother Dominic on the road to Umbria, hi.”
“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion. God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.” – Abba’s Child
“To live without risk is to risk not living.” – Ruthless Trust
“You will trust him to the degree that you know you are loved by him.” – Ruthless Trust
“The more guilt and shame that we have buried within ourselves, the more compelled we feel to seek relief through sin.” – Ruthless Trust
“When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.” – Ragamuffin Gospel
“I (Jesus) expect more failure from you than you expect from yourself.” – Ragamuffin Gospel
I leave you with the benediction I heard him give when I heard Brennan speak in person, in his Jnco jeans and raggedy old sweater, in Mequon, WI:
May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.
That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing, dance, and trust in the love of God who is Father, Son, and Spirit.
2012 wasn’t my best year for reading. I only finished 10 books.
I did read some good ones though. I read:
I usually like to read at least 24 books a year. Here’s how I do it:
(Image Credit: “adamr” | FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Image courtesy of “George Eastman House” | Flickr.com
For some, 24 books is nothing. For me and my busy schedule, it feels like a lot.
At first glance, thinking of reading that many books seems impossible. The thought of the goal, and the inevitable failure to reach it, pretty much used to demotivate me from even starting. So how do you overcome the first hurdle?
Simplify the goal.
24 books seems daunting. But if it’s broken up by month, it’s only two books per month. That doesn’t seem as difficult. But if you’re like me, it still sounds unrealistic with a busy schedule.
So let’s break it down one more level.
How much would you have to read to accomplish the goal of reading 24 books in a year? Let’s say that the average book is about 10-12 chapters, give or take a few. If you read one chapter per day, you’ll finish 30 chapters in a month, which is about 2-3 books, depending on the size. Two books per month times 12 months in a year equals 24 books.
I don’t know about you, but the goal of reading one chapter a day seems pretty doable (especially if you utilize toilet time), ;). And then if you read more than one chapter, you exceeded your goal.
This has helped me reach my book reading goals in years past. What do you think? Could it work for you?
Hi, I’m Josh Christophersen, and this is my blog. I want to help you do your life well. Enter your email so I can send you free updates: