What I’ve Been Reading

Today I received a message from a long time friend, asking me if I had read anything recently that I would recommend. After my response to him, I thought I would share it here on my blog too. Here are a few books that I have recently read that I thought I would pass along.

(I’ve included links to each book on Amazon. Simply click the image of the book)


DEEP WORKRules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

by: Cal Newport

There is no doubt that there is more fighting for our attention than ever before. Distractions abound, even when we want to stay focused. I loved some of the ideas that Cal Newport shares in this book about how to get into ‘deep work’ instead of staying at a shallow level of focus. I’ve passed this book along to a few friends and I’m planning on having our team at Life Center Rainier read this together this year.


Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

by: The Arbinger Institute

I know that many people have read this book and many have recommended it. I finally got around to reading it recently and LOVED it. It is written as a parable, so it is easy to get drawn into the story. I think this book is not only helpful for leaders, but also for couples and employees who want to better understand healthy interaction and communication.


The Sabbath

by: Abraham Joshua Heschel

I had two friends (Jason and Scott), both recommend this book to me within a few days of each other. That got my attention. Both are pastors and men that have been an incredible encouragement to me throughout the years. If you are a ministry leader, I would encourage you to read this at some point. It is written through a Jewish perspective on what Sabbath is, but some of the ideas and concepts were incredibly helpful and insightful for me.


Kill the Spider: Getting Rid of What’s Really Holding You Back

by: Carlos Whittaker

If you have ever wrestled through issues in your life and wondered “How on earth will I ever overcome ___________?!”, I would recommend you checking out this book by Carlos Whittaker. He talks through a painful season of his life where he experienced change, transformation and incredible freedom that come from Jesus and the Weapons that he has made available. I loved his humor, his writing style and his transparency. His metaphor on KILLING SPIDERS vs. cleaning up webs is excellent!


Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

by: Rich Roll

So my wife, Amber, and I recently made the mistake of watching ‘What the Health’ and ‘Forks over Knives’ on Netflix. The result: we are eating a (mostly) plant based diet. Rich Roll was interviewed on one of the documentaries and he shared his story and the fact that he was a cyclist and a runner – two activities that I love. I decided to read his book ‘Finding Ultra’, where he talks about the reality of where he found himself at 40 years of age and his pursuit of health and becoming an ultra triathlete. If you are into health and/or want to engage in an inspiring story (which includes Rich and a friend doing 5 full ironman triathlons in successive days on the 5 main islands of Hawaii) you may enjoy this one!


The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

by: Ryan Holiday

This book was one of my favorite reads of this past year. I could have guessed it would be, since I really liked his other book called Ego is the Enemy (I wrote about it here). I love how Ryan thinks and writes. In leadership and life it is often easy to see challenges. In this book he unpacks the idea that the challenges that we face often are the path we need to move through.

What about you? What books would you recommend?

Leave a comment below with some of the books you have recently read and found insightful, helpful or encouraging. 

  1. I’ve been reading / read:

    1984 – George Oswell.

    Bullies – Ben Shapiro

    Power of Praying Husband – Stormie Omartian

      1. Anytime!

        I have Losing Our Religion by SE Cupp lined up next and am planning on buying God is Good by Bill Johnson here shortly.

  2. Imagine Heaven by John Burke.
    This book has changed my life. It has given me indescribable hope, joy and excitement for the next stage of my “life” here on the planet.
    As a Hospice Volunteer and church Healing Minister, I have bought several copies and given them to the elderly, grieving and anyone I felt who would be enlightened by it. Even one of our priests in the Episcopal church (us, The Frozen Chosen!) has read it, loved it and given it to other congregants.
    Jenni Payne
    Formerly Jenni Hooker at Eastridge in Issaquah, now, back to my “roots” in the Episcopal Church.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like