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Cool Books I’ve Read Recently

I get asked all the time about what books I’m reading, so I thought it might be fun just to share some of what I’ve read so far this year. Some of these books have been great. Some have sucked. If you want to borrow any of these books from me, just let me know.

Follow Me to Freedom by Shane Claiborne and John Perkins: I love Shane Claiborne. He lives in inner city Philadelphia in a community that helps the poor. John Perkins is a great civil rights leader. This book is about what radical hope looks like. It was great.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: This was a great and highly disturbing book. It’s a true story about Walls’ growing up in a very dysfunctional family. It was heartbreaking and touching at the same time. It reminded me how important it is for us at New Story to make sure we do all we can to help kids in need.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo: This is a book that anyone who ever presents in front of people should read. You’ll never look at PowerPoint slides the same again.

To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink: I loved his book A Whole New Mind, but this book was not good. It was poorly written and did not really give any good insights about motivating people.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Robb Bell: I always find Bell’s stuff to be thought provoking but easy to read.

Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon: This is probably the 5th time I’ve read this book by two of my divinity school professors. I had thought about doing it for a fall study at New Story, but decided it just wouldn’t work for us. If you’re looking for a book that will challenge your thinking, this is it.

Switch by Chip and Dan Heath: These are two of my favorite business authors. This is a great book about how to change things when change is hard. If you were at church when I talked about the radish and cookie experiment, it came from this book. If you are in an organization that needs change, this is the book to read.

Trading Bases by Joe Peta: If you love baseball and can stand poor writing, this is the book for you. I don’t really love either, so I found this book tough to finish.

Life after Life by Kate Atkinson: They say this will win the Pulitzer Prize this year. After 100 pages I stopped reading and nominated it for the Cruddiest Book I’ve Ever Wasted Time On prize.

Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? by William Poundstone: This book was filled with trick questions and all kinds of puzzles that interviewers at tech firms are using these days. They were tough! And to answer the question I know you’re thinking right now…of course I am….bwahahahahah.

Contagious – Why Some Things Catch On by Jonah Berger: This was an interesting book about how we think. I especially liked the part about Triggers. We’ll do one soon at New Story with toothbrushes and prayer.

Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle: This is a book by a Catholic priest who works with inner city gangs in Los Angeles. I learned a lot about gangs and compassion from Father Boyle.

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