Two years ago, I decided to become far more intentional about reading. I began setting goals that really motivated me and I’ve read far more books than in years past. In 2015, I set a goal to read 18 books and ended up reading 20. For 2016, I set a goal to read 30 (maybe a little too ambitious of a jump), but I did end up reading 26. I’m going to use the excuse that I had a baby, started a new job and relocated. Regardless, it was a fantastic year in books and I can’t wait for what I get to read in 2017. Here are some of my favorites from 2016:


Creativity Inc.

by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Creativity Inc was the first book I read in 2016 and maybe one of my favorite. I have so many fond memories of Pixar movies and getting the scenes view of how they came to be was fascinating. However, this book was an amazing look at an insanely creative and successful organization. I was able to draw so many parallels to what I was going through at work to obstacles Pixar had to overcome. Amazing book! I’ll also admit – I may have cried a little reading Ed’s epilogue dedicated to the late Steve Jobs. Simply amazing.


plexInside the Plex

by Steven Levy

So maybe I am a bit of a Google fanboy. Steven Levy is also one of my favorite writers from Wired Magazine. Inside the Plex is a rare look into the formation and inner workings of Google. As I read this book, I was just constantly amazed by how Google overcomes challenges and creates solutions to problems no one has figured out. Google is a very smart company that employs very, very smart people. If you’re geeky like me, and you’re curious as to how Google will take over the world, this books is for you.


question-markUndisclosed Book

by undisclosed author

I’m not even sure how I got on this list, but I was able to read an early manuscript for a book coming out later in 2017 (I think). This book will be a NYT Best Seller as all the other books by this author are. This book is a research/study that will immensely help those in the field of education, sales, business and definitely ministry. It’s very painful that the best book I read in 2016 is a book I’m not allowed to talk about.


sevenpracticesSeven Practices

by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner  and Lane Jones

I’ve owned this book for years and I’ve read a chapter here and a chapter there… yet I’ve never read the book from start to finish. This summer when traveling, I decided to read this amazing book from start to finish. It didn’t disappoint, as I knew it wouldn’t. There are a handful of books I’d recommend to any young pastor starting out. When it comes to ministry strategy, this one is at the top of the list.


talksThe Talks

by Barrett Johnson

Last spring, my church in Texas did a series on sex. For the series, I put together a PDF of resources for parents. I have a list of go-to books for talking to your kids about sex, but I took the time to see if there were any new resources available. This book looked promising and had great reviews. I didn’t add this book to y PDF, but after having read it, I’ll recommend this book to any parent! The Talks is a comprehensive guide to several critical conversation that every parents needs to have with their kids. Talking to your kids about sex should never be on talk, but man talks. This book is your guide!


marioSuper Mario

by Jeff Ryan

This might have been my favorite “guilty pleasure” read this year. I’m a child of the 80’s who great up with Nintendo and Super Mario. I’ve played and LOVED every Super Mario game and this book is a fascinating look into how Nintendo came to be and how this princess-saving plumber fueled Nintendo from a family owned toy company into a global empire that shaped and dominated culture for decades. If you’re a child of the 80’s and a lover of koopa troopers, you’ll enjoy this read.

One thing happened this year that I didn’t expect. I read a lot more fiction. I discovered overdrive from the public library and happily began downloading books to my iPad. It felt like Christmas! I also rediscovered several books in the public domain that are free downloads. I read a couple classics this year, looking forward to reading more next year!

Some of the books I’m most excited about reading this year include:

Growing Young

The Power of Habit

The Importance of Being Little

The Four Disciplines of Execution

Here’s to 2017 all all we’ll learn and discover through books!